I read an article in Forbes entitled The Six Enemies of Greatness (and Happiness) where the author outlines what she sees as six impediments that may keep your company or individual team stagnant.  I’d like to explore these in a little more depth.

1.)  Availability – We are used to settling for what is in front of us. That is a dangerous concept as what is there is not always the best fit for our needs. I often run into this issue when looking for new office space or finding shipping carriers. Take the time to do some research, reach out to peers and obtain feedback. Find the best solution available and don’t settle for what’s easily available, it may bite you later.

2.)  Ignorance – Sometimes we don’t know what solutions are out there when tackling an issue. This is why it’s important to network and stay tied into industry enhancements. Companies in your areas of need are constantly finding new “niches” that may help you out.  Stay plugged-in to jump on new technologies and ideas that may help your company.

3.)  Committees – Trying to find a consensus is a good thing, but not mandatory.  Stakeholders and decision makers struggle with this often.  New ideas that evolve into new methodologies are not always going to make everyone happy.  The key is to try to build ideas that will demonstrably improve efficiencies in your organization.  If you wait until you have a full buy-in from everyone involved, you may never get there.

4.)  Comfort – One of the greatest detriments to our creative side is comfort.  We get used to routine and having the same things to do everyday.  You have to constantly challenge your team to think of ways to creatively enhance your company’s productivity.  The old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is not always true.  Challenge your team to explore new ways to improve your methodologies.

5.)  Momentum – Strike when the iron is hot!  You and your team have made some headway and are feeling good.  Don’t stop there.  Once you have momentum, you need to keep it.  It can disappear as quickly as it arrives.

6.)  Passivity – Don’t be afraid to challenge the system. Encourage your team to voice their thoughts on ideas and don’t patronize them if they don’t agree with you.  Creative idea development comes in many varieties and your team may need the experiences of others to uncover potential roadblocks and problem-solve around them.

The challenge is to be aware of the environment and continue to tweak, or break apart, your product or service to accommodate the needs of the customer. Being satisfied with what got you there will ultimately lead to stagnation and possibly obsolescence. Challenge yourself and your team to stay in a creative mode and improve!

Learn how new office technology can help your business overcome these obstacles, go to www.RJYoung.com/Workflow.