Why innovation must be at the heart of your enterprise
I was getting a coffee the other morning from a café near by when I casually asked the owner how her business was going. It was a routine question, but I didn’t get a routine answer.
She instead told me how quiet it had been; how they had sunken everything they had into the business and that they were incredibly stressed. Feeling really concerned for their delicate financial situation, I began to give her a few ideas on what I thought she could d to increase traffic to the store. She liked some of the ideas, thanked me, and said she would discuss them with her husband.
No issue and happy to help, but it made me wonder why innovation is not at the heart of most people’s businesses, churches, or non profit. Simply taking some time to sit down with a pad and paper, or with key team members to survey the land and look for new opportunities, is basically a key responsibility of being a leader of any organization.
It doesn’t just happen at small business level either. In fact the inspiration for this blog didn’t come from that café owner, but rather while watching CBS This Morning. An article appeared on Netflix, and all of a sudden I got to thinking about how on earth companies the size of Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures ever let Netflix just waltz in and completely take over their business.
In fact Netflix has so shaken up the movie business that Warner Bros has had to sell to AT&T, while 20th Century Fox is selling to the highest bidder from Disney or Comcast (who own Universal). Rupert Murdoch has even stated that 20th Century Fox is selling because they are not big enough to compete.
Seriously? Yes, completely. While these companies were holding on to their places in the movie business, including theater releases and DVD sales, Netflix saw that they were not going to take streaming seriously anytime soon, and they now own the streaming market. (For those that are not aware, streaming is the entire future of the TV and movie business.)
I encourage anyone in leadership to stop and check that you’re innovating. The world is changing so quickly that if you don’t, you just might not be around in another few years. There are endless opportunities, but you won’t find them if your head is so far buried in your day to day that you don’t stop, look up, see the changes around you, and then take action.
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