About Workforce Echoes

Friday, August 14, 2009

Speaking of Innovation!

What’s all this talk about innovation?

Is YOUR company innovative? We hear more and more about this topic because today the world changes more in a year than it used to change in 50 years. Technology, medical advances, communication, science and other areas are developing at exponential rates. It used to be that being creative and innovative helped your business stand out from the rest. Now it is the difference between surviving or getting run over.

Given our poor economy, many businesses prefer to look for quick solutions, low risk solutions, or the “low hanging fruit.” Leaders become risk averse. I read a great book related to this topic, “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Kim and Mauborgne. The authors contend that too many industries compete in over-crowded territory. The key is to find uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant. Think about all the huge corporations today that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. Cell phones, social networking, Ipods, and a long list of other once innovative thoughts have changed the way we live and communicate. Innovation is about seeing the opportunities in a problem rather than just the obstacles. Are bookstores going out of business? Not if they think outside the box, find opportunities, and change the way they do business. “We’ve always done it this way” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

What's your strategy and goal for your business, school or association over the next 3 to five years? How do you want to be positioned in the marketplace? Are you paying attention to the trends in your industry, the met and unmet needs in your customer base?

Begin by encouraging new ideas and thoughts from all employees; then act on the best of those ideas. Hold a brainstorming session, evaluate the ideas, then put plans in place to turn the best ideas into action.

You can find Blue Ocean Strategy on www.amazon.com.

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