Mike Walsh on building businesses for the 21st century @ IRI CPG Summit, Orlando-FL…

As I am recovering from the 2 months of prep-work that culminated
in IRI’s premier annual event last week in Orlando, I was thinking of some of
the keynote speakers and this guy Mike Walsh popped up in my mind. Mike is a
self-described “globally renown (ed) futurist and keynote speaker on future trends, innovation and how to build companies for the 21st century. BTW Mike if
you read this, not sure if you noticed the typo on your home page meta id
descriptor, I know it is nit-picking but Google indexer  has already picked it up with the typo J.
So in his very entertaining presentation, he had these
things he calls “mind grenades” (basically key takeaways) and two stood out-
If your
kids had your job, what is one thing they would do differently?
First I
thought, is he asking us to bring the Crayola set or the Wii to work (depending
upon how old your kids are)? Then as I thought more, it made perfect sense.
Mike’s point was to recruit the next generation of thought leaders and see how
they would approach your tasks from their vantage view. Cool.
What is
something that your customers do today that drives you crazy?
(Hmm, where do
I start?) So the point here is that the points of friction between the service
you are trying to provide somebody and how they are trying to consume it is an
opportunity for innovation, and therefore, engagement. Freakin awesome! (and
simple, why didn’t I think of this??).

My two cents- every business today and in the future
needs to create a “simplicity filter”- a device or process that takes every
product or service you design and score it- a plus for features that make it
simple and a minus for things that make it complex. If the pluses are not
twice as many (at least) as the minuses, pull it off the market. Life is getting increasingly complex and if your product adds to that complexity rather than taking away from it, you are doomed from the get go…

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