I came across an article recently in which author Gianfranco Zaccai claimed he has “never seen innovation come out of a focus group“.  Indeed, he claims that focus groups “kill innovation”.  Strong words!   I can understand where he’s coming from – creativity cannot be mandated or ordered.   Is it even possible to “generate” innovative ideas?  Or do they just emerge seemingly spontaneously in the right environment?   I’d also seriously question whether a focus group is a valuable tool with which to even try and generate innovative ideas.  In a group setting a better tool to … Continue reading

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Recently I used the services of a provider.  I’ll keep their identity private – but I want to make their attitude public.   I got an email from them yesterday that included the following : “In the spirit of openness and desire for continuous improvement in customer service, are there a few things you can think of that we could/should have done more, better, different or less????”   The question is humble and succinct yet comprehensive in scope.  The attitude underpinning it is spot-on.  And what made the question even more powerful is that it wasn’t part … Continue reading

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In a 1991 film “The Doctor” William Hurt played the main role – portraying a doctor whose manner towards patients left a lot to be desired!   His attitude began to change however when he was diagnosed with cancer and himself became a patient.  This different perspective showed him just how badly many in the medical establishment were treating patients.   The experience transformed him – towards the end of the film he actually made trainee doctors don hospital gowns to get closer to the reality being experienced by patients.   The implication was obvious.  He wanted … Continue reading

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Last Sunday Kilkenny won the All-Ireland Hurling Final by defeating Galway.  (If you don’t know what hurling is here’s a wonderful video introduction.)  The match was a replay – the original game having been drawn in a gripping encounter three weeks previously.   The replay had been eagerly awaited – the majority of pundits leaning slightly towards Kilkenny but also expecting a very strong performance from Galway.  One area of particular interest was the Kilkenny forwards – in hurling there are six forwards.  They had underperformed in the drawn game with only one of them – Henry … Continue reading

Posted on by Brendan