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“What have you done lately?”

A daunting question when it’s asked. A paralyzing one when it’s obvious but unspoken.

It matters not whether you are job hunting or job secure . . . whether you are being considered for a promotion, for a management consulting project, for starting centerfielder on the Los Angeles Dodgers, for a go-fer position with a local septic tank installation crew, or for a top-level federal appointment. (Of course the last two examples could be interchangeable!)

Because very few job and promotion candidates are walking around with last week’s national leadership award sticking out of a back pocket, the result of being asked “What have you done lately?” is generally the same. Panic attack.

  Okay, you say. You can relate to it, but you don’t really have that kind of problem, you say, because you are the boss!

Well, Boss. Guess what?

This is the same question that’s in the back of every customer’s mind — but you’ll never hear it asked.

 Now that’s a quick-flip thought.

“The only thing that’s permanent,” said Greek philosopher Heraclitus over 2500 years ago, “is change.” So how is it that this has been common household advice for dozens of generations, and business owners and managers are still running stagnant?

What have YOU done lately? Have you introduced some change excitement that ushers in genuine and meaningful consumer benefits? Was the change something that will (or will continue to) produce a positive or negative outcome for your customers?

Or have you pulled the plug on real innovative progress in order to cut expenses?

When you make a change to cut expense corners, odds are you are inevitably making a change that will find its way through to the point of lowering some key aspect of product or service quality and dollar value.

Shortchanging innovation efforts may in fact amount to investing in the status quo, in keeping things — or something — the same as it’s always been. And that’s not a practice that will take you to the dance in today’s competitive crisis economy.

On the other side of the same coin, innovation for the sake of innovating is meaningless. It is as threatening and undermining to a business as doing nothing new. Innovation mania is especially prevalent in many hi-tech businesses. The hi-tech industry feeds on making changes that serve no purpose or that have no value, often just to be able to say “Hey, look what we’re doing!”

So, this post is an anti-innovation message? Not by any measure. It IS however a message that innovative practices focused solwly on stirring up the pot (rather than, for example, designing and developing new ingredients for the pot, or inventing a new kind of pot, or a new improved stirrer) are a waste of business resources.

Innovation starts with a creative idea

In other words, as Grandpa used to say,

if you’re gonna do it, do it right!  



Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

God Bless America and God Bless America’s Troops.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One comment so far

One Comment to “STAYING ON TOP”

  1. Hal Alpiar’s Blog » BUSINESS GLOW-BULBon 19 Jan 2011 at 11:01 pm

    […] and unplanned-for events (sounds like most of life?). Guess what the end-product is? Doesn’t self-discovery make you glow?  […]

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