The idea that we can’t be innovative because we don’t have the resources to do so is nothing but a big old excuse. We’re too busy as it is so piling on more work is not feasible so we simply don’t explore it. Only if we could gain an extra hour each day we could probably be more innovative. Does this kind of talk sound familiar?
To be quite honest, the fact that I am talking about innovation is immaterial. The notion of, “well we’re too busy to do that” can be applied to every single aspect of work and I am hearing it more and more these days. I have actually heard quite a bit since I started my career in mid-2000 but I was inspired to write this post after eavesdropping on a recent conversation that took place in a local Starbucks.
Why don’t we alter our thinking slightly? What if we start looking at what and how we are currently doing things when we embark on the topic of innovation? After all the outcome of innovation is change—when you have change within your organization you need to change how and what you are doing that supports the change. Isn’t the purpose of innovation to do something better, whether faster, cheaper, more effectively, using fewer resources, etc…? You simply can’t innovate if you’re unable or unwilling to change how you conduct your day-to-day business? You may as well not even expend any energy on innovation.
For those that have followed me recently you will likely have noticed I have used the term, “walk the talk” fairly often. This is where the rubber hits the road on new ideas, new strategy, innovation, whatever… the “walking” part is being open to changing how and what you do on a day-to-day basis to support the innovation you are aiming to implement and integrate.
Case in point; I worked for an organization earlier in my career where they boasted about having employees contribute to over 1,000 innovative ideas to make all aspects of their work better. How many got implemented that year? Yep you guessed it… a big fat ZERO!