This episode is about innovation, the future and you.
To the skeptic, talk of the future seems ridiculous. Optimistic. Perhaps nieve or even childish. The future is coming and it will change everything about the world around you. Two trends in particular should make you take note…autonomous vehicles and the “internet of things”. It is time to get busy determining how it will effect you.
Great leaders manage innovation. Innovation is the ability to sense where things are going and change what is currently happening to take advantage of it. To lead innovation, you have to be skilled at a few things.
- Know where you are today.
- Know where you think things are going.
- Build a plan to change what you are doing today to meet the trends of tomorrow. That sounds simple, but I assure you it is not. It means changing how you see your business and your life today in reaction to things that are not an immediate threat. That is hard to do. We are usually just spend all our time focusing on the problems of today.
- Your job is to balance the creatives and the practicals to produce something real that can be sold in the marketplace in the future. Get more than one type of person to help you solve problems. Leading innovation means being open to the creatives in your organization. Give them room and latitude to come up with the big ideas of the future. Then take those big concepts and filter them through the practical people in your organization. Let them shoot holes in it. You need both.
- Building an innovative strategy for the future must be balanced. Once it has filtered through different people, check for practicality. If your strategy is not balanced it will be too creative to work or so practical that it will be too burdensome to work.
- Talk to others about the future. Ask your team and your trusted advisors what they think. Often times we try to lean into the future from our own perspective rather than from reality. Input helps draw a more accurate picture of the possibilities.
- For most, leading innovation rarely means taking great leaps. Take small, iterative steps to move in the right direction. If you don’t take small steps now you will have to take big leaps later, and you won’t have the time or resources to do it.
Is this kind of future inevitable? NO. Is it probable? YES. Leadership means thinking ahead and being ready for the impact of these future trends. If you don’t, you will definitely be a disconnected passenger in a self driving future.