When you step into a new leadership role, you may be determined to leave your mark, and that may drive you to rush and make big—even revolutionary—changes.
However, you don’t need to make drastic changes to make an impact. “It’s easy to be intimidated if you believe you must constantly come up with big, market-disrupting inventions,” says Patrick Stroh, author of Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! “This mindset can paralyze you or, conversely, send you down a costly wrong path.”
Instead, make small incremental changes that will improve how your team or organization runs, provide more value to customers, and improve the bottom line, advises Stroh. Here’s why you should focus on small innovations first:
- They’re quick, easy and typically easy to execute. You don’t have to take employees off of other projects or tie up too much of your own time to work on a complex change. Plus, you don’t have to pour a ton of money into a project or idea initially. You make steady progress and improvements without having to invest a ton of resources, manpower and money.
- They improve productivity and morale. When you address small issues overtime, you streamline, improve efficiency, and make employees’ lives easier—without having to completely overhaul workflows and processes.
- They lead to quick wins. As you complete small changes, you experience positive results and benefits right away, and that is great for both your and your employees’ morale. It also builds momentum to keep up the positive effort. “Success begets more success,” says Stroh.
- They make you think like the customer. When you home in on those changes or small innovations that create value for the customer, even small changes improve the customer experience and satisfaction level. Happier customers = more revenue.
- They add up. Overtime, as you implement small changes, you make improvements that can lead to big savings or revenue-generating opportunities, while giving you the confidence to consider bigger, more disruptive ideas.
Today, figure out what small changes you can easily or quickly implement that will make employees more successful and customers happier. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your employees. They are likely full of ideas and quick fixes that can drastically increase productivity, morale and creativity.
Patrick Stroh is president of Mercury Business Advisors, providing management advisory services in business strategy, innovation,= and product development. He is the author of Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! and Business Strategy: Plan, Execute, Win!, a must-read how-to guide for fostering innovation in your organization. Patrick Stroh outlines practical execution steps, downloadable forms, innovation insights, and introduces Innovation Value Score® (IVS), a proprietary measurement system to calculate, compare, and improve innovation value creation—which is now a must-have for organizational survival.
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