Home Ideaspotting Five Points of Innovation – How USANA Leaders Innovate For Success

Five Points of Innovation – How USANA Leaders Innovate For Success


There’s an old adage that you need 10 years to become an overnight success.

That’s because it takes time to focus your energies, stockpile experiences, and utilize a lifetime of knowledge to create success. USANA Health Sciences was not an overnight success, but because of strong leadership, forward thinking, and a commitment to excellence over 30 years, the company has become the apex science and nutrition supplementation producer in the world.

Their success is the result of innovation — both in the laboratory and boardroom. USANA sets trends by embracing the advantages of forward thinking, distinguishing between brainstorms vs. brain trusts, striving to be a high-performing company, focusing on the customer experience, and investing in their staff and culture. Leaders throughout the organization develop processes and products that are replicable and impactful for USANA’s Associates.

USANA shows how appreciation for the past can dictate the future by working in the moment to compound success. Their 30-year tradition of examining their consumers’ needs and exceeding their expectations has created a legacy company that is often imitated but never matched.

The Advantages of Forward Thinking

Success is a mindset. And USANA has established this mindset by having vibrant leaders at all levels. Led by President and CEO Jim Brown, USANA has created a culture of success through embracing the advantages of forward thinking.

Forward thinking is the ability to look at the “big picture” and break it into digestible, actionable sections. It’s equal parts synthesizing, problem-solving, and bold thinking. While USANA provides world-class products and opportunities for its Associates and Preferred Customers, it actually does even more.

USANA employs over 1,600 employees and serves customers in 24 markets, which makes them part of hundreds of thousands of lives. To meet and exceed these people’s needs, USANA looks at the business, science, and cultural landscape to help them make decisions that benefit people both today and in the future.

To anticipate the changing market, USANA views problems as opportunities. In-house scientists develop products to help support long-term health. They’re not solving the problems of the past — they’re envisioning a world where health and success are intertwined. They work to solve problems that have yet to be defined, because the forward-thinking mindset aims to set up guardrails for the future.

Brainstorm vs Brain Trust

Ideas can come from anyone at any level. And to be successful, everyone must play a role in defining the future. USANA’s leaders know how to distinguish between brainstorms and brain trusts.

Brainstorms are open forum discussions where any and all ideas are good. There is no such thing as a bad idea, but to be productive, there needs to be ground rules. Brainstorms need the following to be successful:

  • Project objective.
  • Defined timelines.
  • Assigned transcriber.
  • Respectful discussion.

Start with a goal. For example, USANA wants to maximize their Associate experience at their next convention. To facilitate the best experience, the project manager will call for a brainstorm to pitch ideas. Participants will gather for an hour, and an individual will write down all ideas without judgement. Participants pitch ideas to make the next USANA convention a success. With 15 minutes left, the brainstorm stops and the brain trust begins.

Brain trust is where the group reviews each idea and determines if it is an actionable item. The best ones are indicated and put aside and the others are discarded without fear of egos being bruised.

Success happens when people come together with a common goal and respect for each other’s experiences and perspectives as they work toward solutions.

The Will to Perform

It’s not enough to want to be successful. USANA’s leaders strive to lead high-performing teams with clear goals that tie directly to the organization’s priorities. Individuals understand how their work fits into the organization mission, responsibilities are clearly defined, communication is clear and respectful, deadlines are honored, there is a community of trust, and all participants partake in a community culture of continuous learning.

Managers at USANA understand the benefits of trusting their teams to excel at all levels. Ultimately, their chief responsibility is to support and encourage employees as innovation and success are the by-products of a cohesive organization.

Garnering Support and Maintaining Buy-In

Buy-in is more than selling ideas. It’s encouraging staff to participate in building processes, products, and procedures. USANA highlights the importance of goals and how all staff can be part of the success. To marshal support and maintain buy-in to company expectations, leaders must communicate common goals and outline the benefits of everyone’s roles.

Successful companies inspire people to do their very best, and USANA’s success is predicated upon supporting each staff member. Because when you work in a space that appreciates ideas, people, and achievement, there is no limit to what one can accomplish.

A Focus on the Customer Experience

The single most important measure of success is an ability to remain laser focused on the customer experience. Companies that lose focus on corporate goals are destined for the ash heap of history — you cannot find success at any level if you take your customers for granted. While competition is rampant, USANA distinguishes itself from others by providing an incredible experience with superior customer loyalty.

And it’s not just when things go perfectly. From the conception of the supplements to delivery of each vitamin, USANA is committed to making sure each customer feels valued and appreciated.

USANA is more than a pill company. They know their key to success and share it beyond themselves to help their customers and Associates find their own success in life and business.

Experience the difference and see for yourself what separates USANA from the rest. Visit USANA Health Sciences and discover how you can be part of USANA.