Stop Being a "Deer in the Headlights"

“A deer in the headlights” has a high odds of becoming “road kill.” If the deer takes action and moves — odds of survival increase dramatically. The same is true in business – if you take action on innovation your odds of survival increase dramatically. This week our focus is on taking action on the “ideal solution to your process change” or “the Ideal new product or service.” The “idea” is also called doing the right things in the right ways.

I’ve found that when myself or my clients focus on pursuing the “ideal” great progress is made. The ideal is the solution you would pursue if you had no history of combat, politics to confront or feasibility issues to challenge you.

The “ideal” inspires energy and vitality that brings out the best in people.

This Week’s HOMEWORK Assignment – Your homework is to step back and identify what is the “ideal” and to develop a 30 day Fail FAST Fail CHEAP action plan to learn how to make the ideal real.

  1. Step Back and Think about a “Do Over”: If you were to start the business all over again. What would you do differently? The “do over” could be a production process, a product offering, a service offering, a sales or distribution system. For inspiration – explore how your newest competitors are thinking. How are they thinking about what they sell, how they produce it and how they package their business model. Spend three days working on this – for 30 minutes each morning – on your drive to work – or as you have your first cup of coffee. Use Mind Mapping to diagram your thinking. In the middle of your sheet write “What I’d do differently if starting fresh”.
  2. Quantify the Balance Sheet for the “Ideal”: After three days – do the math on what could be the value – in sales, profits and or productivity if you were to make the change. Estimate the full balance sheet – the revenue potential as well as the costs. Repeat the calculations until you identify an “ideal” with a great “balance sheet”.
  3. Develop Fail FAST Fail CHEAP 30 Day Action Plan: Working with your team – identify the Death Threats standing in the way of the Ideal. Then create a 30 Day Action plan to explore feasibility of taking action on the Ideal today.

Innovation Engineering Leadership Institute Dates

Arkansas November 15-17, 2010 Washington DC. December 13-15, 2010 – SOLD OUT Vermont February 14-16, 2011

Sign up information is available at

For details on special Institute packages where your team can have a PRIVATE coach to work with you in the evenings of the Leadership Institute contact Corie Roudebush Spialek at 513-271-9911.

Background on Innovation Engineering 13 Virtues Postings: Ben Franklin identified a set of 13 virtues for living. He found that working on all of them at one time was too difficult. To address this he created a plan where he worked on each virtue once a week. In 52 weeks he could complete four cycles of the 13 virtues. In the same manner, each week I post a writing on one of the 13 Virtues of Innovation Engineering. The goal is to provide practical ideas for helping you take action this week – every week – on thinking smarter and more innovatively about your life and career.