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Friday, November 28, 2008

Community Policing

Hi all

Right now as we all know rescue operation is going on in Mumbai to flush out Terrorists from Hotels & Nariman House. Couple of things crossed my mind & I kind of thought that how can we make our cities & countries moresafer. I remembered an example that somebody narrated to me about J.K Tripathy and the policemen of Trichy & other cities of Tamil Nadu (southern state of India).

Based on the notion that in society only 5 percent are deviants but we tend to alienate 95%, He has utilized the 95%(which involve normal people) & through their help have been able devise a system where police through the help of normal public are been able to restore law, order & bring peace. 

His idea of a beat system after studying concepts of British Bobbies & Japanese Koban system of policing where police officers are seen as a gentle brother has helped in redefining the perception of local police officers who now have more participation & co-operation from local people in maintaining harmony. Bringing Officers closer to community, he has increased participation from local people in providing & discussing any information with each other that may prevent any mishap.

For the efforts Trichy Police has been awarded & are also been taken up as a case study.

But an improve cooperation & understanding among Police & people, i guess is the biggest award.

 

Keeping the spirit of Mumbai alive

 

Neeraj 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recession: An opportunity for Innovative Companies



Recently read an article from Guardian titled:  Bright Ideas for darkdays.

The article lists some innovative strategies being used of companies in this hour of recession & mentions that through Innovation companies can turn these times of despair into opportunity. 

here is a snapshot of article

for full article check


Main points mentioned 
- Companies investing during recession & having faith gain strategic advantage.                                 eg: Apple & Google are given. 


-Companies need to innovate rapidly as consumer trends in sluggish economy change fast. (was not able to think of an example....incase you know please let me know any example of how they change fast)

- Consumers become more Value conscious & new business models start emerging. eg: of Silverjet & Travelodge are given


- Companies with resources view recession as buyer's market & acquire more resources. EG: of Tesco buying Tesco Personal Finance from Royal Bank of Scotland is given.


So as they say FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.
Dont have fear & innovate with confidence.


Thanks 
Neeraj 

Article Source : Guardian, 
Pics Source: Travelodge & Tesco Finance & Insurance

Its Time to Wake Up !!

Hi  guys 
Couple of articles soon coming up as i had a kind of insightful weekend.

In the mean time 
have a look at this ad taken from Economic times for ET awards. 


An amazing ad motivating Indians to start something. 

really i have noticed that Ideas are Dime a dozen, but its execution is what counts. 

So people start something in which you beleive in. 

As said 
Have a purpose and means will follow.

For a larger view of ad 

check out more ads at 

Neeraj 
Source: Economic Times

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Insights from India

Hi guys

A friend on mine gave me this picture & a video which she took while she visited Jammu, India.

The picture is taken in a temple of Jammu showcasing an instrument having temple bells, dhol, etc.  What it does is that since there is only one priest in the temple, he uses this instrument for doing aarti (songs sung in praise of the deity, when offering of lamps is being offered). 

                                      Instead of having lot of people(which are normally required) for ringing bells, dhol, etc during aarti, the priest operates this instrument which has been designed in such a way that it can be used single handedly to ring bells, dhol, etc while doing Aarti.

An example showcasing how design most often originates out of Need & a desire to solve problems with limited resources.

Also a great example of multi tasking. Think of ways how we can devise such things in offices, etc.    

The second thing is a video showcasing leaf being used as a tattoo. This is also taken in Jammu. A real, organic Tattoo and may be a opportunity to design a business of Organic Tattoos like this.

                                           video

Incidently She informed me about an interesting Insight which she had observed in several temples. She noticed that bells are normally hung in line, in such a way that if you swing one bell & let it hit another one, than that will hit another one and so on leading to a Domino effect. So one person, in one go can ring all bells.

I guess after this conversation & as mentioned by her, India is full of interesting insights & other useful innovations to be noted. 

Thanks to Seema

Neeraj 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dialogue on Innovation

Innovation 100: World Economic Forum recently organised a meeting in Palo Alto inviting top 100 thought leaders in an effort to initiate a dialogue on Innovation. The objective was to explore innovation from a global, regional & corporate level with focus on two areas: Culture of Innovation & location of Innovation.
Below are some of the videos feturing Tim Brown(CEO IDEO),Sam Pitroda & Judy Estrin talking about what do they think Innovation is, trends & their take from the discussion. 
Other videos on You tube.










Neeraj 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2 guys & 100 bottles of water

Got this video from You tube

The title is 2 dudes 100 bottles of water

 






The concept is that these guys are sending water bottles to Ghana with people writing inspirational & love messages on bottles.

Lesson: By writing messages on bottles these guys are personalizing the offering at the same time connecting (making emotional bond) both donor & receiver. Now consider the same concept applied to day to day products/services with emotional elements added to it. With more and more products & services coming into the market, I think whoever is able to connect with their Target customer at emotional level will be able to connect, create & generate loyalty. I think that’s why IBM has infused these experiential & emotional elements even to their sales pitch process.(Read article below)

 Thats precisely i think what design thinking aims to do. By knowing & connecting with customers it aims to solve their problems(which results in creation of emotional bonding) & is totally customer focused which results in creating loyalty from customers.

May be There are other ways to connect with your customers emotionally.  Mention if you know any.

 

Connect +Create + Generate

Neeraj 

Monday, November 17, 2008

Articles

Hi all

Couple of Interesting articles posted recently on Business Week.

1. IBM Reshaping its Sales Meetings & using design to do that

2. Obama's Seven Lessons for Radical Innovators

3. India Inc: A Lesson in Business Design

First about IBM Article: The article talks about how IBM infusing design thinking for reshaping how sales teams bring new business.

First things first, (According to the article) design thinking is about observing what customers wants and then creating, testing, refining prototype to address those desires. Keeping in mind this approach IBM found out points when their clients were pleased & what made them unhappy. Based on their analysis they have reshaped their sales meetings right from making first contact with prospective client.

The whole process from contacting client to closing a deal with him is divided into three phase process known as KNOW, FLOW & GROW. The sales members now are given extremely detailed guidelines of what to show, tell & when to speak.

Since design thinking also points out to be empathetic to the user needs which in this case is the client, IBM noted suitable experience like signs at reception welcoming clients & national flags, pronouncing clients names correctly, properly arranging their arrival at office, etc pleased clients & provided a more relaxed, friendly & humane environment different from normal corporate culture.

From this article I noted that the focus is on infusing Human Centered design even into the process of Sales meeting. I still remember how Japanese companies focused on such details (from first contact of meeting us and till we left) while some of us visited them. So moral of Story no 1: Try to be empathetic & look from customer's view. Old saying but immense learning

 

The Second article talks about Obama's Seven lessons for Radical Innovators. The article mentions 7 lessons for radical Innovators.

 Learning from that article: Maximize purpose of not only of doing incremental things but thinking of changing the world & uniting people to achieve the same. Check Seth Godin latest book Tribe which talks about building tribes of people having a common purpose and starting a revolution. I think in the coming years innovators/companies will have to unite people toward a common purpose with the aim to have a revolution.

Third Article is by Heather Fraser (Rotman professor) who talks about her experience while she was in India(& visited Welingkar). Heather ponits out some of the Business Design principles that everyone should consider like Practising Rule of 10%, having broader platforms for collaboration, Technology as infrastructure, Mobilizing the masses & Rethinking the model. I noticed here the focus on challenging. She mentions that instead of thinking of devising models to pay unemployed we should devise models which will employ the unemployed. For e.g.: like a model of Dabbawallas.

As design thinkers/innovators Challenge is very important. We need to challenge the status quo inorder to innovate.

So in the end three articles focusing on three important parameters of design thinking which are being Empathetic to user needs , having a purpose so that people can be become part of that purpose and Challenging the status quo.

Neeraj  

link to articles 

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/nov2008/id20081110_227229.htm?campaign_id=rss_innovate

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/nov2008/id20081110_227229.htm?campaign_id=rss_innovate

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/nov2008/id2008113_086323.htm?campaign_id=rss_innovate

Source:http://www.businessweek.com/

Friday, November 14, 2008

Learnings from Children

While going through my PC, I got this Japanese ad which talks about nurturing child's creativity. On the eve of Children's day, I’d like to put some thoughts on things that we can learn from children and at the same time should encourage them to imagine infinite possibilities.

 


video


Two main things that we can learn from children:

1. Imagine- Sound simple but I think as we grow up we stop imagining of the various possibilities that can be. Instead of thinking of possibilities we think of constraints. Children imagine, be it like drawing a picture of an alien & human together, to next generation car that can fly, etc. Imagination is the core of innovation. Unless we will learn how to Imagine from a child, I guess we will only care about resource usage and not resource creation.

 

2. I am not afraid of being called Stupid: Children love to show their ideas, dress, full face with makeup on, etc. They are not afraid of being called a stupid. But if we look at adults as we grow older the resistance to share our ideas, do crazy things & invent something minimizes. So I guess we need to learn their ability to share without bothering about what others say.

 

I think both these things serve as foundation of Design thinking & Innovation. Unless we start Imagining we will not be able to come out with idea/concept/product which may help us to get ahead of competition or may open up new possibilities. The other is to share ideas with each other without being afraid of being told that you have a stupid idea. Nearly all great products that we see today were stupid ideas, cause only stupid ideas become game changing ideas which break status quo.(For eg: Carrying 1000 songs in your pocket!!!- IPOD). I guess what we need is learn how to sell/convince others & help them notice the value that we are trying to show that’s in our Ideas (to learn that read Free prize inside by Seth Godin).

So imagine & share ideas cause you are Unique and as Children rightly think You have the power to change the world.

 

Happy Children's Day

Have fun & play to Innovate


Neeraj

Source: Google & You Tube


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Build your Tribe

Hi 
Here is a link to Seth Godin's presentation which he made to a 
sold out audience in New York where he talked about his new book Tribes. 
Taken from Garr reynolds website, its a must watch.
Check out to learn some tricks for marketers of tommorrow.






Neeraj 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Build a Beard





Build a Beard  

Step 1: Select a beard of your choice 

Step 2: Print & Stick or use photoshop onto your face

Step 3: Take a photo & email it to them

Step 4: The site owners will put 1$ into a Kiva account on your behalf.


Innovative way to raise support for a cause. 

The site is created by Atto who apply design thinking & doing to real life goals.    

About KIVA: Kiva Microfunds is an organization that allows 
people to lend money via the Internet to microfinance institutions
in developing countries which in turn lend the money to small businesses & entreprenuers.



Send your pics too & be a part of cause.

Neeraj

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Branded Paan!!!

Hi all

Creativity & innovation often involves selling the same old product but adding value to it inorder to differentiate it from the rest.

Heard about this Paan [a South and South East Asian tradition which consists of chewing Betel leaf (Piper betle) combined with the areca nut] shop in Pune which serves 32 different types of Paan (including Chocolate Paan!!)

Now if we look at Paan in India, it has turned into a commodity with many small shops selling it in every nook & corner of India.Normally they have  paan costing around Rs 7-8.

a normal Paan shop in India

So whats so special about this store that consumers are paying around Rs.12 for a paan!!

First lets have a look what normal paan shops look like in India.

Lack of proper Ambience: To sum it up its not something people along with their wives & children love to visit.

Lack of Variety: One can have only particular types of Paans.

Main Target group: The main visitor to normal Paan store are Men, so normally Paan have Tobacco, etc not suitable for kids/other members of families

  

So what’s different with this store & what they have done to convert a commodity into a brand

 

Ambience: This was a proper store, customers were given menu which included different varieties of Paan & the atmosphere of the place was friendly, properly lit  & open, something which consumers (along with family members) may not shy away from coming.

Variety: The store offered 32 varieties of Paan which were listed on a menu catering to each member of family (Chocolate paan for kids, one with tobacco for men, etc)

Target Group: Apart from men, shop focused on having offerings for ladies & kids (often neglected by normal shops).

In addition to this the store packed the Paan in proper packing with their name which ultimately acted as source of branding & help in spreading word about them.

In the end the store has converted a normal commodity into a brand and has moved into blue ocean away from its competitors.

Neeraj 

ImagesSource :Google & Self taken

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Design Research Methods

Hi everyone 

A one day seminar focussing on various methods for design research is going to take place on this Saturday 8th Nov at IIT-IDC powai, Mumbai, India

for more checkout this site


 

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Back of the Seat

Hi guys
Back from holidays
So have i spotted anything...Well yes

New seats & Advertising in B.E.S.T buses of Mumbai.
Behind the back of every new seat an ad is placed which is(for a change) not pasted but inserted in the frame.

So What’s the value to B.E.S.T and travelers.
Value to B.E.S.T- revenue generation which can be used to further subsidize the ticket
Value to travelers-  Seats now are more comfortable.

As you have noticed, B.E.S.T department has taken several new initiatives in recent times ,Be it installing small LCD screens with USB playing ads or the current new seats with ads inserted.

Any problem noticed....

Well yes -- as i mentioned the ads are inserted inside a frame and not pasted...what is happening is that unauthorized people are pasting their ads on top of it. So there is a problem that the paid ad goes unnoticed at the same time in longer term many paid advertisers may shy away from resorting to this type of advertising.

So what to do???
I am inviting you to send some ideas on how we can stop unauthorized ads being pasted over the paid ones and can there be any incentives given to paid advertisers on using such medium.



Thanks
Neeraj