Futurists are usually right, at the wrong time. The thing about true innovation, is almost everything is an expansion on an older idea. It isn’t until time and technology converge at that perfect moment that great ideas are executed. Ideas tend to spark well before the execution due to lack or resources, namely practicality.
Next Time, Really Put Everything Is On The Table. Go There.
The Hope: Your leaders take whatever risks they need to in order to get the job done.
The Reality: Your leaders are risk averse, hoping that their less-than-bold moves trigger some kind of true change.
How many times have you heard, in the midst of a crisis, that “everything is on the table” when in reality, there are very few things on the table? Typically, in my experience, that phrase is only used instead of the blunter “Someone here is going to have to make a sacrifice, and just so you know, it won’t be me”.
Are Your “Telling” Your People To Innovate?
Now you may ask yourself, “Why is my company not innovative?”
You may be thinking to yourself:
- Why can’t we be as innovative as everybody else in our space?
- Why can’t we leapfrog our competitors?
- Why can’t we envision innovative new products, services, or IP?
- Why are we struggling to innovate?
- Why can’t we go there?
Our competitors seem to be able to do it very easily and very quickly. Why can’t we?
I think it’s a simple thing, a very simple thing.
Innovate By Triggering Simple Semantic Shifts
Disruptive new and innovative products need not be created through completely new thinking. In fact, completely new thinking can sometimes be difficult, requiring a completely different growth mindset, environment, and team. It’s something you may not have access to, or be able to whip up at a moments notice, when you need some innovation to occur, or a challenge to solve.
To Innovate, You Must Do Something Different. It’s Harder Than It Sounds.
Just read (actually listened to) Smarter Faster Better, the latest book by Charles Duhigg, the author of the Power Of Habit (also another great book). Great book, highly recommended. In one of the chapters, he describes an interesting experiment.
To Innovate, You Must Learn To Be Fearless
Did you know that the fear of public speaking is even worse than the fear of death for most people? Yes, some people prefer almost anything to standing in front of a crowd and talking. Innovation is almost as bad at some companies – I’ve heard it said a number of different ways, but it all boils down to one thing, a fear to innovate:
To Innovate, You Need More Than Creativity
Recently, I read the Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads on Innovation. Although my initial intention was to take a look at the latest articles on innovation, I came across this package of articles that said: “To innovate profitably, you need more than just creativity (emphasis added). Do you have what it takes? If you read nothing else on inspiring and executing innovation, read these 10 articles…” So, I did.
Go There, To Innovate
Let me know if you’ve experienced this because I have.
Remember the last time you were in a brainstorming session. Maybe you all sat down to address a specific challenge, like “We need to increase revenues” or “Competitor XYZ is eating our lunch and we have to react”, or maybe you had something specific, like “We need to reduce costs in this office by at least 30%”, or maybe you had no challenge at all – it was just a general brainstorming session to come up with new ideas.
If You Don’t Experiment, You Can’t Innovate
Bill Gates seems to be in the news a lot lately – just a few days ago he said that it’s OK if half of the startups which comes out of Silicon Valley are “silly”, and just yesterday he came out with a statement saying that it’s preposterous that there has been a “pause” in innovation – that innovation is slowing down.