Notice: Constant DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT already defined in /home/innovationres/public_html/wp-config.php on line 98
Innovation is Everybody’s Business

Innovation is Everybody’s Business

Westlake Village seminar focuses on contributions of all employees
By Mike Harris

Everyone in business — from CEOs to the lowest-level employees — can help grow his or her company by being innovative, author Robert Tucker said at a seminar Tuesday in Westlake Village.

To illustrate his point, Tucker, whose latest book is titled Innovation is Everybody’s Business, told of a receptionist honored by her company as its innovator of the year.

“And people said, ‘How could you possibly win that award? Aren’t you on the telephone all day?’” Tucker told about 50 business owners and executives at the seminar at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. “And she said, ‘Yes, but what I do is when customers call in and they’re not real happy with something we did, I just look at that as an opportunity.’

“‘I hear them out and then I ask them my favorite question, which is, what do they think we should do so that never happens again? And they tell me, and I submit it to our new ideas program and that’s how I got the award,’” Tucker recalled.

“So it really is everybody’s job to be innovative,” Tucker said at the seminar hosted by the Thousand Oaks-based 101 Leaders Institute, which was founded by motivational expert Jim Cathcart to help develop more effective leaders. “The idea here is that we used to have innovation, but it would be like your research and development department or your marketing people. Everyone else was like, ‘Hey, that’s not important to me.’

“And the big trend today is that innovation really has got to involve everybody,” he said, outlining a number of steps to develop one’s innovation skills.

They include aggressively questioning one’s assumptions, thinking ahead of the curve, learning how to come up with new ideas on a consistent basis and becoming a standout collaborator.

A number of seminar attendees said they felt inspired by Tucker, who is president of Santa Barbara-based The Innovation Resource, a corporate consulting firm.

“The thing that excites me the most is his commitment to involve everybody in the process,” said Terry Paulson of Agoura Hills, a speaker and author who writes a conservative political column for The Star.

Don Gilman, a speaker and consultant who drove from Santa Barbara to hear Tucker speak, said he thinks “innovation is one of the key competitive advantages of America on a global scale.”

But, he said, he believes the United States has lost its innovative edge. “We have to regain that,” Gilman said. “And this is the way to do it.”