While all the talk of “pivoting” these days is turning into a drinking game for some entrepreneurs, it’s important to remember one important thing:
As a business owner, creator, entrepreneur, it has always been your responsibility to innovate. This is not new.
Show me a business that never adapts, and I’ll show you an extinct business.
Show me a leader who fails to evolve, and I’ll show you someone who’s never had a real impact.
Many businesses big and small have shown remarkable ingenuity in how they are adapting to change. Some have gone after new markets. Some have changed their sales strategies or service delivery models. Some have reimagined their product lines. I shared some great examples here in this Entrepreneur.com article on five ways to pivot and thrive.
And not all of it is about “technology.”
In fact, innovation requires more than tech. It requires humanity. Empathy. Mental space. New relationships. (TWEET THIS!)
Wanted to revisit two classic posts from the archives with you on this important topic:
Make space to innovate.
When you strain and struggle, you don’t leave yourself enough space to get creative. This is why an empathetic team culture leads to more innovation: People are free from fear and pressure and can focus on creativity. They feel safe. Their heads are not full of so much extraneous junk. They are free to see things in a new way and imagine new possibilities. Years ago, life coach Danelle Dowling shared her formula for innovation: Think Less, Bitch Less, Push Less = Create More. If you need some tough love on how to get more creative, check it out.
Times are tough. Stress is high. It’s on you as a creator to take care of yourself and make the space you need to reimagine possibilities and adapt quickly.
Innovation is not simply about inventing something no one has ever seen before. True, that is part of it. But can you innovate your processes, service delivery, product usage? Can you adapt how you interact with customers, how to design products, and even which markets you serve?
And can you simply conduct business in a whole new way? Break the mold of how “things have always been done. This past post shows why redefining success IS innovative. And companies like Zoom Communications, AirBnB, and Ford are showing that empathy and compassion for employees and customers is an innovative (and profitable) way to do business. This was the entire point of my book, The Empathy Edge. The way you do business can be what sets you apart and creates a whole new standard of success.