How Can We Innovate Services on the Czech Market?

This Friday, I have been invited to speak on innovating services in the Czech market at the Innovation Day conference. Media Education CEE was born out of a dream to transform media training into a real profession in the Czech Republic. But, except for a dream and vision of how things can be done differently and better, is innovation anything more than common sense?

As it happens, I’ve just finished reading the inspiring book Selling the Invisible from Harry Beckwith. While reading I began to wonder: is innovation truly something new, or is it simply sheer common sense?
All great books on marketing and sales have something in common. They point at the need for shifting perspectives and looking at yourself as well as your product with the eyes of the customer. “I often went fishing up in Maine during the summer. Personally I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish and said: “Wouldn’t you like to have that?” Why not use the same common sense when fishing for people?” says Dale Carnegie in his memorable How To Win Friends and Influence People.

Therefore, what can we do to innovate services on the Czech market?

First: care. Open yourself up and feature genuine care for people around you, may they be your family, your employees or your clients. Care for what they think, need, and desire. Care, in order for the others to care about you – and ultimately buy something from you.

Second: go out, talk to people and listen. Constantly be out talking to the people, asking around, and listening to people’s answers. What do you need? What is missing that could make your life better? How would you like to receive that object / service? What’s important for you?

Third: reflect and be aware. Collect people’s needs and ideas and spend some time alone asking yourself: how can I deliver just that and make it ever better – surprisingly better? How can I satisfy a customer AND pleasantly surprise him on top of that? How can my services contribute to change people’s lives for the better?

Fourth: measure. Value is more than just money. Ask yourself: where did I start, what have I done, and where did that take me? The clearer the goals and the steps along the way to your goal, the easier it is to measure your success. Such measurement will help you in those dark days when you’re too tired and exasperated and you just want to quit. Concrete positive results will give you and your company the energy to keep on going. Not to speak of the value of those results for your customers – otherwise, how can you prove you build value for them if you can’t show value to yourself?

Fifth: advertise. Make sure your successes don’t get burried inside your office walls. With modesty and humility, introduce your successes to your stakeeholders as a powerful positive story. You will be surprised how many people want to work with happy and energetic people. Even when you’re down, go back to your success story and believe in it. Then take it out and share it with other people.

At the end of the day, is this really innovation or common sense? It’s hard to say. The only reality that I observe is that we’re going back to it over and over again. Therefore, there must be some truth in it after all.

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The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.
Cristina Muntean
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Let's Talk

The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.