it comes to the concept of innovation, it’s not uncommon for many enterprises
and individuals to struggle – big ideas seldom happen, or come to fruition,
overnight. But to overcome these initial stumbling blocks, and be more
successful in business, all it often takes is a slight shift in thinking… one
which can quickly send your prospects soaring into overdrive. Case in point: What
people don’t realize is that innovation is often about evolution, not revolution – little changes that make big impacts. Huge
breakthroughs and game-changing discoveries are certainly helpful, but even a
slight repositioning in strategy or approach can help you get unstuck, and
provide significant windfalls. So if you or your organization aren’t ready to
think big yet in terms of innovating, fine – often, you can still win by thinking
Consider the case of Target, among
today’s most colossal retail chains. When the company wanted to increase
revenues? It didn’t open more giant strip mall outlets. It launched pint-sized
store prototypes in major cities nationwide. These locations don’t just feature
products in smaller sizes (imagine a four-pack of toilet paper – who doesn’t
love the fun size?). They also equip salespeople with mobile scanners so
fast-moving urban shoppers can enjoy storewide checkouts, and – like many
bookstores – do a great deal of business selling locally-branded merchandise.
This concept, designed to leverage the brand’s cachet in new and novel ways,
hasn’t just provided significant gains. It’s been so successful that Target’s
nearly doubled the number of these stores in just one year.
Again, innovation is easier than you think. And whether your
organization is a small or grand-scale retail operation, you can absolutely,
positively put the same strategic principles that today’s most successful
change management practitioners leverage to work at every level. As part of our
research for new book Make Change Work
for You, we recently had the pleasure to speak with dozens of leading
experts in every field. What we discovered is that leading businesses and
individuals use a simple, four-step recipe for staying ahead of the curve. These
market leaders encourage you to:
a culture of empowerment and trust where everyone feels comfortable speaking
up. Leading organizations empower their people, encourage them to speak up, and
reward them for bringing potential opportunities and issues to light, or
bringing new trends and tools to their attention.
rethink problems, perspectives, and the status quo. Leading organizations
expect their people to constantly reconsider whether “the way it’s always
been done” is still the best way to do it.
change. Leading organizations expect their employees to be creative, constantly
seek better ways to do business, and be agile,
flexible and dedicated about responding to changes in the business
smart bets. Leading organizations try to be risk-averse, not risk-free. To find
and seize on new opportunities, they know they have to constantly make measured
gambles with new promotions, products and programs. So they do so
strategically: By encouraging employees to constantly experiment and play lots
of small, cost-affordable bets, iterating as they go until one or more pay off.
For these enterprises, failure is simply a learning opportunity.
short, leading organizations keep their eyes and ears peeled, remain
open-minded, and boldly improvise as situations change. You can continue to go
from strength to strength by doing the same in your own enterprise.
speaker Scott Steinberg is a bestselling expert on leadership and
innovation, and the author of Make Change Work
for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed
Despite Uncertainty. Among today’s leading providers of keynote speeches, workshops
and seminars for Fortune 500 firms,
his website is www.AKeynoteSpeaker.com.