If innovation is a good idea, it’s worth doing poorly.

October 16, 2008 Innovation, Strategy Comments (0) 133

When I was the CMO of a software engineering firm at the end of the dot-com era, my boss would find a way to work, “If it’s a good idea, it’s worth doing poorly,” into every conversation.  When I got over the annoyance of it, I realized he was on to something.

“We can’t drive innovation through planning. It only comes in the doing.”

– Dave Harkins

This is the time of the year that most of us work on our budgets for the coming year.  Many of us are cutting back on marketing expenditures. Why?  We didn’t deliver because we used history as our guide. We didn’t keep up with the change around us and planned our marketing programs by looking through a historical lens.

Successful marketers today understand that we must keep our eyes open and our ears tuned-in to all that happens around us today. Yesterday is irrelevant in today’s culture.  We must be bold enough to take action on what little we know, or think we know and connect the seemingly unconnected patterns in daily living to find an opportunity for innovation.

As you think about next year’s marketing budget, open your eyes and ears to what’s happening in our world. You will undoubtedly see opportunities that you could never have planned in your wildest dreams. You can’t plan innovation. You can only live it.

Take risks. Big risks. If it seems like a good idea, do it. Even if you do it poorly. In fact, do whatever you’re trying to do poorly if it means you’ll get it done sooner rather than later. You can always improve upon it daily hourly.

What are you waiting for?

David Harkins is a serial entrepreneur, which is a more professional way of saying he is still trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up.
When not working for himself, he has had a fulfilling career in marketing, advising both large and small companies including several in the Fortune 500 and many of America’s largest nonprofit organizations. In his spare time, he consults, speaks, writes, hikes, explores, and creates art. Although, not necessarily in that order. Connect with him on social media below:

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If innovation is a good idea, it’s worth doing poorly.

by David Harkins time to read: 1 min
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