Commerce Bank went through an impressive period of growth from 1997 to 2007, market capitalization of $400m in 1997 to $8.5Bn in March 2008, when it sold out to TD Bank. Commerce wanted to re-recreate the retail experience. They didn’t look to other banks to inspire them. They looked to Starbucks, Target and Best Buy. They opened their branches seventy to eighty hours per week including Saturday and Sunday.

London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children struggled with “handoffs”. Mistakes commonly occur when a doctor goes off duty and transfers responsibility of a patient to another doctor. Handoffs are being studied and revamped to ensure continuity and consistency of communication and care. The leaders at Great Ormond new they needed to improve their handoffs. Source of inspiration? – Ferrari’s Formula One pit crew. The teams collabrated to produce a quantum leap in the hospital’s performance. (taken from a great book – Practically Radical)

So stop looking in the wrong places for your inspiration to innovate.

  • Building a great internal training program – go look at your favorite university.
  • Revamping your product launch process – go look at cell phone companies, publishing companies, companies that are launching products every month.
  • Customer Service need fine tuning – look at Zappos not your competitor.
  • Logistics process letting you down – go study Amazon.