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Early Bird Gets Worm, Second Mouse Gets Cheese

July 5, 2017

This summer join Inukshuk on a virtual road trip through some of 2017's hottest topics in business management.

At the wheel is the change management lead and our scheduled stops include the informative and insightful destinations of: innovation, creativity, disruption and agility before catching the checkered flag at change leadership.  There are lots of stories to tell and the mercury is rising so grab your shades, hold on to your hat and join us for Part 2: Early Bird Gets Worm, Second Mouse Gets Cheese.

 

In Part 2 of Inukshuk’s summer blockbuster road trip trilogy we shift into creative gear and pass through some Silicon Valley heavyweights - starting with Google. Buckle up - this one is quick!

 

One of the chapters in the book "Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google?" explores the inter-dependencies between creativity, intelligence and success.  It's an interesting concept and the inter-dependencies can easily be applied to business:

 

"If you look at a random sample of creative, successful people, you will find that virtually 100 percent of them are highly intelligent.  But if you look at a random sample of highly intelligent people, you'll find that few of them are creative or conspicuously successful in business or in life. 

Put another way, MENSA meetings are filled with smart losers."

 

Creativity and innovation help us to be successful as individuals as well as leaders in the business world. Michael Jordan #23, Madonna, Quentin Tarantino and Oprah all have above average IQ's. The best performing companies are innovative and creative and their leaders are acutely aware of the need to identify the next big opportunity. 

 

But what does it really mean for a business to be creative?  Do we all need to be able to come up with remarkably original ideas?  To better understand the particulars let's examine one of the most mentioned innovations of the last decade; that laid the foundation for what will soon be the world's first trillion dollar company.

 

 

The first generation iPod, launched in 2001, and the last ever version, which was discontinued in September 2014

What was it that made Apple's product and business model such a big hit?  And why is it that Apple is seen as such an innovative company, while the individual characteristics of the iPod and iTunes are not such original ideas after all?

 

  • MP3 technology? It existed long before the first iPod came out. In fact the first mentioning of the technology dates back to the 20th century when the standard was released by the Moving Picture Expert Group in 1993.

  • The design and functionality? Apple has confirmed that the original design and technology of the iPod came from Kane Kramer, a British inventor, who patented it in 1979 (his idea fell in public domain in 1988).

  • The easy to use touch screen? The original idea for the touch screen was invented by Jason Ford of Elo Touchsystems (formally EloGraphics) in the 1970s.

  • The business model with iTunes? MusicNet and Pressplay already had developed online music stores before Apple did.

 

Apple combined all the ideas and inventions mentioned above, incorporated them in the iPod and iTunes and did it a little bit better than anybody else.

 

Besides that, the company excelled at product marketing but it was even better at protecting them. Steve Jobs believed that good artists copy and great artists steal ideas [1] and use them for their competitive advantage.


We all know that it is difficult to come up with a completely new technology, design, model or business idea.  When you think you have got one, just search the Internet and you will see that others have already come up with the idea.

 

 

Let's be clear - being creative is important but consider this: instead of trying to become inventors of the year, your people find some existing ideas and bundle or tweak them to generate value for you and your organization. Nearly 3/4 of all high performance organizations excel at managing change and we believe that developing the organizational capability to manage change is a great start.

 

In doing so, perhaps you will find that the first mouse can also get the cheese, just like the early bird.

Inukshuk's Enterprise Change Management (ECM) platform is used in high performance organizational design to improve business agility and the capacity to execute transformational change better and faster than the competition. 

 

Join us next month for the third and final installment of Inukshuk's summer blockbuster road trip trilogy. We will be cruising to the finish line with some eye popping stats and facts about innovation and creativity while connecting strategy to change leadership and an exemplary customer experience that swells the bottom line.   

 

Coming up next: Inukshuk's summer blockbuster road trip trilogy Part Three - Y'all Want Fries With That CX?

 

[1] 1994 interview about the creation of Apple Macintosh, citing Pablo Picasso.

 

 

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Inukshuk are stone landmarks built by peoples native to the Arctic tundra region.  They are used as directional indicators to break up the uniformity of barren, desolate and forbidding - yet beautiful northern landscapes.  Inukshuk can identify safe passage through mountain valleys, beyond open water channels, and act as vital navigational way-points to prosperous hunting grounds.

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