Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 17th 2013 Contents A31
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For investors who
want a piece of Ameri-
can Airlines, it s good-
bye AMR, hello AAL.
The airline to be
formed by the merger of
American and US Air-
ways said Friday it will
use the ticker symbol
"AAL" and trade on the
Nasdaq Stock Market.
AMR Corp had traded
on the New York Stock
Exchange under the
"AMR" symbol, al-
though the shares have
traded only over the
counter since shortly
after the company s
November 2011 bank-
The new company
will be called American
Airlines Group Inc and
based in Fort Worth,
Entrepreneurs often stand as the
metaphorical David against huge
goals that appear like Goliaths in
their paths to success. The goals
can seem unreachable and the chal-
David used a slingshot to defeat
his enemy. For entrepreneurs and
business leaders, Gabor George Burt
recommends The Slingshot Frame-
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Burt
is an internationally recognised
expert on innovation and creativity.
His work focuses on how they relate
to business strategy development.
He holds a BA degree from
Amherst College in psychology as
well as an MBA degree from
INSEAD, one of the world s leading
graduate business schools.
In essence, Gabor s Slingshot
Framework is an actionable guide
for connecting creativity to leadership
and business strategy.
It s based on the key premise that
you can never have a continually
satisfied customer. The most you
can have is an infatuated customer.
In order to infatuate your customer
on a long-term basis you must pro-
vide work or lifestyle enrichment
that s relevant to them.
"We have the opportunity to con-
tinuously re-infatuate our target
audience" said Gabor during his TED
Talk in 2011. But this re-infatuation
can only be done through innovation.
"Without continuous innovation
and a vision to be market driving,
an entire region or economy can
quickly become irrelevant."
There s a good reason why this
strategy is named after one of the
world s simplest children s toys.
"The image of a slingshot is sym-
bolic of the framework in many
ways," Gabor said in an interview
with The Executive Search Blog in
As children, our imagination is
limitless. We can dream of infinite
possibilities and believe them to be
true. As we get older, however, our
thinking becomes more restricted
and confined within the rules of
conventional wisdom. This severely
limits our problem solving capabil-
ities, says Gabor.
We live in a fast paced world that s
changing continuously. New prob-
lems can t be solved using old meth-
Between September 2009 and
January 2010, IBM interviewed more
than 1,500 CEOs and investigated
what was the most important quality
they need to be successful in the
current business climate.
An overwhelming majority of the
CEOs responded that creativity was
the most important quality that
would ensure current and future
How can re-engaging childhood
creativity manifest itself into tangible
Burt is the chief architect of the
Immersive Executive Experience
series, an exclusive forum for exec-
utives who want to explore the
advantages of adventurous learning.
He is actively involved in shaping
strategy for a diverse group of clients
ranging from Fortune 500 companies
to successful start-ups.
His advice to CEOs on becoming
more creative leaders is to embrace
their imagination and also to cap-
italise on the collective imagination
of the organisation.
"Look upon components of your
environment as building blocks to
combine and repackage with your
current offering in meaningful new
ways," says Burt. "Doing this will
enable you to continuously push the
boundaries of your business for
The same applies to entrepreneurs
who are launching new products
into the marketplace. Gabor advises
that companies no longer strive to
create perfect ready made products.
Rather they should seek to offer
the market the optimal amount of
customisable option that virtually
allows the consumer to create the
perfect product themselves. Product
personalisation is the name of the
Take the example of Lego in 2010.
Businessweek observed: "Kids with
Lego sets were once content to follow
instructions and assemble a toy. If
the picture on the box was a bat-
tleship, that s what you built---unless
you decided to skip the instructions,
mix in other blocks, and build
mutant battleships instead.
"Lego s DesignByME site brings
some order to this chaos, offering
digital design tools so kids can create
a toy entirely from their imagination.
"When satisfied, they simply zip
their creation to the company. Lego
will then manufacture the parts and
send them in a box the kids also
One of the counter-arguments to
Gabor s methods is that in this cur-
rent difficult economic climate it s
difficult to focus on innovation and
creativity when they re focused on
maintaining their bottom-line.
"A period of adversity is also a
period of opportunity. It just depends
on your perspective," he says. There-
fore, it s not implicitly necessary to
trade vision for practicality. Rather,
the trade-off should be between a
rigid view of circumstances
entrenched in the status quo and a
more creative, proactive and flexible
With a slingshot you apply tension
to an elastic material to launch a
projectile forward. This is symbolic
of how the strategy works.
"It enables us to continuously
apply tension against self-imposed
mental boundaries, thereby launch-
ing us forward to new possibilities."
So how can local entrepreneurs,
business leaders and policy makers
learn and apply these strategies to
innovate in a local context? The
Innovation Forum is here to answer
The conference, hosted by the
Council for Competitiveness and
Innovation (CCI), is an event that s
designed to engender a culture of
sustainable innovation in T&T.
The goal of the event is to expose
entrepreneurs and innovators to a
tool set of cutting edge strategies
that will take them from creative
business idea to market readiness
There will also be sessions for pol-
icy makers in the public sector on
the role they play in creating the
conditions where such innovations
and creativity can thrive.
Gabor George Burt will be the
keynote speaker at the conference
which takes place Tuesday at the
Hyatt Regency. For more information
visit the Innovation Forum s website
at www. Iforumtt.com, or email
New American Airlines will be listed on Nasdaq
A slingshot solutions for
Goliaths affecting business
Gabor George Burt is an
recognised expert on
unveils a new
company logo and
scheme on a
aircraft on January
17, 2013 in Dallas,
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