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Exploring the Mindset of ICT Innovation-Driven Nations

Have you ever been on a journey with someone where you’ve obviously lost your way, but they won’t let you stop and ask for directions? They refuse to acknowledge they need help. Why is that?

“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.” – Carl Jung, psychologist and innovative thinker

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Innovation Is a 10,000 Foot Free Fall

I hear so much lately about innovation with virtually every company claiming that they are innovative. Is that really true, or is it yet another over used buzz word that has no substance?  I personally see little true innovation, just claims of being innovative (who would say otherwise, right?).  One way to determine if innovative is actually taking place is to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Are you scared (just a bit)?
  2. Do you have more skeptics than advocates?
  3. If you fail, are there repercussions?
  4. How do you define failure?
  5. How much permission did you need to execute?

I especially like the skeptics vs. advocates question. It directly correlates to a safe zone that is easy to fall into. It’s where little innovation can take place -- a black hole. Some of the best outcomes have occurred when there were few supporters (until it succeeded). Read More »

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Collaboration: with MACS from Cisco it’s as if you’re really there!

February 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm PST

We hear a lot about Collaboration and Innovation these days.  People try to define what each word means, and how they relate to each other. Probably the best source I’ve found so far is in a great blog by Carlos Domingez that addresses just that. Carlos is one of Cisco’s senior thought leaders, so check out his blog here: Collaboration: What Does it really mean? It’s a fascinating read, especially the references to  Evan Rosen and Mark Granovetter. It’s also a great segway to the Manufacturing Active Collaboration Space Solution that I talk about in the video below:

Peter Granger talks about Cisco’s Manufacturing Active Collaboration Solution and how it can help with innovation and product development. GE calls their version Virtual Collaboration Space.

As you can hear in my video, the truth of the matter is that Collaboration and Innovation go hand-in-hand simply because when people get together they feed off one another, adding to each others ideas and seeing opportunities from different angles. They solve each others issues and talk through problems using words,  images and video. When you click ‘read more’ you’ll hear more about GE’s use of MACS in a short video featuring senior GE and Cisco figures. I’ll also solve the riddle I set for you in an earlier blog about how to make a new square out of four matches! Read More »

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GE Innovation – Thinking Outside of the Box (or Should that be ‘Square’?)

December 2, 2010 at 10:06 am PST

As I’m focusing more on Collaboration and Innovation and less on Supply Chain these days, I thought I’d share a story of ‘Ideation with you for my opening blog.  That’s because it’s usually one of the first steps in the product development lifecycle, and makes chronological sense when discussing innovation. In later blogs I’ll share some of the subsequent steps – you know: Selection, Prototyping, Validation, Development and finally, Launch. Different companies use different terms and different processes, but all good products start out with a good idea.

Let me take you back in time for a moment. When I was eight years old I noticed that the local UK comic magazine that I bought on a weekly basis was running competitions for readers to submit puzzles for other readers to solve. I was attracted to the Secret Service game that was one of the prize options, but what was my idea? How was I going to win if I didn’t have a good idea? Well, I decided that I’d submit a match puzzle -- you know we actually had lots of matches in the 60’s! This puzzle isn’t hard (please remember I was eight years old) and looked something like the picture above. The question was “How do you make a square by adding just one more match and not moving the others?”

Anyway, fairly obvious that you make a square by placing a forth match adjoining the other three to make a square with the bases as in the next picture (click ‘read more’ when finished with this page to see how). Well, I had the pride of seeing my puzzle published and, more importantly for me, I actually won the Secret Service game! But that’s not the point… Read More »

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Welcome to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

Did you know that the Manufacturing Industry is one of Cisco’s biggest sectors served, greater than 10% of overall revenues? You probably know that Cisco has historically served the Enterprise IT and Network buying centers of most manufacturing companies around the globe, but did you know that Cisco has the same business magnitude as Rockwell Automation, Emerson Process Management and Honeywell Process Systems within the manufacturing industry?

That’s because over the past decade we’ve pushed the relevance of Cisco well beyond the concerns of the networking engineer and are now leading the dialogue, solutions and innovations for manufacturers’ lines of business—crossing the entire value chain and ecosystems that compose a manufacturing enterprise. With a complement of collaboration, virtualization and video service architectures that we provide over the network, Cisco has proven to be a trusted partner for manufacturers, transforming their businesses and creating long-term competitive advantage through new models for customer growth, product and business innovation, agility and operational excellence.

Welcome to Cisco’s online presence for the Manufacturing industry,
one of Cisco’s largest vertical business segments.

So what can you expect from this blog? Who are the people contributing, and what are their backgrounds? What are Cisco’s views and opinions about the manufacturing Industry? Why would you be interested?                                                            Read More »

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