7 Steps To Unlock Your Idea Into A Powerful Innovation
As Steve Jobs was interviewed explaining how the Macintosh was developed he explains in the video below the importance of looking beyond your four walls. Looking beyond what you know and what you are comfortable with. He explains in the video:
“It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done.
And then try to bring those things in to what you are doing.”
Notice, he did not say expose yourself to the best that other distributors have done. Or the best that your competitors have done. Innovation – even real change is sparked when you open your eyes and your mind to seemingly unrelated fields, businesses, people, and ideas.
But how do you bring these ideas, as Jobs says into what you are doing. At UnleashWD, we call the process Lift and Shift™. We need a process to “lift” these from their origin and “shift” them into our business, as a solution that the customer will reward us for. Here is how you can do this.
Your Mind And The Lift and Shift™ Process
Our brain is amazing! It has the ability to generate creative, innovative, and transformative ideas. It has the ability to see “the best that humans have done” in another field, and imagine how that could be modified, enhanced, tweaked in your business.Yet, the mind also has equal abilities at shooting those ideas down in a nano second. Actually our brain has three abilities that we need to recognize if we are going to Lift and Shift™ ideas and create a better future through innovation.
Vision: The brain can visualize something that doesn’t yet exist. Future improvements, and achievements seem within reach through your powerful imagination.
Opposition: Once there is a vision, the brain has the ability to immediately identify all the reasons why that vision should not – can not be achieved.
Transformation: And thank goodness, the brain has the ability to isolate and transform each obstacle into a strategy and actions that will lead to desired outcomes.
The seven steps below will unlock your idea into a powerful innovation that can transform some aspect of your business — your digital platform, vision, culture, value proposition, and even your business model for example. These 7 steps will help you break through the skepticism within yourself and those around you to drive the momentum required to effect lasting, innovative change.
Okay, write down a big and potentially transformative idea that you have had replaying in your mind. When you’re ready (which should be NOW) get a piece of paper and think through these seven steps:
1. Name: Give your idea, which has just turned into a project, a name.
2. Lift: Describe the idea that you want to lift into your business. Just write three or four sentences. What is the idea you want to bring into your business to make a transformational change? Assume a team member sees the name of your idea, and they say “tell me about that” – how would you respond?
3. Shift: Now look to the future. Imagine what success will look like. Describe in the clearest terms possible the result and end state you envision. Tell yourself a story of the shift you know needs to take place. What is the ultimate outcome?
4. Determine Your Level of Fury: How important is it to you to make this change? You have to know this is not going to be easy. There are resource constraints. Others don’t see your vision. Still others are comfortable with how things are now. So right now, write out your level of fury with the status quo. What is making you so mad that you cannot not act? This needs to be important enough to you to make a real commitment. Is it?
5. Acknowledge the Status Quo Pull: Now acknowledge how crazy the idea is. If it really is big and bold it has to be crazy to some extent. Every transformative idea is at first a bad idea. It hasn’t been thought through. It’s unproven. And as a result, the skepticism in your mind and others will be palpable. You’ll feel it. And if you have a real transformative idea, at this point your mind will be telling you just how crazy it is while it races through every reason why it won’t work and the obstacles to it even getting started. Good. Acknowledge and understand the gravitational pull to the safety of the status quo.
6. Creatively Destroy: Every innovation, every transformation begins by creatively destroying something that already exists. Every status quo pull above will need to be creatively destroyed to move forward. How can you turn these status quo pulls into strategies to move forward? What action or solution will obliterate each individual obstacle?
7. Take Massive Action: What is the first step you can take within the next 24 hours to move forward? The step needs to be BIG. If you don’t take a massive first step, the odds are the idea will fade and you’ll be pulled back to the status quo. Too often we want to plan every detail before taking action. Don’t fall into this trap. Do something. Anything. NOW! Send an outlook appointment to your CEO for Monday morning to discuss your idea and plan to transform a part of your operation. Whatever it is, do it now.
Lift and Shift™ Worksheet
To assist you in this process download our proprietary Lift and Shift™ worksheet that you can use to walk through these seven steps. Use it to begin the Lift and Shift™ process. The tool will also help you tell a story when you bring the idea to others.
The Best That Humans Have Done
Each fall, we curate and host the UnleashWD Innovation Summit in Chicago. Over two days, we introduce “the best that humans have done” with 13 to 17 brilliant leaders, disruptors, and innovators the majority who are from outside of distribution. Throughout the two days we walk you through a series of Lift and Shift™ conversations with each speaker, so that you can lift their ideas and shift them into your distribution business.
The two days conclude with a Lift and Shift™ workshop where Dirk Beveridge walks you through the process to take your Biggest, Baddest, and Boldest Idea, that one idea that could potentially transform a critical part of your business and develop a plan for implementation once you return.
Founder | UnleashWD
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Join us as we host the most driven leaders throughout distribution – from almost every imaginable line of trade – with the purpose of providing the inspiration, education, and connections needed to transform their business in this age of disruption. Your participation will leave you excited, charged, and prepared to return to your work with the vision and energy needed to lead your business to a profitable, sustainable, and relevant future.