The problem solving skills we use as inventors can and should be applied in other areas of business. It’s important not to forget how relevant and helpful they can be.
I was reminded of this truth several months ago, after I was asked to give a lecture to a printing organization. The organization was holding their annual meeting and the topic of discussion was, “How can we increase membership?” Although the group actively sought and desired new members, they were having difficulty recruiting and keeping them. The organization was also constantly trying to bring more value to their membership. I was invited to talk about solving the problem. It was the perfect situation to apply the same steps I do in inventRight.
I first tried to understand the benefits of the individual organization and what benefits existed in the industry as a whole. Why did people join their group? Did they have enough benefits? I asked individual members what kinds of other benefits they desired, and if they thought they were really receiving them.
I then contacted several organizations (outside the printing industry) that were very successful at maintaining high membership to ask for advice. What did they do? I looked at the benefits of their membership in order to gain a sort of road map I could bring back and apply. Reaching out to other people and businesses is a great way to gain information. Look at your competition and learn from them. The best thing you can do is to always ask what your customer’s needs are. Benefits should derive from answering those needs.
InventRight: Helping to Bring Your Product to Market