Steps to Management Success – Step 97: New Gets Old Fast

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 8th, 2010

STEP NINETY-SEVEN

New Gets Old Fast

To everything there is a season—and that includes new product ideas and consumer tastes. Even the hottest products don’t last forever. Enjoy riding the wave while you can—and do whatever you can to sustain it—but don’t rest on your laurels.

WHAT IT MEANS: Best sellers can drive your business to a whole new level—but nothing lasts forever, and in our global, Internet-aided economy, your competition is more likely than ever to catch on to your stroke of brilliance and knock it off (within legal limits) as quickly as you can say “Taiwan.” The solution: always be innovative. Don’t just sit around waiting for lightning to strike—plant a field of lightning rods. As Charles Kettering, a very successful inventor, once said, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

ACTION PLAN: Don’t leave it just to yourself to be your company’s idea person. Try to harness everyone’s creativity via a suggestions program or periodic innovation-brainstorming sessions. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of creative packaging. Let’s say you’ve solved a problem in a particularly original way for a client. You could then present it as an effective solution to other clients or prospects who might be facing the same problem.

EVEN BETTER: Realize that innovations don’t have to be quantum-leap breakthroughs to be successful. Little tweaks can do the job too. Witness the iPod: different colors, different models, loads of cool accessories—you get the idea.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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