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Joe Giordano teaching Synectics Innovation Consultant, Synectics, Synecticsworld, Innovation Consulting, Art of problem solving, marketing concepts, innovative ideas, innovative solutions, innovative systems, innovation and creativity, leadership consulting, innovation training, cool inventions, creative problem solving process, innovation lab

Joe Giordano, Synecticsworld

By Joe Giordano

In a previous post, I talked about the notion of renovation versus innovation. Both have their place in the business world, however I feel that organizations and their leaders tend to confuse the two when the business needs to make growth truly happen.

There are complexity issues that encompass both renovation and innovation looking from the outside into any organization; using the definition of renovation, these happenstances become easy to spot.

Renovation Activities are Innovation Triggers

  • Reorganize: The highest profile occurrence in any size organization is the announcement of a reorganization. The redistribution of responsibility and accountability is an attempt to flush out (and away) operational issues based on leadership’s perceptions that the business is not achieving certain critical elements of its business plan.  With a reorganization, there is a strong expectation of positive change based on the shuffling of people and their work.
  • Retread: You know you are retreading when you keep going back to the same approaches to your business and implementing the same ideas that at one time yielded results. Businesses keep going down this path because it is tried and true – it has delivered results in the past. Team members meet retreading ideas with little resistance because they have a high level of comfort with things they are familiar with and have achieved prior success. However, the business might not be seeing the same level of results as in prior years. There is an expectation of growth and change, but you keep getting the same or worsening results as new competitors emerge and the market moves away from you. In the end, everyone wonders what happened.
  • Retreat: You have to resist the strong temptation to return to business as normal and the old structures where people were comfortable and performing. This could lead to reversing an ongoing reorganization, stopping the development of new ideas because of roadblocks to success or employees resisting corporate mandates because it is too hard to implement changes due to leadership constantly moving on to the next renovation idea. Just because it is easier, it doesn’t make it right to retreat back to the way it was before. Growth and change are difficult and it takes time and commitment to make them happen. But they are absolutely essential if your organization is going to continue to thrive in the future.


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These are the common faces of renovation in any organization. If you see or hear these tactics or events, you should change your mindset and think of them as Innovation Triggers. When we see, hear and feel these triggers, we know that something else has to occur in order to help the business grow. Innovation Triggers are the cues and clues to:

  • Invest: Give your people the investment of time, training and tools to help them think differently about the business. This will help them generate new opportunities to get  the results that are needed to create and sustain growth. You want your team focused on creating potential breakthrough ideas for the business, as those are the types of innovations that will provide the biggest results.
  • Invent: Develop these beginning, potential breakthroughs into ideas, concepts and actions. Evolve the thinking into the opportunities that will make the changes needed to ensure growth and market development. Ensure you are holding onto the characteristics and qualities that gave the thinking its potential.
  • Incubate: Give the breakthrough ideas, concepts and actions the time and space to mature and react and morph with the business needs. Do not stop at the first sign of weakness, obstacles or resistance. Let the incubation process help you work through the issues so that each opportunity can be given the chance to grow. Give each opportunity the chance to be nurtured, mature and succeed.


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