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Which of These 4 Is You?

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Innovation and change are intertwined. And when change—particularly disruptive change—happens, organizations tend to fall into one of 4 places. Can you tell where you are?

If you're a video person, I lay it all out in the video below. If reading is more your thing, skip the video and hop straight to the transcript below!

Hey there, Bill Stainton here with Turning Creativity into Money™, and I've noticed something about disruptive change.

When disruptive change happens—the kind of change that requires an innovative response—when disruptive change happens, organizations tend to find themselves in one of four places.

Now the first place is what I call hibernation. And that's when you kind of dig in. You know, you collect what you need and you kind of burrow in, you go into hibernation hoping it's going to be over soon, right? Thinking, "Well this, this can't last, this is just this is a blip, this isn't gonna, this isn't gonna last long." And you've, you've seen this with organizations, like, "Oh well, stream, streaming video? Come on, nobody's gonna want that. They want to own DVDs, right?" "Uh, online shopping? Come on, that's, that's never gonna last. This whole internet thing is a fad. "The pandemic? It'll be over in two weeks. Let's just hunker down and wait it out."

Okay, the problem is that if the change really is disruptive, if the change really is long lasting, waiting it out is not your best strategy. So that's hibernation.

The next stage I see organizations is what I call animation. That's when you realize that something's different, and you've got to respond. And so you, you go into action. You, you, you basically do the same thing you were doing before, but you do it harder and faster! Right? And longer. You just, the same thing but like, "Here we go, come on, we gotta, we gotta, we gotta get moving, we gotta work!" But you're doing the same thing. Things have changed—you're doing the same thing, just longer, harder, and faster. You're in the stage of animation.

The next place I see organizations is what I call exploration. When you realize that you can't just do what you did before. Things have fundamentally changed. You've got to do something different—you just don't know what. And so you try everything. It's like, you know, throwing spaghetti against the wall. Does anybody actually do that—throw spaghetti against the —children do, okay, sure. But you know you're trying things one after another: "Maybe this will work." Boom. "Ah, that didn't work. How about this?" Boom. And you're kind of all over the place with this. I mean, you're in the game, you're doing something, you can feel good about that—but nothing's really sticking because you don't really have a game plan.

And that brings us to the fourth stage. We have hibernation, animation, exploration. The fourth stage is game changer.

See what I did there? I changed the pattern, right?

Hibernation, animation, exploration, game changer. Because it is a game changer. It's different rules. You know, the old patterns aren't working anymore. The organizations that find themselves in game changer realize that, "Okay, things have fundamentally changed. It's a different game. The old rules no longer apply. Let's invent the new rules. Let's invent the new game."

And the organizations that find themselves in game changer are the ones that everybody else looks at. Both the customers and the competition goes, like, "Ooh, okay, that—wow! They figured something out." That's the game changer.

What does it take to get from one of those other three places to game changer?

It takes innovation. It takes seeing the world differently and coming up with new solutions. That's what innovation is all about. And then having, having a blueprint for implementation of those. That's, that's what exploration is kind of missing. But like, having a system, a pattern of figuring out what to do, and then actually doing it.

That's how you get to be game changer. That's how you get to be an innovator in the business. That's how you get to be one of the cool kids in the business. The one that everybody else looks at and says, "Ooh, I wish I could be them,
because they've figured it out." It's all about innovation. That's what it takes.


So, where are you? Where do you want to be? Innovation's your ticket to get there.

I'm Bill Stainton. I'll be back next time with more thoughts on how you can Turn Your Creativity into Money™.
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About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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