People aren’t scalable. But ideas are.

It’s a natural goal to want to maximize resources. But sometimes pursuing “more” causes businesses and leaders to push ahead in the wrong places in the wrong ways. As much as we’d like to think people can continue to increase hours and maintain quality of output, it simply doesn’t work. As long as humans remain human there will be a point of diminishing returns.

However, one of the things that makes humans unique is their ability to create processes, systems, and machines that help boost productivity. Perhaps we should make this ability a greater focal point in everyday life? Perhaps instead of pushing for more and better people, we should inspire people to create more and better ideas that lead to more and better solutions, processes, systems, machines, products, and services. Perhaps your next best investment is creating an environment that encourages ideation and a culture that helps those ideas multiply.

Be a Maverick,

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4 comments

  • Matt Zinman says:

    Kent –

    I am penning a book about an idea for the very purpose of scaling it. It’s maverick. It’s massive systemic change. The book coincides with the “turning on” of a non-profit I founded. I want to create a platform (website) that invites, encourages, facilitates the scaling of the idea. The reason being … that while I have many of the big pieces in places, I don’t have all the answers. So they need to be solicited, captured and converted into action. My question: can you suggest any ‘models’ that exist for the purpose of scaling ideas into action? Can you identify any individuals or organizations that are doing this well?

    Thank you for your consideration (and fellow maverickness).

    Matt

    • Kent Healy says:

      Sounds like a fascinating project Matt. Companies such as Google (a mainstream example) are realizing that creativity, inspiration, and ideas are more important than punching clocks. This is why they try to infuse fun and flexibility into their culture and environment. The better the employee feels about going to work, the better work (ideas) they produce. Although seemingly simple, it is a fundamental shift in how corporations have looked at work, employees, and company growth over the past century. And on the topic of getting ideas to take flight, I would take a close look into a company called, Mind Valley (www.mindvalley.com/). Good luck with your project Matt.

  • Jack Battaglia says:

    Kent,

    It has been my experience that companies that expand too rapidly
    tend to fail. An example of this is a very popular restaurant in
    Covina called “The Greasy Spoon.” It was a small
    place with a train on tracks that hung from the ceiling and circled overhead.
    People would have to wait for a table during lunch and dinner hours. The owner (who
    was the chef) was very successful until he decided to expand and bought another,
    much larger, restaurant in Glendora. This restaurant did not
    have the quaint features of the Covina locale. In contrast to the
    small warm atmosphere of his first restaurant, and people lined up waiting
    for a table, this one was double the size and mostly vacant. He ended up having to claim bankruptcy and lost both restaurants.

    • Kent Healy says:

      Quick growth can be a detriment if one doesn’t understand what created the opportunity for growth in the first place. You restaurant example is all too common, unfortunately.

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