Every company has to evolve and grow in order to remain relevant in a changing marketplace. Some of the ways to stay relevant are develop new products or services, reach out to a new target audience, or expand to meet underserved markets. Innovation takes courage and the willingness to take chances.
What does “pushing the envelope” mean? The earliest uses of the word are associated with aeronautics and mathematics. It was used in 1944 in the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society. It referred to the upper and lower limits of factors that influenced flight such as speed, maneuverability, and power. Pushing the envelope was attempting to go beyond these limits.
Pushing the envelope isn’t making decisions randomly or recklessly. It means going beyond the established limits or boundaries to set new standards. It’s risky, but can also be rewarding, and it should be part of a well-thought out plan or strategy.
One strategy for pushing the envelope is to become an influencer in your industry. Set the standard for quality, efficiency, technology, or another benchmark that will make your product or service stand out. Become a “go-to” expert and partner with other companies to boost your visibility and credibility.
Influencers can drive change by setting the bar high and in a sense, challenging others to meet that high standard.
Disrupt an existing industry! The term disruptor has become a popular term describing a business that creates a new market or value or collaboration that shifts market leaders out of their places. Often these innovations are created by start-up businesses or entrepreneurs. They have the ability to take advantage of sudden opportunities or technologies. Larger companies may not be able to take advantage of new opportunities as quickly or shift their focus due to established procedures or budget constraints.
Whatever product or service you have, you need to do your homework in order to know important data for making informed decisions.
- Understand the marketplace
- Know your competitors
- Identify an underserved or target audience
- Have a thorough knowledge of your industry
- Understand the latest technology
Pushing the envelope drives innovation, uncovers underserved consumers, and uses new technology to solve existing problems.
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