What’s the hype all about?


By Phil Harwood

When something new comes along - a new idea or an innovation - there is, predictably, some hype that draws the attention of business leaders who are seeking the latest competitive advantage. Business leaders have been cautioned against chasing every new “shiny object” because of the disruptive nature of this approach. At the same time, business leaders have an obligation to be scanning for new ideas and innovations to remain competitive. So what’s the answer? 

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A brief discussion of this dilemma is provided in this blog post. There’s only so much we can cover in a blog post, however. 

A more in-depth discussion will be held at the Snowfighters Institute’s Inner Circle April 24-25, along with a case study on the adoption and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the snow and ice management industry. If you’re a business leader who is interested in gaining a competitive advantage in your snow business, Inner Circle was made for you. Registration is open now and space is limited.

Getting back to the topic at hand, there are two aspects of this dilemma I would ask you to consider. First, as business leaders, we need to be wise with our time and energy. We have to understand that we cannot chase every new idea that comes along because we have limited resources. At the same time, we don’t want to miss out on the latest and greatest new thing. This is our dilemma restated. We need a way to analyze these “shiny objects” to understand how they are impacting our industry and competitiveness. 

Historically, the adoption of new ideas and innovations have been discussed in terms of stages of adoption following a normal bell curve. In this analysis, we can determine whether the new thing is still at an early stage of adoption, where there may be some competitive advantages for us, or a later stage, where we just don’t want to be left behind. 

At this year’s Inner Circle, we’re going to be looking at adoption using the Gartner Hype Cycle, which is an analytical tool that considers the maturity, adoption, and social application of emerging technologies through five phases:

  • Phase 1 - Technology trigger 
  • Phase 2 - Peak of inflated expectations
  • Phase 3 - Trough of disillusionment 
  • Phase 4 - Slope of enlightenment 
  • Phase 5 - Plateau of productivity

The goal here is for the business leader to understand what stage this new idea or innovation is in so that the leader’s team can make an intelligent decision about whether to begin adoption, when to do so, and how to do so. This decision is not made in a vacuum. It is made in light of all other relevant new ideas and innovations that could be adopted. An informed decision is a better decision. 

In our industry, we’re seeing new ideas and innovations all around us. It’s fascinating to watch but tricky to get it right as a business leader in terms of what to invest in, when to do so, and to what degree. 

For example, consider weather monitoring stations, such as those made by Frost Solutions. Many leading-edge firms have this technology in place today. Others have hesitated to make the investment. Still others have never heard of Frost Solutions or weather stations in general. Do you see the disparity here? This is a great example of adoption. Tools like the Gartner Hype Cycle inform us so we can make better decisions about adopting new ideas and innovations. 

By the way, you can learn more about Frost Solutions at Inner Circle and even get to know them personally. If I were you, I would register right now to secure your spot and get in on the discounted hotel room block. 

Second, we need a way to incorporate new ideas and innovations into our existing business models in a way that creates momentum and excitement. If we are careless with our approach, new ideas and innovations may be seen as just another crazy idea from the top that can be ignored or undermined because there will be another new crazy idea next month. This is the focus of my next blog post. So stay tuned to this channel. 

Have you registered yet for Inner Circle? Click here for more information. 

Now go forth. 

Tags: Inner Circle , Artificial Intelligence , Snow and Ice Industry ,