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BEST PRACTICES

Innovate Innovate Innovate

March 28, 2013

CONSIDER THIS...​

Customers often don't recognize their own needs or how to meet them; they don't recognize the possibilities. Keeping current customers and attracting new ones means anticipating needs that they might never articulate. Therefore, it is essential to continually innovate products and services to stay a few steps ahead of your customers and your competitors.

And remember, it's just as important to innovate inside the organization to ensure that internal customers will be better able to serve the external ones.

Print or display this picture that compares Saint Peter's Square in 2005 vs 2013:

The Activity:

Look at the Saint Peter's Square image as a group in your next meeting and discuss the following…

  • What's the obvious difference between 2005 and 2013? 

  • What role do you think innovation played in bringing about this difference? 

  • What innovations has our company brought to the marketplace?

  • What internal innovations help drive the success of our company? Remember that innovation isn't just about products and services delivered to customers - you could have an innovative hiring process or an innovative office layout.

  • Do you think we have an innovative team?

  • What can we do as a team to be more innovative - to anticipate the solutions that our customers may not even realize they need? Remember, even if you don't interact directly with external customers, you still have internal customers (colleagues and other departments) that rely on you for services.

The Takeaway

Encourage everyone on your team to use their business acumen to come up with an innovative idea to share in your next team meeting. Emphasize that they don't have to dream up the next big thing in technology to be recognized as an innovator. Explain that many small ideas (innovations) can combine to have a big impact on the company's success.

If you and your team have the book Seeing the Big Picture (Greenleaf, 2012) turn to page 88 and read the section: Anticipation and Innovation.