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At Konica Minolta, we have a strong mission to drive STEM education in the U.S., using technology to advance thinking and foster creativity around innovations that address 21st-century challenges. We are a technology company, but we are also driven to make a difference for students, specifically by supporting the diverse learning experiences within their educational environments, and piquing their interest in developing the designs of our future. (more…)
Today marks the fifth annual #GivingTuesday, celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and on the heels of the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable giving season, encouraging social action, collaboration and generosity.
At Konica Minolta, we’re committed to making our world a better place. It’s engrained in our corporate culture and stems from our philosophy which aims to “create value for society.” As a global company, we work hard to use our wide-reaching resources and expertise to contribute to the greater good. We’re promoting environmental sustainability by continually developing and perfecting the greenest products and solutions on the market. This year we’ve even added the new goal of achieving “Carbon Minus” status to our long term environmental plan, Eco Vision 2050.
Here in the U.S. our employees are changing our world for the better everyday. This year alone, we’ve put more than 3,000 books into the homes of young readers from low-income families, contributed $6,000 to breast cancer research and devoted hundreds of volunteer hours to harvesting vegetables for local food banks and rebuilding our communities. Konica Minolta has also contributed $40,000 in matched donations to nonprofit organizations important to our employees through our newly launched Matching Contributions Program. These are all achievements to be proud of and inspire us to continue to think of new and creative ways that we can pay it forward in the coming year.
That’s the beauty of giving, there are seemingly infinite ways that every person can make the world a better place, and as a company that values innovation and creativity, we are well equipped to come up with solutions to problems. This year, I read the brilliantly written book, “Half the Sky” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It was an eye-opening glimpse into one of the largest humanitarian issues facing our world today, the oppression of so many women and girls in developing countries. More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, just because of their gender, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century. But the authors suggest that there is an attainable solution; by providing financial support and education to th
ese women and girls, oppression can be turned into opportunity.
I came away from the book wanting to help. The Lady Savant Foundation recently opened a school for 6th – 8th grade students in Cambodia and are actively seeking funds and educational materials to support the school and their “Girls Be Ambitious” program, an incentive program to keep girls safe, educated, and out of human trafficking circles. The Foundation teams up with the ArtWare organization, to run creative team building events to design tiles for charitable causes. During December, a group of Konica Minolta employees will have the opportunity to design educational “ABC” tiles that will be installed on the walls of the school in 2018. I’m excited to see what our employees create together and thrilled that we will be contributing directly to such an important cause.
This #GivingTuesday, take a moment to think about what you can do to give back. Whether the gesture is large or small, creative or simple, every act of kindness makes the world a better place. At Konica Minolta, we’re excited for what the New Year holds and look forward to continuing to provide innovative solutions of all kinds in 2018!
JP Parmley, Education Practice Director, All Covered
This past week, the Business Innovation Center launched a telemedicine pilot – BIC Health Innovation – based on months of customer discussions and market validation. Our key customer feedback derived from our Healthcare Advisory Council. The HAC, composed of 12 distinguished healthcare experts and 13 Konica Minolta executives and leaders, provides insightful feedback into our healthcare strategy and continues the dialogue about evolving opportunity in the industry.
At our second HAC meeting, we focused on going deeper into the areas that were identified in August’s inaugural meeting. Specially, we focused on validating the need for a top-tier telemedicine solution that could be supported using Konica Minolta’s existing expertise in healthcare.
As I stood in front of 40 Konica Minolta executives and dealers, I was struck by the fact that this wasn’t a typical meeting. Office chairs were replaced with couches and the room echoed with spontaneous gasps and “wows.” This was the WorkSmart Startup Showcase.
The Startup Showcase occurs several times a year and highlights best-in-class emerging technologies. At the most-recent showcase, Greg Lok, WorkSmart Strategy Lead, highlighted products and solutions that enable a unified smart office. From improving meetings and communications to managing guests and understanding physical layouts, these products are designed to improve the way the workplace functions. They aren’t meant to replace workers but instead free them to focus on higher-value tasks.
The holidays are a time of joy and goodwill. Never have those sentiments been as necessary as now.
We hear every day of tragedy and hatred. Events that make us wonder what has happened to humanity. It is very easy to allow these actions to negatively impact our lives. It is very easy to close ourselves off and live in fear and doubt.
But that is not our way. I see every day how every one of you continues to embody what is good about this world. Your kindnesses are simple: holding the elevator or paying for a colleague’s coffee. Your kindnesses are large: embracing the myriad corporate citizenship initiatives that we support. From growing beards to planting gardens, collecting books to stuffing backpacks, with each gesture, each effort to lend a hand, you make it known that Konica Minolta cares about every person on this planet.
The Business Innovation Center has groundbreaking ideas at its very core. This is evident since “innovation” is literally our middle name.
Since our creation a year ago, we have operated as a startup backed by the power and prestige of a global company, giving us the resources and organizational autonomy to bring disruptive technology to life.
So, the saying goes, “The more I learn, the more I realize the less I know.” Attending South by Southwest (SXSW) this past weekend absolutely made me feel dumb and old.
Dubbed the largest interactive, film and music festival in the United States, the event attracts over 72,000 people and spans 10 hotels and multiple event locations throughout downtown Austin, Texas. The interactive programming sessions encompassed tracks arranged around themes that touched on robotics, content, art and science, healthcare, wearables, gaming, global impact, and so much more.
The results show that the most innovative 20% of companies have already grown at a rate 16% higher than the least innovative. This means that, on average, each of the most innovative companies delivered a quarter of a billion dollars of additional revenue over the past three years, compared with the least innovative (Shelton & Percival, 2013). By interviewing more than 1,500 executives, PricewaterhouseCoopers found there was a clear correlation between innovation and growth. They isolated several key components to identify what the most innovative companies were doing compared to the least innovative. The report’s findings line up closely with the strategies of the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Center North America.
I recently attended a Women in Strategy Summit in New York City, which highlighted many amazing women that were leading strategy and innovations within their organizations. It really brought to light that while there continues to be discussions on the gender gap (read Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”), another emerging conversation is centered on diversity – in gender, in race, in age and in creative thought.
Diversity in the work place is one of the key drivers to fostering creativity and innovation in business. Studies have proven that project teams with members who have diverse backgrounds and experiences not only help shape the final outcome but enable the team to be more effective at the process of managing innovation. Forbes conducted a 2011 survey of 321 global organizations with over $500M in annual revenue and 85 percent agree or strongly agree that diversity is crucial to fostering innovation in the workplace. (more…)