Sooner or later every business person starts to wonder if they are losing their touch or getting too complacent. People buy based on differences not sameness. You and your company must constantly strive to stand out, to be viewed as a resource, not just a supplier.
A commodity is an item that is undifferentiated in the mind of the potential customer. If it isn’t viewed as any different from any other in its class then the customer will choose the lowest cost, the cheapest. That is the recipe for sliding down the slippery slope of less and less profit.
So instead choose the goal to be viewed as innovative, differentiated, something or someone special.
Innovation is in everyone’s grasp. It is not limited to the birthright of a few ‘creatives.’
Use any of the ideas in Power Brainstorming, the book, or that you will read in this blog to get the creative juices flowing.
Let’s start with diversity, diversity of thinking styles and backgrounds. Us humans tend to filter out so much of our environment that it is easy to miss some good nuggets. Different backgrounds and thinking styles mean observing or noticing different elements. It also means that the same element can elicit a very different response or thought process. I do an exercise in some of my onsite seminars where each person starts with the same word and then lists word connections. Even a common word will elicit very different streams of connected words from participants who may work together every day.
This exercise when applied to your product or customer or event will start you off on the creativity to innovation track.
If the number of emails I get on the subject of publishing, including publishing of ebooks, is any indication of general interest, there must be a tremendous number of people wanting to publish their story. When you have been a knowledge junkie like I have, it makes sense to write it all down and share the wisdom.
Wisdom is different from knowledge. Knowledge is made up of facts, opinions, information, and experiences. The total is valuable and should be shared. Wisdom is the result of applying thought and intelligence to those experiences and information. It is not just regurgitating the data, it is interpreting and discussing and looking at alternative explanations and viewpoints.
For most decisions in life there are multiple good and bad answers. It would be so much easier if there was one right answer and our job was just to figure that one out. Instead we must look at multiple alternatives. We weigh the alternatives with imagining the scenarios of the different potential results. We balance the pros and cons. We check our gut. We compare and contrast to past experiences and results.
None of this process should create analysis paralysis. The more experience you have to look back on, the more wisdom you can apply, the quicker the process can go. Wisdom makes sure you think it through before jumping.