The other day CBS’s 60 Minutes ran an inspiring story about a man’s innovation that was literally born in the closet of his house. That man’s name is Sal Khan, and his innovation is called Khan Academy. According to CBS, Khan Academies goal is to “revolutionize how we teach and learn” by providing free online educational videos for classrooms and for those who can access the Internet. Video of Sal’s Story
The Washinton Post wrote a follow up article and commented on what Google chairman Eric Schmidt told 60 minutes about Khan academy:
“’Innovation never comes from the established institutions. It’s always a graduate student or a crazy person or somebody with a great vision.’ He’s right, of course. Think for a moment of all the industries that have been disrupted by outsiders. Netflix founder Reed Hastings knew how to write code but was an outsider to the world of film. Steve Jobs was known primarily for his beautiful design of computer hardware before he upended the music industry. The list goes on. (Read Full Article)
Not sure if we fall into the category of crazy person or someone with great vision, but the Khan story reminds us of our story here at Group Dynamix. Group Dynamix evolved from the construction of a small indoor ropes course at the Dallas Fun & Fitness Center in 1995. Today Group Dynamix’s facility is 17,600 sq. ft. making it the largest team development center of its kind in the nation. Having worked with over 300,000 people since we started, our goal has been simple, “to connect people in fun ways.”(Read more about our story)
Like all innovations, our grand vision faced many difficulties ranging from fear of leaving a predictable, though unfulfilling, work environment to determining how to fund a vision while still providing for one’s family. Many times these difficulties lead to the death of an innovation, so how does an innovator continue to pursue their innovations in the face of profound challenges? We would like to share five ways innovators can keep their motivation up and overcome the trials they’re certain to face.
• Be passionate: A 100% believer in your product and company. Tell your story, live your story every day.
• Be Reflective: When you run into a wall, step back and remember what inspired you to get started in the first place and remind yourself how good it’s going to feel when your work is done.
• Be a Flexible: Be a risk taker but manage it in ways that give you the most options to succeed. If you aren’t flexible, can’t change your vision when required, miss opportunity because of hubris, you minimize your potential for success.
• Be Commemorative: As you are building something, take time to celebrate each stage, every step forward, every discovery realized, each success earned. Innovation is an exciting adventure.
• Be Observant: Watch your competition, others in your industry, who is getting your business and why?