Cliffs Kill – Framework Your Company’s Growth Path

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Your company will eventually walk off a cliff if you do everything the same way, year in and year out.  Subordinates follow a leader  so the cliff kills everybody.

Staying off the cliff:

  • Change
  • Create the Atmosphere
  • Incentivize
Cliffs Kill - Tom Palka

Innovation takes risks and often has a budget.

Change is a necessity in our modern corporate world.  Copying what another company is doing is one strategy.  This strategy works in some situations where the pace of change is very gradual.

Change for most companies is no longer gradual.  Giant companies like Nokia and Blackberry have walked off the cliff because they were out innovated by the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android.

Make your own product obsolete before the competition does.

Creating an atmosphere that fosters innovative leadership will turbo charge your company because innovating is bringing in the new, something to look forward to, excitement and anticipation.

Innovation filters from the Chairperson down.  Innovation takes risks and often has a budget.  Good ideas must not only come from the employees, the board and management must be willing to provide the resources to implement good ideas.  If good, logical suggestions are never implemented then ideas will no longer be submitted.

Change brings uncertainty which can foster fear, resentment, distrust and other disruptions .  Your team must all be on the same page.  Work with everyone to bring them into the innovation mindset.  At the very least, team members need to support with their actions innovations implemented.

Team members who fight and work against innovation are like a 500 pound block of cement in the trunk of a car.  The car will still move but the 500 pounds slows it down and tears it up.

Incentives drive innovation.  Stagnation is driven by disincentives.  Reward people for innovation.  Most people like cash.  Make the reward enticing.  If someone or a team saves the company $1,000,000.00 why not reward with a percentage of the money saved.  10% = $100,000.00.  Divided by many or just one, the recipients would be grateful and most likely continue looking for new ways to save money.

Conversely, an employee suggests a new idea to make money, how about a bonus just for a suggestion, a bigger bonus if the suggestion is implemented and a bigger bonus based upon profits created.

The people most likely to save you money or cost you money are your employees.

Reward both the innovator and the company as a whole.  Oftentimes many people are affected by an innovation.  They will be more eager to have the change if they are rewarded for change.  The ultimate outcome is an environment where people are encouraging innovation and change.

People working on the front line are in the best position to see where change is needed and to think of possible solutions.  Conflicts of personal survival versus improving weigh heavily on suggestions.  Most people are not going to make an innovation suggestion that results in their job being terminated unless you reward them sufficiently.

Change your company by creating an atmosphere encouraging and rewarding change.


Additional Reading

Designing Effective Incentives

Measurable Traits of an Affective Persuader 


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