Too often I hear “this is the way we have always done it.” I don’t care how you always did it; I want to do it better. In fact, I’ve actually told people that I will fire them if I hear them use those words.
If you’re only focused on your current success, then you’re foolish. You need to challenge the status quo, rather than stay stranded in your comfort zone. Because that’s what you’ll end up being – stranded.
Always strive for innovation
You never want to become irrelevant in the greater marketplace. Ok, so some traditional best practices may be proven to have positive effects on businesses, but you should always strive for something better. While you may argue that you don’t have the funds to experiment, I can assure you that you don’t need a super-sized budget.
Once you’ve challenged your current state of affairs, progress will depend on you as a leader. Remember, this is an opportunity to change things for the better.
Challenge all the time
“The key to change is first to understand what not to change and then to feel free to change everything else.” Jim Collins certainly knows what he’s talking about. Accept ‘challenge innovation’ and ask questions that require some level of thought to challenge your team’s mind-set. Create questions that spark energy and curiosity, and a safe space where they want to contribute.
Be careful not to sound too critical. Don’t ask “why aren’t we producing this in half the time?” Use motivational speech, such as “what if we could do this in half the time?” and “how do you think we can beat our competitors?” Motivate your people.
Have an open mind
Every brave leader with the guts to take bold risks and challenge the status quo can make a real difference. You need to be passionate about constantly learning and growing, as well as doing the unorthodox thing. With an open mind, you can entice new improvements and inspire those around you to think bigger and do better.
Don’t be afraid to try all sorts of new things and think outside of that bloody box. When something seems obvious, try something different. If you don’t, I guarantee someone else will.
Reward and exploit
Our world is increasingly competitive, and you must constantly adapt, nurture, grow and move forward. Many workers can get comfortable (and stagnant) and be resistant to change. That’s why it’s essential to create an environment where your team feels comfortable with sharing their ideas and have the freedom to express what they believe is and is not working well. I’ve lost count of the leaders I’ve met who don’t take the time to get feedback from co-workers.
Ensure great ideas are rewarded while trusting and supporting them to take the next step. You also need to walk the walk (not just talk the talk) by committing to any change with help from your empowered team.