Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Disruption Leads to Change

A friend recently talked about her small child disrupting plans, as small children are wont to do. My friend wasn't really put out by this, but noted that flexibility is a requirement for being a parent. Truer words were never spoken.

Examined more closely, disruption requires flexibility which leads to change on many fronts - that can be good news, if you let it happen. If we were never interrupted, and left to our own devices 24/7 without contact from the world around us, we'd likely continue on our merry way without noticing that there may be a better way to look at things, accomplish things, treat people, reach goals, live dreams.

In the business world, a disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is defined by Wikipedia as an innovation that improves a product or service in ways that the market does not expect. A good example of disruptive technology would be Intercept Technology corrosion and static protective packaging. Intercept is a composite of plastic and copper - the copper acts as a sacrificial for any corrosive gases within the package, thus protecting whatever is inside that package from degradation/corrosion/rust. Intercept is disruptive in that it works like no other packaging. It does not outgas or particle shed, it is generally not necessary to vacuum air out of the package, it does not leave an oily film on the product it protects.

I could go on, but will end with this: the world of manufacturing could be completely changed by this disruptive Intercept Technology packaging; Liberty Packaging is where to find more info.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How 'bout a cuppa . . . green tea for Terry

Perhaps other Red Sox fans in Boston have heard Terry Francona's Bigelow Green Tea ad on Red Sox Radio WEEI. I heard it for the first time recently and found it funny initially, but maybe it's right in character. Terry's public persona is quiet, rational, sometimes humorous and I think green tea is a good drink for him (and his friend, Joe Torre). I wonder if Terry knows that you can swish tea instead of mouthwash to prevent cavities? This is according to a study at the U of Illinois in Chicago. Maybe that's why Terry has such a nice smile? Here's Terry with Joe Torre and Phil Simms, along with Cindi Bigelow talking about tea.

I went to the Bigelow Tea company site and learned that Bigelow is a local company, started in Fairfield, CT, in 1945 by Ruth Campbell Bigelow. Since then, Bigelow has grown from a one-product entreprenurial business to probably the most popular specialty-teas company in the U.S. And it is still 100% family-owned. Remarkable! Third generation Bigelow President, Cindi Bigelow, recently honored as one of the "Top 100 Women in Grocery" by Progressive Grocer, lives by this mantra: "Do the right thing and good things will follow." Couple that with the health benefits of green tea, and success is inevitable.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What Happened to the Courtesy Wave?

It is my new mission to be a polite driver (here in Massachusetts, if you believe the rumors, polite drivers are as rare as standing ovations for Johnny Damon). It was a dark and stormy night (much less rare here these days) and as I exited the grocery store parking lot, I slowed to let a small car cut in front of me. He drove directly in front of my car with nary a glance, never mind a courtesy thank you wave! Do you want to know why? I'll tell you why . . . he was too busy talking on his cell phone! If I'm repeating an oft-heard complaint, please forgive. I am just concerned for our safety and regretting the loss of social niceties.

The U News Center at the University of Utah published a study entitled "Drivers on Cell Phones Are as Bad as Drunks". An exaggeration of the dangers? Perhaps not.

The study's lead author, Psychology Professor David Strayer, notes: “Just like you put yourself and other people at risk when you drive drunk, you put yourself and others at risk when you use a cell phone and drive. The level of impairment is very similar.”

In the interest of full-disclosure, I must confess a penchant for cell-phone use while driving, but given the facts, am breaking that habit (with the occasional lapse).

Aside from all of the scary statistics and possible things that could go wrong, I simply miss the occasional courtesy wave from a fellow driver. Such friendly behavior can make us feel more connected. Isn't that what it's all about?
If you stop to let me merge into traffic, I promise you a courtesy wave and a smile.