The word “innovation” conjures up big change, especially when the change disrupts entire industries or even society at large (think the Internet, Google, and Facebook, to name a few).
Yet “innovation” can also be small and still have great impact.
This idea was reinforced for me this morning as I pulled a package of frozen chicken breasts out of the freezer for tonight’s dinner.
The problem with buying packages of chicken breasts is that they normally come three (or more) to a package. If you’re cooking for one, you have to defrost all three and then find a way to use the other two breasts in the next couple of days.
Or, you have to be organized enough to separate the chicken breasts when you arrive home from the grocery store so that you can freeze them separately.
Harvestland, producers of all natural chicken and turkey products, solved this problem, and quite nicely I might add.
They individually wrap each chicken breast.
I’m moving toward organic and “natural” foods and picked up Harvestland chicken for the first time last week at the market (mostly due to the verbiage on the package). Imagine my delight when I pulled the chicken package out of the freezer and realized I had to remove only one chicken breast.
Woo hoo! Someone “got it.”
Wrapping each chicken breast individually isn’t exactly revolutionary — and I’m sure Harvestland implemented this change for other reasons. But I can just imagine the conversation at other chicken companies regarding this idea:
“We can’t do that. No one else is doing it.”
“Our customers won’t pay the extra cost. We’ll lose market share.”
“It’s never been done it that way before” or “That’s the way it’s always been done.”
“We can’t afford what it will cost to change our processes and packaging equipment.”
“Why would anyone want individually wrapped chicken breasts? What a dumb idea.”
Seeing the individually wrapped chicken breasts reminded me that small changes can often have big impact — on your company, your customers, and your industry. What idea have you had that you’ve nixed due to one or all of the above statements? What kind of change can you envision if you implemented it?