Realizing growth is one of the hardest tasks in any organization. Realizing innovative and sustainable growth is even harder. We see evidence of this all around us. Startups fail to scale. Corporates fail to leverage innovation as a source of growth. The very existence of these businesses is at stake if they are not able to turn the situation around. And, the statistics are staggering. Disruption is no longer a faint possibility, it is as real as can be. Do nothing – or, even worse, be complacent about it – and your chances of survival are slim.

 


Our own research at RevelX in Innovation Readiness clearly exposes two major issues inhibiting innovative growth. The first pertains to having the right mindset and skills to innovate and use innovation tooling. The second can be seen as an outcome of the first; the lack of speed and agility in materializing innovation to gain competitive advantage. Recent HBR research (2018) showed that in a survey of more than 5,000 board members only 42% of them considered their innovation and technology activities as above average or excellent. Boards’ abilities to foster innovation clearly fall short.

mindset innovative growth

When I discuss the challenges of realizing innovative growth with our clients, they unanimously come up with one key issue: the lack of an innovative growth mindset within the organization. Taken into a wider perspective, business leaders also report a lack of this mindset in their suppliers’ organizations and/or in the industry ecosystem at large. A preferred remark amongst many CEOs of B2B enterprises is “Our industry is very conservative”. Really? Are those end customers not the same ones that buy iPhones, smart home speakers, communicate through social media and buy everything mobile and online?

If one of the root causes of staggering innovative growth is mindset, what can you do about it? The problem with ‘mindset’ is that it cannot be easily acquired. Sure, innovative growth requires structures, tools, methodologies, processes, procedures and capital. Yet these are ‘relatively’ easy to come by. Mindset is part of a softer set of ingredients. It cannot be bought or sourced; at least not for the long term. It is about how we think; about our attitude towards change, uncertainty and risk. Ultimately it is about how we behave and act. A mindset should be grown and fostered. At the very least, there should be a fertile starting point.

The other issue is that we don’t have the luxury of time to develop this mindset in our organizations. The clock speed of change is unparalleled. Then again, it is not about speed itself. We live in an era of autocatalytic change: each change accelerates the rate of the next. We shouldn’t be thinking about speed in terms of ‘velocity,’ we should be thinking about ‘acceleration.’ Or rather, how fast are we getting faster? Time to act now.

So, mindset eh? Let’s do a little bit of juggling with that. Let me ask you some awkward questions. Questions that are not frequently asked, the ones we call rarely asked questions, or short RAQs:

  • Are you an innovator?
  • Do you dare to act against the norm?
  • Do you have the guts to reinvent yourself?
  • When do you give up?
  • Can you play the balancing act between growing the new and breaking down the old?
  • Do you have the guts to invest substantially in new ventures with uncertain outcomes?


If some of these questions (and there are many more from where these came from) have triggered you one way or the other, it’s probably worth your time to bear with me a little while. In the next couple of blogs, I will take you on a journey into your mind. Much of these writings have already taken form in my latest book called ‘DARE, the mindset for successful innovators in the digital age’. But for the readers that like it short and simple stay in touch the next weeks and follow the blogs on the DARE mindset.

Introducing DARE: The Mindset for Successful Innovators in The Digital Age

Learn how successful innovators and business leaders realize growth with DARE – now Amazon’s #1 best-selling title!