Innovation

Want to reduce work stress?

You can reduce unnecessary work stress by focusing on the inputs you influence!

Imagine a lottery where you have a 50% chance of winning $1 million and it costs you $10 to enter. Would enter that lottery? ...Of course! A 50% probability of winning $1 million at a cost of $10 is a no brainer.

Now, you enter that lottery, and you lose. If given the same opportunity, would you enter again? The answer is still yes - the payoff is amazing!

So, WHY do WE OBSESS so much in business OVER THE OUTCOME, rather than whether we made the right decision in the first place? 

Here's the problem: Most people focus on the outcomes outside of their area or sphere of influence - e.g. return on investment for a new business idea

The internal problem: Obsessing over the unknown and uncontrollable outcomes creates unnecessary stress and anxiety.*see the below P.S. note for those curious about why this creates stress. 

The philosophical problem: You are defining success by things you are unable to directly influence.

What you should do: When analysing any business or personal decision, ask yourself “WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO OPERATE REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME”. Importantly, recognise the outcome is part luck like our lottery.

Example: Instead of focussing on the customer experience score of a product, focus instead on how many product improvement experiments you have conducted which leads to an improved customer experience.

P.S. why a focus on outputs causes unnecessary stress:
Stress is a highly energetic, unpleasant emotion. It is triggered by a self-perceived lack of resources to meet current commitments.

When we focus on outcomes out of our control, we are making a commitment which relies on luck. As such, we often find ourselves feeling like we don't have the resources to meet our commitments, causing stress.

If, however, we defined success by input targets, e.g. how many product experiments have undertaken in a given time rather than $ outcomes, we find that we do have the resources to meet our commitments assuming we've been realistic in our goal setting.

More articles.

What is innovation and why does it matter?

What problem this article addresses:
Innovation is misunderstood and as such 94% of innovation initiatives fail to deliver their desired outcomes.

This article provides a new layman definition for innovation to help you understand what it is and how to do it.

How to set continuous improvement metrics

What problem this article addresses:
Many leaders don't know what drives their desired outcomes (e.g. customer experience).

This article provides three steps you can use to identify unchanging metrics that guide continuous improvement.

How to create an innovation strategy (pdf)

What problem this pdf addresses:
It is difficult to identify where to start when investing in innovation.

This PDF is a guide for creating a high quality innovation strategy which will help you identify which tactics to invest in first.

The surprising power of controllable inputs

What problem this article addresses:
As leaders, we often obsess over our desired outcomes rather than the inputs we control.

This acticle teaches you how to identify controllable input metrics that can guide your teams' focus and strategy.

Why you want an advisor, not a consultant

What problem this article addresses:
As organisations, we often don't distinguish between advisors and consultants, but what we want is an advisor.

This article examines the difference between advisors and consultants.

Getting started with innovation as a business

What problem this article addresses:
We often stress over making the right first move when we are investing into our innovation capability.

This article lays out how you can continue your innovation capability building journey as a large organisation.

Four mechanisms for culture change

What problem this article addresses:
We desire an innovation culture but don't know what it is or how to foster it.

This article introduces four mechanisms you can use to influence your culture.

Four ingredients to a great business offering

What problem this article addresses:
It is difficult to summarise what makes for a great business offering and therefore to guide people on how to make a great offering.

This article provides a simple framework for evaluating the quality of a business offering.

Should you build an innovation department

What problem this article addresses:
A common question is whether or not you should build an innovation department.

This article alleviates this confusion outlining when and why you might invest into a new innovation department.

Problem canvas - tool

What problem this tool addresses:
We often rush to solution mode before we fully understand our problem.

This tool will help you analyse a problem so that you gain a better understanding of what the problem is and so that you can shift into building higher quality solutions.

Innovation audit - tool

What problem this article addresses:
It is difficult to know where we need to improve our innovation capability as an organisation.

This tool is an audit which helps you identify priority improvements you could be making for your organisation.

Reduce stress by focusing on what you control

What problem this article addresses:
Most people obsess over outcomes outside of their control which leads to unnecessary stress and failure.

This article argues you should examine & define success by what you do control.

Don't waste others' potential

What problem this article addresses:
Most organisations waste their employees potential by failing to support them with pitching and pursuing ideas.