2013: Think Different

2013 will be the fifth year of economic crises in a row in western economies. It creates problems to be profitable on the short term. Downsizing and cost cutting are essential. But in the long run you cannot survive on doing the same things in a cheaper way. 2013 will therefore be a perfect year for a disruptive shift in mindset in your company.

There are no old roads to new directions. You should be looking for disruptive ways to really innovate your company. Be inspired by the famous words of the historical Apple campaign of 1997: Think Different.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Start 2013 creating mental space for change using seven provoking questions within your company.

  1. What would we do if our present business model would be forbidden?
  2. What’s the ultimate dream of our customers?
  3. What would we do if we had unlimited access to money and resources?
  4. What would we do if we would start our company all over again?
  5. What would Google do*?
  6. What would LinkedIn thought leader Richard Branson do?
  7. What would my favorite comic hero from my childhood do?

In 2013 the urgency will be high. It will be the ideal moment to free the rebels in your organization (again). As innovator, be brave and be the change yourself.

By Gijs van Wulfen

About the author

Gijs van Wulfen (The Netherlands, 1960) is the founder of the FORTH innovation method. FORTH is an effective and structured method for ideating innovative products and services. The method is published in his inspiring and practical book Creating Innovative Products and Services’ (Gower, 2011).

He helps organisations to kick start innovation by facilitating the FORTH innovation method and advising companies on their innovation strategy, process and organisation. His clients are international companies in industry and services, as well as non-profit organisations in government and health. Gijs also trains facilitators in his method. His dream is to make FORTH the most used method for the front end of innovation around the world.

Gijs is a both presenter and chairman at several (international) innovation conferences, like the ISPIM Conferences and the European Conference on Creativity and Innovation. He is also founder of the yearly Dutch Innovation Conference on creating new products: ‘Nieuwe Producten Bedenken’.
  • http://twitter.com/nobitingmyarm Eric Lee

    I believe that it’s good to take stock and analyze your options but more important than asking a series of what-if questions is asking how do we achieve it? What’s stopping us from achieving x, y, and/or z?

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  • Alix

    Happy New Year! Great questions to spur introspection!

  • http://www.facebook.com/massimo.fascinari Massimo Fascinari

    thanks for sharing this Gijs. I may want to comment your question n.3 “What would we do if we had unlimited access to money and resources?” I think we want to challenge here the approach of “we need to reduce risks, we have to cut costs and so on” and think differently from that angle.
    Having say I find the question contradicting the notion of frugal innovation which I personally consider very interesting and key for thinking differently.
    I may suggest the following question “how would you achieve the same growth goals if you had less money and less resources?” in addition to your 7 questions or replacing the n.3

  • Ben

    Exactly. Turning talk into action.

  • Melissa

    What does the asterisk in question #5 indicate, I wonder? A missing footnote to the article?

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