Want To Be More Creative, Innovative & Productive? Ignore Your To-Do List.
What did you do today that will keep your business thriving five years now?
As I type this, I’m about to board a flight back home to Chicago from Austin. I just spent a sun-up-to-sun-down day with a group of presidents and CEOs of mid-market distributors in a diverse range of industries — electrical, industrial, plumbing, PVF, and building materials. For an entire day, we lifted ourselves from the day-to-day and focused on working on the business. We examined intellectually challenging ideas about growth, change, organizational structure, market differentiation and more.
This kind of experience is rare and we set aside time each quarter to do it intentionally because most business leaders at any level aren’t spending enough time thinking about the future of the business.
The reason why is obvious, and nothing to be ashamed of: We’re too busy.
As we move thousands of SKUs from manufacturer to market, complexity creeps in. Issues, problems, and challenges arise that force us to stay mired in the day-to-day. There are sales numbers that need to be made, products to be sourced, warehouses organized, customers to be serviced, health care costs to be managed, employees to be hired and others transitioned out, software upgrades implemented—the list goes on.
I call this the tyranny of the urgent.
The tyranny of the urgent is a disease that saps the will, energy, and focus of many leaders. It creates a void of value-adding innovations—and certainly game-changing innovations.
If this is you, know you’re not alone. Of the distribution industry leaders surveyed for my book Innovate!, 78% feel they get trapped in the tyranny of the urgent.
This phenomenon is further confirmed by an extensive study conducted by researchers for the Harvard Business Review. On workdays the subjects rated most busy, they were 45% less likely to come up with creative ideas (what’s funny: These subjects reported that being under intense time pressure made them more creative, yet the results proved otherwise).
Those creative ideas are the lifeblood of innovation and they should be the real future of your business, as written by you. If you can’t break away, instead of you writing the future of your business, your endless, day-to-day to-do list will write it instead.
Next week, we are launching our newsletter: Unleash Your Week.
If you choose to subscribe and join our tribe of innovation-obsessed distributors, we ask just one, very simple thing of you: Unlock some small chunk of time each week to ignore the urgent and get big ideas into your head. Block it off in your calendar. Commit to it; make it immovable.
In exchange, we promise to kickstart the process of thinking creatively by feeding your brain with the right creative fuel. Our weekly email falls along the same philosophical lines as our Innovation Summit: We offer you innovative ideas, broad trends, detailed success stories and motivational thoughts from inside and outside distribution, born out of places expected and unexpected.
Here’s what you can expect each Sunday, when your email arrives:
- An in-depth thought-provoking piece about distribution, innovation and the people who are doing it right.
- Motivational thoughts to toggle with during the week
- My perspective on important timely, against-the-grain ideas and ways you can fuel creative thinking everywhere, at any time
- Videos of leaders and great thinkers sharing their unique perspective
- Distribution- and innovation-focused news and thought pieces being discussed in the world today
Our goal is to encourage you to dig deeper within yourself to find the path toward ongoing business innovation. The reality is that the answers to your business’ current problems won’t or even can’t come from someone else. Only you have the unique knowledge of your business and the drive to make it better, we just want to unleash it. That’s why we’ve created an email that is easily digestible, beautifully designed for quick reading and curated with you in mind. We want this email to be your guide through deeper thinking and we’re creating our content to be your partner on the journey.
(Or below now!)
Founder | UnleashWD
The Premier Gathering For Innovative Distribution Leaders
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.