Look to the Volcano

March 13, 2009

volcanoIf you’ve read this blog before, you know that I am constantly telling you to “Always be innovating“.  Yesterday, someone reminded me, if you are constantly changing and doing new things, life gets too hectic and the business could fall apart.  After thinking about that for awhile, I came up with this analogy to help explain what I mean a little more clearly.

Think if your innovation like a volcano.  Volcanoes are not always erupting (thank god).  They lie dormant for years between eruptions.  They are, however, without getting into too much detail about volcanic activity, tectonic plates, and geological theory, always doing something.  Deep beneath the surface, that volcano is getting ready for the next eruption.

And that is what you need to consider when it comes to innovation.  When I say, “always be innovating”, it means always be doing something.  Just like you would tell an entrepreneur to always be doing something that helps you move toward starting a company, you should always be doing something that will eventually lead to your next innovative breakthrough.

Things like brainstorming sessions, a call for ideas from all your employees, hiring a chief of innovation, talking to your customers, and doing various market research are all forms of innovation because they can all lead to innovation.  So I don’t mean that you should always be changing something in a major way.  I mean that there are little things that you can always do to encourage an innovative culture, open yourself up to change, and increase the chance of great innovative opportunities down the road.

And when that volcano erupts, you will have laid the groundwork for the entire company to take a huge step forward. Carry the momentum of innovation with you at all times and breakthroughs will await.

That is the definition of the phrase “Always Be Innovating”.

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