It’s never a bad time for creative problem solving and innovation

In many industries, including construction, many companies are used to doing things the same old way. I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) and John Chambers (CEO of Cisco) and their style of leadership.  Both of these companies took a nose dive with the rest of the market in 2001. Because of long-term thinking, creative leadership, and customer focus, they ignored the noise, put their heads down, and focused on leading their teams. They continue to build and expand brilliant companies in hyper-competitive markets and tough economic environments. The WSJ article contains this excerpt — “There’s no bad time to innovate,” Mr. Bezos told BusinessWeek in 2008. “You should be doing it when times are good and when times are tough.” Amen to that!

In our business, we’re encountering more and more customers asking us “Why? / Why not?” questions (this is a good thing!) and that our proposing of smart and creative ideas and problem solving, particularly those that relate to saving money, are more well-received than ever. Meanwhile, we see a lot of companies, both customers and competitors, sort of doing things the same old way, doing nothing to set themselves apart, and thinking, “Boy, if the economy would just turn around…”They’re slashing prices, wallowing in their defeat, and waiting for things to change while others, like Bezos and Chambers, are leading the charge.

A rising tide lifts all boats, they say, but why not sail a better boat with a better captain?

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