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Often those of us involved in business are simply too close to daily issues to see the potential for real value-adding innovations and opportunities or indeed to appreciate some of the things our businesses and people do really well.
Even in the case of business plans, which seldom play out as forecast, the so-called independent “third eye” to review the plan before it is finalised is always a good idea.
The “catalyst” of the “Opportunity Matrix” thinking platform asks us to see if we can transfer this so called “third eye” used on business plans to other aspects of our business.
It may be wise to implement a formal “third eye” across the entire business on a periodic basis.
The “Third Eye” innovation initiative
Network with a group of your peers and allow them a tour of your facility to review in their own minds what you are doing and how you go about your business.
This does not have to be limited to just the physical or operational aspects of your business, but can include your telephone answering technique, your staff presentation and manner, your business card presentation, your signage and even the overall presentation of your facility.
For example, would you prefer to attend a dentist or a restaurant whose premises were beautifully maintained with lovely gardens as you enter, or instead one where the gardens were a mangled mess, with no interest in presentation at all being shown by the business operator?
Obviously, the clean and beautifully-presented premise inspires confidence.
With your network briefed, conduct a tour of your business and ask each person to take a notepad with them and write down three things they individually observe that you do really well.
Also ask them to write down three things that they believe are lacking or need attention and can be done better.
Thus we now have three plus three innovation initiatives we can explore in an endeavour to innovate or improve our business.
The cost is nothing
A “Third Eye” tour need only take a few minutes and will provide invaluable third-party insights. More importantly, it will assist in identifying your strengths and weaknesses.
This simple technique can be a real innovation eye-opener, and it can be done at no cost at all.