Tag Archives: steve jobs

If You Don’t Value Brilliance, You Don’t Value Innovation

A small team of A+ playerscan run circles around a giant team of B and C players

Talent hits a target no one else can hit, genius hits a target no one else can see. In a perfect situation, you have both on your side. On most situation, you have neither.

No traditionally managed corporation would ever hire a Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Larry Page type of person. Why? Because genius needs to be left alone, to be unleashed, to operate in chaos. And corporations want to put a leash on anything that challenges the status quo; they are afraid of genius because they can’t predict and control it.

But, black sheep are precisely the type of people you need if you truly want to innovate. It’s the truth.

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.

For innovation: Herd your black sheep

Cover of "The Incredibles [UMD for PSP]"

Cover of The Incredibles [UMD for PSP]

As you can discern from last week’s post about how not to drive a culture of innovation, as well as previous ones, I’m a big fan of “what not to do’s”. Well, in contrast to those, what are the counters to those NOT’s?

Let’s take the topic of success leading to failure…

Success breeds complacency because it hides problems, which eventually leads to failure. When success hides problems, what do you do?

You don’t repeat the same formula that worked for you before. Instead, you shake things up as Pixar’s Brad Bird did when taking on The Incredibles.

A few years ago, The McKinsey Quaterly asked: what does stimulating the creativity of animators have in common with developing new product ideas or technology breakthroughs? Apparently, a lot.

Why do successful companies fail?

Why do successful companies fail?

Question-to-innovate Series: This the thirtieth of a series of weekly posts where I will answer a few common questions about innovation. Please feel free to add your own response. Also, if you have any questions you think we should discuss, let me know.

Success hides problems.  – Ed Catmull, President of Pixar

This is a question that really interests me, and spend quite some time thinking and contemplating this question. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be an organization, but a person. It is the reason why I worship companies like Disney and Pixar, and people like Michael Jordan and Madonna, they’ve overcome the trap of complacency.

And that, is what I believe it all comes down to: complacency.

This question, doesn’t just interest me, it is a question that puzzles many, but not most. Ed Catmull is one that was puzzled, and figured it out, by why so many successful companies ultimately failed. “I’m thinking, ‘If we’re ever successful, how do I keep from falling into the traps these companies are falling into?” he recalled in a recent lecture at Stanford Business School.

Why settle for average? Steal from the greats to be great

strategy as uniqueness

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nevenka/3061982219/

The challenge with copying uniqueness is that is takes a relentless commitment to excellence.

Whenever I’m asked about innovation, a list of names always comes up: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook.

Why, I always ask, are these the ones that always come up?

Nothing wrong with bringing up those companies, but surely, there are others. This is an issue when discussing innovation, because there is a very narrow view about what innovation looks like. And, when this gap in definition exists, people naturally look around for examples of what it looks like. They can’t imagine anything else.