So you want to innovate?  That’s great!  That means you already know consumers crave the latest and greatest products and services available; and, in turn, your dealership will benefit from making a few changes.  Innovation doesn’t have to be difficult or extremely costly, however, it can still be tough to get everyone onboard when you propose changing the status quo of how things are done at your dealership.  A little bit of resistance or trepidation is normal, and you can reassure employees as you begin to implement changes by being open, transparent, and an overall great communicator.

Success in today’s marketplace depends on your ability and willingness to innovate.  It’s a busy place out there, and consumers have plenty of choices; their eyes are turned toward companies that innovate and change to meet their most current needs.  As Bill Gates said, “Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.”  The promise of innovation is great, and as technology takes a bigger role in consumer lives every day, it’s important to stay on the cutting edge of what shoppers are looking for.

There have been numerous great innovators throughout history, in any number of industries and with wide-ranging backgrounds.  From Henry Ford in the automotive industry to Bill Gates to Steve Jobs, the list of inspirational stories is endless.  No matter the industry, however, there are a few things these innovators have in common—and they are characteristics you’ll want to embrace as you move forward as an innovator for your dealership.  Being a proponent for change and introducing innovation can be a tough job, and that’s why innovators must be:

  1. Brave. Innovators don’t stand on the sidelines and wait for others to launch great ideas.  Instead, they are the ones to step forward and share their thoughts, insights, and plans—even if it means occasionally failing in a spectacular fashion.  Look at the recent crash involving the Google self-driving car; though an unexpected incident, we can all be certain Google’s long-term plans for innovation have not been detrimentally impacted.  Great innovators bravely share their contributions—and they learn from less-than-successful endeavors.
  2. Thoughtful. Innovators are thinkers and idea cultivators.  They excel at developing concepts, thinking outside the box, and focusing on ways to answer the biggest questions.  They are the ones who enjoy puzzling through consumer pain points to conceptualize solutions that will make things easier, more streamlined, or simply improve day-to-day life in some way.
  3. Creative. Innovators thrive in environments where they can tap into their innermost creativity.  Using imagination and artistic skill, they turn ideas into concepts.  With a talent for balancing their vision with business smarts and planning, innovators will consistently tap into their creativity to offer up progressive business solutions.
  4. Action-Oriented. Innovators know when it’s time to make a move.  They know when they’ve got a great idea, product, or service; and they don’t wait around for another business to beat them to it.  Taking action requires confidence and assurance—in both the innovation itself and in making the move to share it with others.
  5. Leadership. Innovators are great leaders.  They want to surround themselves with like-minded professionals, and they encourage others to explore ways to improve and build on the team’s goals.  Whether in leadership positions or support positions, these individuals model leadership behavior through exceptional performance and commitment to continuous improvement, and they earn the support and loyalty of those around them.

Businesses will always be on the lookout for the newest and best ways to reach consumers, and innovators are the ones who will drive success in this arena.  They are the ones who have the vision to create what’s missing in the marketplace, to enhance the products and services that already exist, and lead businesses to the forefront of change with their ideas.  Innovators will bring bravery, creativity, thoughtfulness, leadership, and a drive toward action to your dealership—and with that combination, you can be sure to deliver consumer-focused solutions that lead the way toward continued success.

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