“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston S. Churchill
Taken to mean different things to different people, “Pushing the Envelope” no matter what doing your best means you. Radical innovations sometimes called “Breakthroughs”, is what may need to happen in your workplace. With each of your employees having their own ideas and thoughts on being creative and on innovating what they see, the shift in the workplace is to motivate better than before to get everyone on-board and engaged.
“To push the edge of the envelope”, “pushing the outside of the envelope” are both statements to motivate you and your employee’s to use strengths, skills and talent to generate your best ideas, create those ideas and produce them as great breakthrough results. Organizations that have succeeded have done so not by following the rules of conventional wisdom, but by breaking them.
“If you think you’ve already made it, that’s when you can fall short and go backwards. I’m constantly pushing forward and chasing the element of perfection.”
Innovating the Way
“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.”
Opportunity would be lost if the package simply restored things as they were. Creating new ways of doing business, you need a combination of aligning your people with processes and systems that are not the old ways.
Innovation is concerned with bringing something new into being to meet an unmet need. It provides value where previously little to any was being delivered. If there was an easy way to innovate in everyone would be doing it already. Rather, everyone has their own specific steps or formula they use to generate, create and produce their ideas into breakthrough results.
Raising the Bar
Whether you are an employee or employer, raising the bar for projects to be worked on helps challenge what you do. Expecting your employees to create and produce greater results than “ordinary” employees helps move your business to the next level of success. Your employees get to use their strengths, skills and talent to their potential.
Empower smart people who push the envelope within the boundaries of your core values. Involve everyone in idea generation. Don’t create two classes of organizational citizens, those who can think and those who do. Allow everyone to contribute their thoughts and ideas. Innovation and ideation is pointless without buy-in and support from top management. What about getting buy-in from your employees- the people who generate ideas, create and produce the work?
Work only on ideas that can move the needle of the company’s bottom line. This is where you most likely set the bar so high that no new idea can actually pass. Sustained innovation is never the result of following the conventional rules, but of breaking them. Embrace a strategic approach to identifying, encouraging and executing on innovative ideas, breakthrough products are born.
Explore the Wide Range of Possible Solutions
Develop some core solution ideas and prioritize them to work on to increase your chance of success. Some of the most productive corporations get this. Encourage your employees to spend 10-20% of their working time on their own projects. Even every combination you use can be a possible solution for the problem, challenge or difficulty you encounter. Don’t generate more product ideas than our company can develop.
As Joyce Wycoff, founder of the Innovation Network said, “Most organizations are still trying to figure out how to do innovation the simplest way possible.”
For a leader wanting to increase innovation in and from their return on investment is important but it is not the first measure of success. It requires patience, persistence and thinking about innovation for the long-term.