"Step 1: Get out of the fetal position!"

I am asked on occasion why companies talk feverishly about innovation but hardly ever (if ever) put solid innovation schemes into play.

FEAR is my answer. Pick whatever flavor you like:

Fear of failure
Fear of loss of standing
Fear of risk
Fear of conflict

and the list goes on...

The fear I've seen lately is fear of progress. Obviously progress is NOT bad, quite the contrary, although progress may impact current revenue structures and business models dramatically. But isn't that what innovation does? It disrupts! It drives change! This means once a company finds their "innovation sweet spot" they need to start researching and developing another one immediately, even if (especially if) it threatens their current business model.

Case in point: Blockbuster versus Netflix
Netflix not only blew Blockbuster's long standing and market leading movie rental business model out of the water, they continued researching technology to find exactly what would blow their DVD-by-mail model out of the water in the coming years and then ADOPTED IT! The lesson here is not to ignore or block the inevitable innovation, rather embrace it and turn it into a winner for yourself before a competitor does.

Many companies have tried and failed throughout the years in the online recruiting industry and their efforts should be remembered and celebrated. They were strong enough to try and fail where many others are still laying in the fetal position hoping nothing changes or doing everything in their power to block or stop progress because of FEAR.

Don't go through life scared, get out of the fetal position and innovate!

Suggested & related reading:
- INNOVATE or DIE!
- Knock 3 times, for INNOVATION
- Caroline’s Innovation Questions
- The Fear of Innovation - Phil McKinney
- To increase innovation, reduce fear - Andrew Papageorge
- Innovation and change: What are you afraid of? - Mark Swiecichowsk

Views: 74

Comment by Jerry Albright on June 10, 2010 at 11:39am
Whoever started the rumor that recruiters are "early adopters" was way off base. From what I can tell recruiters have adopted very little after having conquered attaching a Word document to an email.
Comment by Chad Sowash on June 10, 2010 at 11:50am
So you concur with Step 1?
Comment by Jerry Albright on June 10, 2010 at 11:56am
Not only do I concur - I've done it. I find myself at the forefront of "Presentation" technology through a series of events in my career and marketplace. I saw a need, designed something and have implemented it. It's absolutely changed everything for me.

It wasn't easy. Growing your marketshare during tough times never is. I'll tell you what IS easy - going out of business!

Recruiters who only change once it is forced upon them by their competitors are never far from the middle of the crowd......and that "middle" is getting smaller and smaller.
Comment by Chad Sowash on June 10, 2010 at 3:32pm
I agree Jerry, but it's funny because everyone seems to be protecting what they have only to turn around and see that it's not there anymore. It's the basics of "Who Moved My Cheese".

We'll call it "Who Moved My Revenue Stream!"
Comment by Chad Sowash on June 11, 2010 at 10:02am
Like it or not I was leaning toward the book's basic principle of embracing change which isn't generally followed even if it seems like Business 101. You have to remember human behavior can easy defy basic logic and basic logic in some cases is defied by science, but that's another conversation all together ;o)

I agree you are not be required to embrace change although the survival of your business may require it, which ties nicely into Jerry's line "It (change/innovation) wasn't easy. Growing your marketshare during tough times never is. I'll tell you what IS easy - going out of business!"

The first step is the most important and many of the other steps don't have to follow an specific order so I'll continue to write about innovation and if I see steps I promise point them out.

Thanks Jerry and Rayanne ;o)

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