What You Can Learn about Innovation from Apple

By: Nickie Harber-Frankart

In recent news, Apple won a lawsuit against Samsung for infringing on its product patents—demonstrating the power and importance of innovation. Then again, this morning, Apple released the new iPhone 5 that sold out within an hour—proving, yet again, the power of innovation.

We hear stories about the importance of innovation all the time. Yet, the questions I hear most often from clients and prospective clients are, “I want to be like so and so” and “You work with other organizations similar to ours, what do they do to solve XYZ problem?”

My response is always, “Why do you want to be like someone else?”

Your organization, employees, customers and markets are all unique. Create processes that work to engage your customers. Create new products to fulfill your customers’ needs. Design solutions that fit your organizational goals, and above all else, don’t do something because someone or some other company has done it before.

As it turns out, emulating others will not get you very far.

It’s okay to aspire to be like other successful organizations and its leaders. We’d all like to have loyal customers like Apple. But Apple did not get where they are today by following. They got there by leading, taking risks and challenging the status quo.

Former Apple CEO Steve Job said in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford, “Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”

Learn from Apple about the power of innovation.

Be creative. Be bold. Be original. And, as we say at OrangeBoy: Stop thinking in black and white. Think in color.

©OrangeBoy, Inc. 2012

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