I still feel like writing so let’s see how quickly I can bust this out –
I’m still yet to work out if this is the best use of my time (writing these morning blogs I mean haha – but f*ck it I enjoy it)…
The continual emphasis I place on innovation within the company is what I believe has helped establish us (at least from a brand perspective) – as one of the leading agencies in the UK.
Well first of all – there’s a relentless drive for innovation that I think comes from the child inside me.
Almost by default – I keep looking for ideas to grow the business and to find new ways of getting things done.
This practically means I’ll find a ‘cool new growth hack’ or other way of doing things that could equal success potentially
How this plays out is I’ll read something on a blog on Medium or listen to something on Audible – and it’ll automatically generate a series of new actions for me.
If you’re a founder – I think you’ve got this part down right?
I’m confident almost every founder goes through such a process.
Consequently where things fall apart is when it comes down to the execution of any idea you have.
This simply – is where we wield a significant competitive advantage.
Let me break down HOW, and therefore HOW if you’re founder or leader of a company – you can do exactly the same thing in ‘step-by-step’ fashion.
1. Start waking up earlier (much earlier)
Now I don’t always achieve 430am. But often-time I do, and almost always I wake up before 630am. This means each morning I have time to read, listen and learn – and these three things help drive inspiration. So this is where the ‘fountain’ of knowledge comes from.
2. Focus upon ideas that look like quick wins
When it comes to things I think we could execute – I’ll look at items that could be executed within 24 hours (at a push) almost always.
3. Exclude ‘big hairy things’ as the small things consistently done will get you to the ‘big things’
A good example of this is that I wouldn’t look at changing our whole CRM, or our booking system, our CMS. These are big things that the outcome of them would be up in the air until execution and aren’t easy to reverse.
4. Look at ‘reversible changes’
You don’t want to innovate in a manner that doesn’t allow you to easily roll something back. So often my ideas might be ‘let’s post regularly on GMB, let’s ask our team to write a review of working at Pearl Lemon on Glassdoor’ – and these cost the company nothing and can easily be reversed but only have upside.
5. Recognise that the simple things (like in point 4) are innovative
Oftentimes, executing on simple things IS innovative because no one else is doing it.
Now, I want to get to probably the most important point in my book when it comes to the ‘process of innovation’.
Have an ‘innovation team’ OR ‘innovation officers’
What I mean by this – is that the biggest blocker to executing upon this – is that most don’t make any financial commitment to innovation.
But if you have a dedicated team member/members who have specifically brought someone in to EXECUTE upon ideas…then you’ll go much much further than many other companies.
There are in any business no-shortage of ideas for change. But if you a) wrap your ideas up into a neat ‘execution framework’ e.g
- It has to be executable within a max of an 8 hour day
- It has to cost nothing/close to nothing minus time
- It has to carry a clear outcome
- It has to have little to no downside
- It must be simple to execute
- It must be something someone internally can execute
Then you’ll find the focus will only be on ideas that can be rolled out quickly and effectively.
Furthermore, if you then combine this with a full-time/part-time resource whose remit is to ‘execute upon Deepak’s brain dumps’ (as we do – we’ve got multiple people for this) – you’ll then race ahead of other businesses.
Ideas often never see the light of day (or barely a slither) because they fall outside of the 6-step framework above. And then coupled with that there’s no dedicated resource to work upon such ideas.
And such a person need not be expensive.
An intern can work on such pet projects which could soon make ALL the difference to your company.
So go out there, get your process down – and innovate!