Last week I suggested adopting “ongoing product/service development” as one of six steps to gain control of repeat business. One key reason is that, by nature, people are drawn to the “shiny, new thing.” If you’re not introducing new offerings, your customers might be attracted to a competitor who is pitching something different.
By something new, what I really mean is something different. You don’t have to come up with a new invention. Aim for surprising and delighting your customers.
There are various proven paths to innovation, but one of the best ways is to empower your team to contribute their ideas for promotions, improvements, changes and new product offerings. After all, your people are experts on what’s working and what isn’t.
To tap the potential of your team, embrace a culture of innovation that ensures they are comfortable expressing their ideas and experimenting with different ways of doing things. Here five practices to create an environment that sparks new ideas.
- Don’t play the blame game. When mistakes happen, focus on the opportunity to learn and make improvements.
- Have a tolerance for failure. Allow your employees the flexibility to experiment with new ways of doing things. Most innovations don’t emerge fully formed, but evolve through trial and error.
- Embrace uncertainty. Demonstrate it’s okay not to always know the answer. Emphasize they are supported and can leverage the strengths of the team to find a solution.
- Encourage open communication. Provide opportunities for your team members to collaborate to facilitate exchange of ideas and experiences. Often a casual conversation can lead to a new idea.
- Celebrate successes. Acknowledge and reward new ideas.
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About the author, PJ Weiland
As an ActionCOACH Business Coach from Chicago North Shore, I understand that time is your most valuable asset. Now, I can help you recreate your dreams and vision…and accomplish the goals you first set out to achieve with your business. Ultimately, you will experience a better quality of life because of your commitment to invest in yourself with the help of an ActionCOACH Business Coach and personal mentor.