The gas or the brake?

Maybe you work for one of those companies that lists “innovation” as a core value or that has a CEO who is always going on about your brand’s commitment to  “market leadership.” Yet, somehow, your company is continually a step or two behind the competition. Or perhaps even facing extinction.

Maybe you are a team member or a manager who provides input on new ideas or recommended product, program or process improvements. But more times than not you are a defender of the status quo rather than feeling wired to say “yes.”

Maybe you regularly tell yourself that you are a creative person, full of great new ideas. Yet, it’s hard to point to many instances when you’ve actually exposed your concepts to your colleagues and contacts, much less the broader world.

What makes us think that the way to catch-up with the competition or to build an insurmountable lead is to ride the brake? Is the world going to become a better and more just place with us sitting there and watching?

Yet the stark reality is that is what most of us do.

If you are serious about innovation, about leadership, about bringing your idea to market, about making even the tiniest dent in the universe, you are going to need more acceleration and less coasting or braking.

Step on the gas.

Or relinquish the keys and let someone else drive.

A version of this post originally appeared at http://www.stevenpdennis.com

Author: stevenpdennis

Steve Dennis is a strategic advisor and thought-leader on retail innovation, marketing and growth strategy. He has served as the chief strategy officer and led the development of omni/multichannel integration efforts as a member of the executive committee of two Fortune 500 retailers. He was recently named one of retail's top 20 influencers and is a retail contributor for Forbes. As President of SageBerry Consulting he helps retail, consumer and social impact brands accelerate their growth and improve their customer focus and results. Prior to founding SageBerry, Steve was Senior Vice President, Strategy & Multichannel Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group where he drove major strategic initiatives and led the company’s multichannel integration, loyalty marketing and customer insight strategy. As a speaker, Steve delivers keynotes, leads workshops and moderates expert panels on how retailers and brands can reinvent themselves to thrive during an age of digital disruption. Steve’s blog at www.stevenpdennis.com is one of the retail industry’s most followed and his thoughts on the future of retail have been featured at Bloomberg/Business Week, CNBC, Fortune, the Harvard Business Review, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and many other media channels. Steve is a member of several for-profit and non-profit Board of Directors and Advisory Boards. In the social impact sector, he is a long-term partner/Board member with Social Venture Partners Dallas and its immediate past Board Chair. Steve is also actively engaged as a Mentor and Advisor to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ GroundFloor Social Innovation Accelerator. He has worked with numerous non-profits and social enterprises to amplify their impact, including Education Opens Doors, the Akola Project, Bonton Farms, Children@Risk and Leadership ISD. Steve received his MBA from Harvard and a BA from Tufts University.

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