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Innovation

Manufacturers’ Great Innovation Opportunity

In just 24 months, we’ve seen a decade’s worth of transformation, much of it driven by emerging … [+] technologies, such as data analytics, AI, blockchain and Web 3.0.

It may be a cliché but it’s true: the last two years have been extraordinary. In just 24 months, we’ve seen a decade’s worth of transformation, much of it driven by emerging technologies, such as data analytics, AI, blockchain and Web 3.0. Meanwhile, the likes of voice recognition, neural networks and cognitive systems, all of which have been talked about since the 1980s, now have both the computing power and cost of storage required to unlock their full innovative potential.

For manufacturers, the impact has been — and will continue to be — considerable. Why? Because it’s led them to move away from traditional formulas of success. Rather than focus on areas like productivity and efficiency, these new tools and technologies have let them start asking a range of different, often better questions such as “What are we doing to digitize R&D?”, ‘’How can we develop connected products and services?” and “What steps should we take to digitize our workforce?”.

Real-world solutions
Data, and particularly unstructured data, is at the heart of this new wave of progress. When you look at some of the technologies mentioned earlier, the algorithms powering them often haven’t changed a great deal in recent times. Rather, it’s the type of data sets they have access to that’s constantly evolving.

Production spreadsheets, CAD, Word document policies and procedures, all this information has traditionally been spread unevenly and disparately across manufacturing firms’ operations. Now, thanks to document intelligence platforms, firms can bring it all together in one place and, crucially, turn that unstructured data into precise, real-time insights that drive better decisions, increase quality and decrease risk.

This puts manufacturers in a position to respond far more quickly to opportunities and threats, many of which they can now predict and plan for in advance. Perhaps most importantly, it enables them to look beyond just product features and functions and center their strategy on creating better customer experiences. That way, they can start solving real-world problems for their own company and for the people and businesses they serve.

Diversity is the key
Yet, technology is nothing without people — especially right now. Much of what’s currently driving innovation is disruption, whether due to the pandemic, trade tensions or the war in Ukraine. To successfully analyze and address these diverse disruptions, manufacturers need diverse perspectives and skill sets among their employees too.

That doesn’t just mean looking at gender or race either. Firms require an increasingly eclectic mix of geographic representation, educational background, ages and more — essentially anything that promotes a different way of thinking and working at all levels of the organization. Similarly, manufacturers wishing to lead the industry tomorrow should be creating a culture of continuous learning today — one that encourages and supports staff to develop adaptive skills like problem-solving, critical-thinking and creativity alongside their technical competencies. This will enable them to better collaborate with modern technologies to drive innovation.

Of course, no manufacturing leader can simply click their fingers and expect that culture to appear overnight; it takes investment and focus, which is exactly why the EY organization developed the Neurodiversity Center of Excellence (NCoE) after recognizing a need to drive growth for businesses by accessing the tremendous untapped talent of neurodivergent individuals. Within the NCOE program, individuals with cognitive differences such as dyslexia, ADHD, autism and Asperger syndrome partner with the company’s existing teams to develop fresh thinking and approaches for clients.

Opportunity knocks
The potential of centers like these when it comes to transforming how manufacturing companies seize growth opportunities and mitigate risk is enormous — and exciting. Yet, to truly embed innovation in their culture, firms must also stop viewing it in terms of silver bullets. Rather than looking for the one big, hot idea that’s going to drive growth and accelerate performance, they must see innovation as a collaborative and experimental process. A series of ongoing steps in which progress is made, risks are taken and mistakes are commonplace but learned from.

The key is to treat each idea, whether successful or not, as a chance to learn and improve for the future — something the EY organization seeks to do at its Innovation Hub run in collaboration with Nottingham Spirk. The Hub brings Industry 4.0 to life in a real-world production environment — from cyberattacks and scenario planning to new scheduling and visualization tools on the shopfloor.

As Steve Jobs famously said, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat.” Those manufacturers that embrace this mindset now will find themselves with an unprecedented chance to better engage employees, delight clients, reduce risk and enhance their competitive edge. The ones that don’t are going to spend a long time catching up.
The views reflected in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.

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Innovation

The Queen of Wigs and Social Media Tamika Gibson Gets Real About TikTok

In recent years, social media has transformed how we learn new things, find new products, and consume content. Not only do these platforms allow for a larger audience to be reached, but they can also be shared with one click and even go viral in a matter of hours. Although the idea was a foreign concept to many business owners during the birth of social media, it has quickly grown into a tool several entrepreneurs utilize day-to-day to increase reach, amp sales and successfully expand brands. One group that has seen success is beauty founders utilizing the popular platform Tik Tok. With new trends being created daily, and thousands of songs to choose from, developing app content is fun and brings the attention so many brands desire.

      Tamika Gibson, the founder of Bold Hold, is no stranger to this. With over 5.8 million likes and over 300 thousand followers on Tik Tok, she is a notable founder that has cracked the code and used Tik Tok to grow her brand! After working with celebrity clients and creating wigs that make people happy, Tamika created a product that has taken the world of hair by storm called Bold Hold. The brand quickly revolutionized the hair market by introducing a lace wig adhesive that checked all the boxes. And as the brand became more popular, Bold Hold quickly became the go-to for stylists everywhere, but Gibson wasn’t stopping there. She wanted to ensure that her brand was known across multiple platforms and spread the knowledge she had spent so many years learning. After posting content on multiple social media accounts, including Instagram and Tik Tok, the Bold Hold founders quickly found success. Her social media presence quickly grew into what it is today.

      Although Tamika has achieved remarkable success, promoting brands on social media platforms isn’t as easy as it may seem. Tamika tracks trends, creates content, and constantly posts, for the best results. When asked about common social media misconceptions, Gibson had to say:  “I think a misconception on promoting with social media is that you must post 3-4 times a day. You have to know your target audience and what they want to see from you. This allows you to post content that supporters will love and convert new Eyes on your page to dollars.” Even though influencers aren’t viewed the same as a few years ago, they are still relevant in online marketing. However, choosing the people who represent you wisely is important. “Yes and no. No, because through the years, consumers now understand PROMO. I like to use big influencers that consumers trust. This method is more authentic.”

     With all the growth Tik Tok has seen this year, Tamika believes it has allowed her to connect with people who wouldn’t otherwise think they would need her products. She stated, “TikTok is AMAZING! TikTok allows me to connect with people who had no idea they Needed Bold Hold! The algorithm is not prejudiced, allowing all walks of life and backgrounds to see my account.” Creating the content that keeps the people watching can be hard, but Tamika found a way: “I think my content resonates because of the constant education the viewer gets from each post. And it’s free!” For advising other people aspiring to grow on TikTok, here is what she had to share: “At this present time to grow in TikTok, I highly suggest using hashtags that relate to the post. Tiktok is amazing and allows you to post outside your niche, giving the customers a break from sale, sale, sale. You can build a fantastic community that will support you forever.

     Today, Tamika continues to develop creative content, gain new followers, and promote her brand on social media apps. It serves as an educational platform and a place where people can learn who the Bold Hold founder is as a person and become encouraged to try new things. She looks forward to participating in new trends, sharing her tips on social media success, and continuing to nurture the Bold Hold brand.

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Innovation

Arielle Brown Created a Skin Care Line to Address Scalp Issues, and Promote a Healthy Hair Care Regimen

The dream of having magnificent, shiny, and voluminous hair is common among many. However, it’s easy to get caught up with the physical appearance of our strands, rather than the overall health of our mane. While many companies credit themselves with developing remedies that help revive hair, there aren’t many products available that are exclusively dedicated to scalp health. As a result, it’s something that is overlooked and easily ignored. Fortunately, a company recognized the lack of representation in the world of hair care. From there, they began to formulate products that would not only promote scalp health but teach individuals how important it is. In no time, their products were a hit, and Beas Bayou was officially born.

Scalp irritation was nothing new to Arielle Brown, the founder of the black-owned scalp treatment brand.  After being diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis, Brown struggled to find a product that not only soothed her scalp but promoted the health of her skin. After countless failed attempts to find a good remedy, Brown decided to take matters into her own hands and create effective scalp products that would check off all her boxes. During her extensive research, Arielle came up with a remedy that could be applied directly to the scalp to alleviate the symptoms of her disease. And after a while, she realized that the probiotics and herbs she had concocted had not only restored her scalp but also transformed her hair into something beautiful.

Arielle was taken aback by the results of her product but knew others had to try them. Now that her item was performing so well, it was time for her to open her own store and sell the items to others who were having similar health issues. With a professional background in creative media, she was quickly able to integrate her expertise with her passion for helping others with scalp concerns. As the business grew, Brown began to feel that she had found her life’s work.  Her excellent products and her strong desire to be of service to others pushed her to the next level of success quickly, and since then Bea’s Bayou has been taking the hair care world by storm.

In only 2 years Bea’s Bayou has grown tremendously from its basic origins. Throughout the journey, Arielle Brown has had the opportunity to see her brand’s growth and the development into what it is today. To facilitate the growth of Bea’s Bayou, Brown rebuilt the office that she keeps in her house. It’s safe to say she has a lot of ambitions for the future as well. Arielle can plan for new products and consider what she should do next because of the positive responses she gets from satisfied customers.

Arielle’s accomplishments are strongly intertwined with the help she receives from her relatives, to whom she feels a deep love and connection. Beatrice, her grandmother who came from Louisiana, was an essential component of her childhood and played a crucial role in the development of the brand. Arielle’s power to evolve plants into natural remedies was a continuous motivational factor for her, the process took her back to her youth which she spent with her grandmother, and even influenced the name of the company.

To say that a marketplace can be completely revolutionized by a brand born out of passion and love is an understatement. Arielle created Bea’s Bayou to empower people to achieve a more favorable impression of their scalp and hair while educating the public on the importance of maintaining a scalp care routine.

Follow Bea’s Bayou on social media to learn more @beasbayouskincare.

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Innovation

Young Innovation Leaders Fellowship Program 2022

Applications for the Young Innovation Leaders Fellowship Program 2022 are now open. The YIL Fellowship is a four-month annual leadership immersion programme in innovation management designed to empower young professionals to attain their ultimate career dreams and inspire innovation in their spheres.

Its chief aim is to unleash human potential and scale up excellence. This is an opportunity for exceptional young professionals to train to become innovation leaders. In this fifth edition of the fellowship, candidates are expected to learn and use innovation tools to create solutions to societal challenges and eventually scale them up for real impact.

Programme Content
The theme of the Y.I.L Fellowship is “scaling up excellence”. The fellowship programme includes: lectures, plenary sessions, workshops, and demonstrations. Important aspects of the training are: the challenge phase, the accelerator, the internship, and the mentorship.
Insightful modules that will be covered in the lectures include:
Benefits
Eligibility
Application
The application deadline is June 20, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.
Click here to apply

For more information, visit YIL Fellowship.
Jude Ogar is an educator and youth development practitioner with years of experience working in the education and youth development space. He is passionate about the development of youth in Africa.

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