I listened to a podcast with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Charles Duhigg talking about productivity and habits. He made reference to the time when he interviewed a Major in the Army in Iraq that had reduced the number of riots in his area to zero in a short period of time. He recounted that the Major had said that riots begin with a couple of troublemakers, eventually more people join the shouting, and a crowd will appear to spectate. It takes between 4-5 hours before a bottle is thrown and a full blown riot ensues. What is interesting is that the Major had noticed that after 7 hours of rioting, the people stood on the edge of the riot headed off to the local food vendors, clearly rioting is hungry work.
The Major removed all street food vendors from his region and the results were amazing. At the next riot the crowds after a period of time went looking for food, there were no vendors in the street and so they went home. The next circle of people saw the others leaving and followed suit. The riot was over 45 minutes after the first people left. There are now no riots in his area, nobody bothers.This got me thinking about business. How often do we innovate in our businesses and wonder why people aren’t sticking around with us?
In order for us to maintain the crowds, we must make sure we have researched what it is that will keep them stuck to us. In order to create a riot in our market place with our new ideas we need to innovate strategically, i.e. do something that will have an impact, but more than that we need to measure the results of our innovation, making sure that we are doing what we need to to engage the customers. So I ask, what have you done to delight your customers recently, what new idea is causing a riot in your market place.We supply companies across the UK with tools and systems which are designed to help businesses make strategic innovations and in turn measure the success or failure of the changes implemented. The importance of innovating, breaking the mould and ultimately habits is the difference between staying afloat and making the waves in your market place. We urge you to become the ‘troublemaker’ that causes a riot in your marketplace!