Category Archives: Innovation

Gatesville, Nigeria and Tethering

GatesvilleAtkins Ranch in Gatesville TX

Yea, you might have seen some posts from me that I am spending a great deal of time at the Atkins Ranch in Gatesville, TX, about 35 miles east of Waco. It’s amazing what you can observe from outside of the Digital Life in Dallas. I still have my office in Frisco and I have opened a satellite office at the Ranch. Come see me when you are in the area.

Nigeria

Others of you might have seen a recent post about my trip to Africa with Compassion Creates Change Nigeria, a Dallas based non-profit working in Nigeria with Churches, NGO’s, Community Development Agencies and Business to:

  • Construct a Multi-Use School, Church and Community Center Raising 5k for Nigeria Mission Trip
  • Construct a Medical Clinic
  • Deliver Medical Supplies
  • Install Solar-power Based Electrification
  • Initiate Clean Water Projects
  • Provide Vocational Training
  • Deliver Compassionate Outreach

If you are able to contribute cash, products, services or just share the details on your social media, your efforts are greatly appreciated. Give at: http://www.gofundme.com/JRAtkins

TetheringJ.R. Atkins likes the Intelligence TV Show

I recall this term as the idea of connecting your Laptop to the internet via your cellphone. I’d like to expand the definition to address the way we tap into computer based information and knowledge. Today we have so many options to tether to our computer from smart phone and tablets to Google Glass. The progression of knowledge access looks something like this:

Main Frame-Personal Computer-Lap Top-Tablet-Smart Phone-Google Glass-Implant.

I know the implant is not in the consumer market yet, but it has to be in the military domain. Have you see the TV show Intelligence, it’s like a modern day bionic man, only better. Yet, all the information of the world is useless without human intelligence to create context and relationship. Here are a few business uses for Computer Information at your fingertips. Let me know what other applications you see coming.

  • Sales: Customer, Product and Service data
  • Service: Service Manuals, Customer Records, Diagnostics…
  • Decision Making: KPI’s, Industry, Competition…
  • Current News: Public, Company, Industry
  • Security: Early Warnings, Environmental Concerns,

Please share your thoughts on the blog, by email, phone or social media, “after all, I’m here to communicate with you.”

Events Worth Considering 

02-08-14 – Orpheus “From the Heart” Gala & Auction
02-11-14 – Business Link Lunch – Temple Chamber
02-12-14 – The DEC: Design for Non-Designers
02-18-14 – The Booming Business of Global Warming
02-19-14 – Marketing DFW Airport
02-23-14 – Southwest Car Wash Association Convention & Expo
02-25-14 – Last Tuesday Happy Hour at The Ritz Carlton
02-27-14 – Business After Hours – Temple Chamber
03-01-14 – Orpheus Chamber Singers – The Art of Imitation
 

 


J.R. Atkins, thinking inside the box

Box Thinking: Inside or Outside?

J.R. Atkins, thinking inside the box“Thinking outside the box” is such an over-used term yet I still hear it used to describe looking at life, a systems, a product, a problem or an issue in a new or different way. But, to think outside the box, don’t you need to understand what is in the box? Check out the list below and see if you can think of additional material that should be in or outside the box.

“Inside the Box”

  1. Current Methods & Procedures
  2. Current Customers & Prospects
  3. Current Employees & Recruits
  4. Current Products & Services
  5. Current Information & News Sources
  6. Current Ways of Thinking & Communicating
  7. Current Locations & Resources
  8. Current Culture “The way we do things”

J.R. Atkins thinking outside the box“Outside the Box”

  1. Any New Approach, Order or Method
  2. Any New View or Perspective
  3. Any New Way of Thinking
  4. The Opposite of the “Inside the Box” Thinking

 

For one to be good at creating, innovating, inventing, developing… you must be able to suspend your current beliefs long enough to see the world in a new way. In Seth Godin’s recent book “The Icarus Deception” he writes of the balance between our comfort zone and safety zone and how we must get comfortable with new realities or our new safety zone. He goes on to say that success in the new era goes to those that “create ideas that spread and connect the disconnected.” J.R. Atkins recommends The Icarus Deception

As we enter 2014 my hope for you is that you are able to create remarkable results with remarkable ease. Perhaps you can think outside the box to new highs in your career by looking at what is already in the box.

Events Worth considering

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The 5 Stages of Culture from “Tribal Leadership”

“People Tribe, Fish School, Cattle Herd and Birds Flock” and so it goes, says my client and friend Kathy Dudley of Compassion Creates Change. Then she goes on to explain the 5 Stages of Tribes (below). My eyes widen and I frantically begin to take notes as the information and this model of behavior resonates with other ideas bouncing around in my head. So, I share the following resources with you in hopes of helping you and your organization excel in the new year.

This video explains the Tribe concepts as it applies to organizations

 

The Models or Info-graphicsJ.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J.R. Atkins recommends the book Tribal Leadership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, here is an excerpt from the book which I highly recommend.

Every company, indeed, every organization, is a tribe, or if it’s large enough, a network of tribes—groups of twenty to 150 people in which everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows of everyone else. Tribes are more powerful than teams, companies, or even CEO’s, and yet their key leverage points have not been mapped—until now. In Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright show leaders how to assess their organization’s tribal culture on a scale from one to five and then implement specific tools to elevate the stage to the next. The result is unprecedented success.

J.R. Atkins MBA Recommends the book Book: Tribal LeadershipIn a rigorous ten-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations, Logan, King, and Fischer-Wright refine and define a common theme: the success of a company depends on its tribes, the strength of its tribes is determined by the tribal culture, and a thriving corporate culture can be established by an effective tribal leader. Tribal Leadership will show leaders how to employ their companies’ tribes to maximize productivity and profit: the authors’ research, backed up with interviews ranging from Brian France (CEO of NASCAR) to “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, shows that more than three quarters of the organizations they’ve  studied have tribal cultures that are merely adequate, no better than the third of five tribal stages.

The authors explain exactly what Tribal Leadership is, and offer a wealth of “technical notes” which explain how to implement the leadership system in any culture. They also offer coaching tips and a “cheat sheet” that provides the key action steps to building great tribes—including how to identify a tribe’s language and customs, how to move yourself forward while moving your people, and how to build a support network. “The goal is to give you the perspective and tools of a Tribal Leader,” the authors write. “The result is more effective workplaces, greater strategic success, less stress, and more fun. In short, the point of this book is for you to build a better organization in which the best people want to work and make an impact.”

TRIBAL LEADERSHIP details each of the five tribal stages and helps readers identify which actions affect it and which strategies will enable the tribe to upgrade to the next level. The authors discuss how each stage has a unique set of leverage points and why it is critical to understand them—more than three quarters of the organizations they studied have tribal cultures that are adequate at best. The five stages include:

• Stage One: The stage most professionals skip, these are tribes whose members are despairingly hostile—they may create scandals, steal from the company, or even threaten violence.

• Stage Two: The dominant culture for 25 percent of workplace tribes, this stage includes members who are passively antagonistic, sarcastic, and resistant to new management initiatives.

• Stage Three: 49 percent of workplace tribes are in this stage, marked by knowledge hoarders who want to outwork and out-think their competitors on an individual basis. They are lone warriors who not only want to win, but need to be the best and brightest.

• Stage Four: The transition from “I’m great” to “we’re great” comes in this stage where the tribe members are excited to work together for the benefit of the entire company.

• Stage Five: Less than 2 percent of workplace tribal culture is in this stage when members who have made substantial innovations seek to use their potential to make a global impact.

The authors also offer an in-depth look at Tribal Leadership strategies, and discuss how leaders can identify the tribe’s core values and the noble causes to which they aspire. They then explain how to use those principles along with the tribe’s inherent assets and behaviors to foster success based on the tribe’s goals and objectives. As the authors explain, once the tribe sets its strategy based on these factors, a palpable sense of excitement begins to emerge. “Every member of the tribe knows exactly how to succeed and what each person must do to make the tribe effective,” they write. “That’s the promise of tribal strategy.”

Leaders, managers, and organizations that fail to understand, motivate, and grow their tribes will find it impossible to succeed in an increasingly fragmented world of business. The often counter-intuitive findings of Tribal Leadership will help leaders at today’s major corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits learn how to take the people in their organization from adequate to outstanding, to discover the secrets that have led the highest-level tribes to remarkable heights, and to find new ways to succeed where others have failed.

I look forward to reading your comments, receiving your emails, chatting on the phone or in person about these concepts.

 


“Giving answers vs. results” the goal of the new Google Hummingbird Algorithm

“Giving answers vs. results” is the goal of the new Hummingbird algorithm from Google according to Eric with Globe Runner SEO. Check out his video for more insights.


Do You Have Digital Meetings?

What I mean is, when you meet with others, are there digital devices involved? Are there laptops, phones and tablets on the table with people “typing” away on their phones and keyboards? As I visit organizations, I see that the use of digital devices in meetings really depends on the organization culture. Some organizations are digital oriented, others focus on short meetings with updates and actionable items while other have meeting that are so slow and boring that if people could not use their device, they’d fall asleep.

J.R. Atkins comments on devices in meetings

I also see this as the clashing of two cultures, a digital oriented culture and a non-digitally oriented culture. Have you heard about the lady that thought the associate pastor was surfing the web during church when he was actually reading the Bible online? There all kinds of issues that arise. We ask ourselves “are they paying attention to me?” Yet others are less sensitive, and they think “sure, go ahead and tweet while we are talking.”

My associate who specializes in Culture Building says we, as a group or a company, get to choose and build the digital culture of our organizations. We should reach an agreement as to the level of digital device use during our meetings. talking. I’m ok with that.”

What do you see in your organization? Can you use a device in your meeting? Is your organization wrestling with how to deal with devices in your meetings?J.R. Atkins address the use of devices in meetings

I look forward to hearing from you by phone, email, or blog.

Events Worth Considering


The apps that get featured on the iOS App Store – by Dave Addey

I saw this article on what Apps get featured on the App Store and thought others would like to see the great research and charts that Dave Addey compiled. Here is an excerpt, click on the lick to see it all. Thanks Dave!

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Over the past few months, I’ve been researching the kinds of apps that get featured on the iTunes App Store home page for different countries around the world. Here are my initial findings.

In this article, you’ll spot certain bits of text highlighted in yellow. Clicking or tapping on these will display extra information about the methodology I’ve used in the reports. You’ll also see bits of text highlighted in blue. These automatically change the relevant graph to show the data referred to by the highlighted text.

Important note: I’ve only been looking at the kinds of apps that get featured on the store. This isn’t an assessment of how many copies of each app are sold, or how much money apps make, or how many apps there are on the store. It’s just about the apps that are editorially selected for feature on the Store’s home page by the App Store editorial team.

Games vs non-games

One of the most notable things about the Store is just how many games get featured. Only 16.8% of the apps on the Store are games, and yet they make up about half of the apps featured on App Store home pages worldwide.

The graph below shows the percentage of unique app features that are / are not games , compared against the percentage of apps on the Store that are / are not games . You can view the results for different stores and different device types using the two drop-down menus in the graph’s title.

chart from Dave Addy shared by J.R. Atkins
The highest percentage overall is in the Republic of Korea, where a whopping 64.4% of features on iPhone are for games. The lowest is the Austria / Germany Store, with only 36.3% on iPhone, although that’s still more than double the proportion of apps on the store overall. One thing’s for sure – games are special.


The Value of Quiet Time

Throughout my life, I have sought to balance the stress of life with a few minutes of quiet time. A recent week full of events, work and personal commitments caused me to take a closer look at the value of quiet time.

Author J.R. Atkins on the important of reflectionThink & Reflect Quiet time allows me to think about my life, activities, issues and opportunities and attach or remove meaning from them. When one project ends, what did I learn and how did I benefit from the project; how will I utilize those lessons in the future? When I get angry at someone or something, my quiet time allows me to re-think my role in the anger and the effect of the anger on my life.

Guidance It is during my still quiet moments that I seek guidance for my life; where I listen for messages, contemplate issues and prepare for action. Once I perceive guidance, I feel more comfortable about my plans and activities.

Prioritizing There are so many ways we can spend our time, money and resources, how do we choose what to do and when to do it? My quiet time allows me to think about priorities and make adjustments. After all, you can get more money, but you cannot get more time.

Author J.R> Atkins speaks on VisionReviewing Goals Occasionally I’ll look at my written goals, visions and beliefs. I write these at the beginning of the year as a sort of annual plan for my life. It covers mental, spiritual, financial, physical, emotional, recreational and relational goals. Each time I review these plans I make notes, adding and deleting to the plans as life dictates. Through my quiet time I get to be honest with myself as ask “are you doing and being the kind of person you say you want to do and be?”

Feed the Vision It is in our quiet time in which we get to imagine our future as we desire it to be. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill writes of the power of our desire and determination and how we can have whatever we want in life, if we simply use our minds.

Reading Good Books I enjoy reading fiction and it can feed my mind but when I speak of reading good books I’m speaking of reading non-fiction; biographies, history, current periodicals and more. I suggest that together, reading and reflecting, can create powerful results in our life and for reflection our brains and Author J.R. Atkins recommends think & grow richbodies need quiet time

Do you take time for peace and quiet in your life? I’d like to hear your ideas about how quiet time affects you. Do you have a special place, a chair, inside or outside, maybe a garden? Do you meditate as a part of your still quiet moments? Please call, email or add your comments to my blog at:

Events Worth Considering

06/01   Saturday at the Warwick Melrose
06/02 Perspectives Pulse on KLIF AM 570
06/04 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/05 Inside the CIA with Author Jason Matthews
06/06 DFW AMA Dallas Meet & Greet
06/06 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/08 Family Day at Meadows Museum
06/09 Perspectives Pulse on KLIF AM 570
06/11 How Social Media Helped RG III Win the Heisman
06/11 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/13 Social Media: What’s Working, What’s New With J.R. Atkins
06/13 Dino Patti Djalal, Ambassador of Indonesia to the U.S
06/13 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/14 Men’s Steak Night with John Quinn
06/16 Sailing: Dallas Race Week 2013
06/16 Perspectives Pulse on KLIF AM 570
06/17 From Social Media to Mobile Apps with J.R. Atkins
06/18 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/19 Social Media for the Over 50 Crowd by J.R. Atkins
06/20 TeXchange Summer Social @LoneStarPark
06/20 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/23 Perspectives Pulse on KLIF AM 570
06/25 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at The Ritz Carlton
06/25 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/26 Social Media for the Over 50 Crowd by J.R. Atkins
06/27 Concerts at the Arboretum
06/29 Social Media in DFW~2013 with J.R. Atkins
06/30 Social Media in DFW~2013 with Others
06/30 Perspectives Pulse on KLIF AM 570


A Guided Experience to SXSW V2V 2013

“South by South West Version 2 Vegas”  at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

 

SXSW V2V offers innovators and entrepreneurs across all creative industries a space to learn the skills, make the connections and find the inspiration to take their ideas and talents to the next level. Join over 1500 thought leaders for this first ever SXSW event in Las Vegas.

The startup and venture capital space is of major interest to all the creative industries that are at the core of the SXSW family of events. Featuring four days of informative panels and workshops, inspirational speakers, intensive mentor and coaching programs, networking events and receptions, pitch competitions and startup showcases. If you are involved in building an app, a service, a business, a brand or a community, then this event is for you.

Join SXSWv2v August 11 through August 14, 2013 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada for extension and re-imagining of the legendary SXSW Austin experience with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation. Learn more about this exciting event at sxswv2v.com. ($895.00 +travel & meals)

If you are interested in a guided experience by an industry leading technologist, reach out to jratkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com. You will have a personal escort to panel discussions, workshops and other events who will add context to the discussion, who can relate the topics and technology to your business, as well as help you make the most of your time and interest. (call for pricing, 214-707-1705)

Schedule Overview

SXSW v2v, J.R. Atkins, guided experience


3 things we can we learn from a 4 year old

Here are 3 things we can we learn from a 4 year old

    1. Touch screens are broke
    2. Planes get small
    3. Anything is possible

 

Although my son is in college, I’m still amazed at what I can learn from observingAutho J.R. Atkins ask what we can lear from a 4 year old children. Their wide eyes are ready to take in whatever the world has to teach them each day. We can apply these small lessons to our own business lives and improve our desired results. Here are three recent incidences I observed.

Lesson 1 – Touch Screens Are Broke. Once a child understands that you can touch a screen and change the appearance, they think all monitors, TV’s, camera screens, and tablets should be touch-enabled. When they touch one that is not so enabled, they think it is broke. You may laugh with your worldly experience but I’m here to tell you (and me) that they envision a world where all screens are touch enabled. Someday they will laugh at you and me. So think of a world where all screens are touch sensitive. What could we do, how might our tactile senses respond, how ill it change communication, data analysis, device operations, driving a car, …. The list could go on. I challenge you to think about this today as you touch any device or screen. What can you envision?

Lesson 2 – Planes Get Small. Have you ever watched a plan take off? It starts off full Author J.R. Atkins references planes getting smallsize and then gets smaller and smaller, or that is the way a 4 year old sees it. So don’t be surprised if they think the people inside get small too. This is what a girl on a recent flight asked as the plane took off: “When do we get small?” As an adult, how do I let misinformation, old ideas and ignorance get in my way of understanding my world? When do I assume my culture is the best and miss what I can learn from someone very different from me? When my son chooses to text me rather than call, do I assume he is wrong and not communicating “correctly” or, do I see it as just another way to communicate, and accept his “new” method?

Lesson 3 – Anything is Possible. To a 4 year old child, anything and everything isAuthor J.R. Atkins suggest anything is possible possible. If you tell them a man landed on the moon and show them the video on YouTube, then they will believe you. Yet, as adults, we have our experiences to compare to new ideas. Our mind ask “What have I seen that looked like this before and how did it turn out?” Sometimes these experiences are based on bad data and this keeps us from accepting new data. I’m not suggesting we throw out our experiences, but I am suggesting we “run a check” on our fast acting mind and occasionally say to ourselves “Maybe this time it will be different because circumstances are different.”

So the next time you have a moment to observe a 4 year old or any child, ask yourself what you can learn and apply to your life today. I hope that I have stirred your thinking some and you have ideas and stores of your own to share with me and your fellow readers in the comments section of this blog.

 

Events Worth Considering

 

 

 


Big Hair, Big Air & Big Data

I’ve heard of “Big Hair”, as in the ‘70’s,J.R. Atkins references Dolly Parton with Big Hair and I’ve heard of “Big Air”, as in snowboarding and other aerial stunts, but what the heck is “Big Data?” Does it J.R. Atkins comments on snowboard big airhave to do with the font size or what?

If you too would like some insight into how data mining and large data sets are affecting you, even if you don’t know it, then check out these two resources:


As I travel to SXSWi this weekend, Big Data trends and tools will be one of the topics I will be investigating. Stay Tuned for updates from Austin.

Article Excerpt:

“The example comes from Charles Duhigg, who’s a reporter at The New York Times, and he’s the one who uncovered the story. What Target was doing was they were trying to find out what customers were likely to be pregnant or not. So what they were able to do was to look at all the different things that couples were buying prior to the pregnancy — such as vitamins at one point, unscented lotion at another point, lots of hand towels at another point — and with that, make a prediction, score the likelihood that this person was pregnant, so that they could then send coupons to the people involved… there might be a coupon for a stroller or for diapers …


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