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Keep your business growing through innovative thinking

If you always do what you’ve always done, you can’t expect different results. This is how Vusi Thembekwayo uses innovative thinking to keep his business growing.

Ask Vusi Thembekwayo, CEO of Motiv8, about the secret to growth, and he’ll point to a number of key areas that entrepreneurs should focus on. But if you want exponential growth, you need to be disruptive. Safe strategies lead to linear growth, which for many business owners is fine. However, if you want to shoot the lights out, you need to be bold.

By the time you realise your competitor has moved away from you, it’s too late. If you want to be a clear industry leader, you need to be the disruptor.

Here are three core areas to focus on, for business growth.

1. Great leaders live on the edge of chaos

Mediocrity leads to predictability, and no disruptors are ever predictable. They’re pushing boundaries and even though there’s an element of danger, the rewards can be huge. Anyone can go fast on the straights, but the winner goes fast around the corners.

Leaders, who live on the edge of chaos are always asking the question: How do we disrupt what we’re doing today? They aren’t complacent, and they aren’t content to take the wins and settle. They know they need to keep pushing the boundaries.

Whitey Basson, the former Shoprite CEO, used to say that strategy is not about what you write down, it’s what you do every day in the trenches. In this context, disruption must be an organisation-wide philosophy, which means everyone has to understand and embrace your vision, bottom to top so that it permeates everything you do.

As a leader, ask yourself these questions, but more importantly, make sure your employees are doing the same: Why do I do what I do? Why am I here? To be motivated, you need to believe in what you do and make sure your team is 100% on board.

2. Innovation promotes imitation

Innovation is the new black — everyone is doing it; everyone wants it. And because everyone knows that you need to be innovative, there’s a constant drive to keep pushing. New models are quickly old and ubiquitous.

While you need to keep innovating, remember that everyone else is too, so what sets you apart?

  • What do people say about your brand when you’re not in the room?
  • What differentiates you from everyone else?
  • As brands increasingly imitate each other, how are you changing the market you operate within?

Execution is all about what you can measure, so measure everything, and ensure your execution is flawless — that’s how you differentiate and secure customer loyalty.

Always consider these four areas to deliver an amazing customer experience. Ensure what you do is:

  • Relevant - personalised and meaningful.
  • Convenient - offers choice, consistency and timelessness.
  • Responsive - listen to understand and understand to act.
  • Reliable - keep the brand promise, no matter what, even if it costs you money.

3. Create a system of short-term, incremental wins and long-term growth

There are four core areas to focus on if you want to be a market leader.

  • Encourage collaboration. Remember that your business is made up of people and working together could help your business achieve incredible things.
  • Make sure your organisation is the creator. Your business needs to be the leader, so do things first and never follow or imitate.
  • Have control over what’s happening within your organisation and make sure that everyone below you also has a measure of control.
  • Focus on competing and being able to execute fast.

Nadine Todd - This article based on content originally published on 10 February 2016