What a great way to distinguish between two often-used words. Thinking up new things is great, but without implementation, nothing happens. Essentially, therefore, Creativity + Work = Innovation, and innovation is what’s key to ongoing business success, as the economist and Harvard Business School professor, Theodore Levitt, knew.
But, as Roger von Oech said, “It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago but will soon be out of date.”
Business leaders need to be constantly looking at their businesses critically, talking with stakeholders and keeping abreast of trends, and understanding the patterns. Then, considering this information and coming up with ideas for improving their current processes, procedures, products and services – whether these be refinements to existing ones, or completely different approaches that will keep the company’s competitive advantage.
Some might appear so obvious one doesn’t understand why it wasn’t done before, such as Hampshire Country’ Council’s approach to road maintenance where they developed a mobile unit that mixed and kept heated, the ingredients for fixing potholes, rather than utilising the older method of trucks shuttling back between depots and road repair sites. This saved enormous amounts of time and money, while significantly reducing wastage, too, and yet seems so obvious.
Others are more complex, such as SpaceX developing boosters that could be reused by designing them so they could return to earth and land, rather than simply being ditched over an ocean.
Of course, great leaders don’t believe they have to come up with all the ideas themselves. They surround themselves with diverse thinkers, they encourage a culture of openness and questioning. They’re never satisfied with the way things are – complacency leads to failure in their view.
Are you questioning your business? Are you making time to gather information and opinions, and to think about how you can be even better? It could be some of the most valuable time you spend.
I work with successful owner-led businesses to enhance their growth, profitability and business value.
If you’d like to have a conversation about your business objectives and concerns, book a free 30-minute call with me here. I’d be delighted to talk with you.
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