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Innovation Factor in Entrepreneurship Startup Success, by SCOTT BELLOWS

Posted in Research & Innovation

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

Posted in Research & Innovation

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?

Managing New Hires, by BENEDICT KARIUKI

Posted in Human Resource

The time taken by a new hire to start delivering results in an organization has different timelines depending on whether it's an experienced executive hire, an industry changer, new graduate recruit, or an intern.

More time will be required especially if the new hire is moving from one industry to a different industry. As an example, a sales specialist moving from selling agricultural inputs to selling online services would require additional time to learn the new industry. A new graduate, on the other hand, needs to not only learn the industry, but also how to work in an office setting and interact at a professional level.

How should a manager deal with new employees and the time to onboard or gain desired performance?

Customer Experience & Innovation, by MAUREEN ODERA

Posted in Customer Service

Before Innovation

A logical starting point in the process of innovation is to understand your customers' problems. Problems which you cannot rely on your customers to tell you unless you ask them. Even then, the information collected from customer feedback is only as useful as the questions you ask. After conducting surveys amongst your clientele, feedback received often merely relays customer attitudes towards their experiences with current products or services. The results display if your customers like what you are already offering but not quite what they need. Notions are based on past and not future experiences. The customer describes what he or she knows and not what they need if your do not seek their pain points and look for solutions along their life experience.