Tag Archives: Apple Inc.

Remember to be bold

What’s the boldest thing you’ve done in the last month? How about last week? I’m assuming your answer is “I don’t know what you mean by bold”.

You are not alone.

We live in a world where it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize others for trying brave and untried that probably won’t achieve their desired result. This is what most analysts do, and it’s also what most business leaders do; they’re not bold.

What a culture of innovation looks like

Creating the conditions for innovation to happen is at the top of the agenda for any leader, but in many organizations, innovation is more of a word used between sentences than an outcome. In other organizations, innovation happens in spite of outdated beliefs and structures because someone choose to not play by the rules. In innovative organizations, on the other hand, innovation is business-as-usual; it is a mindset.

Which begs the question, what does a culture of innovation look like?

For innovation: More prototypes, less powerpoints

rapid prototyping innovationRadically better products don’t stand on the shoulder of giants, but on the shoulders of lots of iterations. The basis for success then, and for continual product excellence, is speed. – Eric Schmidt

Indeed. Scrappy startups are known for acting with speed and conviction, while established organizations are slow and risk averse. When implemented well, speed and surprise are the ultimate equalizers. To achieve surprise, you need an unexpected idea first. Second, you need to have the ability to execute that idea. Third, you need to decide when and how to execute the idea.

It is at the moment of making the decision where most established organizations fail. Why? Because most large organizations don’t empower their employees to make decisions.

Innovators widen their view of competition

I’m sure you’ve been in meetings where everyone worries about competition more than they worry about customers. It is a fact that for traditionally run businesses, any talk about strategy quickly shifts to competition. It’s unavoidable and it pisses me off.  Traditional business practice is based on beating the competition, which assumes that there is competition that looks and plays just like you if you are starting a business.

Innovators are the early adapters

robert scoble google glassFor as long as I can remember, I’ve adopted new products and services when they are just starting out. It’s very common that I get requests to “try this and that” for startups looking for early adopters and beta testers. As such, my main objective in adopting products and services that are in beta is the following:

  • Staying updated on the latest stuff that doesn’t fit with the current reality;
  • I get a feel for what could be next on the horizon from another perspective;
  • How can begin to adapt it to the real world and what would I learn.

It’s rare that I come across other people who do the same, most adopt a new product or service only once it’s become part of the daily conversation. Unfortunately, the same applies to wannabe innovators…

This is the classic case of being an early adopter. But there is a distinction between adopter and adapter: innovator’s aren’t the early adopters, they are the early adapters.