Monday, November 8, 2010

Market Whisperer

This morning's keynote Speaker, Cecily Sommers, founder and president of The Push Institute, begins by asking everyone to stand up and do three turns in one direction, three turns in the other direction and then a little yoga neck stretching. We all comply and sit down feeling a bit more relaxed. Dizzy but relaxed.
Cecily explains that what she did was to introduce a new thing into our routine. An important exercise when it comes to conquering the chaos that threatens to take over our everyday lives, whether at work or at home. She explains that chaos has patterns that never repeat themselves but do have a predictable path.
I liked her use of Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, as an example of someone who enters a chaotic system, the home of the dog owner, and presents a method to deal with that chaos, the dog’s bad behavior. Or more accurately, as viewers of Cesar’s TV show know, the owner’s bad behavior.
Cecily points out that the brain, business and governments all resist change. She recommends that we combine the left hemispheres of our brains (most directly connected with language) with the right hemisphere (most directly connected with imagery) using associative thinking. Associative thinking is what we use when we “sleep on” a problem and allow our brains to work on it in the background. Combining these can create a zone of discovery.
Cecily recommends we study structural and systematic factors in the four forces of change; resources, technology, demographics and governments to determine your best questions. Then find what she calls the New by taking in new experiences – travel, joining different groups or trying anything new. This can lead to a path of inquiry that discovers a trend. From there you find the challenges that the trend brings up, look for the future market that the challenges point out and, finally, use your intuition, that associative thinking that can’t be forced, to innovate and create the product that addresses that market.
Now, stand up and turn around three times in one direction and three times in the other direction. And I mean that both in actuality and figuratively.

Dave Buchanan is an account manager at Capsule. He is involved in brand development, research planning, and naming for the firm's clients. Client experience includes: Rayovac, AMPI, Honeywell, Polaris, Carlson Companies, Spec Mix, Herman Miller, Vital Images, TIGI Linea and Target.
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