It’s an old story–a new company with a new product and a new way of looking at things dislodges established business that can’t keep up. A few years later, this same company that so nimbly entered the market stops growing and starts falling prey to new competitors. Why is sustained growth so elusive? And why do some companies seem immune to this sort of cycle? The answer: the most successful companies understand that they need to continually recreate themselves by building innovation into their business models. I call this process Creativizing.

To illustrate this and provide you with a roadmap for Recreating Your Company, I’ve put together the below infographic.

Innovation is different from everything you do as a leader in three distinct ways. First, innovation happens in the future for which you currently have no data. In fact, one of the most common forms of resistance to innovation is excessive data collection because it stops your company from taking purposeful action. Second, innovation is a time-based form of value. That is it has a shelf life and goes sour like milk. So innovation has to happen within a specific window of opportunity. Third, innovation happens in cycles; not straight lines. Revolutionary innovations seldom occur in good times because the relative risk is high and the reward low. In a down economy innovation isn’t your best friend…it’s your only friend.

If you want to keep growing, I strongly urge you to make friends with innovation.