For as long as Ive covered business, Ive written about companies that succeeded and others that failed. Despite their eventual fates, there was one common theme among many of the business owners I interviewed they claimed to have great ideas.
When I was a recent college graduate, I probably didnt examine that notion as closely as I should have. Perhaps I didnt understand the fine line between those two extremes success and failure well enough. Or maybe I just falsely assumed the difference was as simple as the ones who succeeded had the good ideas they claimed to possess, while the ones who failed did not.
Unfortunately, as I have learned in the years since from speaking with hundreds of business people from a wide spectrum of industries, its not that simple. Good ideas do drive success, but theres a lot more to it. Success depends on a delicate balance of many factors, including a strong management team, reliable employees, a forward-thinking business plan and solid financial backing.
But Im still drawn to the fact that at the root of any successful business is that singular idea. The one innovation, be it a product, process or service, that makes a company better than its competitors. Those are the brainchildren of innovators. Since success is what most people are judged by, rarely are people recognized purely on the basis of their innovations.
Thats why Im excited that SBN has joined with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to create the Innovation in Business Conference, which will be held in October.
The conference is designed to bring together Northeast Ohios best innovators and recognize them for their smart business ideas. You may be one of them. Well honor innovators in three categories:
First, the Rising Stars. You may not have heard of these people, but their ideas are steps ahead of the competition. Listen carefully to what they have to say because one of them, if not several, may very well lead the next great IPO.
Next are the Visionaries, who own or work for established companies. They integrate smart ideas into their businesses every day. The companies may not have revenues or assets in the billion-dollar range, but they are helping pave the way for change.
Finally, the Master Innovators. These are those rare breed of business owner who have the innate ability to turn every innovation into a successful business venture. Well bring these honorees together at the conference for a unique panel discussion, where theyll explain how they take smart ideas and apply them to their operations. And youll learn about them in the pages of SBN.
The end result of the evening should be an eye-opening experience where everyone leaves with a better understanding of how smart ideas can be applied to growing businesses just like we write about every month in the pages of SBN.
Winds of change
Its common for people to view change with a hint of skepticism. But for most companies, change is good.
SBN is no different.
Recently, weve undergone several changes to our editorial staff. As you look through this months issue, and the next few issues, youll see those changes. But what youll quickly notice is that besides a few new names, were not much different than we were before. Were still committed to providing the type of stories you, as business decision makers, can use to make your own companies better.
So glance through the magazine, and if you have any thoughts about what you read, or ideas concerning business issues your company faces, let us know. After all, we write this magazine every month with you, the readers, in mind.