It’s easy to get bogged down in the day job, focused on just getting things done. And let’s be honest, we always hear the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. The problem you have in business is the competition, whilst things may not be broken, you cannot rest on your laurels – competition thrives when you are either predictable or repetitive.
A lack of change can make a business become stagnant and lethargic and an ideal target for competitors. As pointed out in the book ‘Sticky Wisdom’, just look at some of the biggest tech disruptors today, they didn’t deliver breakthrough technology, rather they thrived off the back of existing businesses complacency:
- Apple didn’t kill the music industry, being forced to buy albums did
- Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster, late fees did
- AirBnB isn’t killing the hotel industry, limited availability and pricing is
- Uber isn’t killing the taxi business, difficulty of access and fare control is
The one thing that will keep your competitors at bay is to continuously transform, you don’t want to become complacent. Make it a habit to question assumptions related to your business – no matter how long they’ve been held. As proven with the tech disruptors, finding the best or even just better solutions isn’t through a linear thought process.
Your team needs to get out of the conventional mindset, avoiding predictability and repetition.
One of the best ways to do this is to implement a reverse thinking strategy. This type of thinking, whilst it takes a little practice, will help you consider the exact opposite of what is normal and can even help you think backwards to find unconventional solutions and ideas.
A quick overview of the 5 steps required in reverse thinking are as follows:
- Identify the problem or desire – describe it
- Reverse the problem – don’t ask how to solve the problem or reach the desire, but rather ask what would make the problem worse or get you further from your desire
- Generate ideas – think of all those ideas that make the problem worse and get you further from the desire. Don’t throw out any ideas, let your thinking flow freely
- Reverse your ideas – flip each of your ideas to its opposite
- Evaluate all ideas – now they’re reversed re-look at each idea against the problem/desire and check the feasibility and what may be a real answer, even if it requires further development
Implementing an ideation strategy such as this into any business will ensure you stay ahead of the pack and the competition don’t stand a chance.
If you’d like help on how to implement such an idea contact Idarc