Standing out from the crowd can be a scary thought. Whether you’re introducing yourself in front of a group of strangers for the first time, standing up to your boss when he or she gives you marching orders with which you don’t agree or speaking up at a board meeting to champion a new and unprecedented strategy… it’s not easy to be the pioneer but it’s a defining factor of innovation.
Alex Osterwalder, the creator of the Business Model Canvas, has witnessed a hoard of companies try, fail, and succeed at jumpstarting their business growth. A lot of companies struggle with new ideas and innovation-focused thinking. To try to get more people and companies to succeed – or at least fail quickly and learn from it – Alex hopes leaders encourage their people to combine out-of-the-box thinking with rational business decisions.
Consider a house – if you’re asked to draw one, you’ll likely come up with the same picture as the next person would: a square topped with a rectangle to form the house and pointed roof, maybe surrounded by some shrubs, trees, and bushes. Alex claims that the reason that people draw the same shapes is that “we have the same mental models.” Yet, to become a business guru and be profitable, to break the mold and be innovative, you have to learn to think beyond the conventional and try not to do what everyone else is doing.
So, to be successful in business you have to start with a great idea. Where do you find one of those? It will involve a lot of risk and uncertainty, but Alex suggests you keep your customer at the center of any decisions that you make along the way. Consider these questions:
- How does your company compete at the business model level?
- Have you given yourself a financial sanity check?
- In what ways can you reduce the risk and uncertainty of new ideas?
Alex answered these questions and explained their relevance for business leaders at Nordic Business Forum 2019. To read what he said, download our Executive Summary today.