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Looking outside one’s own industry has resulted in many remarkable innovations and disruptions. But all too often managers lack the mandate, authority, or confidence to make it work.
They can overcome these obstacles by building a team to execute the search for outside ideas; providing it with strong, empowered leaders; and carefully preparing the sales pitch.
Henry Ford’s invention of the assembly line is an idea he stole from the meat industry. Abbatoirs used a “dissembly line” to shunt carcasses along a steel rail from worker to worker, as each executed a specific task.
Ford simply flipped the concept and revolutionized manufacturing.
Looking to other industries like this is a neat idea, but it doesn’t always work.
The challenges include:
With so much to gain from looking outside your industry, it’s a shame to let an opportunity slip by because of obstacles like these. Here’s how you can get past them:
Assemble an empowered team.
Provide strong leadership.
Prepare your sales pitch.
The core reason looking outside for strategic improvements doesn’t work more often is inertia. Doing what you’ve always done and in accordance with industry standards and expectations is far easier and more comfortable than looking into other industries.
This very fact affords you a potential competitive advantage — if you dare.
Thinking outside of your company's walls.
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