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Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (, & to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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  • Hi Elaine. You raise an interesting point here. My own take is that “new” is very difficult to achieve. It has usually been done before by someone. I think that most people expect the usual from suppliers i.e. quality, value and solid customer service. This is probably enough for most people. If you can do something quirky or slightly over and above, then this is icing on an already great cake. I am not saying don’t do something new (or try to), but would question what the benefit would be of spending a large amount of time trying to conceive something when your customers already think you rock and are still going to give you great references.
    Not an easy one to answer either way I suspect.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Anonymous

    Elaine – thanks for the post!!

    I was told some years back that it’s all about stealing somebody elses idea and making it better.


  • Anonymous


    This is the 2nd book by Dan and Chip Heath I’ve heard of in one week.

    There is that saying that there is nothing new under the sun. It’s often paraphrased from a longer quote (I think Biblical?) but the meaning is consistent. Maybe there is nothing or very little new under the sun. Sometimes there is. And what is new? New can be a novel experience to the individual or it can be an original thought presented by a thought leader.

    Your post makes me wonder how many people are willing to think new thoughts or it is more like they are emerging from Plato’s cave and discovering that what is “real” is mind-blowing. For some of my clients, earning 6 figures and having financial freedom is an extraordinary experience. For others, it is so commonplace that there is nothing special there. I’ve even seen people transform both themselves and their businesses by changing their choice of words in interpersonal communication. These are common experiences all over the world but they feel fresh in both concept and experience to the individual. However, once you open your mind to a new idea, it is easier to allow more new ones in.

    Is it packaging or are we moving ideas slowly forward over time? Are we deepening human experience using our work with our business clients as a vehicle? LIke Barney and you said, it’s not a cut and dry answer.

  • Making the existing better is a very noble pursuit πŸ™‚

  • Hi Elli,
    Well I aim to inform also πŸ™‚ I am really enjoying their book.
    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on the post. ! would imagine the trick is to ensure we are constantly rethinking ideas, and learning from others and ourselves.
    Whether an idea is new or not, it may be for the individual. But I would be curious about how much we take in unconsciously, and then come up with a brand new idea??? It could have simply been inspired by a blog post we read, an image we saw, a feeling we experienced…

  • If it works, and it’s better, then it’s a win/win πŸ™‚
    Thanks for reading Paul

  • “Icing on an already great cake”.
    Barney, my husband bakes the best cakes in the land, and they do not need “extras” but he will always “dress” them for presentation purposes, just as important πŸ˜‰
    But I have also seen him (he’ll kill me for this) sprinkle icing sugar over a cake to hide some imperfections. Ultimately, the cake still tastes delicious, and doesn’t harm anyone.

    Maybe we need a bit of icing at times, to help us in our presentation of an already great product. It could well be down to the presenter on the day (bad hair day).
    Thanks for reading and providing a great analogy πŸ˜‰

  • As long as we can pull it off πŸ˜‰

  • I think it has to do with what you provide. If you are in the consultancy side of things, you might as well cultivate your capacity to ignore what others have done for clients in the past and boost your lateral/innovative thinking. It’s a bit like a catch 22 though, because as Elaine says, in order for a client to buy into this idea of letting you be innovative, you first have to show them that it worked in the past (which is a bit contradictory). Or maybe it’s not so difficult and it is all a matter of persuading the client to trust who you are and your ability to be innovative, merely by presenting proof that you were innovative in the past! A bit of pressure for oneself though πŸ™‚

  • A good point Facundo – persuading the client to trust who you are and your ability to be innovative”.
    We all know that in the services sector, the client buys the person, not so much the service.

    There is always an element of trust involved, because sometimes the result or solution is not as tangible as one would like, and they may find it hard to envisage the final result. So they must trust the service provider, their actions will provide the feedback.

    Thanks for the great comments Barney and Facundo πŸ™‚

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