What’s the fastest way to put yourself on the right track to staying ahead of the curve?
It’s to constantly encourage your people to try new things; apply new strategies and solutions; track results and learn from each venture; and adapt your approach in turn to get better with each successive effort. Along similar lines, you also have to make a point to actively promote entrepreneurial thinking throughout the organization – and continuously give your people room to focus on long-term as well as short-term goals by giving them the tools, time, freedom, and support that they need to constantly tinker.
On the bright side, as we often remind speaking audiences, the ability to innovate your way to success is often far more accessible and affordable than you may think. Likewise, so is finding ways to continually fund these ventures when you make a point to fit for growth and not only constantly assess the ROI of initiatives you’re spearheading, but also make a point to continually reallocate funds being poured into less well-performing initiatives into those best poised to make a real impact. And, for that matter, move your focus away strictly from short-term cost-cutting to steadily reinvesting in long-term growth.
Because while finding ways to stay ahead of the curve may often seem like it’s all about thinking big, ironically, the closer you study market leaders in every field, the more you discover it’s all about thinking small instead – taking a more strategic approach to planning and operations, and consistently making many tiny but also hugely tactical adjustments that together hold the power to make a massive impact on the bottom line. And, for that matter, routinely taking the time to step back, reexamine the bigger picture, and reconsider where you and your team have the power to plant little seeds of change today that can help secure your enterprise’s future by eventually compounding and growing into huge wins for the business tomorrow.