When have you reinvented lately?

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Why are so many organizations and people stuck in daily routines and unable to change?

Why do they not reinvent themselves, even if their performance is mediocre and sometimes decline is already on the horizon?

One key reason is that too many managers are quite good at extrapolating the future state from the current situation (e.g. 5% revenue growth per year) but not at breaking patterns and imagining running their business in a significantly different way some years in the future.

The most successful companies have invented and reinvented themselves several times.

They have started new business models, product lines, services, and markets from a blank sheet of paper instead of extrapolating from the current situation. Google, Facebook, Apple, and many others succeeded not only because they did things differently, simpler, or more customer-focused than all their competitors but because they reinvented their businesses and sometimes whole industries.

What can you as a leader do to bring some of this spirit into your organization?

Try these steps:

  1. Count the number of internal programs and initiatives in your organization and cluster them in two categories: (a) improvement of the current situation and (b) finding completely new ways of doing business in the future.

  2. If you find more than 50% of the programs in category (a), then select those that you can stop and shift the liberated capacity into category (b).

It is likely that you will need to break some old paradigms in your organization to do this – which is itself the first important step in reinvention.

This blog entry is from our Friday Noon Memo, the weekly memo for high-performing leaders and organizations. Click here to subscribe.