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| Issue 23 |
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Ari Manor, CEO, ZOOZ
An interview with a senior executive
Ran Braier, Director of Innovation, Lahav Division, the Israel Aerospace Industries
- Number of company
- Number of direct
- We provide: Upgraded military aviation vehicles.
- I have been in my
position for: Two and a half
years. In the past I was a combat pilot in the Air
Force and a flight instructor in Colombia (4.5 years).
Later on I studied Economics and Business
Administration at Derby, and concurrently I was Deputy
Head of the International Marketing Administration of
the Lahav Division (6.5 years), and that is how I made
it to my current position.
- What I like about the
job: The innovation - being
engaged in special projects that aren't done in other
places - disruptive innovation and breakthrough
innovation. It's fascinating. There's a lot of
irregularity, creativity, and imagination.
- The most difficult
part of the job: When
innovative things encounter a lot of skepticism and
resistance, and it is sometimes difficult to change
people's way of thinking and routine. It's already
easier nowadays since we have already managed to prove
that innovation works for us, and we get more credit.
Another thing that is perhaps the most difficult is to
know how to predict the behavior of a market that is
still non-existent. To assess how a truly innovative
product or service will be accepted.
- Goals I want to
attain: At work - to create
breakthrough products that will make a significant
change in the Aerospace Industries and possibly even
in the entire State of Israel. In life - I really
personally connect to innovation and I am able to
express myself, and therefore I see myself in this
field in the future as well, both in the Aerospace
Industries in the near future, and perhaps later on in
other frameworks as well. In the more distant future I
would like to cause the vision of innovation to be
exported outside of the Aerospace Industries, to other
fields in Israel.
- Our vision: To be a global leader in the field of
upgrading military aviation vehicles. This is a vision
that began with the cancellation of the Lavi project.
At the beginning we focused on combat planes, and
later, on all the military aviation vehicles
(transport, observation, helicopters, etc.)
- An original product
in the market: Ground robotics
- we developed a sort of robotic patrol vehicle for
border protection and carrying out ongoing security
tasks. This is an example of disruptive innovation
that we promoted in our innovation team. The idea
sprung from an employee in the Customer Service
Department at Lahav. He expressed the idea when the
discussion on whether or not there would be a
Separation Fence began. This is currently a product
that will soon enter operational service and save
human lives and costs.
- Sources of
innovation: We conduct an organized and
serious collection of ideas from a very large group of
people - more than a thousand employees, and other
people that they know. We have developed a type of
idea generator here. The ideas change later on, but
the start-up is provided by the original core ideas
that we collect from everybody. The testing process
that we conduct for the ideas that are promoted
reinforces the ideas and intensifies their power. For
the most part, very few entrepreneurs have the energy
to promote ideas, and the innovation team is capable -
beyond collection - of setting these ideas in motion -
in aspects of continued development, checking business
expectations, testing technological programming,
registering relevant patents, and subsequent
commercialization. We are actually an infrastructure
for turning raw ideas into commercial ones - and for
this purpose we have people, financial resources, and
time at our disposal.
professional book: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box, published by the Arbinger Institute. The book is great for managers, gives a slightly different outlook on human relationships and managing people, and helps to lead people in productive directions. To purchase the book: Amazon.
- Send comments to: email@example.com
- Would you like to be interviewed?: contact us
- Information about Innovation
Management workshops and Idea Banks is available here (PDF file
A must-read book for managers
Personal File / Ayelet Carmel / Yedioth Ahronoth Publishers
Published in The Marker
Magazine, July 2006, September 2006, in "The
Management Bookworm" column written by Ari Manor, CEO of ZOOZ.
Reading biographies can be an enjoyable activity. You can relate to the heroes, and maybe even fantasize about being in their shoes. But in my Management Bookworm column I also look for more concrete benefits to justify the time spent reading the book. Perhaps a few good recommendations and tips that will teach you how to manage better, or tricks of the trade and business gossip, exposing how things really happen behind the scenes of one industry or another. A good business biography, similar to a reality show, allows us to enjoy and also develop. It helps us be clever, in other words to learn from others' experiences.
Something else to take into account is that biographies, for the most part, are as interesting as the people they are written about. For example, the books written about Lee Iacocca, Jack (Welch), and Rudy Giuliani are all fascinating books that feature a no-less interesting personality. Other superb biographies such as The Warren Buffett Way, and My Years with General Motors (written by Alfred Sloan, a book that was given rave reviews in this section in the past), actually focus on the described personality's insights and management methods, but it is still evident that the personality being discussed is colorful and exceptional.
The book I will recommend this time contains 40 brief biographies of global-scale tycoons. Five pages are written about each one, which briefly describe their childhood, education, career, family status and personal wealth, also management methods, principles of conduct, values and beliefs, unique hobbies, favorite quotes and other descriptive characteristics. The book, called Personal File, was published this year by Yedioth Ahronoth, within the framework of its new Business People series, and it appears to be the most interesting book in the series to date.
The book's main forte is its scope, and the scope of the information provided about each of the forty heroes. Imagine that you are speed dating the biggest tycoons in the world. You can start with the subjects that interest you. If you are interested in hardware - meet Michael Dell (Dell), Steve Jobs (Sun), Andy Groove (Intel), and John Chambers (Cisco). And if Finance is more your thing, then you'll definitively want to meet Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Charles Schwab, Sandy Weill (Chairperson of Citigroup), Peter Lynch, and even Michael Milican (the garbage dump king).
The really captivating dates in the book are those that don't even make headlines in Israel, and may even be unknown to us altogether, even if they were self-made millionaires. For example, Lee Ka-shing, known as Superman in the Hong Kong tabloids. The first company that he established, at age 22, manufactured artificial flowers. Today he is 78 years old, worth 13 billion dollars, and owns, among the rest, the Hutchinson Corporation (of which Orange belongs to).
Personal File is a good starting point for anyone who quickly wants to fill in gaps in their knowledge and be perceived as up-to-date in casual and management conversations. True, it is a digest version book, which for the most part does not explain the great secrets of success, but it is possible to understand what fields money is made in, and to take a peek behind their scenes. You can draw many conclusions from reading in between the lines, and to see the money trail that links various tycoons (whose paths cross), for example. By reading the book you can also enhance your connection with a few of the heroes, and read complete biographies about them. In summary, this is a manager's book with a winning formula: easy to read, contains a lot of information, and saves valuable time. True and tested speed dating.
An innovation which
surprised the world market and competitors
The Folding Fridge
Who said that the Chinese aren't innovative? Take Jackson Chan for example, who realized that he didn't have a cold drink while he was playing golf in his native Hong Kong. Jackson wasn't lazy. He gave the issue some serious thought and invented a new and special portable fridge. It is actually a carry bag that can be stored folded up (in a space saving manner) in your household freezer, and whose sides freeze overnight and release cold into the inside of the bag for an entire day afterwards. This gives you a compact and economizing portable fridge that does not consume electricity or batteries, and cools its contents well and for a long time.
Over time Mr. Chan's invention has become a number of product lines currently sold all over the world, and all belonging to one brand-name, called Fridge-to-go. This brand name has developed products designated for beer and wine, for various types of sports, and food bags for babies, children, and working people. The products are marketed in three main lines, cooling for 8, 12, and even 16 continuous hours (the most expensive line). You can see it for yourself in a video report about Fridge-to-go - broadcasted on an American network. So, if the Americans are getting excited about a Chinese innovation, who are we not to praise Mr. Chan…