I recently traveled to Turkey and came back with a different perspective on many things including evaluating what I and the businesses I work with value. It was time for a reminder to re-evaluate business values based on specific customer needs and values.
1) What’s valuable to some isn’t valuable to others
The last time I stayed at a residence on the southern coast of Turkey, the floors were wall to wall marble. I thought it looked beautiful and was amazingly cool in the summer heat. Marble bring to mind wealth, luxury, opulence and elegance. On this trip back I went back to the same residence only to discover that the marble had been entirely covered up with linoleum. Initially I thought that perhaps the marble had gotten damaged but the marble was in great shape.
2) Figure out what’s important to you and why
Apparently, the owners didn’t like marble; it reminded them of a cemetery. Plus, the marble was extremely cold in the winter months where they have no central heating. Makes sense!
This got me thinking about what I value in business and in life. In business I value being able to work on new projects, help create new technologies, understand the real problems and help figure out solutions.
I began to think about goals that I have for businesses and whether this concept makes even more sense for businesses. This is especially true for businesses that are struggling with their customers’ changing requirements or tastes. What some think of as a value-add is more of an issue for others. It’s getting down to what your customers are looking for which then facilitates creation of solutions for both your business and your customers.
3) Go for it
Take the step to move forward with your decisions, even if they go against conventional thinking, ideals or beliefs.
What does this have to do with innovation? Take a look at the products and services you are developing or have in market. You may be creating best in class products and services… but are they meeting all of your customers’ needs?