Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

A Route to success

We all know that Business Link is a great idea. Helping small enterprises to do business better (or in fact, to do better business) is good for the whole economy. And traditionally, the East of England has had a pretty good track record in that respect. I’m sure that EEDA and Business Link have had a part to play in that.

But, the frustration I share with many has always been the fact that finding out exactly what service and advice they provide, and which bits of it might be applicable to your business, has felt rather like catching smoke. And to be honest, the last couple of times I’ve talked to a Business Link advisor, its seemed a little as if they’re in the same position.

I was really pleased to read about their new Business Map, launched on their website today.  EEDA’s Space for Ideas campaign in 2005 had a fresh, information-rich appeal and the graphic way of illustrating their advice and support for businesses launched today has a similar approach. Finally, I can see all that the development agency can deliver through Business Link.  The map is clear, uses the feel of the London Tube map to create a sense of familiarity and usability – and it just works.

The Female Brain

Andrea Learned writes about a newly published book on the female brain. The gender difference has been the focus of an increasing array of books, blogs, training programmes and conversations in the corporate world over the past decade.

The Female Brain covers aspects of development from puberty onward and, as such, isn’t specifically a business book. But it does talk about female buying behaviour. Reading the Amazon reviews I found a comment on the reason there are fewer females than males in scientific roles. (Hint: women have more affinity with roles that include a high degree of communication. Science-based jobs are more likely to be solitary)

Female working styles and buying patterns are clearly important topics for business. Diversity has become much more than just a buzz word these days. It isn’t just the subject of a good moan about senior management, it isn’t just an excuse for a training day out of the office, and it isn’t just about the glass ceiling.

We were recently asked to develop a Diversity Culture assessment to measure cross-gender attitudes and working relations. It has been commissioned and piloted by a major high street bank (which means this subject is being taken seriously by people who are serious about business). Ultimately, it will be companies like this that gain market share – not only because they are conscious of having to create a culture where women feel valued as employees.  If they recognise the key part women play in managing their business, they will have greater retention of women as employees and also as customers.

But this is just my view. If you’re interested in finding out more about women at work, the people to talk to are Eve-olution Ltd – our partners in developing the Diversity Culture assessment.

Inspiring Speakers from the TED conference

Guy Kawasaki’s recent post about the talks on the TED conference site provided a fabulous resource. There are quite literally hours of inspiration here. The TED Conference site makes fascinating reading and clicking the TEDTalks page reveals short video clips of presentations from speakers who are in a class of their own. If the energy levels and ideas generated at TED Conference are as fantastic as they appears – attending one has just landed pretty high up on my list of aspirations.