Sep 29, 2011

Be A Change Pioneer

Inc.com - The Daily Resource for EntrepreneursI recently conversed with one of my business partners and good friend as he talked about a former employer with whom he had recently parted ways.  It wasn't exactly amicable, and during his venting, he digressed about a number of the things his old employer did wrong.  The conversation continued, and my friend was positive that he knew exactly what needed to happen to turn his old company around.  In fact, after a few more cold ones, he was pretty certain he knew how to impact the entire industry with his ideas.  It was just too bad that his old company didn't realize his value.
Then, I asked ... well, what's stopping you from implementing all of these ideas on your own?  It dawned on me, and him too eventually, that this is where big, game-changing ideas come from.  An expertise, an experience, a skill set, and more important, a moment of epiphany falling into place at just the right time.  The next and single most important criteria ... actually realizing that an idea is not just an idea, but a revolution.

Paul Block, CEO of Marisant, really nailed it in this article, Inc-How Lack of Capital Can Drive Innovation ... 
"You shouldn't wait for change - you should pioneer it." 

That is a powerful statement.  Because it indicates that not only do you have an idea, but you have the motivation and the courage to make an impact on a grand level.  I think of Reed Hastings, CEO of Neflix, with his recent and highly publicized business maneuvers.  First, raising the price 60% and splitting the DVD delivery service and streaming service.  The next, to completely separate the companies altogether, much to the dismay of several million subscribers.  What few realize is just how game changing this is.  Ten years ago, when Mr Hastings set out, he named his company "Netflix", because he envisioned streaming movies eventually becoming the norm for movie viewing.  It was an idea ahead of its time, so he bridged his business model with the DVD service.  Now, he is not waiting for the market to move to streaming, he is pushing them there.  It's a high risk proposition, but one that I think will pay off.  

Take away ... next time you find yourself digressing about an issue that really bothers you, stop and ask yourself ... should I just wait around for it to go away, or should I fix it ... and fix it for other as well?