3 KeysThere is a reason so many of the issues we face today are the same ones we faced last week. Or last year. Or three years ago. Or . . . you get the idea.

From individual relationships to global politics…personal finance to marketing a business, often the solution on which we land is little more than a reordering of the same old talking points. A mashup of things already tried.

Meanwhile, real improvement is negligible. And experience tells us we’ll be back at the table to rehash the same issue again. Soon.

The difficulty doesn’t stem from a shortage of time or resources, though the latest silver bullet usually calls for more of both.

Most of the time it isn’t because the issues are unresolvable.

It is, at least in part, because we are doing the same things we’ve always done. Even as we strategize and plan initiatives labeled new, we are prioritizing and addressing moments, challenges and opportunities in the same way we’ve always addressed them.

And wondering why very little changes.

Why aren’t my relationships in better shape? Why am I not in better shape. Why does it appear to be business-as-usual in so many places where we pursue change? 

Why doesn’t my practice grow?

It should be noted that what we’re repeating today may have once been a state-of-the-art path to progress. And if what you’ve been doing is delivering the results you desire, stick with the strategy and methodology that are serving you.

But if you feel an uncomfortable shift as you struggle for traction — the market may be sending you a not-too-subtle signal that it is time to change things up a bit.

Sure…there are timeless principles — cornerstones on which we can build.

But we’ve always known two things about business development: relationship trumps everything; and they are dynamic — constantly changing.

Ignore the change, and you’re putting the future at risk.

Strategic Innovation

Wherever we wonder at the fact that, despite all the talk and attention, we see little to no progress, it might be time for a different conversation.

If this rings true even a little, try framing a new conversation around three principles:

  1. Develop a new vocabulary. To the degree we are saying what we’ve always said — doing what we’ve always done — we likely sound like everyone else in the room. A different conversation differentiates.
  2. Listen to new voices. There is enormous value in continuity. But listen to the same things over and over and perspective shrinks, and our inventory of ideas becomes limited.
  3. Start with Why. (If you haven’t, I highly recommend you check out Simon Sinek’s book.) Forget what you’ve always done, and how you’ve always done it. Begin at the heart of the matter — why you’re going down this path.

This is not about just changing things up. It is about the dynamics of new and better conversations This is a formula for strategic innovation.