Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to DrTony@Assessments24x7.com!

Innovation

What is it?

Innovation is the ability to look at a business obstacle, unfulfilled market need, industry problem from multiple perspectives and industry paradigms to find timely, unique and creative solutions.

Why is it important?

Entrepreneurship requires high levels of innovation at every stage of business maturity. Being adept at first identifying a solution to a market need and orchestrating a first-mover campaign to bring it to market, innovators are the often business pioneers setting the proverbial 'bar'.

Fundamentally, entrepreneurs may initially practice innovation as they seek to differentiate a business through a competitive advantage or formulating a unique selling proposition (USP). Today's ultra-competitive market landscape is such where entrepreneurs must innovate to develop a fresh brand strategy, distinctive market positions, and novel customer acquisition/retention models to create distance and space between competitors. It is imperative for a business to be different, better, and special to steal, build, and maintain mindshare and market share.

In a world where copycat and 'me-too' type concepts appear to be the business norm, innovators are constantly trailblazing into new markets and originating groundbreaking solutions to business dilemmas. This attribute may be largely associated with the flash of a first-mover into an emerging market, but can more often seen in an entrepreneur's uncanny ability to find innovative resolutions to the predictable small problems of daily business life.

How to get it if you don't have it?

Harnessing the ingenuity of innovation can be a daunting task; so learning this attribute incrementally is the best course of action. The creative genius behind innovation is somewhat of an acquired taste and can be systematically cultivated. If you are looking to acquire true innovation then one of the first steps is to start small. One may seek to acquire this most prized attribute by constantly looking at life through the glasses of innovation. Look for creative ways to solve even the most mundane of problems. Seek contact with others who you consider to be innovative. Immerse yourself in innovations in your industry and other related business arenas.

How to develop it if you have it?

Practice makes perfect. First, take an introspective look into your own business idea/model, whether it be product or service-based, and try to identify how you currently do or can innovate more among your competitors. Second, look around at other related business models and markets. In every vertical or horizontal business market there are predicaments, which may be solved through innovation. Third, continue to surround yourself with innovative people. Interact with them, learn to think like them, and emulate their analysis and thought processes. In many cases, recruiting from an outside industry is a fast-track way of getting a fresh perspective on old business paradigms.

 

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This article was adapted, with permission, from the One Minute Entrepreneur book, co-authored by my colleagues and friends, Ken Blanchard and Don Hutson with Ethan Willis. Please visit this site for details about the One Minute Entrepreneur book and be sure to take your complimentary One Minute Entrepreneur Assessment too.
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