A rally word is exciting. It is inspirational. It speaks of a desirable characteristic. It is a word that people want to rally around. “Innovation” is just such a word. The world is changing rapidly. The pace of business is quicker. New things are appearing every day, and some of these new things seem to explode into financial success. It is easy for “Innovation” to appear to be the battle cry for all entrepreneurs around the world. Yet, the role that “Innovation” plays is different for every business. That role, and how it impacts each part of the business, must be clearly understood in order to have “Innovation” be the positive factor that is needed.
First of all, how a person interprets the idea of innovation depends upon specific hard-wired personality traits and abilities. One third of the population loves new ideas, and in fact, seeks out change. An entrepreneur of this type is more likely to innovate in bold, new ways. They can also change directions too often and chase the newest idea instead of working through the problems they have in their current business.
Another third of the population has a more incremental view of innovation. Preferring to stick with what already works, they avoid changes and make careful and considered adjustments to existing ideas. Once a business is established, consistent processes and procedures must be developed in order to ensure its sustainability. This group of people does that part very well.
Successful businesses need both ends of the innovation spectrum. Without new ideas and the ability to change, they become stagnant, and soon left behind by more agile competitors. Without the persistency to work through the inevitable obstacles of entrepreneurial businesses, creative owners can be distracted and spend their time and resources chasing new ideas that seem to promise an easier road to success. It is critical that small businesses understand what kind of innovative strengths they have and what kind the business needs. That knowledge will lead them to make better decisions as they move through the various stages of growth in their enterprise.
Written by Chuck Russell, CEO