All posts tagged: Innovation

Empathetic Innovation

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageStaffing and recruitment firms who are achieving the fastest growth in margin percentage and dollars are taking their cues from some of the best at innovation: Starbucks, Airbnb, Warby Parker, Patagonia, Kickstarter, and Apple. Instead of bombarding tons of prospects with mundane sales and marketing pitches, hoping to get them to care about their offerings, they are figuring out what matters most to these buyers, then delighting them, one person at a time. This approach, called Empathetic Innovation, can be achieved through the Innovation Equation:

Good or Great
PLUS Irresistible Value
MINUS Labor and Complexity
EQUALS Sustainable Innovation

Starting with what you do that is already good or great, value is added based upon insightful, empathetic understanding of the customer, while reducing the amount of effort and complexity to deliver that service and value. All together, this creates sustainable, meaningful innovation.

Why does this work? The following illustrates why:

What do we mean by empathy in terms of creativity and innovation? For us, it’s the ability to see an experience through another person’s eyes, to recognize why people do what they do. … Gaining empathy can take some time and resourcefulness. But there is nothing like observing the person you’re creating something for to spark new insights. … We’ve found that figuring out what other people actually need is what leads to the most significant innovations. In other words, empathy is a gateway to the better and sometimes surprising insights that can help distinguish your idea or approach. — DAVID KELLEY AND TOM KELLEY, CREATIVE CONFIDENCE

When we empathize, then solutionize (the act of applying innovation based upon why people do what they do), it’s as close as we can get to waving a magic wand, often creating surprising delight for those we serve.

Scott WintripEmpathetic Innovation
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The Tesla Approach to Staffing and Recruiting

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageCar fanatic or not, there is a lot to like about a Tesla and how this electric vehicle is a model for better business. Acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.1 seconds, which the Model S can now achieve, is the kind of rapid velocity staffing and recruitment customers can experience when firms shift from reactive to active recruiting. Most buyers need that talented person yesterday, so speeding that individual to them to start work today is how a growing number of firms are zooming past their competitors.

Even though automobile dealers have lots of power and sway (too much if you ask me), Tesla powers its sales without caving in to the traditional, commoditized dealership model, choosing instead to sell out of stores in upscale shopping malls. The best staffing and recruiting firms also avoid the commodity game by negotiating value, not price, while approaching buyers in ways that attract attention instead of repelling them from even answering the phone.

Visit one of those stories and you find that less is more when it comes to the components that allow Teslas to achieve rapid velocity. Unlike a gasoline engine with hundreds of moving parts, Tesla electric motors have only one moving piece: the rotor. It’s this lean simplicity that helps make it so fast and nimble. Getting lean in our business, especially in eliminating all the wasted time and effort in the recruiting process (called Lean Recruiting), speeds talent acquisition, allows candidates to get to work more quickly, and staffing and recruiting firms to be more equitably rewarded for the value they provide.

Acceleration, innovative selling, and lean systems―three components that make Tesla leading-edge and can make your firm a leading provider.

Scott WintripThe Tesla Approach to Staffing and Recruiting
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Death by Repetitive Practice

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageWhile some people may like the idea of death by chocolate, most would probably agree that killing the success of a business with ineffectual approaches is a really bad idea. Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening in many companies across the globe. While the use of Repetitive Practices in their businesses may not close the doors, they are hampering the achievement of their tremendous potential.

What is a Repetitive Practice? It is an inefficient method or routine that is often the way things have always been done. Repetitive practices are all too common and are the cause of or a contributor to most of the challenges faced by companies of all sizes.

How do you spot these? Watch for one or more of the following indicators:

  • A process that achieves less than the intended result.
  • Beloved or institutionally sacred methodologies that people fight to keep, even when these methods have lost their competitive edge.
  • Any routine that is complex, requiring constant reminders of what to do and how to do it.
  • A system, procedure, or course of action that people defend by saying, “But that’s the way it’s always been done.”
  • All ways of doing things that are the same after a maximum of two to three years (business and the market have evolved but processes lag behind).

A recent example involves a client in my Executive Advisor program that improved sales tenfold in just three months. Their repetitive practice of Sales Force, a sales process that attempts to control the client, was replaced by Sales Flow, a collaborative way of selling that engages the customer in selling themselves on buying. Sales Flow takes less effort, creates happier buyers, and is the current Innovative Practice that enrolls people in a more satisfying process for acquiring what they need and want. This increases sales, profits, customer satisfaction, and repeat business.

In order to achieve greater success without ridiculous amounts of effort, Repetitive Practices must be replaced with Best Practices and Innovative Practices (you can read more on how to innovate in my post Putting Lipstick on a Pig and Calling It Innovation).

Some leaders treat their companies, or aspects of them, as finished products versus living, breathing, evolving entities. I bet they’re the ones medicating themselves with chocolate instead meditating on better ways of doing business.

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NEW OPPORTUNITY – GAIN with Scott Wintrip
People in the staffing and recruiting industry have often said they’d love to keep me in their desk drawer, allowing them to open it anytime they need advice or support. While I’ve yet to find a big enough desk to fit into, I have developed a new membership offering that gives you top drawer access to my expertise when and how you need it. Learn more

Scott WintripDeath by Repetitive Practice
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Putting Lipstick on a Pig and Calling It Innovation

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Hundreds of leaders in the staffing and recruiting industry heard panelists and speakers talk about “innovative” ideas last week at the Executive Forum in San Diego. In a number of instances, what was said was no different than putting lipstick on a pig and saying she’s a contender for Miss Universe. The reality is that many so called innovations are nothing more than old ideas regurgitated in a different way.

This observation is not a criticism of the event, which was outstanding, or the ideas that were shared, as many were prudent or even incredibly wise. Leaders benefit from reminders of what works, which I refer to as sustainable practices, and methods that stand out for their ability to improve the way work is done, which are true best practices. Labeling something as innovative, when it’s not, is careless, at best, and reckless when those hearing it blindly use it, thinking they’re about to reinvent the wheel.

Why does this happen? Innovation in staffing and recruiting isn’t easy, especially since everyone has access to the same product. The day we gain the ability to manufacture cyborg temps, contractors, and direct hire candidates will be the day when true ease of innovation begins.

So, do you just give up on innovation or just fake it by applying a bit more lipstick to the pig? Of course not. Innovation not only exists, it’s flourishing at companies that apply the Innovation Equation:

Good or Great
PLUS Irresistible Value
MINUS Labor and Complexity
EQUALS Sustainable Innovation

True innovation entails starting with an aspect of your business that customers see as good or great, not what is sub-par or out of your wheelhouse. Next, you find a way to add value they find irresistible while also reducing your labor intensity and process complexity. Do that, and you’ve transformed what many people see as a business that’s hard or even impossible to innovate.

What’s this look like on the street? Recent examples include a client I advised to add value that prompted procurement in three different companies to enthusiastically choose to spend lots more money. Another was a service innovation a global client that guarantees customers they’ll want to hire the first person presented every single time (I call this the One and Done Promise and it’s been kept 79 out of 80 times in just the past few months).

Reminders of sound business practices are great and should be talked about often. But these should never be treated as innovation. Doing so risks complacency and lulls people into be satisfied with kissing the pig.

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NEW OPPORTUNITY – GAIN with Scott Wintrip
People in the staffing and recruiting industry have often said they’d love to keep me in their desk drawer, allowing them to open it anytime they need advice or support. While I’ve yet to find a big enough desk to fit into, I have developed a new membership offering that gives you top drawer access to my expertise when and how you need it. Learn more

Scott WintripPutting Lipstick on a Pig and Calling It Innovation
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The Importance of Reinventing Yourself as an Individual or an Organization

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Three steps that can help you innovate are:

  1. Look at your products and services and see how you can make them better
  2. Stop focusing on weaknesses and spend time honing your strengths
  3. Determine what your customers will need six months from now

Scott WintripThe Importance of Reinventing Yourself as an Individual or an Organization
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