It amazes me how many folks are business innovation coaches, consultants, and supposed gurus, many of them have never in their life innovated anything. It’s like where on earth did all these people come from all of a sudden? I’d estimate the number at well over 250,000 people, in the US alone, promoting themselves in this venue. Not long ago, I was contacted by a business innovation coach, offering their services to my company, and also to our think tank which operates online.
And believe me I am all for innovation, so I asked what their credentials were, and they told me they had written two e-books, many articles, and had consulted many clients such as; a few Fortune 500 companies, and many small and medium-size businesses. In fact, they often gave speeches on the topic of innovation, and were working on some CD-ROM videos which they would be selling soon. That’s all well and good, but I was looking for real success stories, and case studies which they were deeply involved with.
In fact, the individual could not produce an example of a patent which came from his innovation skills, or prove that any of the companies he consulted with, actually increased revenues, or came up with smashing new products in the market, that I might’ve heard about. That’s quite interesting for someone who claims to be an expert in business innovation, but it is very troubling that they are putting themselves out there as an expert, when they’ve never done anything in their lives to put them in that category, or with that elite group of entrepreneurs who know how to innovate in business.
Let’s face it we have far too many business innovation quasi purported experts and coaches out there in this field. And if someone cannot substantiate the reality then they don’t know what they are talking about, why would anyone pay them to help them innovate? It would appear to me that there’s a lot of money being wasted on consulting fees, and there are far too many people claiming to be something they are not.
Business innovation comes about by listening to customers, finding new ways to serve them, and solving their problems in the market place. Once you do that you will have more customers, more revenue, better referrals, and it will spread like wildfire word-of-mouth. How can we solve the problems of too many fakers out there? Is my contention that as the economy picks up many of these people will go back to their normal jobs, which is good, because they have no business being an innovation coach. Please consider all this. And be careful out there.