There is a direct, undeniable link between innovation and business success. Being first to market with something new, fresh, and different instantly catapults a company ahead of the stagnating competition, often with meteoric speed.
Unfortunately, in today's world of technology-centric, fast-paced enterprise, it would seem we are currently experiencing a prolonged innovation drought of sorts. Recent statistics indicate:
1/4 of CEOs worldwide rank innovation as one of the most critical challenges they expected to face in the next three years
2/3 of U.S. corporate executives cited increased pressure to innovate as a way in which rising customer expectations have affected their firms
54% of business leaders see competition coming from outside their industry, an increase of 26% from just two years ago
What does this mean for business owners managing companies in every industry, and of every size and scope? Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs need to cultivate (and, dare we say it, celebrate) a spirit of rebellion to inspire, provoke, and propel their business operations forward.
What’s Your Rebel Mindset?
Rebel. What comes to mind when you hear this versatile term that serves as both noun and verb? Standard definitions include:
Rebel (noun): A person who resists convention or tradition
Rebel (verb): To resist convention or tradition
For many of us, "rebel" often instantly conjures up a slew of potentially outdated connotations. Misdirected angst, misspent youths, and causeless misadventures are just a few of our perceived rebel interpretations.
No matter how you may feel about the term, one thing about the word rebel is quite clear: it's an active state of being. Rebels are not passive, inactive, or even reactive; they are creators, innovators, originators…they are doers. By their very definition, rebels redefine convention, inspiring brilliant (and often contagious) uprisings against invention's fiercest foes: complacency and the dreaded status quo.
History's Rebels Are Provocateurs And World Changers
Fortunately for us, history is positively rife with rebels. Virtually every generation has birthed global trendsetters who decided they weren't merely going to take the road less traveled – instead, they chose to forge ahead into completely unchartered territory, clearing their own path and blazing a trail for anyone brave enough to follow. Queen Elizabeth I, Nelson Mandela, Galileo Galilei, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Charles Darwin, Frida Kahlo, Madonna, and Steve Jobs are just some of humanity's most renowned rebels who purposefully and intentionally went against society's expectations and changed the world with seismic results.
Embrace Rebellion As The Catalyst To Innovation
If history teaches us anything about rebels, it's this: we need to change the lens we assign to rebellion, particularly when it comes to how we do business. In today's globally-connected commerce, where virtually everything and anything is possible with the click of a mouse (or the swipe of a screen), we must stop viewing rebellion as a negative proclivity and instead embrace the word and mindset for what it truly is: the ultimate entrepreneurial superpower.
What's Your Specific Brand Of Rebellion?
Many people assume that rebellion is an innate trait that, much like our hair or eye color, we are either born with it, or we are not. Fortunately for us all, this is simply not true. We all have our own personalized, authentic brand of rebellion that we can condition, strengthen, and flex in dazzling contrarian glory when the moment strikes. Go forth and, to quote Apple's brilliantly rebellious tagline, "Think Different." Tap into and develop your rebel superpower as often as possible. Be the next industry trailblazer who ignites an intentional, infectious mutiny against complacency and the dreaded status quo to catapult your own business ahead of the stagnating competition.
Nicola Smith, founder of Rebel & Reason, has perfected the art of intentional business rebellion. Visit Rebel & Reason today at rebelandreason.com to learn more about her upcoming workshops on developing strategically rebellious habits and practices. Be sure to follow @rebelandreason on Instagram for tips and tools to celebrate your inner rebel.