How often does your company make a quantum leap forward? My guess is that, on a scale from "frequently (10) ? to ? never (1)" the answer is much closer to "never" because few companies have a process to innovate or think creatively. Very few attempt to formally think through their business model, their relationships with staff, clients, and vendors, and their product / service offerings.
Most companies just follow the leaders in their industry. They continue to exist because they provide products and services in client-friendly, efficient manner. Without a culture and processes to foster innovation and creativity, they are stuck in a mode of growth based on population increase, customer loyalty, and inertia. They can't leap forward because they are held back by their "stuckness."
Leaping forward takes innovation, creativity, a culture of stretching boundaries, and a tolerance for limited risk. Innovation and creativity stretches the company and builds excitement within. The energy of that excitement is transformative. Great things can happen when a company becomes an innovative leader.
Unfortunately one cannot just "snap your fingers" and transform a "me too" company into one that grows and inspires by fostering creativity and innovation. It is a slow process in the beginning of the transformation. It starts when top management starts pulling the company into the realm of leaping forward by imagining the possibilities of an innovative future.
What would it take to make your company became an innovative industry leader? The obvious place to start is to ask whether you have an environment that supports innovation, a process for evaluating opportunities, and a system to implement change while minimizing risk. Start slowly by holding a series of short "innovative thinking" meetings on conceptual, long-term subjects to discover what you might accomplish if you innovate. Realize this might be a multi-year task. Then start developing that process towards the road of innovation, creative thinking, and ultimately, quantum leaps forward. The day to start towards those leaps forward is today.
Larry Galler coaches and consults with high-performance executives, professionals, and small businesses since 1993. He is the writer of the long-running (every Sunday since November 2001) business column, "Front Lines with Larry Galler" Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.larrygaller.com
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