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Innovation Depends on Your “Tomorrow” Attention

According to a PwC report, 93 percent of business executives believe that organic growth through innovation will drive the greater proportion of their revenue growth.C

Wow! That’s pretty unambiguous. And yet, does the urgency facing your organization translate into daily actions?

Allow your work calendar to answer for you.

What percentage of the past week did you spend on innovative, originating thinking that didn’t have any current timelines attached to the project?

Within the last week, the evidence of such inattention was brought home as I led a MasterMind program where we thoughtfully examined innovation. The homework leading into the meeting was the very same question I just challenged you to explore. I’m willing to bet your answer was the very same as the MasterMind group:

100 percent of their work was deadline-driven today activities—not a nanosecond of their time was on tomorrow.

Oops. Such singular concentration on today accomplishments presents a problem for your future as a Booz and Allen survey brings to light 84 percent of executives considered their future success to be very or extremely dependent on innovation.

If you’ve obtained an “Aha” and are ready to unleash your innovative thoughts, it necessitates asking relevant questions to get the juices flowing, and then, taking action. Start priming the pump of your innovative-well with these questions!

  • How can I change my slice of the world for the better?
  • What solutions can I make in my part of the company to produce better products or services?
  • What repetitive breakdowns do I see? Anything I can do to correct them?
  • How will I align these future ideas for new and/or improved processes, products/services within my organization? Who can I share my thoughts with who could be my ‘champion?’

Without question, you’re the most capable person to recognize the problem and/or improvement concerns well before senior management has a whiff of the issue.

Endeavor to put the ideas you’ve generated into a corporate context.

  • Look at what your leaders have identified as your company’s strategic direction. Any potential ideas and actions you can start working on today that will align with the long-term course of your company’s tomorrow?
  • What are your competitors doing? They offer clues to future products or services your company could or should be providing.
  • What do you see as the biggest dilemmas your organization is facing? Any ideas on how to mitigate the concerns?
  • What concepts can you initiate that would add to your organization’s bottom line?

Now, it’s time to explore these areas of possibilities and personalize them for you and your career.

Explore doing something only you can do.

  • Look into parts of the business you have a natural aptitude for and that you find intriguing. After all, why work on something that isn’t of interest to you? It’s your playground after all.
  • Then, don’t forget to align all possibilities with your company’s strategic direction and/or to improve the bottom-line.
  • Open your creative juices to reveal ground-breaking ideas!

You’ve empowered your brain with future thinking that will support the growth of your career—not to mention the profitability of your company. Now imagine: What will transpire if you acknowledge the veracity of this blog, and yet, never initiate action?

 

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