February 27, 2019
Why Being an Innovator Is Like Being on the Dating Scene
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Published September 27th, 2015 on Medium
As an innovation junkie, I am often reminded of my dating years. They are long behind me, but that same range
Got me thinking?—?when you go through each day continuously imagining how you could improve some product, service or experience that just feels wrong, outdated, or overdue for an overhaul, you are continuously faced with a decision: do I explore or ignore? Most of these mental machinations will be ignored, either because they are too complicated, too
Don’t get me wrong. I am not claiming to be void of some personal renovation opportunities myself, just saying that when we are in search of a good fit?—?be it a project, job opportunity, or mate?—?we have some criteria.
My criteria when I was dating included all the basics: good heart, good family, hard worker, and handsome, plus some of the not so basics: nice shoes. If I didn’t like his shoes, I didn’t waste my time. Of course, that was during a time when those horrible jazz-dancing-style-black-lace-up shoes were all the rage amongst the local Rhode Island guys named Mario wearing the thick gold chains, boasting heaps of chest hair exploding from their one-size-too-small, strategically low-buttoned dress shirts. So the shoes acted as the filters only if I was looking down first,
My innovation project criteria?
It needs to be a problem that is really worth solving. I simply don’t have the time to help every small business owner I see with a really bad business name, terrible curb appeal, and no value proposition transform their offering. And chances are I can probably find the value they are attempting to offer somewhere else. Ignore and move on.
I need to have the right skill
And finally, I have to have a brave, willing and hungry client. If the perpetrators of a gross misfire in delivering value really don’t want to change, it ain’t going to happen. Happens all too often. They may say: Yes! We need to solve that problem, or we value innovation as a key strategic tent pole in our corporate strategy, or we want to disrupt the marketplace and be the leader in our industry! But more often than not, they are not
So why is all of this like being on the dating scene? Let’s break it down:
We see an innovation opportunity [potential future husband], become intrigued, and begin experimenting with the capabilities [kissing and dance skills] with some
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I have experienced both all the joy and frustration of being an innovation junkie in my professional
Oops! Wait a minute, I guess the metaphors and analogies need to stop there.
Love you honey!
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