May 22, 2014 by Jeff Hurt
Executives and conference organizers need to train themselves to look for change!
Innovative organizations look out the window, away from the organization as well as look inside the organization for opportunities.
They embrace change as an opportunity to innovate. Not as a threat.
Many conferences that have got into trouble in the past ten years are successes that rested on their laurels.
Too often conference owners and organizers become complacent. They ignore all the signs of changes in the marketplace.
Instead they feel they deserved their unexpected success. They congratulate themselves on it. They market their success. They tell everyone.
Then the next conference bombs!
When you are successful, it is the very time to ask, “Can we do better?”
One of the best rules for an innovation strategy is to put your efforts into your successes.
When everyone says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” that is exactly the time to fix it!
When people say, “Don’t rock the boat,” that’s the time to rock it hard.
Get some courage and character to be the unpopular one and say, “Let’s improve it! Let’s see our success as a call to action to continue to innovate!”
The best rule for innovation is to refocus and change the conference when you are successful! Look at change as a potential opportunity instead of a threat.
Most new things need an incubation period.
And they need a champion who can rally the troops and carry it across the finish line.
We need to ask, “Who in our organization should work on this conference innovation strategy?”
New strategies need to be piloted by someone who wants to embrace innovation. It needs to be lead by someone who wants it to grow it and believes in it.
And it needs to be lead by someone who is willing to commit to the innovation even when the road gets tough.
Legendary management guru Peter Drucker has identified several mistakes that people make when implementing innovation strategies.
Too often, we go from ideas into full-scale operation. We should always consider testing the idea. Pilot the strategy. When we go immediately into full-scale operation, tiny, easily correctible flaws can destroy the innovation.
What everybody knows at your organization is ten to twenty years old! It’s out of date. We have to move away from the past and look out the window at new opportunities.
We need to look outside of our organization first. The change outside is an opportunity. Force yourself to look at demographics. Compare your organization’s demographics to those outside of your organization.
An extremely common mistake is to patch the old rather than sunsetting it and going for the all-out new. Too often leadership says, “We’ve been successful in the past with this program this way, so it must be the right way.” Instead of saying, “This is how we do it,” and patching any problems, say, “Let’s find out what this needs. Where is the right place in the market?”
What are some other common innovation mistakes that you’ve experienced? What tips do you have with implementing conference innovation strategies?
Filed Under: Experience Design
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