Less than 20 more days to make this year count, what a challenge it has been for everyone, for some more than others. It’s taken a mental toll on me and I assume you too, and while I strive to be optimistic, creative and consultative every day, I need to add value to my clients whenever they can benefit from creative suggestions, so they too stand out.
So I was intrigued I came across an video in inc.com titled “Six Ways to Innovate Mentally” which I urge you to watch for 1 minute 45 seconds, and I will be adding to each of its six concepts over the next few days. I hope you enjoy and can adapt them.
6. Test Early
I promise my clients they are delivered a best-in-class final product.
But as the technologies change, and they do without notice, I strive to be ahead of the curve. Often I am notified by the vendor that an adjustment due to regulation, or a new version of the platform, is imminent. That means it applies to all my clients not just one or a few, so I anticipate the change and model it in. Then test it. Communicate it. Often. And refine the end product so the client is always at the top of the heap.
On the credit card side of my business, clients also come to us and ask us to make a change they see elsewhere to emulate an idea they like. We make that change after a conversation so we can customize that change to what they want. Often that means a marathon phone call where all hands are on deck and we show what we drafted and ask for input. We make those incremental changes in real time so all can see, while we are together.
On the LinkedIn side, coaching clients send me their draft a day ahead so I can “digest” it before their session. As they speak (and it’s recorded for their use) I am always listening intently to what the client thinks he/she wants to say and imploring them to say it even better. We attend 4 sessions together and all sections are subject to continual editing throughout as we turn over new stones along the way.
We may decide to test various sections with different draft narratives, sleep on them, and reconvene later with a fresh eye, decide to use one or the other, or combine aspects of them. This creative iterative process is fascinating to observe and highly rewarding for me to facilitate, and especially for them to articulate.
Without testing, without performing this essential task early, why get stuck and wish we had done something else, better? I’d much rather get all the ideas out and amalgamated to end with the best product. And I also expect changes and encourage conversation for the betterment of the client down the line.
19+ years of e-payment consulting and 10+ years of LinkedIn training, and this test orientation process reinforces itself every time. And I am still testing and learning from the results.
I hope this series has been helpful to frame your 2021 mental innovation.
This can make for a rich and exciting continuum of improvement, year on year.
I welcome your comments and ideas. Share them here in comments back to me.