Keep Your Innovation Nerve

Keep Your Innovation NerveIt is much easier to lose your nerve than it is to regain it, so better not to lose it in the first place. I have lost my nerve before and made decisions I regretted for a long time after they were made. Acting out of fear leads to poor decision making and a lack of leverage that, in turn, leads to unfavorable outcomes. That is why you must maintain your nerve and focus on the actions you need to take to create positive change, rather than allowing yourself to be overtaken by fear. Fear is one of those emotions that grows to fill the space.

When this downturn began, I had a client that wanted to extend our contract at half the previous rate in order to cut costs. Without any other projects in hand it would have been very easy to take their offer and hope that something better would come along. It’s much harder to walk away from guaranteed income and focus on winning new clients during the biggest downturn in a generation, but I did. The outcome?

Not losing my nerve, refusing this offer, and fully dedicating myself to revitalizing my business led to:

  1. Signing my first two clients outside the United States
  2. Signing a top literary agent to represent my book project and John Wiley & Sons to publish it (the five-star Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire)
  3. Building upon my book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire by creating the Nine Innovation Roles Diagnostic Tool to help companies improve their innovation team success
  4. Becoming a popular innovation keynote speaker and thought leader
  5. My personal innovation blog expanding to become the leading innovation blog on the web – Blogging Innovation – with more than 15 contributing authors and upwards of 200,000 monthly page views
  6. Blogging Innovation becoming the foundation for Innovation Excellence, the world’s most popular innovation web site – a Top 1% site that now regularly generates 800,000+ monthly page views
  7. Launching a new business focused on helping b2b companies increase their inbound sales leads and revenue through execution of customer journey research and creation of an effective b2b pull marketing strategy that includes the use of my proprietary single content input, multiple content output methodology

So before you lose your nerve and start asking yourself all those questions about what could go wrong, focus instead on asking yourself about the actions you could take now to make sure that things go right.

Are you going to be nervous in the downturn, or nervy? If you act fearful, your clients will be afraid to do business with you, but if you’re confident that you will do great things, then your clients will want to do great things with you.

Required reading for Congress and Obama if they are serious about fostering innovation

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a Director of Design Thinking, Innovation and Transformation at Oracle, a popular innovation speaker, workshop leader, and creator of The Change Planning Toolkit™. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons and Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.
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