If you had the opportunity to interview 100’s of successful people and business leaders, what would you discover about business growth and innovation? Over the last five years, I’ve had the opportunity of doing just that and I’ve learned there are patterns in what successful people and their businesses do and how they do it.
Ingenious Oz Project – NT
Recently I headed off into the Northern Territory (supported by NT Tourism and Department of Trade Business and Innovation) with my good mate Brad Foster to discover and share stories of ingenious and innovative Australian businesses and people. As we rode (couldn’t help but do it on Indian Motorcycles) from Alice Springs to Darwin we filmed a series of unique interviews. Each one revealing insights into what it really takes to consistently grow a sustainable and dynamic business. These fresh new case studies will be folded into my future keynotes.
Unique Case-Studies and Pragmatic Insights
The Ingenious Oz Project began five years ago when I headed off into remote and regional Australia, just me, my motorbike and a video camera. I wanted to capture on film clever and ingenious Australian business success stories in the hope that these stories would inspire others to pursue their business ideas and dreams. This led to the development of the ‘Game of Inches’ business process, and of course the book. It forms the backbone of my keynotes and workshops on business growth and innovation. This latest trip through the Northern Territory confirmed the Game of Inches process.
The 4 most important learnings around business growth and innovation
1. It’s a Game of Inches
It’s the small things that drive big results and business success is a game of inches. It happens one step at a time. 99% of successes come from many small, practical steps rather than the single ‘Eureka’ idea. This recent trip confirmed the Game of Inches process.
The big idea makes a good story, but it’s hard for people to incorporate into their everyday working lives. Success is not a one-off disruptive moment but a matter of consistently finding ways to improve everything you do and consistently disrupting and innovating.
The game of Inches is what makes big happen.
2. Find the Gap
Successful people are geniuses at finding gaps. Gaps are problems or opportunities that, if addressed, result in massive payoffs. Just outside Alice Springs is an award-winning tourism operation called ‘Earth Sanctuary’ run by three brothers and their dad. If you visit their ‘Star Show’ you literally sit under the stars in the desert (which is amazing in its own right) and they teach you about the night sky.
What’s interesting is how they developed the idea (they didn’t sit around one-day brainstorming new product offerings). The idea came after sleeping under the stars for 10 years. Realising no-one was exploiting one of the NT’s great assets (it’s incredibly clear night skies) they created their astro tourism business.
Finding gaps isn’t just about finding market gaps, it’s also about finding those little things that make a big difference. Humpty Doo Barramundi Farm just outside of Darwin is constantly looking for gaps in the way they do things. An amazingly sustainable operation where they constantly look at finding ways to improve everything they do. Incremental innovation at its best.
Be a gap hunter, not an idea hunter.
3. It’s Action that drives business growth and innovation
One of the main traits you see in successful people and businesses throughout the NT is their ability to simply ‘have a crack’. They don’t wait till everything is ready to go (because if they did nothing would ever happen). Damien Ryan, Mayor of Alice Springs told me “Remoteness instigates inventiveness”. Part of the reason for this is that it forces people to think differently, find inventive solutions and act.
Just start and take action. Without it, business growth and innovation will never happen.
4. Nurturing the Right Mindset is Paramount
In 1997 Justin and Karinda Gill arrived in Darwin with $1000.00 to their names. Along with their kids, they slept in a caravan. Today Justin and Karinda run Abode New Homes, an award-winning residential building company worth around $40million. When interviewing Justin, he talked about the importance of nurturing and maintaining the right mindset. Mindset is a trait you see in all successful people.
Mindset is everything
Check out how I can help your organisation and people think and be more innovative from the lessons learned of many ingenious people I’ve met. (and hear their stories and see snippets of their interviews with them).
As well as executive coaching.
You might also like to read ‘What Phrenology can teach us about creative thinking’ and ‘Hoe do I foster an innovation culture in my team?’