Innovation is top of mind for many businesses. Simple resolutions such as saying yes, taking action no matter how small, and embracing failure could make 2019 your pivotal year!
Taking some time to contemplate the year ahead and the various resolutions you’ll make to help get you started on the right foot for the New Year? Great! But, you might want to disregard the stats: only 8% of us will actually achieve our New Year resolutions.
The most common reasons we fail in our resolve include unrealistic goals, neglecting to track progress and simply abandoning the commitment altogether.
Despite the dismal results, New Year’s resolutions can be an effective catalyst for change in our personal and family lives. Likewise for our professional lives. An impending new year encourages reflection, taking stock of successes and failures of the months past as you consider what you’d like to accomplish for the months and year ahead.
What changes would you like to see that will help your company innovate and grow? This year, whether you’re a business, startup, or entrepreneur, as you think about resolutions, consider leveraging a few different tactics to help inspire fresh innovation and vision in your work.
Such a powerful word!
The power of ‘yes’. A simple word with the power to influence the trajectory of any endeavour. The key to achieving any goal, innovative or otherwise, is to approach a challenge from a different mindset – with an open-minded sense of ‘yes’!
This simple word can create excitement and energy, inspiring new ideas. Saying ‘yes’ can break up the monotony; it can expand your network and opportunities. You never know, that next opportunity might be life-changing to your business or idea.
In the words of Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt: “Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country. Say yes to meeting new friends. Say yes to learning a new language, picking up a new sport. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job. Yes is how you find your spouse and even your kids. Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means you will do something new, meet someone new and make a difference in your life, and likely in others’ lives as well… Yes is a tiny word that can do big things. Say it often.”
Allow yourself to be persuaded
When it comes to developing a new product or service, growing your business, or advancing your idea you have to be prepared to hold your ground in order to push your ideas and vision forward. Equally important, however, is that you remain open to new ideas and feedback.
Al Pittampalli’s book, Persuadable, argues that successful leaders realize that a genuine willingness to change their own mind is the ultimate competitive advantage.
Developing and leading innovation requires agility and openness – releasing an ego that might get in the way of encouraging and accepting the great ideas of others.
Don’t be afraid to engage with those that disagree with you. In disagreement, rather than defending or rationalizing your approach, look for the merits in the opposing perspective and see if you can find alignment between views, or where your view might actually be tweaked and improved.
Take small, but immediate, action
It’s not unusual for businesses and organizations to be looking to the big move when it comes to ideas and innovation. But, let’s face it, those are few and far between. Most of the important milestones in the forward momentum of any business are going to be small and incremental.
Rather than planning for the major iteration, launch, or announcement it’s the simplest actions done effectively and with immediacy that have the most impact. The organizations that achieve their resolutions are laser-focused on the smaller, more specific, achievements that are integral to progress, not to mention much simpler for the team to analyze and action the results.
Embrace failure – it MUST be an option
Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his idea, to take a calculated risk, and to act. – Maxwell Maltz
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and take chances – failure will be your friend!
Failure provides us with the frightening and painful nudge we need to stop hiding behind our self-imposed limitations. As we grow to expect failure along the road to success it becomes something of a badge of honour.
Failure is an inevitable outcome of experimentation and innovation, and it’s where the most opportunties for learning, examination, and exploration is had.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations,” Said J.K. Rowling. “I discovered that I had a strong will and more discipline than I had suspected. The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.
Successful innovators and entrepreneurs start with the end in mind. But… they’re also diligent about avoiding distractions that divert their attention.
Focus on one or only a couple of things at a time. Don’t get caught up in measuring EVERYTHING. Those who are successful incorporate the best systems to track the fewest metrics possible to achieve their goals.
Distraction is truly around every corner, so it’s important to KISS and keep your eye on the ball of the core business.
Innovate because you can, not because you must
Many businesses wait to innovate only when confronted by crisis. Innovation ought not to be treated as a singular, binary event. It has to be approached as on-going, iterative, ever-evolving, and dynamic. This is where measurable progress lives.
Develop a well thought out program that includes regularly scheduled brainstorming activities; continuous inspiration, motivation, action, and drive to ensure continued, if not increased, competitiveness.
So, innovators, enjoy a reset along with the calendar on January 1st and incorporate ways of thinking that will help foster new vision and innovation. Despite the statistics, the New Year offers a great opportunity to reflect on fresh mindsets to take on for not only the coming year but well beyond.
Looking for inspiration this New Year? MIDAS can help!
With almost $500,000 in state-of-the-art fabrication and manufacturing equipment and the expertise and knowledge of our team, the MIDAS Fab Lab offers SO many opportunities to help you innovate – your business, your product, your idea!
Come out for a tour: Thursdays, 6-7pm.
Peruse our course calendar for valuable training and certifications.
Enjoy access to the Fab Lab! Become a member.