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Graphic from KCDMA Marketing Boot Camp 2017
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Innovation Acceleration – KCDMA Boot Camp Recap 1

Last week, I attended the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association Boot Camp. This full-day conference was stacked with speakers sharing their knowledge about innovation, SEO, email marketing, networking techniques, integrated digital marketing, Google Analytics and mental toughness – all subjects that make a professional marketer successful today. Throughout the coming weeks, I’ll share highlights from what I learned.

First up: innovation.

José Pires started the day off with an interactive presentation on accelerating innovation at any business. This is important for the grocery industry right now due to the growth of omni-channel retailing, especially after the announcement of Amazon’s intention to purchase Whole Foods Market. Innovation is a must. Traditional grocery store owners need to pay attention.

Think you’re not an innovative person? Think again.

Let’s start by defining innovation. Innovation is the implementation of new ideas that create value.

Innovation is not about ideas or methods. It’s about people! People transform businesses; they drive innovations. In order to innovate, people need to have or develop these three characteristics:

  1. Passion
  2. Discipline
  3. Resilience

The right people have these characteristics. Find these people and your business can be more innovative. These people are the ones who can change cultures. Culture is the second ingredient that drives innovation.

The Right People + The Right Culture = Innovation

Companies must create cultures that are accepting of innovation in order to survive in our digitally evolving world. How do we change a culture that historically hasn’t been ready for innovation? One person at a time. People learn by seeing others. One person with passion, discipline and resilience is all a company needs to spread innovation to the entire culture.

Culture is breakfast. Innovation is a side dish. -José Pires

 What do people with passion, discipline and resilience look like? Passion is not about being obsessed with something; it’s about having direction and guidance towards your purpose. Discipline is about having consistency with your purpose and that directional guidance. Discipline is easier during hard times than in good. As an innovator, you must keep working towards innovation even when you don’t “have” to because you never know when the next Amazon/Whole Foods announcement is coming. Finally, Resilience is understanding that there will always be obstacles for everything you do. Be able to recognize and pivot around those obstacles to relocate your direction and purpose.

Pires ended his presentation by noting that the only way to predict the future is to create it. That’s why we must all be innovative.

 

Why do I work at AWG? “I work with an amazing team that values creativity and innovation. I enjoy tackling new opportunities and challenges each day that, of course, always involve food!” -Cara