A couple of weeks ago, I tweeted that “bad times can be great times to do something innovative,” and in conversations since, I’ve been told in no uncertain terms just how true this is. Pretty much everyone I’ve talked about this with has reinforced the notion, and nearly all for the same reason: innovating now puts you in a leadership position vis-à-vis your competition when the economy finally does turn around.
What’s funny, though, is how many of these same people use that same argument – the economy – to defend their decision not to innovate. “We just don’t have the budget to launch any new initiatives,” they cry, and they continue to conduct business pretty much as usual. Pity.
The point they miss is that innovation doesn’t have to cost money, especially when it’s aimed at improving operations. Figuring out how to help your people and partners work better and work better together requires much deep thought and the occasional cultural revolution, but it needn’t involve megabucks. And even when some spending is justified, it is usually directed at specific situations in order to achieve specific benefits that can be measured and maximized over time.
Intelligently employing the latest Web 2.0 and social media tools, and the content, records, document, email, business process, and all the other kinds of “managements,” perfectly illustrates this point – but so does identifying and recruiting strategic business partners, updating your competitive positioning, and ensuring your value propositions are properly targeted and articulated. None of these need be expensive, but all are fine forms of innovation, and all can be put on the table right now, before the economy turns enough to lead everybody to do it.
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#strategy #processmanagement #innovation