Updated: Apr 9, 2020
Olympic athletes never quit training. They’re constantly looking for new ways to improve their performance, better equipment to build strength and new training strategies to take them to the top.
Blue-chip stocks rarely disappoint investors, because their corporate leaders make sure their companies are on the cutting-edge to stay ahead of the business game.
Blue Ribbon schools never stop trying to out-do their competitors. Teachers and principals know there’s always more to learn and better ways to do it, so they’re willing to take risks.
Success breeds success
For the best of the best, success breeds success. The most prosperous companies, like the most effective schools and A-League athletes, are often more open to new concepts than their competitors. That’s what keeps them on the cutting edge. They’re not afraid of change and they’re often the first to try something new.
Go back to a time not so long ago when Apple stock sold for just $6 a share. New concepts, new products (iPod, iPhone, and iPad, for example), catapulted this computer company to a record-breaking $700+ per share before splitting 7-1 this fall. You can’t argue with such success. If you want to be a winner, follow the leaders. Better yet, be a leader. Be willing to try something new rather than settling for the status quo.
Innovative ideas turn the tables
Take a look at the West Michigan furniture business. In the 1990s, furniture-making seemed to be moving South. Sofas, love seats and end tables that had once made Grand Rapids the Furniture City were suddenly being shipped across the country from states like Georgia and North Carolina. So what did leading brands like Haworth and Steelcase do to survive? They stepped outside their comfort zones and focused on something new. They took a chance by capitalizing on office furniture instead of living rooms. But they didn’t stop there. More recently, local furniture-makers have entered the medical furniture market with other new product lines to stay in business through changing times.
Why our schools need to be innovative, too
Think back a few more years. Do you remember when some school boards claimed technology wasn’t worth the money? If prominent colleges and highly acclaimed K-12 schools hadn’t led the way, we’d all be currently asking: “What kind of jobs can our students get today without experience in technology?” You can’t survive without it. Jobs are found online and you need to use a computer to send an email with an attached resume to get almost any job. Good careers require even more technical know-how.
Technology is here to stay, but new challenges have come with large numbers of students and staff online. Cyber threats, social media slander, internet bullying – and other unethical or illegal internet use have put both schools and businesses in the news for breaking web rules. How can organizations stop internet abuse? Should we disconnect, rip out all the cables and give up on technology? Absolutely not. Once again, we need to be innovative, creative, willing to risk trying something new.
It’s time for forward-thinking school and business leaders to take another leap
Follow leaders who continuously strive to improve. Don’t argue with their success. No one can make it today without extensive experience in using technology, along with the ability to access the online world safely. If you want to improve performance at your organization, you must use the internet to its full capacity. Follow the leaders. You can’t argue with success!
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