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In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson identified principles that served as catalysts for breakthroughs throughout history:
So clearly, open-minded companies in search of breakthrough results can benefit from understanding great practices developed by other organizations of any size, in any industry. So why don't they?
First of all, most people believe their organization is so unique that it can't be compared to any other. Also, with the inevitable benchmark comparisons, "The successes and failures of an organization are there for all to see," as noted by the founder of modern management, Peter Drucker. And who wants to embrace something that could cast your organization in a bad light?
At the same time, I've seen how people do learn to use benchmarking to find "good Ideas," make big improvements, and set new standards for performance after they go through a five-stage process of adjustment that's virtually identical to the steps in the grieving process. (My wife, who's a social worker, pointed out that intriguing comparison to me.)
This is the time when people get fired up to tackle the problem and beat the benchmark. And that's when breakthroughs occur that, in retrospect, are brilliant in their obviousness and simplicity.
I've seen people go through these five stages time after time. But I've also learned something else: If you understand the stages and recognize where you stand in the process, you can move through the whole thing much faster. That will, in turn, accelerate the innovation cycle and improve the performance of the entire organization.
Our goal at TSIA is to provide members access to the best information available that helps them make better decisions faster and to make those decisions sooner rather than later. We do this by providing assessments through our validated benchmarking process, frameworks for best-of-breed operations, recommendations for actions and best practices, and exceptional networking with industry peers.
When you create a culture that is open to new ideas from anywhere, you can add a really important stage after Stage Five. Let's call it Stage 6: Getting Results.
Post Date: December 18, 2014
Vele Galovski is vice president of support and field services research for TSIA. Using his nearly 30 years of industry experience, he has consistently helped companies both large and small drive double-digit top-line growth with a proven retain, gain, and grow strategy. Vele has also written a book, The Perpetual Innovation Machine, which describes a holistic approach to management based on ambitious goal setting, data driven analysis, skillful prioritization, inspiring leadership, and the lost art of employee engagement.
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