Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

A New Year, A New You: How to be Innovative… Even After 100+ Years in Business

Innovation: it’s all about strategy—not spitballing, according to Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields.

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In an article on Fortune.com, contributing editor Kirsten Korosec outlines the idea of innovation (without hurting profits) from a company that has been in business more than 100 years. At a recent conference, the Ford Motor Co. CEO shared how the company can still experiment and evolve. Read on to determine if you can apply the same principles to your innovate within your business:

Don’t use the same litmus test to evaluate your core business and new ideas: Ford’s core management team gets together weekly to examine the business environment—what’s going on with the markets, customers and its product launches. It also evaluates its mobility experiences like car-sharing, but using a different set of standards. Try not to compare big capital expenditures with the same standards are your experiments and smaller projects—otherwise those experiments may not hold up.

Empower your employees: The senior team at Ford doesn’t want to teach their employees how to innovate—they already know how. Instead, the senior team empowers employees to innovate on their own, and to celebrate those successes (and even its failures) as there is always something to be learned from any new project.

Respect the newcomers: There’s competition out there in the business world. Instead of getting angry and pointing the finger, use that as motivation for your company to innovate even faster. You can always learn something from everyone, and sometimes even apply that knowledge to your own business.

Commit to investing in the new ideas: It’s important to set some funds aside for the development of new projects and experiments. There is opportunity all around us—you just need to be strategic in finding it.

For the full article, visit: http://fortune.com/2016/01/07/ford-ceo-mark-fields-how-to-be-innovative-even-after-113-years/.

Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!

Image credit: iStockPhoto

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