Boredom is failure – Tim Ferris
Think about the times you felt most alive at work. Were you doing something new? Mastering a skill? Creating something?
A friend of mine led an innovation project on 100-year-old product line. This product line was a cash cow and not much innovation had been done in the last decade. In fact, no one thought anything other than line extensions could be developed. I remember the look on his face every time he talked about the project – he was thrilled and energized. Every time we talked it seemed to me that he was so thrilled he couldn’t wait to get back to it. It was really exciting to see how jazzed he felt.
In retrospect it is amazing that this new product got off the ground. There were regulatory hurdles, manufacturing issues and quality assurance standards to be defined. The project was certainly not without it’s ups and downs. I few times we all thought it would be canceled. Still this was probably one of my friend’s finest career moments.
There is a thrill we get when we try something new. Particularly when we accomplish something new. We light up when we think of the possibility. Innovation is not just good for your members but it is good for your staff as well.
Many association staff people have talked to me about the hamster wheel of responsibilities they have. Their schedules are so jammed packed that all they can do is survive. They rely on the calendar of events from last year to create the calendar of events for this year. There is no room to work on strategy or innovation or things that will delight their members because they are too busy just trying to get done this year what they got done last year. Work. Work. Work. Repeat. Work. Work. Work. Repeat. And on and on. Wouldn’t you get dull too?
Innovations are not just good for your members. They are good for your staff too. Make innovation a focus and you now have the chance to energize them.