Research & Innovation

Client Needs Should Spur Better Product Design and Services, by STANLEY GICHOBI

I was recently running late for a meeting, and did not have enough time for breakfast. I opted for a take away hot drink from a coffee shop in the CBD.

I went to a decent looking restaurant and bought a cup of coffee that was served in a paper cup. The beverage came very hot and when I held it, I burned my hands.

As I walked, I kept on moving the cup from one hand to another. Further, the lid could not cover the cup well. The coffee spilled on my hands and white canvas shoes. It was a horrible experience and I will never order takeaway food or beverages from that restaurant again.

Individual Creativity Boosts Business Productivity, by SCOTT BELLOWS

Kachero opened her business on a Thursday morning. As she unlocked the main office door, she began mentally arranging her team's brainstorming session for later that day. Kachero desired more innovative technology products emanating from her firm.

Kachero had already restructured her firm and incorporated intrinsic rewards on teams, but would her employees rise to the occasion and generate innovative and creative results?

After exploring ways in Business Talk for companies and leaders to foster greater creativity and innovation in workplaces, let us turn our attention to individual creativity.

Innovation Factor in Entrepreneurship Startup Success, by SCOTT BELLOWS

Kariuki followed the events of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held recently in Nairobi very carefully. He appreciated the public support provided by both President Kenyatta and President Obama and looked forward to the fruition of all the pro-entrepreneur promises. In anticipation, Kariuki contemplated the innovativeness of his service delivery and technological backend platform of his main product.

So he charged forth determined to invoke as much creativity as possible in his business and set himself apart as the most innovative in his field. However, Kariuki did not realise a critical hindrance of innovation: sometimes innovation boosts a startup business and sometimes it kills the firm off completely.

Focus on Clients Key to Making Quality Products, by STANLEY GICHOBI

I recently went shopping for a headphone cable. I strolled through town and saw attractive headphone cables at a seemingly decent electronics shop. I requested the attendant to provide me with a durable set.

He showed me a sample that appeared strong and even spiraled — which seemed to mean that it could stretch longer. Pleased with what I saw, I bought it.

Unfortunately, the cable did not live up to my expectations. It did not stretch. Instead it remained tight and curled and at the same length as in the packaging.

I had to hold my head within 20 centimetres of my laptop in order to listen to music. This hurt neck my neck. The cable did not serve me well so I stopped using it. I now avoid that electronics shop.

In developing innovative and creative products and services, how can you avoid making mistakes like those made by the manufacturer of my dismal headphone cable?