2021 Update: I originally wrote this post in 2015. The biggest change is the speed at which the digital transformation has leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to change every industry exponentially. It is more important than ever for leaders to embrace automation, AND “up-skill” human talent to fully adapt to the age of intelligent machines.
Below is my original post from 2015:
Innovation is a quality many businesses and brands lack, as demonstrated by the 86% failure rate of the Fortune 500 Businesses of 1955. Yet, innovation alone will not build a sustainable business. It requires courage.
Companies that play it safe, rest on their laurels, and refuse to change with the times, pay the ultimate price and become a statistic in the history of obsolescence.
When success is rigidly managed, and fear of tinkering with a good thing overrides the ability to continually adapt to emerging trends and customer expectations – innovation dies. – Rebecca Murtagh
Brands who have built innovation into their DNA have done more than survived the test of time – they are successful. Apple comes to mind. I recall having a conversation with a friend when Apple (APPL) stock dropped to $14 dollars a share in the late 1990’s. He thought he should dump it. As an Apple user from my early days in graphic design, I explained that I believed Apple would reinvent itself and always have an audience. Apple/Mac Users were extremely loyal because the one thing they had learned to rely upon was Apple’s dedication to continual innovation. The introduction of the iPod, then later the iPhone and iPad would prove me right. On June 7, 2014, Apple stock split 7 for 1 from the stock price of $645.57 on Friday June 6, 2014. Apple continues to innovate.
A brand can gain market share by doing something better than the competition. A brand becomes a market leader by creating an entirely new solution- which can be risky. It takes courage to break from the crowd. With great risk comes great reward.
An excellent example is Henry Ford, who said:
“If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me ‘A faster horse.”
Solutions like the automobile, personal computer, mobile phone, MP3 player, bottled water and countless other innovations created new behaviors because they deviated from the expected to create something entirely new – creating demand for solutions consumers, “the crowd”, never knew they wanted or needed.
Those who fail to innovate are destined to be left behind.
Rebecca Murtagh: Human AI Evangelist, Futurist, Human AI Institute Founder, CROWD SUCCESS® and Genius Foundry. Innovation coach, consultant and trainer. Rebecca leverages decades of experience working with Fortune 500, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Mains Street, global brands and startup entrepreneurs to help executives, their teams, and entrepreneurs leverage their genius through Human AI to improve productivity, collaboration, creativity and job satisfaction for optimum performance and long-term success.