Today’s Must-Heed Business Call: ‘Innovate or Die’

When I was a kid, the phrase “skate or die” was popular in my circle of friends. (I may or may not have etched this slogan into my Trapper Keeper among the logos of my favorite hard rock bands.) But in today’s fast-paced business environment, former skate-punks-turned-CEOs are finding the notion of “innovate or die” to be the key to continuing success.

Innovation is a tricky concept. Some people think it’s about coming up with the latest and greatest thing, the one new idea that will revolutionize their industry or the world. Others, feel innovation is relative to the individual or company; for example, your business might consider installing a tested and proven process that, while new to you, has been shown to save time and money.

For some, innovation is about simple relabeling and readjusting one’s attitude and perspective. Remember just a short while ago when auto dealers took the nicer used cars from their inventory and started calling them “certified pre-owned?” Still a used car, but a little more attention to detail and care, and suddenly consumers had a new option. Another example comes from the restaurant industry: Did you know the Chilean sea bass is more formally known as the Patagonian toothfish? But who wants to see “toothfish” on the menu? Relabeling and innovative marketing can work wonders for a company’s bottom line.

Roadblocks to Innovation

Back to this notion of “innovate or die” – in increasingly competitive markets, nearly every company must consider how they can consistently innovate to keep business moving or grow. This innovation may come in the form or a product, a new service, or a significant change to an internal process or employee mindset. But each week I read about another business that is losing money or closing its doors because they couldn’t figure out how to move forward.

According to Innovation Leader‘s 2018 Benchmarking Innovation Report, some of the biggest barriers to innovation at any company are cultural issues, a lack of budget, and a lack of strategy or vision. But the biggest hurdle the survey listed was politics and turf wars – a visible misalignment of leadership and stakeholders that created failure and a misunderstanding of responsibility. Turns out, the answer to the question, “Who owns innovation at your company?” is everyone, but it’s something that only happens properly when those in charge take the time to get the team on the same page.

Innovation Breeds Loyalty

As the owner of several businesses, I continually think about quality service and how my staff is serving our clients or customers. We discuss this topic regularly and review ways we can improve. As a consumer, I pay attention to those businesses who go out of their way to make me feel special, who understand my time (just like yours, I’m sure) is valuable, and I can easily take my money elsewhere. One innovative concept I enjoy is today’s businesses moving from the consumer-driven “brand loyalty” to the consumer-focused “loyal brand.”

Author Tom Koulopoulos describes a loyal brand as “one that understands my behaviors and their context well enough to be able to respect my preferences, anticipate them, and make meaningful recommendations.” I love this! It’s not just high-end, luxury businesses who should know my name, my preferences, and how to cater their service to me. With all the data we collect on our customers at every turn, we should go out of our way to figure out how to put that information to the best use possible: customizing an experience that sets us apart from our competition and shows our customers just how much we care.

At Parvin Law Group, we have some innovation programs and services looming on the horizon. We also have a top-notch team ready to meet every client’s unique needs. Whether you are a family seeking an estate plan to protect your home and your children or a business who is rapidly growing and needs seasoned contract and transactional lawyers who can match that pace, I encourage you to give us a call and schedule a consultation. Come see all the ways we’re striving for innovation that makes an impact.


ATTORNEY CHRIS PARVIN is Board Certified in Estate Planning & Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Parvin is the Managing Partner of the Dallas, Texas law firm of Parvin Law Group, P.C. and serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Texas A&M University School of Law. Mr. Parvin can be reached by email at

Parvin Law Group, P.C. is a Concierge Law Firm in Dallas, Texas with attorneys practicing law in the fields of Estate Planning, Probate, and Business Law.