from Huff Post 28 Nov 15 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
In today’s fast moving world of business startups, learning more trumps thinking you know every thing. What established businesses know through experience keeps them from looking for the new & innovative ways to do what they do “better, cheaper, faster”. I’m convinced that’s why most mature companies are slowing down or buying their innovation through acquisition, rather than building it.
“Rookie Smarts“, Liz Wiseman, (one of the top thought leaders in business), in this book, amplifies this point as it relates to hiring & cultivating the curious, flexible, fresh mindset in keeping all companies young & competitive, as well as keep experienced employees more motivated & productive. Liz outlines distinct ways that business people – doing something for the first time -whether they be entrepreneurs, or small business, tend to think differently than experienced veterans. With my focus on startups, I can translate very easily how her points lead to more innovation even in the entrepreneurial environment:
1. Maintain an Open Mind. True entrepreneurs are ready to explore new areas, more open to new possibilities, & don’t get stuck in yesterday’s practices. They tend to ask both basic & in-depth questions, see new patterns, + notice the mistakes of others. They are not afraid to act boldly, and tend to recover quickly from any setbacks.
2. Seek out Experts, and you’ll return with new ideas & resources. They are not entrenched in their domain, and don’t look for data that confirms what they already know. They don’t hesitate to share the knowledge to their team.
3. Start out taking Small Steps (to test the Market & listen to their feedback) When confident, start moving faster and seeking ways to grow your business. Entrepreneurs have to be risk-takers –with their new product or new combination of a older product. When they see the opportunity, they move quickly, searching for milestones on the way to measure their success.
4. Continue to Improvise & work tirelessly toward your Vision – while pushing boundaries. Great entrepreneurs, like pioneers, work hard, keep things as simple as possible, & focus on significant customer needs. They don’t have a comfort zone or protocol to fall back on. They assume that new tools & structures will have to be built – along the way. Progress on the learning curve is their satisfaction.
5. Stay Focused. Even as an entrepreneur, you can fall back too quickly on prior experience, or settle into habits that are too comfortable. Here are some things we all need to do to change perspectives and learn to learn all over again from time to time:
6. Multiply your expertise with additional Experts. Avoid the temptation to jump in before you consult other experts to bring new insights into the challenge at hand. Don’t give up until you have found new patterns to an area you thought you knew.
7. Reverse the “learning role” with new Team members. By asking a junior colleague – who know the latest technology, you will more likely hear new approaches or technologies and get new insights on your customer base or business challenges.
8. Expand your Professional Network to new groups. Actively look for people with views contrary to your own. As you change the stream of information and consider alternative views, your thinking will expand.
9. Take a step back & re-Map your path. Try to visualize your product or service, the way a newcomer would see it, without the limited perspective you have already built in your mind, from your experience. Study the current players, rules of the game, cultural changes, & core values – to lead you down a new path that will hepl you achieve your goals.
10. Swap jobs with a Colleague for a day (ie, like Customer Service) [but not quite like Under-cover Boss] or your equivalent position in another company. Use the exchange to gain new business & customer insights, and to formulate the naïve questions that a newcomer might ask. The swap will be an exciting learning experience for both of you.
13. Continual Learning. True entrepreneurs thrive on the experience of learning (ie, from failure), even more than the experience of success. That’s why the best entrepreneurs I know, can hardly wait for a chance to exit their current startup as it stabilizes, and start again down a less familiar – but new learning path. Once you stop learning, you stop haveing a challenge, stop having fun, & you’ll probably stop succeeding. You’re be receding. To enjoy your life to the max, learn about whatever interest you – even if it’s not related to your business. You’ll be more balanced and able to see more of the big picture !!!
Comments: Is there any thing you can add – from your experience – of how to be more Innovative?