Everything goes dark this time of year, and not just because of the winter solstice. The volume of e-mail I receive from readers drops dramatically, as you drive to meet or surpass budget projections. I’d be willing to bet, also, that like me you’re deep into employee performance appraisals and putting the finishing touches on your 2006 strategy. At least I hope you are.
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First off, Moore says small companies are no less subject to the laws of innovation than large ones. He says they should engage in an annual exercise of shedding approximately 20 percent of their existing business and replacing it with something they’ve never done before. If you’re a VAR or reseller, this could mean severing vendor relationships that are going nowhere and taking a chance on a new supplier, something Moore encourages. “The world moves every year,” he says.
Solution providers should also take stock of staff, especially as the pace of hiring picks up for next year. Sure, your plans probably call for certain numbers of sales folks or technical contributors. But you need to understand how new and existing team members will handle innovation and the sort of “planned instability” that comes with it, Moore suggests.
In his book, he categorizes businesspeople in three ways: entrepreneurs, program managers and process optimizers. Great ideas, he argues, won’t get anywhere without people to shape operational policies around them. These ideas won’t continue to get better without people who think about optimizing them over time. It’s a cycle that continues without end. And Moore believes that without contributors of all three types, your company will be doomed to mediocrity.
Where do you stand on the evolutionary scale? HEATHER CLANCY, Editor at CRN, welcomes feedback at email@example.com.