Golden Eggs

Lets talk eggs!

There’s been much talk lately in quite a few different circles I’ve found myself in, about putting all our eggs in the mining basket. At the Create and Innovate workshop at Kurri Kurri a couple of weeks ago, people were conscious of not putting all their eggs in the one basket post Hydro. Very sage thinking…

That’s where innovative practise and creativity can come in – in developing quality eggs and putting them in fewer baskets. If I’m going to write about this though I can’t help but have an all roads lead back to Apple moment – sorry – except I’m not really!

Steve Jobs put a few quality eggs in a few quality baskets. To take Apple out of a death spiral, Jobs outlined his strategy like this:

When we got to the company a year ago, there were fifteen product platforms and a zillion variants of each one…So we went back to business school 101 and asked, “What do people want?” Well they want two kinds of products: consumer and professional. In each of those two categories we need desktop and portable models…That’s what we decided to do, to focus on four great products.

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo

Imagine if businesses and organisations created four quality products based on strengths that were internal to their organisation (and there are some businesses and organisations that do do this) and marketed those four quality products. Not only would we have less of the same old same old competing for the same share of the market, but the organisation could concentrate on what it was best at. Remarkable concept isn’t it!

I picked up a good book at a book sale not long ago – Go Put Your Strengths To Work by Marcus Buckingham and there are some great exercises on how to find, grow and utilise those strengths in the book. Another recommendation from my Create and Innovate colleague Kevin Coffey is Little Bets, by Peter Sims. I’ve only had a chance to read the jacket and skim through the book at this point of time but it’s all about how breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries. The theme running through here, how to get that quality egg, is to take strategically placed small steps and experiment with small incentives as opposed to starting with the big idea. In other words – make Little Bets to get you from A to B.

If you really take this on you need to be free from conventional planning and analytical thinking to do it  properly.

Examples of successful uses of this theory exist! Hewlett Packard accidentally discovered the first hand held calculator using this strategy – what a golden egg that was! And Pixar films, according to Sims, have had so very many box office hits only because of their ingenious story boarding process!

Maybe those golden eggs aren’t that hard to find after all…it might be just a mix of strengths, perseverance and a lot of love!

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