Relevance, Innovation, and Constant Improvement
A Moving Target
It goes without saying, but I'll say it again anyway so that it doesn't get lost in our discussion about being the best: Being the best is a moving target. Being the best means that you have to be relevant. If you think being the best means getting really great at something and stopping, then you will have been the best yesterday but today you'll be out of business.
There is no need for me to waste a lot of time telling you why we all have to constantly change, innovate, and improve. We all know it, and it's in every business book ever written. Let's talk about whether we're any good at change, and if not, what mind-set can make us better.
Better Tomorrow Than You Were Today
When I work with a group, I always ask, “In order for you to stay competitive, do you have to be better tomorrow than you were today?” The responses I get are nearly unanimous. Everyone agrees that they have to improve every single day if they are to survive, much less grow their businesses.
I then ask a much tougher follow-up question: “What did you do last Wednesday that made you better than you were on Tuesday?” That's when I lose eye contact, and everyone begins to think, “Well, let's see. Last Wednesday was really busy. We were slammed and had all we could handle just staying on top of everything. There's no way we could really think about improving last Wednesday.”
No idea gets more lip service than the idea of constant improvement. ...