There are many well supported beliefs for why it’s so hard to innovate. Here are three. Don’t believe them. The good news is, it’s easy and cheap to innovate. The better news is you can innovate quickly and successfully.
Belief 1: Firemen only have time to put out fires
Each day, there is a new crisis. You’re the only one with the experience or the responsibility to solve it. Either way, if the buck stops at your desk, then you are going to own the crisis. There is no time to innovate and develop a new fire hose when you’re working to put out a fire.
Get some firemen to help. You can stop being the fireman by letting other people help you put out the fires. Delegating your work to other people will lighten your load. Delegate a little at a time until you are comfortable with the process and build trust in others. In a short while, you can quickly build a strong and successful team able to meet the demands of the business. Don’t be surprised when your firemen tell you about the satisfaction they feel putting out fires. Your team will give you the time to innovate.
Belief 2: It’s hard to see the forest for the trees
Running a business will keep a person very busy. Customers, employees and vendors have a way of being distracting. Bills, bankers and bureaucrats have a way of consuming a manager’s focus. Innovating becomes a challenge when a manager is pressed right up close to the daily needs of a business.
Schedule time to innovate. The bills, employees, bureaucrats and customers are not going to go away. They can make it difficult to have the time you need to innovate. You can get away from them and innovate by scheduling time to innovate for yourself. Schedule an appointment for yourself just like you would for a vendor or customer. Put it in your calendar. During your appointment with yourself don’t answer calls or emails. You’ll have the time you need to innovate.
Belief 3: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it
Innovation can be downright frightful on many levels when you’re under enormous pressure to produce strong financial results. Your security and the security of your employees depend on the business performing with predictable consistency. Most managers are reluctant to innovate and rock the boat when things are operating smoothly.
If you stand still, the competition will run over you. It’s a fact. Innovations don’t have to be revolutionary. They can be incremental improvements. Innovations can come from anywhere. They can be implemented in any manner, as long as they work. It doesn’t matter which part of the business they transform. Companies need to continuously innovate or risk dying.
Here’s the good news! It’s easy to bust through those mistaken beliefs.
You can innovate quickly and inexpensively. Use a business plan as the framework for innovation. You can consider many options and try them all out on paper. It costs nothing to evaluating them, even the radical ones. Your imagination will not be constrained by your pocketbook. There is no penalty or cost for an idea that doesn’t work on paper. You can begin to innovate right away. In a short time, you’ll be doing something new, very exciting and extremely successful.
Whether you believe you can innovate or you believe can’t innovate – you’re going to be right.