A recent article in Fast Company caught my attention. It isn’t anything you haven’t heard before, but it is very well worth pointing out again and again:
“The next best thing won’t come from a Fortune 500 company.”
Yes, there are exceptions to the rule. Google, Amazon, Apple, and others are talked about all the time. But for the most part, there are very few who will innovate.
Why is this?
Because they are boring. They keep doing the same thing over and over again. Just listen to how they speak. Read and pay attention to the copy on their websites. Do you get excited? For the most part it is a bunch of fluff.
If companies are not enthusiastic about what they do, what they will do and who they will become, they will not innovate. It’s that simple.
We can throw as many frameworks as you’d like at them, but if people are not authentically enthusiastic about it, you better let yourself out the door.
There are many well documented factors that lead to innovation success, for me it all starts with this:
Where enthusiasm and focus meet, you have magic.
Focused enthusiasm is something like Google Glass. I mean who isn’t enthusiastic about changing the way we navigate the world through our eyes? Sounds cool. Let’s do it.
The goal is very straightforward (focus) and challenging (enthusiasm).
Think about it, when was the last time you heard a huge company think and speak this way? Exactly!
Enthusiasm and focus are both necessary ingredients. If you’re not passionate about what you are doing, you won’t be able to keep grinding away and tolerate failure. And if you have no focus, you will expend your energy all over the place.
This is a Leadership problem. Not a “we don’t have ideas problem”. Most companies do have a lot of ideas, what they lack is inspiration, passion and courage. Therefore, we should commend the very few big companies that at least try to blow our minds away.