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Change, Challenge and Innovation

Succeeding in business, any business, is harder today than ever before. Complacency is deadly! The companies that cope best with rapid change try to anticipate it and, if that isn’t always possible, they turn the essential changes into an opportunity for innovation and creativity.

What is an innovative accomplishment and how is it carried out? Innovative achievements are described as new ways for an organization to use or expand on its resources, for example:

  • Creating a new policy.
  • Developing a new product or market.
  • Introducing a new process or procedure.
  • Designing or reorganizing a structure, unit, or department.

The road towards innovation can begin in several ways:

  • The identification of a particular need by a creative manager.
  • A problem or assignment.
  • Organizational change(s) handed down, i.e. need for restructuring.
  • Unexpected competition.
  • New technology.

Frequently an innovation comes from listening to the customer (the people using your product, system or service). Perhaps these customers were the external focus for change in the first place, yet how closely are they listened to after the initial jolt? How close is the partnership in terms of detail and design? An innovation is successful only if it is bought, used and makes money for the organization. This happens only if the customer sees the resulting service or product as new and useful, and can get excited about the results.

The customer can also be internal for some departments or groups, so innovation is not limited to outside users only.

Successful innovation responds to market needs, involves the users in some way in the development process, and really listens to and understands what they are saying.

The items of change that an individual or organization goes through can be ripe with opportunities for innovation, given certain managerial and organizational characteristics. The following outlines these characteristics.

Clearly, it is not easy to change, to incorporate new ideas and ways of doing business. Yet the decisions, processes, and conditions are available to everyone to make the most of change.

Summary: Change and the Future

Today, management competence is based on:

  • attitudes
  • approaches
  • philosophies
  • values
  • the ability to create improvements and increase productivity

People who work within organizations must be able to deal with changes and deal with it in a successful, productive and innovative way.

Change leadership is no longer a skill reserved just for top management. As organizations struggle to respond to the pressures of competition, all levels of employees must learn to move quickly to attain higher standards and increase productivity. It is critical to the survival of an organization.

Change is happening in more work places and at a faster rate.

The new strategies are all premised on the fact that organizations today need to be organized for constant change.

The structures, motivators, and pressures within an organization during change are very different from the traditional ones, and need to be understood and handled effectively.

Each individual is required to take more responsibility for developing and strengthening their change survival skills — to support what must occur.

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Copyright, A.E Schwartz & Associates. All rights reserved.
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