“The act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods.” ~ “Innovation” as defined by Webster’s Dictionary
We all know where a business would be without new ideas, devices, or methods. It would be in the graveyard.
High achievers are innovators! They continuously review their achievements, their failures, and their vision for their life. Based upon what they learn, they introduce new ideas and methods with one goal in mind: m. Making their dream –, that incredible vision for their life or business — come true.
Apple is an excellent example of a company that utilizes innovation to drive growth. Their stock has risen to over a hundred and thirty dollars per share and reports indicate they’re designing an electric car.
When I look at Apple’s historical track record I get excited. Why? The answer is so simple. They are not perfect, but they have continually found ways to reinvent themselves using innovation.
Has your life become stagnant and unfulfilling? Is business growth slowing or grinding to a halt?
Here are five tips about innovation we can learn from Apple.
1. Network innovation. Apple is not afraid to look outside the organization for ideas. The iPod was the idea of a consultant working on the project. Combining off- the- shelf equipment, their distinctive easy to use system controls, and their iTunes software they created a revolutionary product. Have you reached out to thought leaders or subject matter experts for ideas to jump start your life or business?
2. User- centered innovation. Apple focused on the needs of the user. The iPod was not the first in its class, but it was the easiest to use. Additionally, their iTunes software was compatible with Windows and Apple operating systems. Do your goals meet your needs or the needs of your target market?
3. Ignore what the market says it wants today. Innovation requires vision and imagination. It requires looking down the road and combining what is currently possible with what might be possible. Vision is a precursor to innovation.
4. Failure and innovation are not mutually exclusive. Think Apple always gets it right?, WRONG! Lisa and Apple’s original music phone (a collaboration with Motorola) are two of Apple’s high profile failures. The Macintosh and the iPhone were born from the wreckage. Innovators learn and grow.
5. Plug and play leadership does not support innovation. John Sculley, Michael Spindler, and Gil Amelio share two things in common. Each served as CEO after Job’s ouster and Apple struggled throughout each of their tenures. Job’s return in the mid-1990s marked the beginning of Apple’s rebirth. Sculley, Spindler, and Amelio were all successful leaders in their own rights. They were not the leaders Apple needed to drive innovation.
6. Innovation is not limited to technological innovation or the innovation of core business processes. One year into his tenure as CEO, Tim Cook fired one of Job’s most trusted lieutenants;, Scott Forstall. Cook’s goal was to break down walls erected under Job’s leadership. His justification? Collaboration is paramount as lines between hardware, software, and services are increasingly blurred. The results are the iPhone 6, continuity of the iOS, and the MAC OS X operating systems, and impressive financials. Don’t be afraid to shake things up and affect change. Apple had been very successful for many years. However, Cook realized those practices were not necessarily going to make the successful going forward.
Without innovation, success becomes a destination as opposed to a way of life. Do you want to become the Radio Shack of your industry? Or the person who used to be the world record holder?
Examining Apple’s track record, a common theme stands out, innovation requires change. The question remains though, how will you spur innovation within your business, your non-profit, or your personal life?