FIRST THOUGHT: The Future of Innovation
If you told me a decade ago that the world would be going nuts for “Pokemon Go,” I probably would have said, “Huh?!” As I watch people young and old flocking to Pokestops and collecting their Pikachu or whatever it is they do, it’s a reminder that we have no freakin’ clue what the future holds.
Whether it’s animated Japanese creatures in the park or riding hoverboards on the sidewalk, the next big thing could be right around the corner and we don’t even know it yet. What recent invention has surprised you the most?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Almost 4 in 10
A 2016 report from accounting company Grant Thornton found that almost four in 10 businesses in the G7 countries have no women in senior management positions. That means a ton of companies in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom are lacking female input at top levels.
Interestingly enough, the CEO of Grant Thornton is a woman named Sacha Romanovitch and she recognizes that diverse businesses can and will do better than those filled to the brim with white dudes. Now it’s time for more businesses in G7 countries to acknowledge that recruiting a broad range of employees from all walks of life gives a company a variety of insightful perspectives and solutions to problems.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Doreen Lorenzo, Founder of Vidlet
Video is making a major comeback in business. In conjunction with static advertising, like still images, businesses are using video to get their messages across in meaningful ways.
Last year, thought leader Doreen Lorenzo created a mobile video platform called Vidlet that transforms how brands capture insights from customers and employees. It’s innovative for market research because it enables companies to reach their customers anywhere in the world and capture meaningful visual responses to questions the company may have about its products. Companies can review the research videos, share the content and finish a market-research project in mere hours.
Vidlet is also ideal for businesses wanting to connect with their employees. Through the Vidlet app, companies can set up training modules and capture visual feedback and responses to questions or training content. In the year and a half or so since Vidlet’s launch, some seriously major businesses have taken note, with companies like General Mills and Direct TV employing the app for a variety of solutions.
Doreen has garnered attention for instilling the importance of creativity and design into a business model. She’s advised Fortune 100 companies on design and innovation issues for decades, and is the former president of two global design firms. Doreen also writes a column for Fast Company, in which she profiles pioneering women in the product-design industry.
As one of the leading ladies in design innovation, Doreen wears a lot of hats, including director of the University of Texas’ Center for Integrated Design, where she integrates design-studies curricula into the university’s various schools, giving students the opportunity to study design from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. She also creates partnerships that connect students with design firms. Oh yeah, and Doreen serves on six different company boards.
In an article Doreen wrote for medium.com, she discusses that while the field of design has historically been a male-dominated industry, it’s now full of talented ladies. She notes women often feel like they need to stifle their emotions so they don’t fall into the stereotype that women are too emotional for the workplace. Instead, she says, women should celebrate qualities like empathy and emotional intelligence because they are critically important and can create astounding results.
By guiding companies into the scary unknown of the creative process, Doreen has opened new worlds and endless possibilities.
QUITE THE QUOTE
As any thriving businesswoman can attest, innovation is the key to success. As Apple genius Steve Jobs said:
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.