3 Easy Rules for Innovators

September 4, 2017 | 14:17
If you are a chef or anyone passionate about food, which would you rather present to your guests: a nicely roasted chicken, with crispy skin, steamy vegetables and fresh salad or, Chicken nuggets with a brown curry-look-like sauce? What message is sent to your guests by each choice, and is that message in line with your objectives for the meal? Now translate this to your business persona when you have your next video call or better yet, when you present your latest invention to a group of investors or pitch your services to a potential customer.

Culture and image includes everything

When presenting yourself in front of customers, investors, bankers… anyone, you want to make sure you are sending the right message, that you show off a persona consistent with the objectives of your presentation. Your culture shows itself through the images that you project during a meeting. It is as important as your content and this is not just about your clothes or your hair-do… it is about everything. It includes your tempo, your speech, your demeanour, your equipment, the quality of your materials and any other aspect that may be noted by your audience. A great idea and true value to the customer is the start point, your culture is your business card, your reputation in the industry. Culture is about your presentations, how your company is perceived, how you work and how efficient you are… yes…. efficient!

Reliability, efficiency?

You might have the best ideas in the world, if you cannot communicate them in a reliable way to your partners, suppliers and customers, then you will have an uphill battle against your competitors. There is nothing more annoying than a business partner who is not able to use today’s business tools to be efficient and reliable. It all starts with prompt response to voice mails, emails and calendar invitations (yes, you are to accept or decline calendar invites – ‘Maybe’ doesn’t count!). It then goes forward with good understanding about collaboration tools (you pick, there are many from Microsoft, Apple, Google…). If you are an innovator, you are also to embrace innovation from others and be a good innovation citizen. This means to keep up with technology (your 2010 laptop is probably not what would be called “up-to-date”) and embracing that technology to the highest extent as long as it promotes reliability and efficiency.

Does it really matter if I use an old flip phone?

Would you buy an innovative car (say a Tesla) from an old garage where you see greasy gear boxes or old light fixtures? I think that you will probably not associate that brand with technology unless the show room conveys the same image as the product. Traditionally, innovators in the IoT space are more techie and up to date than those in other arenas. The main reason being that their smartphone, laptop or any other connected device is also part of the demonstration of their innovative product. In IoT and all arenas, you want to show a great overall package to your customers. You will be at a disadvantage if you rely solely on the technology to present itself. A great presentation includes a clear, concise message, a conscious projection of your company culture, and hardware that is up to date, clean and in good condition.
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