"I don't need your money, I want change"
Adamlabs is in the business of innovation and change. This means we encourage and support organizations through an evolution from one way of thinking and doing to another way of thinking and doing. These can be large organizations or small start-ups and the change is seen as an improvement in the business as a result of an adopted innovation (we don't change just for fun).
Change is normal and it is natural. But many organizations are unable or unwilling to innovate. This eventually manifests into some sort of problem, just look at Kodak. When you fight the tide, you can end up in some deep water. But change can only be encouraged and supported not enforced or coerced. This requires a certain amount of awareness, a need for change. We don't have to know where we will end up exactly, only that we need to go on a journey. We benefit from the journey through innovation as much as the destination. So, what are some habits that help drive innovation-minded change? Here is my list:
1. Awareness - As we said above, we have a feeling or desire for an improvement. It is more enthusiasm than policy or dogma.
2. Leadership - Innovation needs a vision, one that is constantly repeated, unbiased, and inclusive.
3. Service oriented - The improvement we seek makes things better for our customers, community, and our team, not simply to give the appearance of progress to shareholders or executive self-interest.
4. Patience - Change can only be encouraged and supported not enforced or coerced. Be prepared to let your schedule slip.
5. Persistence - Although change takes time, it needs to be constantly addressed. Like losing weight, you must exercise and eat right everyday to see progress. The same goes for innovation. To reach your goal you must stay in the program constantly and not give up.
6. Personal Investment - This does not imply pouring money into something, but rather, having a stake in the outcome. Everyone must have a stake.
7. Listen - Change is new for everyone so you need to listen to participants. Their input, ideas, concerns, advice, and encouragement.
All of these habits have more to do with our attitude and head-space than with buying our way out of a problem. And that is often the issue with business failures. The delusion that money will make a problem disappear by buying a solution. It's like buying smaller pants hoping they will help you lose weight. Innovation is a process, not a thing. The solution exists not in what you buy but in what you do. You may require money to capitalize an innovation process, but you cannot buy innovation. So next time you want to improve your business or build value through innovation remember what I tell my clients..."I don't need your money, I want change".