I walked into a colleague’s planning meeting this week as they were talking about how to capitalize on intellectual property. It was at quite an interesting point in the conversation as I heard,
“There is no such thing as intellectual property. There are so many good ideas out there now, making sense of them and making them work is what is wanted.”
Another voice quickly came in with,
“I could not agree more. What people are looking for is teams who can work well together and enjoy what they are dong to get the ideas delivered “
Did you ever feel that the magic you’re searching for is sometimes right in your face? I did when I pondered what I had just heard. I also considered stopping my search for the next great idea and instead get to work on what I enjoy the most; Which is having fun with a great team including my customers and business partners as we enjoy each others company to get some amazing stuff done. As service providers that seems to be the real Intellectual property that should never be lost.
Back in my office I took a hard look at our values. I noted our web site which contained them, had some well chosen words. But I wonder too if it was now just fluff and had lost its oomph to motivate us. I also realized as a team who love working together, being so busy we rarely sit down and discuss our values. I wondered if that was a mistake and our so-called successes may be in danger of waning.
Being blessed with success and the lessons of dips, we know it is so easy to lapse into playing the game and forget to take stock of the play and players. We do know too that standards do slip as the Peter principle and human inertia are forever pervasive and stifle innovation; as too do challenge incentives quickly lose their luster without momentum. At the grass-roots we also know that even though the sun rises and sets each day the gap is being ever compressed to respond to competitive need.
It seems too as we mature our perceptive gets caught is the endless race and we forget to take time out to think. But when we do our teams should continually re-think in practical terms about what things like customer service really means now; And how we can discard aging poor practices and build on formulas that made us winner teams in the past. One approach I love from the Oil and Gas camps is the concept of taking time once in a while to allow creative project ideas to be aired and discussed.
I should also add that this week too, as a team, we have put a great deal of added energy into some amazing innovations that we have involved in developing especially in Australia. These have potential to lead coming change in our industry, being business intelligence, to also make our customers very happy even in other countries where we work, like Thailand and parts of Asia where data management is becoming very mature. Our dilemma now is do we keep doing what we are good at and risk missing the boat or do we go for it with the potential to distract on a completely new challenge?
I wonder what others think?