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Achieving success does not come easy, but remaining successful can pose an even bigger challenge.

If you are a business leader who started strong and is now still at the top a few years into your tenure, then congratulations, because you have already gone past the tough hurdle of breaking into the industry. However, be careful, as you are set to face your toughest adversary yet: complacency.

As the years pass by, business leaders’ interest and focus can start to become fragmented or wane, and this can be detrimental to the overall health and future of the business.

In order to combat this, business leaders must keep their minds ticking and ideas flowing, so that they can remain fully focused on the business goals and objectives and sustain high performance.

Therefore, here are six ways business leaders can put an end to complacency and encourage a boost in innovation across all levels of their business.

1) Mix up work routines

An excellent way for business leaders to remain innovative and encourage employees to do so as well, is to alternate work routines every once in a while.

Business leaders and team members can shadow co-workers in other departments or handle different roles for a specific period. This will help business leaders uncover new talent while also encouraging improvement when it comes to productivity.

Additionally, this approach can help employees learn new things, as having some time away from their ordinary routines can instigate further thinking about how they can do their own tasks more efficiently.

2) Form a culture of recognition

Complacency starts creeping in a workplace whenever employees are not totally happy.

One of the most effective ways to keep employees happy is to acknowledge when they do their job well and to let them know that their work is being recognised.

There are various means of showing this recognition, as some employees might prefer monetary or material rewards, while others might prefer a verbal seal of appreciation from the business leader. Recognition does not always have to translate to costs.

3) Give room for creativity

Sticking to what is already working is great, but at the same time, business leaders should not completely shun creativity.

Business leaders need to encourage team members to come up with innovative solutions to certain issues. Doing so will motivate them to work towards a common goal and also provide workers with opportunities for growth.

Additionally, an innovative solution from an employee can prove to be something no other team member has thought about, and can end up being a total game changer for the business.

4) Seek honest feedback

A number of business leaders who strive to be successful tend to surround themselves in a wholly positive environment, not allowing any room for negativity.

Worryingly, this also includes feedback.

Business leaders who go for that approach tend to only deal with people who constantly tell them the things they want to hear.

This results in an issue: business leaders will be unable to identify when and where the company is falling short.

It is always more beneficial for business leaders to be around people who tell them the truth about what they are doing. They need to hear both positive and negative feedback to make sure that they can implement any necessary changes, making the road towards sustained success much easier.

5) Focus on processes rather than outcomes

Long-lasting success is tied to efficient processes that a team must follow.

Business leaders must avoid solely focusing on the outcome that a process results in, and instead prioritise the journey towards reaching that specific goal.

If they are seeking sustained success, then business leaders need to see how to best maintain that level of performance over time without losing sight of their goal.

6) Continuously adapt

Constant adaptation is vital in the battle against complacency.

The most successful business leaders and companies know that there is not just one source for success. It happens when they incorporate different strategies over a significant period of time, depending on each particular situation.

This is the reason why many constantly chop and change techniques, evolving them in ways to ensure they remain top of their respective market.

Just because a technique worked for someone in the past, does not mean that it is still as effective today. Business leaders must adapt to the times, rather than allowing themselves to be complacent just because they are doing something that has previously worked.


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