There is nothing that can’t be innovated, so said yesterday’s keynote speaker Roger La Salle as he presented delegates with the tools to analyse and maximise an opportunity.
“If you are not constantly moving your products and services forward then someone will come in and take your place,” he said.
Don’t think this applies to you? La Salle pointed to the outsourcing of services, which had previously been conducted in council, within the public sector.
Electronic engineer Roger La Salle himself invented and commercialised a tool that is now industry standard for telecoms engineers. He has worked in many industries across the world, including telecommunications, banking, IT, science, service and governments.
Regardless of the industry, La Salle applies the same philosophy when interrogating an opportunity to see if it is robust enough to explore commercially.
Delegates were shown his matrix of opportunity, which asked such questions as what would you wish this product or service could do, so you can then consider how to change it to meet these wishes.
He gave the example of the front-loading washing machine. Most people’s biggest gripe with these is that they have to bend down. His solution? Placing the washing machine on a cabinet, which is sold as an accessory by the supplier.
“Frustration is one of the greatest sources of opportunity,” he said.
La Salle finished with a public works example. Being a Melbournian, he is often frustrated by the airport road signage and encouraged delegates present to think laterally when creating such things.
“If you are going to do freeway signage [and make it simple], why don’t you put some signage on the road?”