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Best-in-Class vs. Innovation … Battle or Synergy?

 In Business Solutions

By Guest Blogger Patrick von Pander

Unless you’ve been in a cave for the past decade or so, we’ve all heard about the strategy of bench-marking best-in-class companies and best practices. If you’re a product-based company, there can be great value in following this approach. We are rich in wise old sayings such as:

  • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Do what the best are doing & you’ll get what the best are getting.
  • Find someone who’s doing it right & do what they do.
  • Find out what’s working, then do that.
  • Rip off & duplicate.

We find examples of this all around us:

  • In sports, junior players mentor the new prospects, veteran players mentor the junior players, & coaches mentor them all.
  • In building trades, teachers train the prospects, journeymen mentor the apprentices, supervisors mentor the journeymen, the managers mentor the supervisors, & the owners mentor the managers.
  • In legal & accounting firms, junior managers mentor the articling students, senior managers manage the junior managers, junior partners mentor the senior managers, & the senior partners mentor the junior partners.
  • In music, movies, television, & on social media, find a breakthrough that works & then replicate & repeat it until it has run its course.
  • In marketing, find a strategy or tactic that has succeeded, then leverage that until the marketplace rejects it.

In business, we’re increasingly organizing & systematizing the way our operations run. Looking at how our corporations & organizations have deeply institutionalized our Systems & Processes Manuals, even automating them for ease of access & homogenizing the behaviour & activity we want from our people. We look at how Retail and Service sector businesses have leveraged Franchising and Licensing to deliver an increasingly Plug ‘n’ Play formula for a much wider audience of prospective business people to become business owners.

This trend has clearly been unfolding over the past several decades. It makes some sense too, right? Why would any of us want to change … unless it is for a result that we really want that we do not yet have. The math may suggest that the equation is quite a simple one:

Do the right things + Do them the right way = Get the results we really want!

Simple, right? Only for many people … it’s not that easy. Why? Because it requires work. Some people are not ready & unwilling to do what is necessary for the duration & intensity required for the reward that they want at the scale they desire.

You are invited to submit your Application for one of three Product-Jedi Startup Mastermind groups we’re launching at i-onCONNECT in collaboration with The Big Picture Coach.

Whether you’re:

  • Just starting out & unsure where to start, what to do, or how to get started, or
  • Setup and looking to prepare for attracting your first round of financing, or
  • Have your initial funding, team, clients, & are now ready to scale up exponentially.

We have an exclusive powerfully-collaborative Mastermind group of like-minded product-focused start-up entrepreneurs forming that will want to share their journey with you & yours with them.

Click JEDI MASTERMIND now to submit your application for the Product Jedi Startup Mastermind membership you now want.

Now for those of us who have climbed the mountain & are enjoying the view at the top by being the company or firm who is considered the Best-in-Class standard of excellence in our industry, how can we possibly benchmark the Best-in-Class standard when we are the very example of this? In short, we can’t!  So, this begs the question … what do we do to maintain our position at the pinnacle of our field?  Increasingly, it is to look toward & seek out innovation.

Where does innovation come from when we’re already the best in our field?  There are two primary sources of innovation for industries:

  • From smaller start-up ventures within our existing field.
  • From fields outside our own.

Increasingly, we see the market landscape creating & rewarding innovation. Disruption has been a popular phrase lately. Contrarian was (and still is) a strategic theme that has held value within the realm of innovation.

We’ve seen many examples of these across a spectrum of fields:

  • Movies such as Jaws, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, & others have been revolutionary in how they innovated storytelling through videography & incorporating special effects. All against a backdrop of evolving between the movie-going experience to video tapes to DVD’s to live streaming.
  • Sports as players increasingly developed their physiological capabilities as well as their media-savvy in support of building their team’s brand as well as their personal brand.
  • Businesses as they rotated between Specialist-based to Generalist-based to Matrix-based approaches to their marketplaces, as dictated by market cycles, business situations, opportunities & threats. Industries include Telecoms, Finance, Medical, Transportation, Universities, Hospitality, Recreation & others.
  • Music which has seen the industry ebb & flow between media such as Radio, Television, Live Concerts, Vinyl Records, Cassette Tapes, CD’s, iPods, YouTube, to iTunes. Genres have revolved through trends including Classical, Jazz, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Country & Western, Disco, Grunge, Techno, Pop, & Rap.

In business, a wave of homogenization has swept over the marketplace, and there has been an increasing effort to stand out by being different. By it’s very nature, this calls for innovation, which in turn requires creativity. Creativity strong enough to see the World differently from the masses. To think, communicate, & act differently than in the past & yet to appeal to the profile of a lucrative target market niche large enough to be worthy of investment & pursuit. Many times, it is about solving a problem, capturing an opportunity, &/or delivering an experience people really want that no one else is providing.

The proliferation of the Internet has provided an ideal environment for massively disruptive innovation to occur. The level of access for creative collaboration that has been facilitated by this evolution is unprecedented within the past few centuries.

With the increasing speed of change accelerating, new challenges & opportunities are being discovered more often. So how do the best business people tap into these? There is a single overriding approach the most successful ones employ … their Curiosity! They are genuinely curious about the World around them. Curious about how people & organizations operate. Curious about what motivates them. They constantly ask & probe & query, and from this, they learn where the opportunities live to help refine existing offerings or create new ones that solve those problems, capture those opportunities, &/or deliver that desired experience.

There we have it! Two different approaches, essentially diametrically-opposed to one another, yet both have wide & deep social proof that they work. You can be successful by becoming Best-in-Class … often by mastering the proficiency of tasks in a systematic way. You can be successful by becoming Innovative … often by designing & supporting the environments where creativity & ideas can flourish. In an increasing savvy, competitive marketplace, will being just one-dimensional be enough? We all know the real answer to this, right?

There’s an old saying … getting to the top is hard, staying on top is harder! So where will the successful enterprise ventures of the future emerge from? We believe they evolve from combining BOTH the Best-in-Class initiative with the Innovation initiative. Wait, what?! Wouldn’t that be a little like trying to mix Oil & Water? Hold on … is this one of those Paradox things? How would this even work?

The answer is simple, but not easy. Create the environment for excellence to occur & it is far more likely to unfold!  Tony Robbins shared that “People’s lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group.” How valuable would it be for you to be sharing time & energy with other innovative dreamers who are at the same stage as you in your dream of a Start-up business enterprise which is market-changing for the economy & life-changing for you personally?

You are invited to submit your Application for one of three Product-Jedi Startup Mastermind groups we’re launching at i-onCONNECT in collaboration with The Big Picture Coach.

Whether you’re:

  • Just starting out & unsure where to start, what to do, or how to get started, or
  • Setup and looking to prepare for attracting your first round of financing, or
  • Have your initial funding, team, clients, & are now ready to scale up exponentially.

We have an exclusive powerfully-collaborative Mastermind group of like-minded product-focused start-up entrepreneurs forming that will want to share their journey with you & yours with them.

Click JEDI MASTERMIND now to submit your application for the Product Jedi Startup Mastermind membership you now want.

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