Innovation and Improvement?


I received an email this past week from one of my readers asking me what my headline “Continuous Innovation . . . Continuous Improvement” is supposed to mean. He wasn’t criticizing, he was just curious.

He asked “is it a play on words or is it just a random phase?” “Does it have some kind of special meaning or is it something philosophical?”

First of all, I must say that I am honored that some one would send me an email telling me how much they have enjoyed reading my posts. Secondly, as I prepared to answer his email, I wondered if anyone else had ever wondered the same thing. Since the title wasn’t something that I randomly selected, I decided that I would share with everyone why my title is what it is.

I’ve written a couple of times about how I had an epiphany of sorts about 15 months ago, when one of my sales counterparts was told that he needed to reinvent himself. That term, stuck with me and as a result l decided to develop new approach and philosophy in my life, both personally and professionally.

So, why innovation and improvement? Innovation is the catalyst to growth and it’s usually linked to positive changes. It’s the use of new ideas and new methods. Improvement, on the other hand, is making something better.

In order to keep up with the ever-changing world in which we live, one has to adapt. Being that I am in sales, and knowing that the profession of sales is changing, I knew that I needed to adapt, innovate and improve.

Last year, David Brock of Partners in Excellence, wrote a blog post titled, Innovation And Improvement Whose Job In Sales Is It? In his post he stated that “innovation and improvement are critical, not just for survival of the sales function . . . but for our own individual survival.” he went on to say that, “I don’t think it’s a matter of either innovate or improve, both are mandatory.” 

Selling is a profession that demands a far wider range of skills than ever before; Skills that require continual fine-tuning and constant practice. It also requires an investment and the dedication and desire to actually put new ideas into action.  I refer to it as  “Continuous Innovation Continuous Improvement.”

One of my favorite quotes is by a 16th Century Philosopher named Francis Bacon. He stated:

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.

 For those in the sales profession today, stand up and take note.

Categories: Sales

2 replies

  1. Bruce, thanks for the shout out! I appreciate it. Innovation and improvement are inseperable and they start with each of us. I think too often we think of the “big innovations,” but small innovations accumulate.

    One of the best examples of that is what a lot of innovation experts think of the Toyota Production System (it’s a mfg example). People think of it as a massive innovation done by Toyota, in actuality, it was 10’s of thousands of innovations people did at their workstations that, when aggregated, was massive.

    Toyota leadership was brilliant in creating the cultures and process to do this.

    I’m convinced each of us, on our won can do similar things.

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