The 4 I’s Every Business Needs

September 13, 2016

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

Meet Deb

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A few decades ago, two men came onto the scene, perhaps two of the greatest innovators of all time. They each had ideas – bigger ideas than anyone could see then. They saw a vision others had not even imagined yet.

Those two men were Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

They not only changed the tech industry…they changed the world and the way it works.

Fast forward to today, with the recent release of the iPhone 7. Why has it been met with lackluster reviews?

This is an illustration of a shift of the “I’s” in business – moving from innovation to improvement.

There are four I’s every business needs in order to be massively successful. Does your business have all four?


Do you have innovators in your top tier of leadership? These are leaders who see well beyond current customer needs – to what the customer needs that they don’t even know they need yet. These are leaders who develop the solution well before the problem surfaces. They don’t fill needs; they create them. Think about it. How much of your life is centered on your cell phone today? And yet, twenty years ago, you didn’t even know you needed one.

Innovation = New and Exciting


This is the phase of Apple right now. As a company, they are simply improving what has already been built. Improvement is a key need for every company. It is essential, as in this digital age, quality counts more than ever. Miss on quality, and the word spreads like wildfire. If improvement is your main innovation, the quality must be impeccable.

Improvement = Safe and Reliable Quality


There are tracking tools available to businesses today that, fifty years ago, would have been the envy of the CIA. Every business needs data intelligence – and competition being what it is, the level of detail is critical to customization.

Intelligence = Smart and Successful Marketing


This is the “people” part of the equation. In a world of advancing robotics and increasing automation, there is still a great need for what many call “the human element.” The human element is that full range of senses that allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your consumers and clients – it’s about seeing and listening to their needs and concerns. And then adapting your process to serve them well.

Insight = Great Service

Companies shoot themselves in the proverbial foot when they leave off one of these “I’s”.

  • Leave off innovation – lose excitement.
  • Leave off improvement – lose trust.
  • Leave off intelligence – lose sales opportunities.
  • Leave off insight – lose customers.

You don’t have to settle for lackluster results, customer service issues, marketing expenses that are through the roof while sales plummet, or loss of customers. Ask yourself who you need to bring into your leadership team to round out these four “I’s”. This will help you gain the excitement, trust, opportunity, and stellar service that makes a company great.