Archive for the ‘growth’ Category

Musings: Immersion into a growing new reality
June 22, 2017

Dear Readers;

I visited the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) last week out of curiosity to see how the industry is evolving.

If your image is pot smoking hippies- you’d be surprised to see that the cannabis business today is characterized by professional, smart and sophisticated players.

My objectives were to learn; and my search images were primarily consumer products (not the greenhouses, growers, lights, extraction process and legal services).

The industry is rapidly growing as federal and state regulatory policies are becoming more liberal in many states, medical marijuana and recreational use are becoming legal or de-criminalized in many places. Research into the use of medical marijuana is showing promise in a range of health issues including seizures, cancer and lupus.

Some highlights of my wanderings through the Exhibit hall:

  • Cannabis, CBD (Cannabidiol) and hemp are being used in a wide range of edibles: butters, brownies, gummies, chocolate bars, cookies even water. I found CBD in animal health products– in organic dog treats touted as providing non-psychoactive compounds to help govern animal’s appetite, sleep, mood and memory.
  • CBD infused cosmetics combine CBD with essential oils and other active ingredients to help reduce inflammation, pain and stress while promoting anti-aging and skin vibrancy.
  • CBD infused topicals carefully indicate benefits of skin protection, muscle pain relief and many other benefits.
  • Infused waters and syrups imply medical value and mood/relaxation benefits.
  • There were a variety of vendors displaying other delivery forms including pen-like E-cigarette type devices, discrete canna-pouches (like chewing tobacco in a small teabag) sprays, crystals, vitamin dots and more.

My visit to the CWCBExpo was reminiscent of my annual visit to the Fancy Foods Show. It was exciting to see the new ventures and speak with passionate entrepreneurs about their businesses. I’ll be willing to bet that many of these will over time become block-buster, mainstream products.

The time is right. Turn on the news any morning and local and world events are likely to produce high stress. This world of cannabis is promising some relief.

I invite your comments!

Laurie Tema-Lyn, laurie@practical-imagination.com

 

 

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Musings: Planting Peas and the Low Growth Trap
June 8, 2016

Dear Readers;

It’s been a long tradition of mine to plant my seeds for sweet peas in the ground on Patriot’s Day (this year it was on April 18). I get to harvest them before the 4th of July. As I was working the damp, rich soil, I thought of parallels to the work I do as creative catalyst, consultant and qualitative market researcher.

I plant peas in early Spring with the expectation of a hearty yield in summer. I become “Earth Mom” to my seedlings, committing to nurture and protect them with water and compost, thinning when needed, and providing support stakes as they grow. I know from years gone by that I’ll worry about their conditions when my business takes me on the road and hope my husband has the good sense to water them. Of course, there are no guarantees! Peas need the sustenance of natural forces–sun and warmth, a kind wind and non-invasive pests. As a gardener for many years I know the success rate is never a 100%, but it’s always bountiful and delicious.

I’ve heard that peas can grow under artificial light, but if they receive just a one second burst of natural, full-spectrum light they will open their leaves every 24 hours after that to look for more? I like that I don’t have to teach peas how to be peas; growth decisions are built in if they get what they need, when they need it. If the afore-mentioned clueless husband forgets to water them for 3 days and then drowns them right before I come home, in hopes I won’t notice, I will…and the plants will suffer. Delivering the right stuff but too late for the growth cycle just encourages decay, pests and the wrath of Mother Nature.

A report just issued by an international economic agency, The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development noted that there is increasing pessimism about global economic growth. This is due to volatility in financial markets, the potential British exit from the European Union and Europe’s inability to find a common response to the refugee problem. OECD said that this weak growth was becoming chronic. “This low growth trap involves a cycle in which diminished expectations become self-fulfilling,” said Angel Gurria, the OECD’s Secretary-General.

We’ve seen this cycle repeated many times. In periods of uncertainty many firms cut back on expenditures, and are cautious about innovation. While this financial strategy may make sense for the short term, we all know that it’s sure to have impact on what can be brought to the table in the future. Conserving resources, especially during drought, is prudent for the crops we have in the ground already. But planting for future crops we’ll need is an absolute requirement so we don’t eat up all our past work.

How to get more “bang” for the investment dollars you do have? Perhaps this year’s innovation activities are not focused on new products, but on ways to make better use current resources.

Some years ago we worked with a major brand that was being asked to slash 10 million dollars in business expenditures! A mind-boggling number for sure, and the first reaction was to consider letting go of large numbers of personnel. Fortunately a visionary leader intervened. We worked closely together with him running a series of innovation meetings with different business stakeholders: from first line supervisors at the plants, to members of the executive leadership team. It was the creative factory workers who first noticed significant ways to save money through some easy-to-implement changes. Continued idea development resulted in short term net growth! The long-term result was huge savings to the business and no one was let go! We’re very proud of that work.

For other clients, innovation investment in lean times has focused on developing deeper insight into existing customers’ needs, creating more distinctive and compelling communications or improving upon product packaging to make it more user-friendly.

Would your business like to have a great harvest this year? If so, let’s talk! We can strategize about an ideation or research plan that’s effective, productive and mindful of your dollars.

Laurie Tema-Lyn

Practical Imagination Enterprises, laurie@practical-imagination.com

Office: 908-237-2246; Mobile: 908-399-9460

MUSINGS on Pi…and what’s in a name
March 14, 2015

Dear Readers;

Happy Pi Day!

It’s 3/14/15 and the world is a buzz! Today is the only day this century that matches pi, the mathematical ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi can be rounded off to 3.1415, but in actually goes on infinitely, like imagination, it has no endpoint. Pi has been one of the central problem solving tools for centuries.

Now I have always had a particular fondness for the circle, more so than straight lines or angles. Circles are prominent in my home décor. And for years we’ve built my vegetable garden as raised beds within a large circle. Circles are power symbols for me.

In 1995, when I decided to re-form my work life and start a new consulting firm I knew I wanted just the right name and symbol to convey my offering. Self-reflection and brainstorming with my husband and close friends led to the name Practical Imagination…. a company devoted to engaging imaginative, creative thinking yet also focused toward practicality and problem solving so that “ideas” could become “reality” and brought to market. But then we playfully thought, wow, if we add an “e” we would have PIE. We landed on “Enterprises” to encompass a wide range of services and activities that we would serve up to clients to help them grow. Eureka! When I first said these three words, “Practical Imagination Enterprises” I knew it was exactly what I wanted to convey.

Practical Imagination Enterprises® has served us well all these years as we offer product innovation, marketing and research consulting services drawing upon three streams of expertise: diverse client teams, consumer/customer teams and outside Idea Sparks or Thought Leaders. We mix it all together in an approach that is multi-layered and playful.

Of course it’s no accident that our initials are PIE! But rather than “pie in the sky,” our logo is a global balloon, whose string is gently looped around the company name to signify that it is grounded.

Now for that other meaning… I think tonight is a good time for a tangy, sweet slice of apple pie a la mode.

 

Cheers!

Laurie Tema-Lyn

Practical Imagination Enterprises

laurie@practical-imagination.com

908237-2246

Musings on “Rewiring”
November 19, 2014

Dear Readers;photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

I was catching up with an old friend the other night who mentioned that his wife had retired, taken up watercolors. She was framing this stage of her life not as “retirement” but as “rewiring.” I thought that was a pretty cool idea and wanted to share it with my friends and colleagues.

Then, the very next night, my husband and I found ourselves confronted with a shocking event that is forcing us to do some re-wiring too, in myriad ways.

Ron is an oral historian and had a lovely studio, a small wood building on our property. For reasons as yet unknown, the place went up in flames Saturday night. It was dramatic for our normally quiet country neighborhood. Fire engines, emergency vehicles, floodlights and neighbors flocking to see the goings on. It seemed like a movie set. But in the next morning it was clear that all the contents of the studio were destroyed. Ron’s vast collection of books, computers and recording equipment, many personal stories and so much more, now just ashes.

We’re trying to piece together information and memories to re-create an inventory of the material possessions, so we can work with the insurance company. Then we’ll be able to clean up the debris and rebuild- but perhaps a bird and butterfly oasis and garden, not another structure.

The fire caused a great loss, sadness, thankfully not a tragedy, as our home was untouched and we are safe. And it is one of those kick-in-the-face events that forces us both to re-evaluate…how we work, how we live, what we can do better, what we can learn from this, what re-wiring we want to do professionally and personally.

Not unnoticed is the fact that we’re both Aries; fire is our element. I have a basic trust that out of the ashes will emerge something new and wonderful if we let it.

Is there some “re-wiring” that you need to do in your work life or personal life too?

Feel free to drop me a line and share a story. We can build collective testimonies.

Laurie Tema-Lyn
Practical Imagination Enterprises
laurie@practical-imagination.com
908-237-2246