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It’s difficult to see your own blindspots when it comes to marketing strategy and expertise. After all, oftentimes, you don’t even know what you’re missing until it’s been pointed out to you, and making time to examine where you can improve on your own is the last item on the agenda when you’ve got a marketing program to run.

However, without constant pressure and outside perspectives that proactively look for blindspots, it’s likely you’ll end up finding them at the worst time possible rather than preemptively dealing with them. 

An example: high-performing athletes may be the ones playing in the arena, but they wouldn’t get very far without their coaches’ objective insights, experience, and expertise to guide them. The last place you want to be deciding your team strategy is during half-time when you’re down 20 points. 

The same is true for marketing teams. In this blog, we’ll discuss enemies to innovation, how to break the cycle of stagnation, and when a third-party consultancy is the right answer.

The 4 Horsemen of Innovation Stagnation

The biggest enemy to innovation is being stuck in the cycle of “This is the way we’ve always done it.” This attitude can be a result of individual pride (it’s my way or the highway!), fear of risk (we can’t afford to try something new), or a simple lack of structure and direction (we’re making it up as we go). 

Some additional enemies to innovation include:

  • Lack of clarity about goals
  • Lack of urgency for change
  • Focusing on technology over outcomes
  • Top-down approaches that limit team autonomy and flexibility

If you recognize your marketing organization in any of these enemies, now might be the time to focus on breaking the cycle of stagnation.  

How to Break the Cycle & Drive Innovation

As the old adage goes, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. Breaking the cycle of non-innovation is easier said than done. While it can be done internally, sometimes it takes an unbiased third-party partner to fast-track real change.

One of the ways to stop the cycle is to enlist what the Harvard Business Review calls a “counterweight.” For individual leadership, this can take the form of a specific person to provide needed balance. For organizations, this can take the form of an outside consultancy to help you evaluate things on a broader scale.

The right third-party partner can help you go from stagnation to radical innovation for quick results. (Which, in the post-COVID world, is more of a necessity than many marketers might think.)

3 Indicators That It’s Time to Get Outside Help

How can you know whether or not you need a third-party partner to “rock the boat” and spur innovation in your marketing organization? A good indicator is to examine how change occurs now.

If your organization is having trouble with any of these three areas of change, it might be time to consider working with a third-party consultancy to get the results you need:

  1. Proposed change either doesn’t occur, or there is no “why” behind proposed changes.
  2. Your team has difficulty embracing the “mindset shift” because the change vision isn’t clear to them.
  3. You never fully implement changes because of the aforementioned problems.

A third-party partner is one of the easiest ways to pursue change because it doesn’t involve all of the political implications of assigning an internal resource. This factor alone is a highly valuable tool when it comes to driving change.

Of course, we may be a little biased on this front, but we know from experience (and our clients do, too) how influential a little outside help can be. If you’re interested in learning how Inverta can help you drive innovation and change, learn more about what we do here.