What innovations are happening in your business?

In Connecticut a few years ago I visited in one day 3 museums: A clock and watch museum, a lock museum, and a carousel museum.

Each was a fascinating excursion into obsession. The clock and the lock museum were also lessons in the need to constantly innovate in business. Towns were built on clock and lock businesses which died because they didn’t keep innovating. Now all that’s left is the museum and an empty factory.

At one time the only place you’d buy a clock from was the USA. On my lounge room masterpiece stands my grandmother’s grandmother’s clock. It was made in Connecticut in the 1800s. The clock story is fascinating: the whole industry was born because of a series of innovations (machine-made wooden gears rather than an artisanal brass gears, door-to-door sales to get the product out there, eventually machine-made brass gears).  And it died from a failure to innovate as pocket watches and finally wrist watches took over from clocks.

So how are you upgrading your consultancy skills and contacts? Are you going to courses, reading books, meeting people, hearing new ideas, trying something different?

And of course it’s not just about innovating to stay alive, it’s also about keeping you interested in the business.

Keeping your brain active keeps you young and vital!

Here’s an interesting podcast with Reed Hastings from Netflix. He points out that for millions of years people tried to improve on the horse, but suddenly from about 1900 – 1930 there was a big leap. He says that most of the time improving what you have is the best strategy. Some of the time everything changes. The difficult thing is knowing which is which.