Posted on July 19, 2010
Did you know that Google will send you emails whenever your business is mentioned anywhere on the internet? Well, just about anywhere. And it’s free.
Here’s how to set up a Google Alert:
- Log into your Google account. If you don’t have one, get it. There are tons of useful and free applications available to you.
- Visit http://google.com/alerts
- Enter your company name within quotation marks, like so: “Company Name”
- Choose what type of content you’d like to be notified about: blogs, news articles, websites, videos, groups, or EVERYTHING. I usually go with everything.
- Choose how often you’d like to receive alert emails.
- Choose how many alerts each email will contain (20 or 50).
- Choose to have it emailed, or if you’d rather they’ll collect the results in an RSS feed you can follow using your RSS reader.
And that’s it! Any time your business is mentioned on the web, you’ll get a notice telling you about it. This is great for proactive customer service because you can find out when people are blogging about problems with your product, and address them directly. You may not always know if your company is mentioned in a news article, but with Google Alerts you can be prepared if a story about you is published and be ready for an influx of customers.
Are you using Google Alerts? Let us know how they’re helping you in the comments.
Posted on May 20, 2010
“Most people, in business and elsewhere, have done very well on judgment thinking. Such people are rarely aware of the need for ‘design thinking’. They find it difficult to conceive that there is a whole other aspect of thinking that is different from judgment thinking. It is not that such people are complacent. It is simply that they do not know that there is another aspect to thinking.”
Edward de Bono
What is design thinking?
Design thinking (or divergent thinking) is a way of working through problems and finding solutions. It’s not a new concept, just a new name for an old process. (Think Leonardo Da Vinci.)
The way we traditionally solve problems in business is by looking around, finding every resource available to us, and then pounding away at the problem until THE solution presents itself. The assumption being that there is one right solution in the first place.
Design thinking involves parts of the brain that you may not be used to using. It’s about the aha moment; it’s about beauty and simplicity and flow. Those are some abstract concepts that aren’t always used in a business environment. Instead of bearing down on a problem, we view the problem as the center and work out toward a range of possible solutions. Instead of one right answer, we find a myriad of possibilities and choose the best one.
While critical thinking produces logical solutions, design thinking produces innovative solutions.
How can it help me?
Like anything else, design thinking is a tool. It fosters innovation and exploration.
Are you looking at your business from a design standpoint? Tell us how in the comments.