Technical or Value Innovation Trap

Technical innovation…or value innovation? Stop…don’t make this mistake…

Are you innovating in your business to stay ahead of the game and to stay fresh and relevant?

Be mindful of technical vs value innovation. I’ve made this mistake more than once.

More than once I’ve focused on technical innovation because I love technology and I’ve got caught up in the excitement of achieving a ‘technical outcome’. One example was a bladder rainwater tank I spearheaded the design and development of.

Long story short, we spent close to a million on developing it, and we got it into Bunnings, but it bombed. The customer just didn’t see value in the innovation. It was a great technical innovation, but didn’t offer enough increased ‘value’.

iPhone sales are dropping drastically for a similar reason. The increased ‘value’ of new versions isn’t there compared to early days.

We buy value. So…if you are innovating, and want a sufficient number of people to buy it, please do a stock take and make sure you are adding plenty of ‘value’.

Staff Interviews Can Quickly Solve Issues

Approaching the end of the year, is a great time to have those chats with the team about their personal goals, suggestions they have, training they would like or equipment/software, and what they would like to do more of or less of.

I’ve just finished a round of interviews for a client and as always, they have delivered absolute gold in the way of suggestions, and truth about what needs fixing or improving in the business. Also what is causing some angst.

The example I’d like to share, and it is just one of many from this round of interviews, is one where the business owner was getting nervous and stressed about getting a second employee to do a very specific job. The employee was getting stressed because they wanted to retire (but hadn’t told the owner this yet) and felt they couldn’t reture until the owner had a replacement for them.

Now this is all quite simple and straight forward on paper, but it is a good example of how the business owner doesn’t always know EXACTLY what the team are thinking/feeling or planning. Everyone is head down getting through the day-weekly tasks. Making time to discuss ‘other’ things can be low on the priority list.

As a result, both sides can become stressed and worried about something they don’t need to worry about.

The outcome of my interview was that both parties now know the situation and there is massive relief on both sides.

The business owner no longer feeling hesitant about hiring a replacement and is running an ad this week for a new person to start training for this role, and the current employee has the relief knowing they can retire in one year. That was their goal, to retire in a year. So now we can plan around that, there is no mystery about the plan and everyone is happy and can move forward. Case solved.

Please, please, please…make sure you make time to get honest and open communication happening with your team. And remember, its not all about you and what you want them to do better. It’s about them too! Find out what they want, what they want to do more of, what they want to do less of, what suggestions they have.

And if you feel they won’t be honest with you or you don’t have the time, simply engage me to do it on your behalf. I summarise my findings for you and provide my recommendations. Easy. Saves you a lot of time and I find staff open up to me and tell me things they don’t tell the business owner/GM. I do the same for your clients that are good, bad or have left you if you ever want to know the truth about how you doing, what they think about you, what they would like improved in order to give you more work.

Video: Stop Doing This! :)

If you are looking to get better results in any aspect of your business, don’t overlook this simple issue. Are you doing the same thing and expecting different results? Be honest.

Personally I suffer from being a bit stubborn on some things and believe the way I think it should be done is THE best way. But sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes all we need to do to make big changes is let go and accept there might be a better way.

So…is there something in your business not working? Analyse how you (or your team) are approaching it or doing it, and write a list of other ways to do it and just give them a go. Try it for a day or a week. Action creates clarity. Take action and you will have the feedback you need to decide if it works better or not.

I’m here if you need to bounce some ideas around and get external opinion. It can save a lot of time.


Monday madness 🤓 doing same thing and expecting a different result !

Posted by David Lennon Business Development Coach & Mentor on Sunday, 21 October 2018

6 Core Needs of Staff that We Need to Satisfy

Use these six core needs to help understand employee behaviour (good and bad) and how to create a motivated workplace. Based on the six core needs made popular by Tony Robbins. In a nutshell, we all strive to fulfil these core needs in either a resourceful way or unresourceful way (not good for us, not good for others). As a result, they are drivers of our actions and can help explain an employee’s actions. When one or more of the core needs aren’t met, negative effects can occur as listed in the table in addition to common problems such as increased sick days, decreased productivity, and increased contribution to a negative workplace culture.

How to use? When you are frustrated by a behaviour, think about whether there is a core need not being met in a resourceful way. Can be many small situations or one big one. You may not always figure it out until you talk to them and notice the wording they use.

1.   Certainty Certainty of what is expected of them, the tasks, their future in the company, where the company is going, how they can move up (if they want to), certainty of who to take direction from, certainty about safety, salary, entitlements. –       Unmotivated staff that don’t hit targets, don’t seem to be ‘on board’

–       Staff looking for other work

–       No loyalty, leaves as soon as something better shows up

–       No desire to put in extra hours or effort, leave right on the dot

–       Bad mouthing the boss or company

–       Complaining

–       Clear instructions – clearly articulated, written down, manuals, good training programs

–       Regular opportunity to ask questions or hear what is expected, e.g. Weekly or daily production meetings

–       Career plan mapped out

–       Explain the company vision and mission, have it on display, refer to it, live it

–       OH&S procedures clearly explained, documented and followed

2.   Variety Opportunity to do different tasks, break up monotony, take on a new challenge, mix things up a bit, work with different people, customers, locations,

production, services.


–       Reduced motivation for the job

–       Poor performance, mistakes, can’t stay focused and moves around (with or without permission) within the workplace to provide variety

–       May actually create problems to create some variety

–       Discuss what they really enjoy doing and want to do more of and workout how this might be achieved

–       Mix up the workload. Recognise the signs when it is time to change

–       Change work location/division

3.   Connection Feeling connected to teammates, the company. Feeling part of the team. Connected to other divisions. Feeling loved.


–       Reduced motivation for the job, coming to work

–       Increased chance of leaving, increased sick days

–       Withdrawn from the team and contributing

–       Give them a role that requires them to connect with the team

–       Discuss this topic with them

–       Don’t force them if they are naturally suited to working independently

–       Include them in text, emails, newsletter, company social media, meetings

4.   Significance Feeling important, useful, capable, acknowledged, recognised –       Can result in unresourceful methods to achieve it such as criticising others, stealing the limelight, not giving credit where credit is due, sabotaging others –       Acknowledgement via mention in meetings, newsletters, position title, increased responsibility, certificate/award/gift
5.   Growth Desire to feel we are moving forward, learning, growing in some way. Considered a spiritual need. –       Reduced motivation

–       May start looking to jump ship – seek greener pastures

–       Discuss and understand their career plan, their personal goals and then workout with them what might be done within the workplace to help them achieve these if possible
6.   Contribution Second spiritual need within all of us. Desire to contribute to something greater than us. –       Reduced motivation

–       Reduced willingness to be a team player or belief they can be a team player

–       May implement changes without discussion or permission to satisfy the need to contribute

–       May start looking to jump ship – seek greener pastures

–       Discuss and understand their career plan, their personal goals and then workout with them what might be done within the workplace to help them achieve these if possible

–       Acknowledge their contributionDLennon Business Development Packages_2018 6 Core Needs of Staff_Tipsheet