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Stop continuously improving the candle

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

One of my favourite quotes on my Leadership Conversations Podcast is:

The lightbulb wasn’t invented by continuously improving the candle.

How good is that? I wonder what the candles are in your industry?

Greg Mckeown talks about getting rid of steps in his book Effortless.

If the outcome is ’lighting up a room’ and the current method is the ‘candle’ then don’t get caught just looking at cheaper wax, taller candles and better burn times.

Go back to the very start and build it from zero.

What is the minimum number of steps to get to the outcome you want to achieve?

What innovation can help you get there?

Two things can help you start building the lightbulb:

1. Look at non-customers in your industry.

Who never thinks about being a client because it’s not possible?

Who has considered being a client or customer but it hasn’t worked out?

Who is a current customer or client now but wishes they didn’t need your industry because of the pain involved?

2. Look at alternative industries.

What are companies doing in alternative industries? Schools might look at universities. Retailers might look at management consultants.

Particularly think about the outcome your company provides.

If you provide life transformation then look at other industries that provide the same outcome and then look closely at how they do things.

Want more info? Check out the book Blue Ocean Strategy which goes into more detail on these bullet points.

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