Last month, I had the opportunity to attend this year’s Insights Association’s CEO Summit in Miami. This conference is a rare gathering of owners and leaders in the MR space and is truly unlike any other MR conference I’ve attended. It is an intimate conference without the sales pressure of most conferences. It offers an opportunity to openly discuss your own business and hear real feedback from other executives on how they’ve grown their business, things that didn’t work for them and really discuss how we can do better.
The keynote speaker, Dr. Kumar Mehta of Bridges Insight, spoke on the topic of innovation. Mehta is the author The Innovation Biome, which states that “When companies innovate, all of our lives get better.” I truly believe this and often find myself contemplating how SyncScript can innovate. Mehta’s presentation made me think about innovation differently and as a more attainable goal.
Where I was, where I am.
Before this presentation, I thought of innovation as a disrupter – as an exciting new product or service offering we can provide our clients that will change our industry. Coinciding questions always running through my head. How can we market it? How much revenue will it generate? Will it make us a bigger player in our industry? Mehta’s perspective opened up my eyes to innovation as not having to be such a big thing. “The next big thing may appear small,” said Mehta.
In addition, innovations don’t have to just be client facing. A firms’ internal innovation is just as important, whether that be working to streamline their internal processes, creating efficiencies or better their team’s experience. There are hundreds of types of innovations! The term “disrupter” was one of the buzzwords at this conference. While many innovations are disrupters, they can be incremental, by simply making an improvement to a product or service, and produce a worthwhile outcome.
Thinking of innovation as something that simply changes our clients’ experience or even our employees’ experience, makes it seem more of an attainable task. The question is: How do we foster an innovative environment in our businesses? “Innovation is the job of everyone,” Mehta said. It’s not just up to the leaders within an organization, it’s up to our project managers, our QA team, accounting staff, transcribers, etc. As leaders, we need to foster an environment that is open to suggestions, ideas, efficiencies and always working to make things better.
How do we put it in to practice? By using First-Principles Innovation, we can start by breaking down the process to its very basic characteristics. We can look at every step and ask ourselves: Why do we do it this way? Do we need this step? How can we make this more efficient & impactful? As our companies grow, many times things we created originally, are no longer needed or there is one step we could take out – or add in – that would better the experience and as such, innovate. We need to encourage everyone on our team to do this – not just at the overall processes, but at every step.
How will we take this forward in 2020 at SyncScript?
At this CEO Summit, I had the opportunity to strategize with a CEO of a full service market research firm. Breaking down his moderators’ needs and how they used transcripts, we had an idea that I believe will innovate the transcripts we offer – one that makes our clients’ experience better. Internally, we’ll continue to work on ensuring we encourage an innovative environment. Innovation may just be our theme for 2020, thanks to Mehta and the CEO Summit.
A special thanks to the Insights Association, Steve Schlesinger and Merrill Dubrow for coordinating such a thought-provoking conference and to Kumar Mehta, for opening my eyes on innovation.
– Liz Granahan