It’s the buzzword on many people’s lips and a philosophy that guides world-class companies from Apple to Zappos.
But why should you, my fellow working professional, care one way or the other about innovation?
If You Innovate…
YOU WILL STAY RELEVANT
Business changes faster than you can blink. The only way for you and your business to stay in the competition (and ideally, ahead of the game) is to innovate. To be at least 3 steps ahead of the competition each time you create a new product or service.
YOU WILL BEAT THE COMPETITION
These days, standing still is a surefire way to an early business grave. Even Apple, the most valuable and arguably most innovative company today, needs to launch new products and upgrades to fend off the Android phones and Amazon readers trying to eat into their market share.
In a crowded marketplace of ideas and products, different and surprising is good. Common and predictable is bad. Even a small tweak can be enough to stand out from your competitors, at least for a while. Isn’t the success of your business worth it?
YOU WILL BE SEEN AS A LEADER
Let’s face it….being seen as a leader is generally a good thing. You get more recognition, more visibility, and people tend to respect you more. Successful modern-day leaders don’t just have to inspire, persuade and communicate – they also need to be flexible, creative and open to new ideas. And companies are desperately seeking people who have a different, cutting-edge and potentially winning point of view to help create new business opportunities.
“”Great leaders today don’t just inspire, persuade & communicate – they’re also flexible, creative & open to new ideas.” – @inventivelinks Click To Tweet!
If You Don’t Innovate…
YOUR CAREER WILL STAGNATE
If you’re happy doing the same job day in, day out, and don’t want or need ongoing pay raises, then ignore this section.
But if you want and need more from your work day, if you want your job to have some purpose and zing, then approaching it with an innovative mindset will do wonders. Even the most routine of jobs can be ‘switched up’ every now and then, either through a job rotation or asking your boss if you can take on a new project that flexes your thinking or creative muscles.
The truth is, more and more employers are looking for nimble thinkers, people who can deliver fresh ways to do business. Ever wonder why Peter, that young upstart who joined the company way after you did, got that promotion ahead of you? It just might be that he had a good idea and acted on it to benefit the company.
YOU MAY GO OUT OF BUSINESS
If you are a business owner, it simply isn’t enough to deliver the same old, same old, and hope to stay in the business in the long run. Think about the mom-and-pop bookstores that first got replaced by Borders and Barnes & Noble. Then think about how Borders filed for bankruptcy, partly because Amazon stole its market share with one-click book shopping online.
Can you seriously afford to become your industry’s next Borders-like casualty?
YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BEST PEOPLE
If you manage a team, or a company, being closed to the notion of innovation may cost you your best people. Worse still, they’ll probably take their good ideas and start a business that threatens yours.
Nowhere is this more obvious, and covered more feverishly, than in the high-tech sector. Facebook engineers leave to join Google, or to start the online Q&A knowledgebase Quora. More often than not, people like them leave a business because it stifles their ability to develop breakthrough ideas.
Even if your industry moves a little slower than the high-tech sector, it doesn’t stop good talent from walking out your door if you don’t maintain a culture that helps them thrive.
So…it’s high time you saddle up and gallop into the innovative 21st Century. Your business will thank you for it!
Do you agree or disagree with what I’ve said above? Comment below.
(This article is an excerpt from my critically-acclaimed book ‘Unleash Your InnoMojo’. Grab your copy here.)
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