Sometimes You Need To Leap Your Competition, By A Lot
In some cases, companies comes to us because some of the leaders feel that they have a perception that the company is no longer a leader in their space (most of the time, true from the perception of those who hire us, and untrue to the many within the organization who can’t see their oncoming demise at the hands of more nimble competitors), and they need us to help them to unearth the innovation in their organizations.
In our experience, there usually is plenty of innovation already there, it just needs to be unlocked from their employee’s brains. But that’s not the problem. You need to leap.
The problem can almost be likened to a self-esteem issue – these companies have been riding in the shadow of a much “cooler” and more contemporary competitor, and therefore are perceived as being behind the times. This is an epidemic in any industry where there are new, fast-moving start-ups or competitors, for example, financial services and retail, where quick moving start-ups in both spaces are seriously capturing market share.
Who wants to bank with a bank which has been around for 200 years, when they can use Venmo, and send money effortlessly via Facebook? Or who wants to go to a brick-and-mortar retailer when Amazon or Instacart can get you your products shipped for free or immediately, with little negative impact – and a huge positive impact on your time.
If you ask almost anyone in any major market segment today, (specifically growing new markets like Millennials and Generation Z) would they not prefer to use Venmo and Amazon? The “old-line” financial services players and retailers think that they can’t move as fast as the young start-ups, are bogged down in debt (both tech and otherwise) and can only hope to stay a close second.
They look at their faster moving leaders in the space and hope to just remain a close second. They rarely feel that they can achieve parity, or even exceed the leader in the space. This, IMHO, is the exact wrong mindset to have. You have to think “Leap”
This is one of the things that we have to address early on in our ideation session – not only will be meet the leader in your space with our ideas, we will soundly BEAT the leader in the space. How do we do this?
We use a leap frog mentality – we don’t look at what the leader is doing today, we look at what the leader will be doing tomorrow. It’s our version of helping our clients “skate to where the puck will be” when all they are interested in is skating to where it is now.
We use special exercises to help to break them out of that mindset, to bolster their corporate self-esteem, to get them to realize that yes, they will be able to beat the leaders in the space. That yes, they do have and can come up with better ideas, and yes, they can use their deep knowledge of their space, combined with completely new thinking, to invent new billion-dollar businesses the leading upstart may not have been able to do.
All we need is a little boost to the corporate self-esteem (by helping to bolster your peoples own self-esteem that you are capable of leading the space again)