It’s the start of a new year and a new decade. It’s a time to reflect on the past and prepare for the future. As most people are making personal resolutions, what resolutions will you commit to for yourself professionally or for your company? Here are three to consider:
Spend More Time with the People who are Important to You (Your Customers)
Commit to getting a little closer to your customer, or consumers in general, this year. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way to understanding and addressing your customers’ needs and pain points. Are they using your product or service in ways that you wouldn’t expect? Find out by creating an Advisory Board of some of your best and most loyal customers. Or, ask the people in your company who are closest to them – your customer service team. You could also spend a day shadowing your customer to gain additional insights.
Quit Drinking (the Company Kool-Aid)
Start this year off by breaking free of industry constraints and resolve to actively question the status quo. By simply asking ‘why?, you might uncover new opportunities for products or services. Commerce Bank (now TD Bank) broke industry conventions by staying open 7 days a week, extending their hours into the evening, and removing the barrier between their customers and tellers.
Learn Something New
Expand your horizons this year by reading or taking an online course on a different subject. Innovation blogs are also a good, and quick, source of information. Obviously, be strategic with your learning. Consider studying the history of your industry or examining industries that are adjacent to yours. Sometimes the best ideas come from improving what’s been done in the past or taking something from somewhere else, and applying it to your own space.
An easy way to beef up your innovation competencies are quick, fun tool tutorials. These courses walk you through various innovation exercises and tools you can use over and over again with your team to generate new ideas and insights.
What are your other innovation resolutions for 2010?