Boating Industry

November 2016

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Page 8 of 51 November 2016 | Boating Industry | 9 BI: What are the biggest roadblocks for com- panies developing creativity and innovation? LINKNER: The biggest roadblock in harnessing creativity and innovation has nothing to do with natural talent. The single biggest inhibitor is fear. Fear is a poisonous force that robs us of our best thing. I'm going to share some specific ideas techniques that helps us rise above that fear. If we can create a safe environment for ourselves and those around us, our creativity will soar. Remove the fear and creativity fills the room. BI: Can an established business reinvent itself to become more creative? LINKNER: A lot of times when you think about innovation, you think about start-ups. And, yes, companies like Uber and Groupon are taking over the world and doing incredibly inno- vative things. But that doesn't mean established companies can't do the same. In fact, there are many examples of deeply established busi- nesses that are pushing the boundaries. And the opposite is true as well. Sometimes start-ups are rather bureaucratic and clunky, so it goes both ways. Creative thinking is a mindset; it has nothing to do with the length of our business life, how many employees we have, or our balance sheet. I'm going to share some ideas of how established businesses, like many of the dealers in the room, can take a hard look in the mirror, confront existing traditions, really challenge assumptions, and ultimately rise above those. It's much better to be the disruptor than the dis- ruptee. It's funny, because when I was building my own companies, I had a saying, "One day a company will come along and put us out of business – it might as well be us." I think that dealers can take that same approach, and reex- amine practices that may have been successful in the past that are no longer relevant. But today, with the rate of change being different, technol- ogy being different, buyers being different, we need to adapt and optimize for the current situ- ation. Creativity and innovation is our path to get there, and on December 6, I'll share some specific approaches that do just that. BI: What do you think is important for attendees to know about your background? LINKNER: Well, I'm a pretty unusual guy! First of all, I'm a marine fan. I had a pontoon boat for years and my dad had a beautiful sailboat, an Island Packet. ... But besides that, I'm an entrepreneur. So I've started, built and sold four tech companies, each of which were very dis- ruptive in the field. After that, I became a venture capital investor, investing in other start-ups who were trying to take on the established business giants. I've had the chance to write two books on creativity and innovation, trying to demystify this rather squishy topic. Like you, I'm a busi- ness person by trade. So, I'm not going to show you a bunch of fluff, I'm going to share specific approaches that you can take to drive your business to the next level. Embracing, start-up creativity, embracing innovation and applying them specifically to your world. It's not going to be some esoteric college lecture, it's going to be fun, practical and inspiring, and I hope I'm going to be able to move you into action! Kawasaki introduces stand-up Jet Ski SX-R for 2017 Kawasaki is introducing a four-stroke stand-up personal watercraft, the Jet Ski SX-R, for 2017. Equipped with Kawasaki's 1498cc four- stroke marine engine, the Jet Ski SX-R per- sonal watercraft produces twice the power of Kawasaki's previous stand-up model while also delivering plenty of low-to-mid-range torque. The V-shaped hull is designed to allow for sharp cornering and the Kawasaki Splash Deflector (KSD) helps reduce the amount of unwanted splash over the front. Also, the rectangular shaped rider tray puts the rider in a more natural riding position. The Kawasaki Jet Ski SX-R watercraft's engine carries the Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle heritage as it was derived from the Ninja ZX- 14R power plant and has been proven in Ka- wasaki's naturally aspirated Jet Ski watercraft lineup. The four-stroke engine allows this stand-up model to meet U.S. EPA emissions as well as providing a linear torque curve. Digital fuel injection allows for easier start- ing and includes a 60mm mechanical throttle body mated to a resin-type intake manifold. To allow for a moderate hull size, the water muffler is slimmer and more compact than the Jet Ski STX-15F model. Bass Pro Shops to acquire Cabela's Bass Pro Shops will acquire competitor Ca- bela's Incorporated, the two companies an- nounced in October. Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela's for $65.50 per share in cash, representing an ag- Kawasaki's new SX-R

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