This week’s focus: Late on Monday evening the clouds above Nottinghamshire finally parted to reveal the ‘super moon’, looking larger and brighter than at any time in the past 50 years or so. To my eye, the moon looked as beautiful as it always does, but, if I’m honest, I couldn’t really tell the difference from the not-quite-so-super moon that I see on a more regular basis.
It’s tempting to obsess about what’s new, what’s changed and the latest thing. But the truth is, that for businesses at least, it’s far better to focus your mind and your resources on things that won’t change. They might not be quite so ‘super’ but they are likely to be more successful. And, somewhat counterintuitively, focusing on won’t change can help drive innovation.
I recently re-read a Harvard Business Review interview with Jeff Bezos, the founder and boss of Amazon, from 2007. In that article, Bezos said, “When I’m talking with people there’s a question that comes up very commonly: “What’s going to change in the next 5-10 years? But I very rarely get asked ‘What’s not going to change in the next 5-10 years?” At Amazon we’re always trying to figure that out, because …all the energy you invest in [those things] today will still be paying you dividends 10 years from now.”
No-one could accuse Amazon of not being innovative, but its innovation has been explicitly driven by its desire to push the boundaries on customer needs that are constant, rather than ‘new’.
What about your business? What are the constant needs of your customers that, if you focused on them relentlessly over a sustained period, could help you accelerate growth and ensure that they are always over the moon?
Off the record: The Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys
I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered, I guessed and I tried
You just new
I sighed, but you swooned
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
© Stuart Cross 2016. All rights reserved.