Innovation can be intimidating. After all, the word represents change and change is something many of us don’t like.
Our resistance to change can be caused by many things. Humans appreciate predictability and the ability to proceed without added stress, difficulty and conflict. We will do almost anything to avoid conflict, no matter how necessary.
However, innovation is necessary for personal and company growth, and for society to evolve. To become better, innovation is required.
Many scoff at the thought of change, growth or innovation, but that attitude is based on uncertainty, risk and fear. Many leaders and companies resist leaving their comfort zones. This is the kiss of death for executives, leaders and entrepreneurs.
Intentional action is driven by a goal and a plan to achieve the desired results. Personal and company innovation and growth are no different in principle. What’s your strategic growth and innovation plan?
If you don’t have one yet, I urge you to begin the very rewarding process of developing a unique plan for your advanced success.
Many people struggle to react to all that confronts them in life, personally and professionally. Are you one of them?
With a goal and a strategic plan to achieve it, you can deal with most things that confront you and reach the desired outcome.
It might not always work as you expect – that’s where the art of the pivot comes in. The ability to adjust is paramount to overall success in anything we do.
To be innovative, one must always be looking to improve, even when things are going well. This is proactive innovation.
To change when the crap hits the fan is reactive. By then, it’s often too late in the process and the effort to remediate becomes far more difficult. To avoid unnecessary additional pain, discomfort, financial concern, etc., get out in front of it.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are inseparable by Constantine Passaris
We often don’t attempt to get out in front of it because of the additional work it entails, the potential risk it involves, our fear of failure and pushback we get from others. The innovative headwinds are too strong and we simply don’t have the energy to face all of it. Inaction becomes the strategy.
But the process of innovation isn’t overly difficult, so get all the excuses right out of your head. If you keep thinking inaction is a valid approach, you’ll start to believe it.
Start the innovation process by asking yourself:
- Where do I want to be and when?
- What skills do I not have to get me there?
- Who do I need to help me get there?
- What are the benefits when I do get there?
- Who gets value from those benefits?
- Why do I need to do this in the first place?
- How do I implement and do it?
- In what order do I do it?
- When will I get it done?
- How will I feel when I get there?
- Finally, was it worth it?
In other words, innovation success requires vision.
As you begin to answer these questions, you will find clarity. You will begin to identify your benefits and acquire the motivation to succeed.
But be forewarned: not everyone will support your innovative behaviours. Many will intentionally create obstacles, say mean things, provide negative pushback and reject you.
The trick is to put your head down, roll up your sleeves and get on it! Push through the nonsense, monitor your progress, pivot as necessary and move forward at all costs.
The funny thing is, when you arrive at your destination and demonstrate the benefits of your innovative efforts, everyone wants to be your friend.
Remember who you did it for, however. You did it for you. Be your own advocate, be the brave leader out on point. Be the person you admire most. Be the absolute best you can be by taking on your future with innovative behavior.
You can do it!
Jeff Rogers is an accomplished executive business coach, entrepreneur and professional trainer who builds and empowers successful and emerging business leaders. He holds his certification by the Professional Business Coaching Alliance.