Innovation is something that is sorely needed – in our businesses, in our communities and in our country. Yet despite its benefits, innovation is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.
In the business world, innovation is often described as “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. Think of the GE slogan, “We Bring Good Things to Life.” However, I tend to favor Scott Berkun’s definition, “Innovation is significant positive change.”
What does significant mean?
In this broader context, significant is a 30% or more improvement in something. So, you could argue that any time changes are made to anything that results in a 30% or more improvement, you’re innovating. To simplify further, innovation is not invention.
Think of the BASF slogan … “We don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.”
This makes innovation a little bit easier to tackle now, doesn’t it?
Are you planting good seed in good soil through your words, your actions and your deeds, in order to reap a bountiful harvest?
Last Friday I led a discussion on this topic with members of our Wingmen Element Group on a Zoom call. For most of us, this year has been difficult, if not overwhelming at times. However, I think we can gain some valuable insight from this experience by looking to the Scriptures for answers.
In essence, we reap what we sow. This may seem overly harsh with what we have had to endure this year. However, as you read through this article, I hope you’ll find some things that connect with you in a positive way to build upon for the future.
“The seed never looks like the harvest it contains.” – Levi Lusko
Mark 4: 13-20 … The Parable of the Sower. After teaching to a crowd by the lake, Jesus later speaks to His disciples and admonishes them by saying, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?” Jesus goes on to further explain His message to them.
It is now less than two months and counting until the Presidential Election 2020.
Hopefully, the turnout at the polls will be much better than the 2016 election. Only about 138 million Americans voted in the last election. Roughly 58% of the eligible voters.
What were the rest of you doing on Election Day 2016?
My dad was ‘old school’ and pretty vocal on his position when it came to exercising the right to vote. If there was any kind of political debate within earshot at his local watering hole, my dad would respond by asking, “Did you vote? If no, then you don’t get to express your opinion.” For dad and others like him, no vote equals no voice.
For many of my dad’s generation, voting was not just a right granted to them as a U.S. citizen, but a privilege and an obligation to help build a better America.
Oilman Eddie Chiles had a campaign in the early 1980s with the slogan “I’m Mad, Too, Eddie!” His classic trademark sign-on, “I’m Eddie Chiles, and I’m mad as hell,” created an incredible demand for bumper stickers that read “I’m mad too, Eddie!”
Well guess what? It may be time to bring those bumper stickers back. Because there are a lot of folks around these days who can relate. We are not lost. We are just on the wrong path. And we are mad as hell about it.
Mad at our government and politicians, mad at the news media, mad at the police, mad at the COVID-19 pandemic, mad at the economy, mad at the bar closings, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget the special interests group attempting to rewrite history. We are mad as hell at them too! The list goes on and on.
“A season of darkness will not change until you choose to become the light.” – Jim Gardner
Do your best … that’s all you can do! This is my youngest son’s mantra and it has served him well in his early adult life. However, what if it isn’t enough?
What happens when your best just isn’t good enough?
Throughout our lives we’re encouraged to do our best, try harder, keep pushing, don’t give up, etc. However, most of us already have or will encounter obstacles or challenges seemingly too difficult to overcome, despite our best efforts. So what’s the right course of action when your best is not enough?
If we assume failure is not an acceptable outcome, then we have created an irresistible force paradox. The classic paradox formulated as “What happens when an unstoppable force (you) meets an immovable object (obstacle or challenge)?” This paradox arises because it rests on two premises—there exists such things as irresistible forces and immovable objects—which cannot both be true at once.
“If you lean in the direction of success, you will make progress even when you fall.” – Grant M. Bright
The hardest thing for most of us to accept is failure. We have been conditioned to believe that failure is a catastrophic, ‘end of days’ type event, rather than a life lesson. However, in this world we are a part of, there are no such things as irresistible forces or immovable objects. Something must be changed. How can we strive to do our best against all odds knowing the end result in some situations will not be favorable?
One of the harsh realities we all must face at some point is dealing with adversity or a major setback. Many of you may be experiencing this in real-time today as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adversity or setbacks represent a “reversal of progress”. This reversal of progress can take many forms – i.e. a job loss, divorce, financial hardship, major illness or injury, the death of a loved one, etc. How we respond to adversity or a reversal of fortune reveals a lot about our character and ultimately how successful we’ll be in dealing with life’s future challenges.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis
How will you deal with a major setback when it comes? Will you be a better person as a result of the experience? Here are some suggested ways to overcome a major setback when it occurs and move forward in a positive way.
No, this is not another fan rant about the Dallas Cowboys lackluster performance on the football field this year. Although there are some similarities we’ll draw upon here. Rather, the article is about you. If you’re a business leader who seems to be stuck in neutral and unable to find the ‘winning formula’ to move to the next level.
None of us grew up with the notion of being average, just being good enough.
Whether it’s in sports, music, grades, business, etc. We have all been ingrained with the notion of being the best in our chosen pursuits. Does this seem realistic? There is nothing wrong with the quest for excellence. However, not everyone can ascend to the top of the pyramid and stay there. Real life just doesn’t work that way. And that’s OK!
Are your expectations aligned with reality?
Let’s talk for a moment about the ‘BIG LIE’. The big lie is what we tell ourselves when we have a bad day, or when things are not going our way. “Things will get better”. They won’t. Things are not going to get better until what? Until we do. In order to consistently achieve success at any level we must take risks, make changes and sacrifice to get there.
Do you believe that creating a winning culture is vital to the success of your business? If no, skip to the next article. If yes, what steps have you taken to build a winning culture within your organization?
Each year Fortune and Forbes magazines’ complete extensive surveys and publish their respective lists of the “Best Places to Work”. These surveys rank the top companies in a broad range of categories including job satisfaction, pay and benefit programs, attitudes about management, internal communication, hiring practices, training, and diversity efforts.
What makes these businesses great companies to work for and recognized leaders in their respective industries?
Whether your business is a start-up or well established, it’s important to recognize that everyone wants to be a part of building something special — a great company. And culture is an undeniable part of the fabric of any great company. A lot has been written about culture and its importance, but do we really understand what goes into creating a winning culture? Continue reading…
If you believe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Green Deal supporters, the world will end in 12 years if we don’t start right now to address climate change aggressively.
Ironically, it was 50 years ago that U Thant, then the Secretary-General of the United Nations, made a similar declaration about the future of mankind. He stated that the “Members of the United Nations have perhaps ten years left to solve the challenges ahead of us, or they will be beyond our control”.
U Thant’s more detailed comments can be found in the Introduction to the book, The Limits to Growth. It was the first edition of this book back in 1972 that began to reshape my thinking about the world around us and the fate of mankind. In 2012, 40 years later, I released my first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead that addressed many of these and other global challenges.
Back in April, I discussed one of the major issues from Chapter 5 of my book, Education Revitalized, in a blog article. Now, I want to broaden the conversation. Let’s go back a little farther to see what has changed during the past 47 years since the initial release of The Limits to Growth. Continue reading…
What is the global imperative? If you read my first book, GLOBALIZATION: America’s Leadership Challenge Ahead, you know the answer. The answer, “change your thinking”.
In my opinion, the key to changing your thinking is education. Education is the foundation from which growth and progress springs forth. If we truly want to change our world, and improve the quality of life for all global citizens, it starts with education.
In my book I devoted an entire chapter to Education Revitalized, so let’s look at how we have fared over the past seven years since the book was published. Continue reading…