In our ‘new normal’ economy we no longer have the luxury of being ‘fat and happy’. Just like other business owners and executives, I’ve been there multiple times in my career as a principal of a consulting firm.
For every nano-second we allow ourselves to coast, to wait and see, to continue business as usual, we are turning over the reins of our businesses to others.
If we are not gaining market share, we are losing market share.
We must innovate and we must innovate effectively. We must first assemble the ‘right team’ to innovate. We must then research our options by inquiring of our best customers what they want and need that we are not currently providing. How might we meet the customers’ needs in a more effective and efficient way?
We must reflect on our customers who drain us of energy, time and resources. How might we refer them to our competitors? We must ask ourselves tough questions and get the brutal facts out on the table.
Most importantly, we must get out of our comfort zones, bring clarity, focus and discipline to our innovative endeavors and be willing to look at our companies, products, services and customers from different perspectives.
Lastly, we cannot miss the important step of considering all potential unintended consequences of our innovative efforts.
By approaching innovation in a disciplined, thoughtful manner, our companies will grow, our people will grow and we will grow as leaders.
The gains in market share, revenue and profit will become automatic and predictable.