You won’t believe what they did with…

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Resources and capabilities are abundant. In a world full of materialism and the need to accumulate it may sometimes feel that everything has already been invented. I’m here to tell you invention will never stop – and you already have everything you need to innovate and create something new and exciting.

Have you seen the memes with the micro-homes. You know the ones, their headlines read – “You won’t believe what they did to this shipping container”, or “What this couple did to this Airstream trailer made me lose my mind”. OK, OK, so I employed the same type of headline here – but the difference is you. What comes after the headline is up to you. You already have everything you need to innovate.

The people that have created the minimalist lifestyle dream in a shipping container took resources that already existed and adapted. The people at Coca-Cola have taken their resources and are using existing infrastructure to create and market healthier beverage options in the face of declining soft drink sales. Level Ground Trading leveraged their relationships and infrastructure as a fair trade coffee roaster and expanded into teas, spices, dried fruits and other products that fit in their value chain. The thing that these companies or people have in common is the ability to see beyond the intended use of a resource, a relationship, or a capability.

“I believe there is almost no limit to what a brand can do, but only if used properly.”

-Richard Branson

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When is the last time you asked yourself and your partners:

  • What else can we do with this? This being the infrastructure you have in place, a product or concept already developed, a capability in your value chain, etc…
  • What are the skills that we already possess?
  • How can we look at things, skills, experiences, products, etc. differently and adapt to something new?
  • How can we combine ideas, skills, experiences, products, etc. to create something that fills a greater need?
  • What assets do we already have that can be deployed in an alternative way?
  • Are there other companies that we can partner with to add to our business model?
  • How can we expand beyond our market or sector with the knowledge, capabilities and infrustructure we already have?
  • What do we have that we aren’t using?

Trying to increase productivity by decreasing costs and increasing production only works for so long, you need to find ways to innovate in order to increase revenue from other sources using existing infrastructure. Looking at what you already have and adapting is far easier than creating something from the ether. You can use the infrastructure, products, concepts, or ideas that you already have to support a brainstorming session, using forced connections to see how things fit together.

This is the fourth in a series of posts over a period of 6 weeks to help you and your business embrace innovation and creativity in your culture. Mind Set Grow is a business consulting company specializing in leadership development, creative problem solving strategy and coaching. For more information go to our full website at http://www.mindsetgrow.ca


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