Successful Business Paradox on Innovation and Design
Being right keeps us in place. Being wrong forces us to explore.
Do you sometimes wonder why there is less business innovation and design than you might have expected? We often hear from our clients that things are working; therefore they are reluctant to change.
Innovation and design … successful organization
In any successful organization, many things are working, or it wouldn’t be a going concern. So it’s not surprising that people want to sustain that success. That pure impulse to keep what’s working can produce decisions that can slow or halt creativity and innovation. A new idea that doesn’t quite fit with prior assumptions often is quickly set aside. Mistakes are seen as problems that must be fixed to restore the organization’s smooth functioning.
It’s all very logical and well-intended, but the effect is to resist any substantial change, gradually eroding the capacity for creative ideas and innovation and even actively opposing them.
Innovative companies understand this and take action to overcome these tendencies. They continually track their customers and competitors to detect quickly signals that may point to needed changes. Thoughtful experimentation is encouraged, not only as a way to test new ideas but to maintain the organization’s proficiency at implementing new ideas. There’s an awareness of the need to promote continual adaptation, rather than simply protect what’s working.
That is the interesting paradox here. The more strenuously we strive to preserve our success, the more we do what we already know will work. The more we look for confirmation and reinforcement of what we believe, the more momentum is created to avoid necessary change and adaptation.
It’s by letting go of that need to be right and have certainty, by being willing to reexamine our assumption and beliefs, which we build momentum for creativity and innovation. The more we’re willing to explore new possibilities, the more actively we look for exceptions that might expose flaws. The more we consider a variety of interpretations, the more we seek to discover new insights. In the end, this is what builds the critical momentum in support of new ideas and adaptation necessary for creativity and innovation.
Remember, whoever tries the most stuff usually wins.
Need some help in improving the innovation process for you and your staff? Innovative ideas to help the differentiation with your toughest competitors? Or maybe ways to innovate new products and services?
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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