The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be your only sustainable advantage.
Things change so fast nowadays that 'steady and reliable' is no longer an option. Innovation methods can help the business in difficulties as well as the market leader.
Speed of Market Change
Most business processes are fairly old, and were designed stage-at-a-time to be effective. That meant a reasonable compromise between speed and quality.
Typically, these processes have since been modified by common-sense – guesswork and trial-and-error methods – to improve them for one reason or another.
The effort put into these improvements results in the 'we've always done it like this' because it is perceived to be the best way to run that process and is rightly protected from anyone fiddling with it and damaging that process.
BUT, with new tools for the methodical analysis, prioritisation and location of sources of delay, a range of new improvements are now possible.
Speed of Entrepreneurial Change
The Opportunist Mindset
There are some astonishing innovations made by accident – recognising an opportunity when it jumps out at you. Penicillin and posit-it notes are fairly well know. But the slinky, stainless steel, the pacemaker, saccharine, and plastics were also 'discovered' this way.
The Minimum Viable Product
The MVP as it is known, is a deliberate strategy of only designing the essentials and leaving the knobs and whistles till later. This speeds up the route to market and keeps costs down. And it give s the opportunity to lock in customers with a series of customer-demanded improvements that excite the market.
The Pivot Manoeuvre
This is a sudden change in direction, usually following news about a new opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs have found that the extreme uncertainty of a new product or service often creates pivots to find a successful formula.
The same method can be used to respond to market changes around an existing product.
Accelerate your Thinking
All of this demands someone in the business spend a lot of time thinking. This is often extremely hard for small businesses, especially if the pressure is on and the team at the top are contributing to operations as well as planning and managing.
Things get a little easier with a cheat-sheet of strategies to look for opportunities. Ask for How To Reinvent Your Business To Get Ahead at firstname.lastname@example.org