Before any business can reach a breakthrough, there’s a barrier that needs shattering. It may be outdated processes that stifle innovation. Or a leader who’s afraid to defy the status quo. Even a supply chain that’s disconnected from the reality of today’s need for speed to market.

In fact, that supply chain is a great example of shattering old notions. It used to be linear. An employee strike, storm, or scarcity of materials could create a shortage that clogged the entire system. Successful supply-chain managers learned to create a non-linear problem-solving process to survive.

The old problem-solving approach in the typical top-down enterprise involved adding more people and resources and expecting that like the supply chain, the directives that impacted A would influence B. However, today’s enterprise is much more complex – it is a set of shifting conversations about internal and external impacts. The barrier therefore becomes the inability for an enterprise to harness those conversations or start new ones – the fundamentals of a breakthrough.

A business is comprised of stakeholders with unpredictable behaviors. Their commitments aren’t necessarily the same. Business-as-usual will carry on until someone is bold enough to change the conversation and push ahead for the breakthrough.

It shouldn’t take a crisis to tilt the floor and cause the enterprise to think newly and act differently. Here are three ways to shatter the breakthrough barrier:

1. Ditch outdated processes

Your business isn’t the same as it was five years ago. The larger the company, the harder it may be to update the process. What if you could process map in one day and free up resources to focus on new growth? You can!

2. Think like an upstart

Successful upstarts didn’t play it safe. Risk-taking is part of the equation. Every day, employees have ideas and strategies that could propel an idea well past the breakthrough barrier and into a new strategic frontier. Does your company have the framework to allow those conversations to happen?

3. Leverage the entire enterprise

The most talented people capable of re-inventing your company’s growth are already there; invite them to be a part of the journey. Breakthrough Performance is the result of implementing those newly imagined possibilities into realities. That’s only going to happen if the commitment is across the enterprise, not just the boardroom.

Conversation that improves performance

Breaking that barrier may not happen overnight; but it starts with the right conversations. Here are the four types that lead to this breakthrough.

  • Declare the possibilities
  • Take a stand
  • Request a commitment
  • Make the promise

Is your company capable of these conversations? Shattering the breakthrough barrier will require doing things in an entirely new way. Wouldn’t every business executive want to embed that in the corporate DNA?

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