As your business grows, it becomes important to ensure that what started as a creative enterprise doesn’t become stagnant and resistant to change. Here are some ways to keep your business open to new opportunities and change, especially in a tough business environment:
Encourage informal meetings and conversations where ideas are shared anywhere and anytime. Often ideas with the greatest potential don’t emerge in formal business meetings—they arise out of interactions we have with colleagues, clients, and throughout our experiences in and out of work.
Recognize nice tries even if they fail. As many successful innovative businesses have found, you can succeed more rapidly by failing, learning from your mistakes, revising, and reinventing.
Question tradition. Encourage people to ask, "Why have we always done it that way?" "What if…" and "Is there another approach or answer?"
Invite people from outside your organization—such as suppliers, client organizations, and trade groups—to visit your company, and go visit others. Bring in what you observe or find interesting, even if it’s from an entirely different industry. What could be adapted to your business?
Lisa Gundry, PhD
Professor of Management
Director, Center for Creativity and Innovation
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.