General Electric Sees Innovation as the Cure

May 8, 2009

healthymagination-ge-new-planSome companies live on innovation and creativity.  General Electric (GE) is one of those companies.  A few years ago, when they decided that it was time to invest in energy efficiency, they rolled out a new initiative called “Ecomagination”.  The result was a new found interest in alternative energy sources, efficiency, and environmental consciousness.

Recently, a new issue has risen to the head of the line at General Electric, healthcare.  Already one of the leaders in innovative health care equipment, GE has decided to invest in creating a sustainable healthcare industry that makes it more affordable and more accessible to everyone.  Appropriately, the new project is called “Healthymagination“.

As outlined by GE in their announcement yesterday, the primary goals of the Healthymagination project are simple.  Reduce costs of many procedures and process through technology and efficiency of systems.  Increase access to state of the art health care through technology and education in areas of the world where health care has fallen behind.  Improve the quality of health care for patients through innovations that simplify procedures and accelerate the standards of care.

Achieving these goals, however, will be difficult.  It will take a lot of time and energy on the part of GE and their partners to take on a project of this magnitude.  But after the success of the Ecomagination project, anything is possible.

It takes a company like this to help kick start a movement.  With this type of investment from General Electric, other companies and organizations will be drawn into the mix, and we can see health care innovations that move entire societies forward.

By taking advantage of new technologies to streamline processes, digitalize medical records, and improve the quality of machines and treatments, GE and others should be able to conquer many of the pre-existing troubles that the health care industry has dealt with for years.

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Where is Our News Going?

January 19, 2009

breaking-newsSeth Godin will have you believe that major media companies are on the way out. But is that really the case?

I would argue the opposite, though I add a warning that if these companies do not innovate in the way they obtain and dispense information, they’re dead. I think that, in the area of news, these major corporate networks are still best situated to develop their technology and deliver information to the public in new and relevant ways.

Why Major News Organization Can Still Win

  1. Access – these organizations have the credibility and network skills to get inside information. They can access people at the highest levels, in all parts of the world, and deliver the most up to date information from anywhere.
  2. Money – Established corporate networks have the resources needed to overhaul their technology. It’s true that they need to re-evaluate their real time and web efforts, but they have the ability to do that. Find the value that your readers are looking for and give it to them, no questions asked.
  3. Loyalty – People are less loyal these days to brands or companies because “shopping around” has become much easier. However, when it comes to news and other important information, there is a credibility factor that is difficult to get around. People are not as comfortable getting news from lesser known blogs or other online sources.

What They Need to Do

  1. Personalization – The web and other mobile technologies have allowed people to customize the information they get, and how they see it. Make it easy for readers to sign up for alerts in certain areas, and give them the information how they ask for it.
  2. Email – Utilize email systems to let people get the news they want when they want it. All the stories you run should be available in email format, and people should not have to ask for them more than once.
  3. Social MediaTwitter and other social networks have become valuable resources for providing and passing along important news as it breaks. There is no reason that a news service cannot tap into that “real time” power and use it. Learn how to capitalize on these systems and incorporate them into your strategy.
  4. Blogs, blog readers, and bookmarking – Stories need to be passed from person to person to spread. Newsworthy is a term that now applies to something that deserves to be relayed on to friends. Incorporate blogging and social bookmarking tools to your website to give people the option to spread the best stories. This builds brand awareness and keeps you relevant.
  5. Feedback – Reach out for and pay attention to your readers’ opinions. This can be on a story by story basis or feedback on your services in general. Listen to people because if there is anything that the social web has taught us, it’s that we all have something to say.

The major thing that these corporate news services and media companies have to acknowledge is that the old way of doing things no longer works. Evaluate where your information is coming from and how it is getting out. Learn that people want access to the information they are interested in, no fluff, and they want it free. Give that to them and then rebuild accordingly. It’s time to fight for your readers our die.

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Comcast and Big Business Bullies

August 20, 2008

As someone who talks a lot about innovation and moving forward not only in business but as a society, I hate it when “big business” tries to stop the movement. I can see where it might be in their best interest to do so, because they are just not forward thinking enough to see the benefits of change. They are happy with the way things are now and think that “technology” and the so called new economy will hurt that success.

It’s never been, and should never be the role of government to protect dying corporations or big business interests. If new technologies and startup companies develop ways of doing things differently, than that is how it should be.

The recent news that Comcast is making has caught my eye. They were sued for intentionally blocking access to certain file sharing websites because, as they said, it created too much congestion on their network. And now, after losing that battle, they announced that they will limit “heavy internet users” to improve speed for other users during times of heavy congestion.

First, anyone or any company that believes in limiting the availability of information on the web has got it all wrong. Google stands out above all others in their belief in the free flow of information. After all, that is what makes the internet great. It is a tool for sharing information faster and without limits. Comcast, as an internet provider, has no business blocking its customers from achieving this.

And why is Comcast’s solution for network issues focused on hurting those people that use the service the most. That is like a restaurant charging more, or taking longer to serve returning customers. A message to Comcast:

Take a look within. Improve your service. Don’t make excuses and develop initiatives that hurt your current customers. And maybe, just maybe, people won’t leave your service as soon as they have that option.