What could be more important than new ideas?

You tend to hear the same company lines over and over.

“We have to focus on taking care of existing business first.”  “It pays the bills.”

“Chasing new ideas has to take a back seat to keeping the lights on.”  Etc, etc, etc…

I’ve been thinking about this line of reasoning lately.

I think new ideas for a company are as important as water is to life.  Without new ideas, your business dies.  Maybe not at first.  A company might be able to do things the same way and last for years.  But without constant attention to fostering the future, eventually you run out of future.

Take the American auto industry for example.  The “Big Three” have done things the same way for a long time because it worked for a long time.  They didn’t give enough attention to new ideas, new trends, and new demands.  And we, the tax payers, are going to pay dearly for their mistakes.  In fact, I think we are currently witnesses the disintegration of the free market system our country is built on (but I’ll save that for another day).

My point is that the U.S. auto industry should have been coming up with new ideas for sustainable transportation for the past 20 years.  Instead, they focused on building big Saudi-oil guzzling SUV’s because that’s what was selling at the moment.  Now they’re scrambling (and failing) to to come up with a plan for the future.

What are you doing everyday to generate and pursue new ideas?