innovative thinking

5 Tough Love Questions to Spur Innovative Thinking in Your Team

How often do you find yourself saying “we should have thought of that!” when your competition introduces something new?  If you’re tired of playing catch-up and struggling to find the time to focus on innovative thinking and innovations that will add value to your customers, you’ll love the November blog posts, where we’ll focus on ways to help you uncover great ideas and lead your market.

If Innovation has been on your To Do list in 2016, but you haven’t quite gotten around to it or want to do a better job in 2017, you’ll need to shift your good intentions into execution.  Let’s go have some fun with this!

Innovative Thinking – How Do We Get Started?

The first step is to provoke some fresh conversation, so liven up your next leadership team meeting with these 5 Tough Love Questions:

  1. When was the last time we did something innovative and unexpected that made our customers sit up and take notice, and made our competitors wonder why they didn’t come up with it first?
  2. When was the last time we did something innovative that had huge value-add for our customers but was so far below the radar screen that our competitors couldn’t figure out what we were up to?
  3. When was the last time that our customers were eager and willing to pay a premium to do business with us because we’re significantly different and better than our competition?
  4. What could we achieve if our high-potential employees spent as much time focused on innovative thinking to develop value-adds as they spend on email?
  5. How often are we inspired by a success story in the business press, but we don’t know how to generate that kind of success ourselves?

Are you cringing a bit, knowing that your team may not have good answers to these questions?  Don’t let that stop you from asking them!  When you change the conversations, you change the outcomes, and this is the perfect time of year to help your team get their creative juices flowing so that you can do things differently in 2017.

It’s also the perfect time of year to gift your employees with a copy of Profit in Plain Sight: The Proven Leadership Path to Unlock Profit, Passion, and Growth.  This #1 Best Seller has an entire chapter on Innovation with 21 low-risk, low-cost ways to innovate. It might be just the catalyst you need to get them incorporating innovative thinking into the everyday, and the roadmap you need to turn good intentions into impact.

Takeaway

I always say that the only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.  These tough love questions will help put your team into a “wet diaper” that they’ll want change.  In next week’s blog post I’ll start to share what the dry diaper looks like and how you can use it to your advantage in 2017.

#1 Bestselling Author, International Speaker, and Accelerator Anne C. Graham is on a mission to help 5 million business leaders and their teams double their profit per employee – or more – in less than one year, in less time per week than they’re spending on email per day. Her new book Profit in Plain Sight includes the 5-step proactive P.R.O.F.I+T Plan to do it.  Connect with Anne on Twitter and LinkedIn.