If You Wish to Take the Counter Intuitive Path, You Will Go From Breakdown to Breakthrough

In the Words of Yoda: The Counter Intuitive Path Take, If You Wish, From Breakdown to Breakthrough Go You Will

The way is the problem you want. The problem is the way. To avoid the problem is to avoid the way. In other words, problems are not the problem. Believing problems are problems is the beginning of your problems. It is not chaos or problems that are problems. It is how you think about them. And it is how you think about yourself when faced with the problem that creates the biggest problem. Thus, going through the problem is the way to solve it.

Yet, for most, you don’t experience the problem. You experience what the problem means to you. If you believe the ability to not be able to solve a particular problem makes you look bad, you may avoid the problem to continue to look good. At that point, you are no longer focused on the problem you are focused on looking good or avoiding looking bad. Even if the solution were in front of you, you wouldn’t see it because your focus has been distracted by the desire to look good. To ensure you look good, you may only take on problems that you are certain you can solve. Either way it’s a self-perpetuating trap.

Since escaping the trap could be seen as a problem, you avoid the escape. That leads to a mindset of hopelessness. To hide the hopelessness, a strategy is created. 1. Invalidate ideas from others if it appears to be a problem filled with uncertainty. 2. Become a subject matter expert. That way you can constantly make incremental improvements in areas you are certain about. In your mind, you are a hero.

As you can see, the strategy to disguise the hopelessness is another step down the rabbit hole. The deeper you go the less likely you escape. And deep in the rabbit hole it is devoid of innovation and breakthroughs.

The path to breakthroughs is filled with uncertainty. On that path, the risk of looking bad is high. In fact, you may have to risk intense disagreement from others. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, summarized the essence of the leadership and innovation challenge when he said, “Any time you do something big, that’s disruptive, there will be critics… We are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.” The fear of being misunderstood is an example of why people focus on certainty. Being misunderstood could make you look bad.

To be a disruptive leader and innovator, it is critical to have tolerance for so-called failure, uncertainty, making decisions with insufficient information and criticism. In some cases, those are the elements for breakdowns. Yet, it is the breakdown that tells you more about yourself than success.

During or after the breakdown is realized, many will pull the escape hatch and abort the initiative. The risk of criticism and looking bad can be unbearable, especially if you have come to depend on your reputation for being a smart problem solver. At the same time, breakdowns create a huge opportunity to uncover what’s missing, instead of what’s wrong. As you bridge the “what’s missing” gap, you become one step closer to a breakthrough. In addition, since the pursuit of a breakthrough is most likely uncharted territory, each time you discover one thing that’s missing it may come with great learning opportunities. In some cases, the journey can be more valuable than the destination.

Too often it is believed that you can do more, better or different of the same thing to reach a breakthrough. However, this is more likely the path to incremental growth. Because most businesses are great at incremental changes and do not produce breakthroughs, more, better and different has produced lots of improvement, not breakthroughs. For many, the path to breakthroughs is found in the dark, murky waters of uncertainty. In that place, breakdowns are common. In fact, the idea of intentionally pursuing uncertainty is a breakdown itself. It requires the pioneering spirit where expertise may be irrelevant because you may find your expertise is obsolete when bridging the gap in a breakdown. Nevertheless, it may be the opportunity to not only develop new expertise, you create knowledge for others to learn. “I have not failed. I found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison. Edison found and went through the problem and that was the way.

Why Amazon’s Secret Weapon Is Disrupting Your Business

What do today’s buyers give a flip about? They care about buying value that starts with the product or service as most of us think of value. However, part of the value equation with today’s customer often includes meeting personal objectives, e.g., shopping convenience, relevant information and/or experience, sustainability, brand purpose, monetary incentives, and tech tools to make it all happen ASAP, to name some of the more important factors.

Here’s a word of caution about today’s retail environment: If your business thinks of brand value only as the intrinsic value of your product and/or service you deliver, you are ripe for disrupting!

Since it’s our business to help you be more successful with Internet technology, the focus of this article centers on an effective tool that you can deploy to help create a better than ordinary customer experience. It may not be a right fit for your business, but read on to decide for yourself anyway.

How much we value business disruptions are typically linked to whether we are the disruptor or the disrupted. And when such disruption is fueled by genuine innovation, then many more people may benefit than not by such disruption and the world becomes a better place.

Take Amazon for example. Is Amazon disrupting your business or helping your business? Maybe Amazon is the frenemy of brick-and-mortar retail? If you are a retailer of packaged commodities and you have a successful Amazon store, then your daily shipments via the Amazon network may exceed your daily walk-in business.

Even more, according to a recent survey, online buyers have the highest regard for Amazon and may be more inclined to purchase your product because of this overall sense of goodwill and trust that Amazon has built with customers.

Of course, the Amazon store may be just one click away from being a competitor, too. Regardless of where your coin lands on this merchant dilemma, I’m going to suggest that all of our business challenges are bigger than any one competitor. Amazon deserves a lot of credit for being a true innovator by significantly improving the customer experience.

Here’s the real dilemma: We now live in an age where customers, competitors, and technologies are changing so rapidly that common problem analysis and problem-solving are too slow at addressing solutions!

Adam Richardson, the creative director at global innovation firm, frog design, characterizes this enigma quite well in his book, INNOVATION X – Why A Company’s Toughest Problems Are Its Greatest Advantages.

He provides two key points of what he calls colliding business disruptions that are affecting all businesses regardless of size:

POINT 1: Today, we have disruptive competition and blurring of industry boundaries as companies leap into each other’s spaces (this is a traditional way a business disrupts the marketplace).
POINT 2: Today, we face more demanding customers who place a higher premium on the experiential qualities of using a product-ease of use, how it makes them feel, how it fits into their lives, what it communicates to others, does it sync with personal values-that go above and beyond familiar objective criteria like performance and price (this is relatively new phenomenon… the connected generation is driving massive changes in the marketplace).

Richardson summarizes where he sees this leading, noting that “there is a need to create integrated systems of physical products, software, online experiences, and services that work as a single whole. (Often these integrated systems are the keys to meeting customer needs in ways impossible from a more isolated offering.)”

He is talking about something related to product eco-systems, but that subject is vast, and we need to boil it down to one important detail if we are to gain a better grasp of what we might do to help SMB businesses succeed in the rapidly changing present.

With this in mind, let’s consider Amazon’s secret weapon that they deployed with large success but not much fanfare over the last couple of years. It facilitates and drives both customer experiences and satisfaction.

Some of you are currently using their secret weapon; it’s their well-designed and functional mobile app. According to Millward Brown Digital research in early 2016, 76% of all digital shoppers have downloaded the Amazon app, and that is by far the largest acceptance of any mobile shopping app in the United States. The next closest is Walmart’s at 33%.

If you are a B2B owner or manager, you may be thinking right now something like this, “I don’t compete with Amazon, I don’t sell consumer products-none of this really matters to my business!” If that is you, I’m really amazed you read this far-but I’m glad you did. It’s important not to discount app technology too quickly, even if you are not in a consumer business where shopping convenience rules.

What does rule in any business is customer service, and if a well-designed app can give you an edge in customer service, there may be one in your company’s future, too.

Surface Mount Technology Advantages for Pcb

Surface-mount technology, commonly known as SMT, is a process of making electronic circuits where the components are placed directly onto the surface of PCBs (printed circuit boards.) Some of the Surface Mount Technology advantages for PCBs are summarized below:

• Instead of connecting through the holes in the board via hole technology, the components are positioned directly on the board surface.

• Some components of SMT, usually called as surface mount devices or SMDs, are lighter and smaller than their counterparts, mostly because of the reduced number or total elimination of leads that are needed in through-hole manufacturing.

• With the help of standardization of components as well as the design tools, the assembling of the parts can be largely automated.

• By reducing the requirement for drilling as well as component holes, SMT enables the engineers to design the boards with components to be placed on both sides of the board.

• SMT also allows for design flexibility. In other words, engineers can combine SMT with through-hole technology that provides greater PCB functionality on the same board reducing the need of multiple boards.

Some more distinct advantages of Surface Mount Technology advantages for PCB are:

• Dual-sided mounting – Since the need to design for drilling is eliminated, the requirement of connecting through the board materials is also reduced. Due to which the components can easily be placed on both the surfaces of the PCB.

• Size – As the size of the components is reduced, more components can be placed on a single board, which in turn has led to fewer boards requirement per product. With the growing demand for lighter weight and miniaturized products, these attributes are very critical.

• Reliability – Surface Mount Technology connections are less likely to face failure due to the impact of shaking or vibration.

• Cost reductions – As the number of drilled holes is reduced, the size of the board also gets reduced. If the functions on the SMT do not get increased, it leads to the increase of inter-package spacing. This further reduces the number of layer counts in the PCB. Due to this the cost of the board also gets reduced.

• Speed of manufacturing – On combining with adherence towards design for manufacturing (DFM), Surface Mount Technology increases its production efficiency due to reduction or total elimination of drilling operations along with lower setup times.

The advantages are many. SMT has now become talk of the day.

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