“An exponential growth is a simple doubling. One becomes two becomes four.” –Peter Diamandis
To be an innovator, one does not always have to create a brand spanking new process or widget. Some innovations are a change in the way we approach the commonplace. A few years back, Arizona State University (ASU) started the arduous plan for renovating Sun Devil Stadium. One can imagine the laundry list of upgrades one would want to incorporate in a reimagined sports stadium. However, better flow to the food vendors and bathroom access would not be what one would consider an innovation. Wishing the stadium to be something unique, ASU solicited the advice of some of their top alumni.
Enter Jack Furst, the founder of the private equity firm Oak Stream Investors. After graduating from ASU in 1981, Jack worked on Wall Street before striking out on his own. What separates Furst from his peers is a vision that includes a strong bond to the community. When ASU asked for his opinions on the stadium’s renovations, they got more than they bargained for.
In Jack’s mind, a facility that was utilized for only football games and the odd concert did not fulfill the stadium’s potential. Furst’s vision was to make Sun Devil Stadium into a place that would function as a community hub, open daily to the public—food vendors, outdoor movies, festivals, or any other activity that would make Sun Devil Stadium an integral part of the Tempe/Phoenix community in the coming years. From a financial perspective, turning a capital investment from a two percent to potentially a hundred percent utilization rate is staggering. This is referred to as exponential or “10x” thinking.
When we marry our core values with the opportunities life presents us, unexpected innovations can crop up in the most unlikely of places and transform life as we know it.
Exit Incremental, Enter Exponential Accelerators
- Quickly list ten ways that you could exponentially transform your business, company, team, or project. (Think ten times growth or transformation.)
- Select two or three of those ten ways that seem to be most feasible.
- Engage in a conversation with members of your team about how to bring these transformations to reality.
Dr. Jeff D. Standridge is the best-selling author of “The Innovator’s Field Guide” and “The Top Performer’s Field Guide.” He serves as Managing Director for the Conductor and Innovation Junkie, and teaches in the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Jeff helps organizations and their leaders generate sustained results in the areas of innovation, strategy, profit growth, organizational effectiveness and leadership. Learn more at InnovationJunkie.com.