If you have been following my articles over the past few years, I hope you realize that I truly believe that one of the most important assets of a company are the human resources, which does not pop up on the balance sheet. But equally important are two other intangibles-creativity and innovation. It is very easy for companies to get into their comfort zone and forget about the world around them. It is much less work and effort to do what you have always done rather than challenge the status quo. I find this very common in most businesses-small and large. The end result is, your customers leave and go to your competitor or competitors grow at a faster rate because they were able to develop new products/services or new and improved distribution channels that will improve the lives of the consumer. The traditional reason is that “we need to keep doing what we know and what has brought us to where we are”. It is important for every company to periodically reevaluate their business model to confirm it is still relevant?
Progress occurs because the leadership encourages change, innovation and creativity. It also occurs if the leadership has a passion for what they do and employs people that share the same passion and the company allows it to be expressed and implemented. With all this said, companies need to not talk a good game but, need to know how to implement. Talk is just a lot of noise in a conference room, unless it leads to some action. Many companies I work with have meetings, have great agendas and pound it out in about an hour and a half. All the participants walk away and, business is as usual. What has been accomplished? Just a lot of productive time wasted, even though good ideas were discussed. No implementation occurred. Does this sound familiar?
Leadership must understand the life cycle of what they provide and must inspire others. In many cases the business model, functions and responsibilities of the staff members may need to change, to allow for the process of change to be implemented. The difficulty lies in both the “sacred cow” syndrome and the threat of change. Again, I emphasize, that without innovation, change and creativity, companies risk the chance of becoming obsolete. It is every company’s responsibility to express their passion to the marketplace which in turn will inspire those who have the same passion. This creates loyalty and longevity among employees and customers. All the progress has to be consistent with the passion and why the company is in business-and it is not to make a lot of money, this is the result of all of the above. We know that even though these intangible attributes are not on the balance sheet they are, in many cases, more valuable than many tangibles that are on the balance sheet.