Solve a real problem – digital trendspotting for the rest of us

hand_light

How many new digital trends and tools have you heard about in recent years?

QR codes. Virtual Reality. Google Glass. Geotagging. Alexa. OneNote. SnapChat. GoPro. Instagram. Twitter. Periscope. Home drones. Storyline. PhotoMyne. The mix of new innovations can be dizzying.

So many possibilites bubble up in the cauldron of innovative possibilities…how are we to know which innovations to follow, and which ones to let drift on by?

Here’s an example of a tech trend question we’ve all asked ourselves:

Should I sign up for ________ (insert popular trend of the day, like Periscope, Twitter, Facebook Messenger), or should I stay with ________ (insert your current way of living)?”

In the latest Harvard Business Review technology post, “How to Know Which Digital Trends Are Worth Chasing,” Robert Haslehurst, Chris Randall, Jon Weber, and Charlie Sullivan break down 3 simple ways recognize a true digital differentiator when you see it.  You can read more in the full article about how a real innovation is one that:

  1. Eliminates customer pain points
  2. Elevates customer service
  3. Creates a differentiated, personalized customer experience

All three of these methods are about solving a real problem for other people. So, as you prepare to check out the article, I challenge to you think about a problem that you experienced. It could be a minor annoyance like an extra step in a bureaucratic process or a major pain point in your daily life.

Now, imagine what would it be like if someone came up with a solution for your problem?  It would feel like magic, right?

That’s the power of innovation – the welcomed relief or joy that comes when someone removes a barrier to your living a peaceful, prosperous and happy life.

Now, go check out the HBR article so you can be a real trendspotter and help bring the next great eWidget to the rest of us.

Source: How to Know Which Digital Trends Are Worth Chasing

 

Take a chance

Leap and The Net Will Appear…

Two weeks ago I began taking my first formal art class. The self-portrait I’m showing here is my first completed piece. I am a little scared to share it here, but I’ve decided to do so in the spirit of taking chances. Is it a Rembrant? No. But it’s progress. And that’s all I’m after for now.

Take a Chance

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  What a lovely invitation to take purposeful risks in the hopes of making yourself…better. A better friend. A better partner. A better leader. A better person. By intentionally choosing to expose yourself to the possibility of reward in the face of failure, you are saying to the world, “I am worth the risk.”

Leap and the Net Will Appear

Although the saying, “Leap and the Net Will Appear” is sometimes attributed to an unknown Zen source, it is, in fact, a quote by American naturalist John Burroughs. This blog is an example of taking a leap. When I began writing three years ago, I only had a general idea of what I wanted to talk about, namely: leadership, learning and innovation. I almost didn’t start because I only had ideas – ideas, not even content – for a few posts. What I found was, as long as I tried to be consistent, over time the material for posts naturally began to take shape. I didn’t need to plan or figure it out. The net just appeared.

The concept of taking a chance does not encourage recklessness. But it does make the important point that you must eventually act, believing that the resources you need will show up when you need them. This is simply faith in its purest form.

Special thanks to Tom Hendrich for taking a risk and inspiring me with his courage.

Your turn

 What commitment have you been waiting to make? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
 

Using technobabble to sound cool

Jargonicious! A plea for simplicity…

The ingenious (and totally fictitious) “Turbo Encabulator” video has long been used to warn against the use of technobabble. It has a fascinating history, which includes this Oscar-worthy 1977 performance by Bud Haggart:

 

What’s the lesson?

Avoid confusing jargon in your presentations.

Be conscious of your audience and sensitive to their familiarity with the terms that you use. We should use jargon, acronyms and other technical terms only if we are sure that our audience will understand them. If there is the slightest chance that they won’t understand, then simplify your language. Remember, if they can’t understand your message, they can’t adopt it.

I know what you’re thinking…

“But, Susan, big words make me sound more interesting and credible!”

Actually, the opposite is often true. The more clearly and simply you can deliver your message, the more likely people are to follow your ideas (intentional double entendre).

I would write more, but I’ve gotta go for now, as my flux capacitor needs recharging.

Your turn

Where have you seen (or even used) technobabble?

__________________________

Thanks to my colleague, Dave Ilconich, for reminding me of this classic video. 

Celebrate the spaces between

Let your ideas breathe…

How Can You Harness the Power of White Space?

Objects in a composition need to breathe. White space offers an airy canvas stage on which the parts of your design can freely dance. Just ask Mark Boulton, graphic designer and writer from the UK. Here’s my favorite part about Mark’s view on white space:

“Whitespace is often used to create a balanced, harmonious layout. One that just “feels” right. It can also take the reader on a journey through the design in the same way a photographer leaves “looking room” in a portrait shot by positioning the subject off the center of the frame and having them looking into the remaining space.”

Check out this slide show by Brand Autopsy to see some compelling use of white space.

Now, how can you use white space in your next design, web page, slide deck or thank you note to make a bold statement?

Looking forward to [the spaces between] your ideas,

 

Susan Hendrich

Totally Drawsome

Draw on Your Creativity…

This ingenious little app is taking the cooliverse to new levels of fun.

Your Turn

Now, I’m asking for your help in an informal survey. If you’re playing Draw Something, please add a comment below that summarizes why it’s so much fun.