So why is it so hard for enterprises to innovate

So why is it so hard for enterprises to innovate?

They innovated in the first place to get to where they are today, right?  They got on the fortune whatever list, they’ve had their highs and probably had some lows on the way, but they had a very strong set of processes and people that created them, and to carry those processes out to keep the company at or near the top.

But as we have seen in many industries over time, things change.  If you don’t innovate, someone else will.  Whether it’s a competitor you know or a competitor that emerges from nowhere.  So what happens next?  You got a company that’s been riding high for decades now having to figure out how to completely reinvent itself.  Not easy is it?  All those processes that have been your best friend for years, bringing in the revenue, building that cash cow status, all of a sudden become your worst enemy.

It’s all the reasons why you cannot innovate, why you cannot change.  Your model doesn’t even allow you to think about change, quite frankly.  So what do you do?

Step 1: You’ve got to make a choice and it’s a tough choice.  You’ve got to choose whether you are going to lead or die.  If you are going to lead, you’ve got a chance in hell in making this happen.

What does it mean to lead?  There are plenty of books on it and you can read till your heart’s content…but if you have to read them right now, you are probably not ready.  Just being honest.

You know it takes a great idea.  You know that it takes resources to move that idea forward and you know the way to get those resources is to be able to have a team that is clearly aligned with your vision to help you carry it forward.

Step 2: You need to achieve stakeholder alignment.  There will be plenty of people that will not want to see your big idea progress and there’s going to be plenty more in fact, that will want to see innovation shine through.  At the end of the day, everyone wants to be a part of something new, something great, something exciting.  If you are the person with that idea, find the other folks in your company that are ready to help you see it through.

Step 3: Clearly identify the results, the impact, that this great idea is going to have on your business.  What are going to be the gains?  How is the world going to be different?  How is it going to be different for your customers?  How is it going to be different for you?  How is going to be different for your company?  How are you changing the world?  Knowing what those results are and being able to articulate them clearly along with a well put together team that is aligned in that common mission, will make it that much easier for each of you to articulate in a clear consistent way as you move the vision forward.

Step 4: Identify the dangers.  What are the obstacles that can stand in the way of this new innovative success?  You can anticipate it.   You can think through the company person by person and identify your opposition.  Take your champions and think through your opposition’s own interests and agendas very carefully.  As you do, one by one, you’ll understand very quickly where those dangers are that can stand in the way of your innovation becoming the world changing success you see it being.  Identify them, map them and plan out strategies to be able to prevent those dangers from ever arising.  And the best leaders will leverage democracy in this moment, where all parties feel heard, and truly own their part in the overall effort.

These 4 steps make it that simple.  Make your future, today!

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