If Innovation Generates Revenue Growth – What’s Stopping You?

by James on June 5, 2009

Business innovation is important. Agreed. Innovation can generate revenue growth.  Agreed again. So what’s stopping you?

Resistance to change might be stopping you. It’s insidious. Want to experience it? Sleep on the other side of the bed tonight. Want to overcome it? Read on.

Familiarity or comfort with the status quo is often at the root of resistance to change. It can also be a path to a solution. But becoming familiar with a new paradigm isn’t an intellectual exercise. You have to choose the new path and you have to give it time.

If you sleep on the other side of the bed tonight it will feel very strange. Do it again the following night, and the next night too, and soon it won’t feel so weird. You have to force yourself to stop resisting, to become familiar with the change. As trite as it sounds, just do it.

True business innovation is uncomfortable. It should be. If it’s not then it probably isn’t real innovation. Live with the change. Stick to it. It’s unlikely your business will experience any real damage. If it will, then you have bigger problems. So give innovation a chance, give it a chance to improve your business and generate real sales growth.

Hip Shots

  • Identify the habits and practices that are restricting change. Sure, they exist for good reasons, reasons that are probably rooted in the history of your business, if they weren’t they wouldn’t exist. But that doesn’t make them sacrosanct. Choose to leave them behind.
  • Make business innovation someone’s job. Every company should have a Chief Innovation Officer. The CIO is the individual accountable for change. If you own a small business make it part of your job description. Set objectives and task and see them through.
  • Choose a business practice that’s restricting innovation and be arbitrary, just stop. Tell your staff or yourself to find a new way. Give the new business innovation time to become familiar.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

JJ Gray June 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

One exercise I’ve found helpful to spur change is to question little things. See if their original reasons for being so have changed.

Start small: why do we still use a fax machine? Then think bigger: why do we segment our audience the way we do? Then go even farther: why do we have five different price structures? Or why do we still put our application on DVD?

Just the act of questioning small things will start to make bigger questions seem far more obvious.

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