Clicky Web Analytics Kerry Walters Shares Accounting Expertise: THE NEED FOR INNOVATIVE THINKERS

Monday, December 8, 2008


For the past decade, market conditions have strongly suggested that a company’s future success must be based on innovative thinking, innovative ideas and innovative strategic plans. This subject has been written about in books and college business journals for years. The resounding message is innovate or perish.

Because the alternative to being an innovative company is watching a company start down the path of bankruptcy to their eventual demise, there is an enormous incentive to make innovation an integral part of a company. Management has been trained that everything is about results, and that concept is still very valid today.

Management is held accountable for continuously improved earnings and the overall success of the company. The challenge is getting innovative ideas so that the company begins to generate better and better results.

To begin becoming an innovative company, management should hire the perfect candidates who can create innovative ideas, translate the ideas into a plan, and then implement the plan. Unfortunately, this pool of candidates is very, very small.

There is another solution to becoming an innovative company. This solution works when management better understand the weaknesses and strengths of their current staff. For example, you may already have an innovative thinker on your staff. This is the person who has good ideas but never seems to get them implemented. This person often cannot stay focused long enough to complete a project, and they never seem to consistently produce results. On the other hand, you may have a person who never seems to have any ideas of their own, but when they are given a project, they perform well. Your company may already have the resources to become an innovative company. You just need to become more effective at utilizing the resources you have.

After you have assessed your staff, you may find that you need an innovative thinker. To find the innovative thinker, a change will be needed in your hiring practices. There is an entirely different process used when looking for innovative thinkers because of their unusual abilities. The innovative thinker may have moved around more, they are looking for a company which wants new and fresh ideas, they are looking for a company where there is an environment of change, and they may have worked for younger companies.

When hiring a candidate, ask questions which require the candidate to find a solution to a challenge. This means asking questions that have a set of conditions, so the candidate can explain how they would solve the problem. Other questions should be conversational and open-ended, so candidates can explain what they mean. Based on the candidate’s answers, you can decide if the candidate is an innovative thinker by whether their emphasis is on generating ideas or if their emphasis is about implementing a plan to get results. The questions need not even have relevance to the position they are applying for. The intent of the questions is to see how they respond.

Remember, the mantra is innovate or die.

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