Knowledge is king. You went through formal schooling at some point; you graduated from high school, probably college, maybe a graduate program. Then the learning was over right? Not exactly.
The formal learning part of your life has passed; now the informal part begins. It’s part of your lifelong learning. In business, lifelong learning is now critical. Not only to benefit yourself but your entire team. You gain knowledge, pass it on to others and watch it become instrumental to improving results in your business and keeping your company healthy and growing.
We’ve all learned about folks who are great at innovation — professional athletes, professional musicians, and, of course, entrepreneurs. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
The Beatles, Frank Sinatra. All of them very good at their craft and refining it by trying things out all the time.
According to Anders Ericsson, the great athletes and musicians have reached a level of true expertise through 10,000 hours of practice. Not through your typical routine but through “deliberate practice” – where you set clear goals and get constant and immediate feedback. It prevents them from getting stuck repeating already mastered skills (the “autonomous stage”) and keeps them in a state of creativity, experimenting with new and innovative strategies.
In the last blog, I wrote about innovation being everyone’s job in your organization. Your role, as the business owner and leader, is to create an environment that will empower everyone to innovate.
Seems a bit challenging. For some of your team, this may be easy to accomplish. They’re probably already doing it. But what do you do when you’ve got service workers, middle level managers, people in roles where they don’t feel they need to be innovative? How do you encourage and motivate them?
Innovation. Is it just for those creative types? Can you, the business owner, simply delegate out innovation?
The answer, of course, is no. Not just because you are the business leader; but because innovation is the job of everyone in your company. Looked at this way, the critical role for every business owner is