Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, ‘A rolling stone gathers no moss.’ In essence, it refers to the concept that a stagnant position quickly becomes useless, unable to move forward when the environment dictates. And in the arena of business, forward progress is key. When faced with change, the past place a leader wants to seek solutions from is the past, as it is inevitable that what once worked will not do so again in the same fashion. Seeking new solutions to a conundrum with a result in different outcomes, and innovation is significant in this process.
A Chinese proverb tells the tale of a farmer who once watched as a hare raced across his field, scattered and afraid, only to rush into a large stone outcropping and die. The farmer ate well that night on rabbit stew, yet starved the remainder of his days waiting at that same stone for another rabbit to come along and do the same. To be mired in the ways of the past is forgo being open to changes. With the business world constantly evolving, new methods of leadership are essential to accomplish the goals set out for a team.
It is always best to be at the head of change than to follow behind, as by the time things trickle down, there will often be little left. Looking for new ways of thinking, and therefore improved means of productivity, ensure a fresh approach to any situation. And for a leader, being the agent of change places them in the position of subject matter expert, increasing their marketability and promotion potential.
It does not need to be an earth shattering innovation in order for its effect to be of significance. Simple additions or changes to one’s leadership style can also have positive outcomes in the long run, as long as they are given the attention they deserve. A quick review of productivity results through an online app over a period of time might demonstrate a drop just before noon, prompting a shift in scheduled lunches on a given day. Another analysis of time might determine that employees using outdated software may only be producing 80% of the work compared to team members using an updated version. With this information in hand, a team-wide update and training session could see productivity and therefore profit margins increase.
When it comes down to it, being open to change and innovation with practical applications is a significant part of a leader’s influence over their team, and to be blind to change can mean being left behind.