Are you taking the time to continually innovate? Almost 50% of people are not regularly considering how to further improve what they do well. How are you future-proofing yourself and your organisation if you're not continually improving?

We may all have the tendency at times to think “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, especially if there appear to be larger problems or opportunities elsewhere that need our time and attention.

It’s certainly important to maintain something that’s working well. However, if we ignore opportunities for further improvement, we run the risk of being overtaken by competitors or new entrants, or being overlooked by clients seeking new innovations.

This also applies to us as individuals. Will our strengths today still be in demand in the future? Will our current knowledge and experience still be applicable when faced with new situations and challenges? If we don’t intentionally invest in learning and improving, we may find ourselves outdated or less effective.

Continuous improvement is vital in today’s fast-paced world, driving innovation as well as greater efficiency. Reflecting on what works well can also reveal opportunities to apply those strengths to make improvements in other areas. The Body Shop is a recent example of a brand and organisation that was once a pioneer but failed to continually build on its strengths and attract younger consumers in order to stay ahead as its market got crowded.

Our research shows that only 53% of people regularly think about how to further improve what they’re doing well. And for those in middle management, this drops to under 47%.

Here are some simple but powerful approaches to help make continuous improvement part of a regular routine:

  • Rose, Thorn, Bud – a weekly discussion exercise where ‘Rose’ involves sharing something that went well and, crucially, the learnings from this. (‘Thorn’ is something that went less well and lessons learnt, while ‘Bud’ is something that has potential or is being tried out.)
  • Marginal gains – a technique to implement small, incremental changes that can have a significant cumulative impact.
  • ‘Even better if’ – regularly seeking feedback or ‘advice’ on anything that could be better.

To quote John D. Rockefeller: Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

* Data based on responses gathered through the growth mindset psychometric, Mindset Advantage, from thousands of leaders and hundreds of organisations globally over a period of 7 years.