I’ve been listening to some interesting CDs and reading some insightful and fascinating articles this week, and I thought I would share the highlights with you.
The over-riding sense is that innovative companies grow. Actually, any of us in business know that: you stand still in business at your peril. Innovation, creation of new products and messages, finding new ways to promote our businesses is what we need to do not just survive, but to grow and thrive.
One piece of research showed that leaders of innovative companies spend 31% of their time on innovation.
Google, Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce and the like have policies in place to allow people time to create – to spend on innovative ideas and projects. At Google, for instance, they allow all their staff to spend 20% of their time (a day a week) on innovation. In their case, staff can come up with any idea they like and the ideas are put up on a board for other Google employees to vote on. If another Google employee loves the look of an idea, not only can he or she vote on it, but can also put their name forward to work on the project as part of his/her creative 20% time.
And I don’t need to tell you just how successful Google are! Or Amazon or Facebook for that matter.
So we can establish quite easily that innovation leads to the growth of a business.
But one thing that I’ve observed over the years is that you need to care about the subject matter in order to be creative.
It also helps to be in a positive frame of mind if you want to be creative and innovative. Ever tried to come up with some creative solutions to a problem when you’re in a bad mood? Or you feel tired and down and a client asks what you think….and you just don’t know?
Flip that on its head and when you’ve had a good night’s sleep, you wake up to find the sun is shining, the kids have managed to leave for school in time WITH all their belongings (woo hoo!), you’ve had a good laugh at your breakfast meeting, and you’re just generally feeling good about the world – then your client meeting goes like a blast! Full of ideas and solutions, and the net result is that your client thinks you’re wonderful! More than that, you drive home full of ideas on how to grow your own business.
Wouldn’t it be great to feel like that every day?
Well, that brings me on to separate piece of research that I read.
A study of 130,000 people showed that the strongest predictor for how much enjoyment a person experienced on any given day was whether he or she had learned something the day before.
Now, take a small leap with me: if we’re enjoying life, we sleep better, we wake up in a better mood, and are generally much more positive about life.
And if positivity leads to creativity and innovation, and innovation leads to business growth….surely, then, if we want our businesses to grow and thrive, we need to look at the root of it all and make an effort to enjoy life more?
And if a key to that is to learn something new every day – surely that’s a step you could be taking here and now?
The “something new” could be anything by the way. Reading into the study further, if you’ve been wondering how to surf (an example they give), then go learn how to do it. It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy it or not, or whether you’re any good at it, the act of learning it will make the difference to how you feel, and to your enjoyment levels overall.
Same goes for finding out something new about your partner, or learning something about a piece of art.
The “what” doesn’t matter, the “learning something new every day” does.
One of the easiest ways to learn something every day, is to ask a questions.
Ask questions of your partner, your children, people in different industries and businesses to you, people from different backgrounds, people with different hobbies. You get the idea!
And asking questions in itself can lead to creativity and innovation too.
Learn something new today and tomorrow you wake up with a sense of enjoyment – and positivity. And as I said earlier, positivity leads to creativity and innovation. And innovation leads to business growth.
So the question I’m going to ask you now……is what question are you going to ask today?
Ask a question and take that first step toward your business thriving!
Let me know how you get on.
See you next week,
Dedicated to your success,