When Is a Convenient Time for Strategic Innovation?

Put another way, when is a convenient time to have more fun and make more money? Well, of course the obvious answers are “never” and “always.” Since it’s never convenient to disrupt your organization to improve its performance, then it naturally follows that it’s always as convenient as it’s ever going to be.

Recently when I’ve been talking with prospects for my CEO Round Table, in which we help each other with strategic innovation (have more fun and make more money), I often hear “I’m very busy right now and can’t commit the time to this, so please follow up with me in (fill in the blank) days when things have slowed down.”

Since more businesses fail from rapid growth than from revenue starvation, I worry for these folks when they’re very busy. That’s when they’re most likely to make a mistake in judgment and cause irreparable harm to their brand and their business performance overall.

For example, a while back a long term client kept postponing our work with vetting the quality of her new partners and the strategic plan in a huge new enterprise. They had hired scores of people, etc. to launch this effort. Long story short, turns out the whole thing was a scam perpetrated by one of the major players, and a bit of strategic due diligence would have uncovered this fact early on.

This issue boils down to whether you’re going to manage your organization in a proactive or a reactive way. Hint: managing in a reactive way is like installing the fire alarms after the building burns down.

I think Heraclitus was onto something when he said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” If you take the proactive approach, you manage the change; if you take the reactive approach, it manages you.

High-Performance Habits

  1. To have more fun and make more money, manage your organization in a proactive rather than reactive way.
  2. Realize that there is never a good time for strategic innovation, so this means it’s always a good time to do it.
  3. The most dangerous time in the life of your business is when you’re busy and growing rapidly, and so it’s the best time to take a breath and go into strategic thinking and innovation mode.
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