Strategic advances are not made through problem solving; they are made when organisations become the first to find a profitable way to exploit new opportunities. Resolving problems is about dealing with the past, not the future. Problem solving may help you drive performance – or at least return it to previous levels – but it will not dramatically improve your strategic position.
It is innovation that drives sustainable profit growth. Successive reports and studies confirm that high-growth, high-profit companies are those that are best able to drive innovation.
During this century Apple, Google and Amazon have all created new markets and delivered massive profit growth through a commitment to innovation, just as Ford, GE and Procter & Gamble did in the twentieth century.
The table below sets out 13 characteristics of Innovation Leaders and how they compare to Incrementalists. Why don’t you go through the list, identify which characteristics better describe you, your leadership team and your organisation?
Are You An ‘Innovation Leader’ or ‘Incrementalist’?
|Travelling without a map||A clear direction|
|What next!?!||What if?|
|No choice||Endless possibilities|
|Rushed decisions||Rapid learning|
|Dealing with the past||Focused on the future|
|Risk avoidance||Prudent risk-taking|
|Problem solving||Raising the bar|
|“To Do” lists||… and “To Don’t” lists|
And, if you don’t tick the ‘Innovation Leader’ column for one or more characteristic, why don’t you download my booklet, How To Be An Innovation Leader.
© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.