Innovation Insights is a daily post on LinkedIn to help leaders strengthen those all-important innovation muscles over a period of 30 days. Below is a summary from the week.

Are you seeing the signs?

Nationally, across the US employment numbers are starting to improve. There is news about consistent progress to the vaccine we all are hoping for. There are reports of new testing options that are fast and inexpensive.

In the midst of all the bad news, there are some bright spots. It is an indicator of underlying economic health that countries can bounce back after big shocks.

How about in your organization or team?

In midst of the stress of the pandemic are you seeing people step up with new and novel approaches to challenges? The degree to which you are is an indicator of the health of your organization, its resilience, and its innovation muscles.


See and Apply

For many leaders innovation is NOT about uncovering NEW knowledge or technology to exploit or monetize. That is the kind of innovation that gets in  the news, but it’s not the journey for many leaders.

The challenge for most leaders is 1) being able to see new opportunities for applications of existing technology that may not be their own and 2) marshaling their organizations to quickly take advantage of the opportunity.

This does not require an extraordinary degree of creativity, but it does require comfort with ambiguity, a high degree of business acumen, and a capable team inspired by the vision presented.

What are you doing today to see what is coming, what is available, and with whom you can be most successful?


Are we there yet?

A download (movie, podcast or software patch) that is 99% complete has 0% utility. A plane that has taxied to a gate, but has no ground crew to connect the skybridge and allow passengers to deplane hasn’t really “arrived.”

Ideas to improve are the same. A million dollar idea that is still “on the tarmac” of implementation isn’t worth a dime.

It may not be sexy, but leaders have to work hard to get ideas to a state of implementation.

As you create plans to execute, bake in the accountabilities and be clear as a green pea on a white plate about who will do what by when.


Disrupting Developments

As my colleague Ron Thompson likes to point out, there is always someone looking at your space with an eye for tech disruption. Hotels experienced it. Taxi companies experienced it. Any brick and mortar retailer has experienced it. Car sellers have experienced it.

Ron likes to point out that there are thousands of registered fintech companies looking for some way to disrupt the goliaths of banking and mortgage.

Being disrupted cannot be a pleasant experience.

But what about on the other side? How do the disruptors likely feel? Elated? Vindicated? Rich?

Many of the companies that got disrupted could have been the successful disruptor and yet lost the initiative.

How disruptive have your organization been lately? What are your prospects to be disruptive this year or next? If the prospect of your company being a disruptor is LOW, then the risk of being disrupted is likely HIGH.

It’s always a good time to build innovative muscles. Contact me and we can talk about how to make that happen in your organization.


Your Creative Superpowers

Leaders may have finite energy and time, but they have unlimited creativity. Creativity is a leader’s superpower. Are you using this power to its full advantage?

What if Superman were to WALK to work, instead of FLYING?

I am on track to write 30 insights to help leaders be more innovative. This is in addition to all the other blogs, webinars, workshops, and events that I create to help leaders be more effective. I am a font of creativity.

You are too.

Try this: with your team came up with 30 ideas to dramatically improve your organization. These ideas might be in the area of growing sales, reducing costs, identifying new products and services, delighting clients, enhancing safety, or speeding realization of strategic objectives.

Next, pick the top three and move.

Creativity is a leader superpower, but it should never be used to come up with excuses of why things can’t be done. Get flyin’!