In this article, we’re going to look at how to design and refine what you do as a business to best meet your customers’ needs. We’ll explore techniques for getting great feedback to fuel efficient creativity as well as the virtues of the “committee of one”.
One of the problems many of us experience as business owners is “too much received opinion”. Whilst we must welcome and encourage feedback, it takes discipline to filter and translate what you’re hearing. What you need is a strategy that ensures you’re building what you want rather than creating someone else’s dream or someone else’s version of what they think your dream should be.
As they say, the camel is actually a horse designed by a committee… These themes will be valuable at whatever stage you’re at with your business, especially in the current climate, as rapid adaption, pivoting and repositioning have all become terms in our everyday vocabulary.
Invention vs. Innovation
Invention is the creation of something new, whereas innovation is the application of something that already exists, just in a new way. Your offer must integrate both concepts to best meet your customers’ needs and desires. New ideas don’t make money, it’s the application of that idea and bringing it to market that makes money.
“If nobody’s ever done it before… why not?”
Three Tips For Better Business Creativity
Tip #1: Beware of creativity
Look for examples of success (perhaps from your heroes and exemplars) and add your own twist.
If you have a huge team of people involved in working on one of your ideas, everyone will have different views of excellence and each person will demand that their idea of excellence be taken into consideration. This takes a tremendous amount of compromise, which results in your end product being just that, a compromise. This often takes away from the bigger picture that you had in the beginning. Once you compromise everything, you end up with something that’s bland.
Tip #2: Listen to the right people and keep control of what happens
It’s your dream, not theirs…
There’s an unfortunate paradox of the more complex it gets, the worse it gets. It takes discipline to keep ideas and action steps simple, so work on strengthening that discipline and sticking to your vision. Know when to be your own committee. Avoid adding layers of complication, as that is often what ruins the innovative, creative process, resulting in a product that the customer doesn’t actually want or need.
Tip #3: Do less better…
In other words, don’t always look to do more things – usually the answer is to do things better.
Try to do one thing a thousand times so that you become a ‘master’ rather than try to do a thousand things once and be a ‘jack of all trades’
What can you simplify and do better in terms of your offer and your creative process?
The Hedgehog Principle
When a fox attacks a hedgehog, what does it think? They don’t think about running away, they think about their tried and true method of protection, rolling into a spikey little ball! This is a world-class strategy that its species has well-implemented every time for over 15-million years.
Over that time, hedgehogs have:
- Figured out what they can be brilliant at
- Worked out how to be brilliant at it
- Decided to stick to what they do brilliantly
Keep these in mind and be like a hedgehog! Most small businesses don’t pay enough attention to what they can do brilliantly and don’t stick to what that is. They settle for being ‘good’.
“The biggest enemy of great is good.” – Jim Collins
When you start to refine an idea or process, focus on what marginal improvements you can make to increase your efficiency.
What thing could you perfect? In other words, how can you be like a hedgehog?
Now that you have your hedgehog thinking cap on and are thinking of ways to simplify and perfect what you, as a business owner and innovator, are brilliant at while filtering the plethora of feedback that comes your way… you’ll be ready to confidently and efficiently bring your special offer to your customers and make your entrepreneurial vision a reality.
Remember, it takes discipline and diligence! Don’t hesitate to go after YOUR dream.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article.
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