Efforts that make the biggest difference to your bottom line are the ones based on business changing ideas. No matter how well any plan is executed, it is those ideas that make the difference for exploding profits. Here is a great method for getting those innovative, business changing ideas.
Innovation . . . Is Different Than We Think
The process of innovation, especially the type needed to expand your business, is very different than most of us assume.
* Innovation costs a lot of money – NOT – Innovation is actually almost free. It requires only a few people and a very short time.
* We just need one really great idea – NOT TRUE – The difference between being the best and just average is a big surprise. It is the accumulation of small incremental innovations that make the largest contribution to success over time.
* It’s science, technology, and invention – FALSE AGAIN – Innovations can be technical but the purpose is always economic. Successful innovation makes some process more efficient, eases burdens, saves time or increases pleasure . . . and is purely an economic activity.
* We can’t plan it . . . innovation takes time – AGAIN FALSE – It takes very little time. What is required is the right environment for a spontaneous generation of good ideas.
Innovation is merely the solution to a defined need using what is already available. The biggest challenge is to understand the need. Once understood, innovative ideas just flow forth.
Great Ideas . . . For Exploding Profits
The “Rubber Room” concept has worked fabulously for me. It enables startling discoveries that would never have been possible otherwise. It triggers a “survival” response, which produces creative thought.
Take The Blinders Off
We limit our thinking because we concentrate too much on the problem we are trying to solve. Instead, if we transport ourselves mentally to another place where we have to solve an even bigger problem, the solution to our current problem is greatly simplified.
A few years ago, I was trying to understand how to automate the back office processes of a major insurance company. I talked to the business users and didn’t get much help. Their suggestions were helpful, but mostly trivial, as far as making a bottom line difference.
So, I gathered them all in a quiet room to just relax and think. I told them, “Imagine your company will grow three times in size. What’s more, your company will not hire any new people at your position. That means you will have three times the work you have now. However, you will have as much clerical help as you need. What would you have the clerical help do?”
They responded with a long list of tasks they would offload, in order to keep up. That became a great list of software features to decrease manual effort and increase efficiency.
That company actually did double its business, without hiring any new employees. Those are significant bottom line results. What do you think that would do for your company’s bottom line?
The “Rubber Room” . . . Works With Any Problem
Follow these simple steps to your own list of great business changing ideas . . .
* Gather a group of people who are very close to the problem
* Chose a quiet meeting place where they will not be disturbed
* Get their thinking totally out of reality and into an imaginary world where anything is possible
* Give them a problem, much like the current one, but wildly exaggerated
* Tell them they have to solve it but their solution doesn’t have to actually be doable; they can even use magic, they have an unlimited budget and unlimited resources
* Give them all the time they need, even several days, if needed
They will arrive at a list of very creative ideas and suggestions. The rubber room concept is a great way of stretching the imagination. And when it comes to ideas for business results, imagination is our only limitation.