Ideas Are The Lifeblood Of Your Business
Every great business was once an idea in someone’s mind. Of course, that’s not all there is to it, but it’s the idea that is at the source. And it’s the continual stream of ideas that keep a business vibrant and give it a sustainable competitive advantage.
However, too often you’ll hear people say “I don’t know what else we could do to improve this business” or “we have tried lots of things and we’ve found that what we do now is the only way for this business to operate properly.”
People often say they have run out of ideas, and when you look at the performance of most businesses you’d have to agree that there’s little evidence of anything new happening. Yet when people are exposed to new ideas they are more likely to reject them than to consider them. Ideas do not need to be huge to have a big impact. There are very few big things a business can do to make it a success. But there are lots of little things.
That’s why experimentation and innovation are so critical to high performance. Small ideas are often overlooked precisely because they are small ideas and people do not think they warrant doing anything about.
Do you have a formal process for capturing and evaluating the business growth ideas your team members have every single day?
5 Tactics of an Idea Crusher
Have you ever been guilty of applying some or all of the idea crushers listed below?
- Point out all the reasons it won’t work, this will ensure that the reasons it might work will not need to be addressed.
- Say you’ll look into an idea, and then just sit on it.
- Remind the proponent that his last idea was a total failure or on a similar theme, remind him what happened to the last person who came up with a failed idea.
- Change the subject (i.e. ask the proponent how his current project is going). That will be a reminder that team members are paid to work not to think.
- Say we have already thought of that. That will remind the proponent that he is no smarter than people who have been there for some time and that as a newcomer he is not yet qualified to make suggestions.
Two questions you should ask about your leadership style are: “how open am I to considering ways to improve what my business does?” and second, “what do I do to proactively encourage people within my organization to challenge the status quo and continually seek to improve processes?”