Keep Moving Forward

In the 2007 Disney movie Meet the Robinsons, young inventor Lewis Robinson is whisked away to the future where he meets his future family. Lewis learns that in the future, mistakes are welcomed and the risk takers are celebrated.  The celebration of mistakes is due to the persistent motto “Keep Moving Forward,” authored by the famed future inventor (and Lewis’s grown self) Cornelius Robinson.  The point of the motto is that discoveries can’t be made unless people take risks to develop new innovations.

The “Keep Moving Forward” motto can be applied to businesses buckling down to make it through the current recession.  Successful and struggling businesses all need to increase their emphasis on innovation in order to emerge stronger when the economy turns around.  Here are three principles that companies can put into practice during this recession to “keep moving forward.”

1.      Celebrate mistakes. Businesses should look for ways to celebrate the risk takers within their companies.  They should remove cultural barriers that prevent their employees from experimenting with new products and services.  Innovation is about trying numerous experiments in order to find the right product or service that will eventually add value to a company’s bottom line.  Employees will work harder and be more creative for a company once the burden of fear is removed.

2.      Serve the under-served. Companies should seek out an under-served customer segment and develop a product or service for those customers.  A new product or service targeted for a small, but enthusiastic, customer base can open up a new avenue of incremental revenue for a company.  If the product is successful enough, it could transform into something that a firm’s core customers will want to purchase.

3.      Shed the unsuccessful.  Companies that are in business for any length of time will develop lines of business that may become less profitable and more burdensome.  It is critical during a recession to analyze what the core revenue-generating business units are, and shed the non-critical, non-core products and services that could be holding a company back.  Shedding unneeded and unsuccessful products and services will allow companies to free up resources in order to investigate and develop new products and services.

To sum it all up, companies need to “keep moving forward” during this recession by celebrating the mistakes of their innovators, serving the under-served customer, and shedding unsuccessful products and services. Successful businesses should develop a brand new product or service to “wow” their customers, while struggling businesses should invest in a disruptive product or service that has an underserved customer.  The success that businesses want to achieve is only limited by their imagination and drive.  There is room for inventive mistakes, and the only real way to fail is to be fearful and do nothing.

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About jpthomp137
Techie/student/husband/father interested in new technology, social media, and innovation.

One Response to Keep Moving Forward

  1. Nice first article JP. Congrats!

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