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I spend a lot of time thinking about innovation and how it can be applied in both my company as well as my clients’ companies.  What I’m finding is that invention of a new idea often fails. 

It’s the re-invention or the 2.0 version that gets adopted at a high level.  This re-invention is where we’re able to take a product or service that wasn’t especially commercially viable and make it so.

The first time around has little value.  Fifteen years ago when we started our Objective Review process it took a long time for us to get any result and the result was not always what they client wanted.  Even more importantly, when we got to the result having successful implementation was difficult. 

We are now on version 3 of our Objective Review.  The entire process is done with the client in the expert’s chair.  We limit the number of projects we want to accomplish and the value for our clients is much higher.

Innovations aren’t very useful if they’re not sustainable.  Often an early version of an innovation, even if it’s a great one, is hard to get established.  Opinion leaders may not get on board, you might not be able to get people to try your idea, or you’ve not really figured out what the value is for your customers.

If we can make it to a second version of our original idea you might just get the ear of an influencer who can help you.  You might have figured out a better value proposition for customers who might use it.  You might understand why a customer would want to use our product or service.

The key is to not get discouraged when your first iteration doesn’t work.  We often decide that our new idea didn’t take off and we should stop working on it.  If you believe your idea or product is a good one you need to find out what you can change and then make small changes.

The new iteration shouldn’t be a giant change.  A key is making small changes that can be measured one at a time.  When you try more than one new idea at a time you don’t know which one worked.  Small changes allow you to measure the results of improvements you make.

I love trying new small ideas that can modify my first invention.  When I do this I start building small successes on top of each other.  Before I know it my first idea might have some similarities to what I started with but the value of my 2.0 product is very different and a lot higher than from where I started.

Re-invention forces us to re-think what our premises are.  It’s through refinement that we learn how to communicate and design a better product.  Those who persist in developing a new idea are often the ones who ultimately have success with their ideas.

During the twenty years I ran our food service company I went through a series of processes for budgeting and strategic planning.  We finally came up with a four-page format that worked well.  Our process for developing this methodology was one of many iterations.  Click on the button below and you can see our final product and have use of our simplified budgeting process.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Securities, Inc. (NFPSI), Member FINRA/SIPC. Stage 2 Planning Partners and NFPSI are not affiliated.

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Topics: Strategic Thought, innovation, Change

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