Are You Causing The Buzz, Or Just Reacting To It?

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Imagine this scenario:

You and your team walk into your industry’s annual convention, like you have many times before. But this time, something’s different.

There’s a buzz.

People are looking at you in a way they haven’t before.

They’re elbowing their neighbor, pointing at your team, and whispering, “There they are! That’s them!”

This year, the buzz is about you.

People are saying things about you. Things like:

  • “Have you heard about what they’re doing?”
  • “They’re really changing the game!”
  • “We’re really going to have to raise the bar ...
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How You Feel About Disruption Depends On This

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People don’t like disruption.

People don’t like change.

If you’re like most people (and most people are), you’re nodding your head and saying, “Boy, you got that right, Bill! That’s so true!”

Is it, though?

I think it depends on which side of the equation you’re on.

Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote, “Change is a threat when done to me, but an opportunity when done by me.”

The same thing can be said for disruption.

We only dislike disruption when we’re on the receiving ...

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Is Your Business Programmed For Success?

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“Your business is getting exactly the results you’ve programmed it to.”

Is that a wake-up call for you?

It was for me when my friend Brian Tracy said it to me last year. He went on to say:

“If you’re unhappy with the results, change the programming.”

It’s really hard to argue with ironclad logic like that, isn’t it?

So let’s break it down. What does “change the programming” really mean?

It means thinking DIFFERENTLY about your business.

Thinking DIFFERENTLY about your products and services. Thinking ...

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Innovation May Only Be A One Degree Difference

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I keep telling you—innovation is not that hard!

Here’s the misconception: People think that to be an innovator, you have to be wildly creative. You have to think completely differently than anyone else. When they zig, you have to zag. Your perspective has to be 180 degrees from everyone else’s.

Here’s the truth.

To think like an innovator, sometimes you only have to change your perspective by one degree.

Sometimes, you only have to think a LITTLE differently than other people. (Or, perhaps more ...

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If Innovation Were Medicine, What Kind Would Yours Be?

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Since I like to simplify things, let’s simplify the world of medicine into two types:

1. Preventive medicine (e.g., a daily baby aspirin to prevent heart attacks);
2. Emergency medicine (e.g., a clot-busting drug injected during a heart attack).

Now, if we’re talking about you and your personal heart, which one of those two would you prefer?

Unless your masochistic tendencies are higher than mine, I’m guessing you chose #1, right?

[Here comes the pivot.]

I’d like to suggest that you start thinking of innovation as preventive ...

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How Innovative Is Your Marketing?

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Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes.

Take the first iPod, for example. What an innovation!

Oh, I’m not talking about the device itself.

I’m talking about the marketing campaign.

Look, the iPod was an innovation, sure. But what was it, really?

It was, at its core, just a 5 GB hard drive. That’s all. And Apple could have marketed it that way. “Looky what we just made—a really small, really cool looking 5 GB hard drive!!!”

How do you think THAT would have sold?

But what ...

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What Are You Doing EVERY DAY?

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How long would it take you to write twenty monolog jokes for The Tonight Show?

For some of you the answer might be, “Maybe a day.” For others, it might be, “A million years.”

I used to be able to do it in roughly 30 minutes.

And these are real jokes, for the real Tonight Show.

It was back in the Jay Leno days, when I was producing my own comedy TV show in Seattle. Jay was a friend of the show, and he ...

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Feeling A Little Uncertainty? Good!

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Quick: What single word do you think best sums up the zeitgeist of today?

I think a good case could be made for the word “uncertainty.”

We’re all feeling it, to one degree or another. Uncertainty about the economy, uncertainty about U.S. democracy, uncertainty about global conflicts. There’s plenty of uncertainty to go around.

Bottom line: we don’t know what the future will bring. And how do you prepare for that?

You prepare for it by learning how to innovate.

When you have the ability ...

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What You Want Your Competitors To Be Thinking

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Here is what you want your competitors to be thinking right now:

“Boy, things are really uncertain. The economy is topsy-turvy, flights are being canceled right and left, and the country is reeling. We should probably hold off on any ‘frivolous’ expenses—like innovation—until things settle down.”

That’s what you want your competitors to be thinking right now.

Because right now is exactly when you should be doubling down on innovation.

In uncertain times, the innovative companies win. In fact, it’s often a double win, ...

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What Successful Innovation REALLY Is

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Successful innovation is not an event.

Successful innovation is not even a process.

Successful innovation is a mindset.

Here’s what the progression looks like:

1.    “We are widget-makers.”
2.    “We are widget-makers who innovate.”
3.    “We are innovators who happen to make widgets.”

It’s the difference between having “innovation” in the third paragraph of your mission statement hanging in the break room—and having innovation in your corporate DNA.

When innovation is in your corporate DNA, you are essentially bulletproof. You are no longer paralyzed by disruption because:

·     You now see ...

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