I am a big believer in innovation, regardless of industry.
When it comes to digging up innovation within large corporations, through intense, but fun, collaborative workshops, I have personally seen amazing results. New products, customer solutions and workplace dynamics are among colossal shifts I have personally witnessed.
You just have to have the courage and tenacity to get outside your comfort zone and step into your vision. It really doesn’t matter what kind of company you are.
There are great ideas inside all of us.
When it comes to following innovation, I love to highlight companies who stand out from the crowd by either being first or doing it better.
When it comes to firsts in innovation, think Apple, Pixar, ATT or General Motors. They lead in innovation and have always stood at the front of the line. Computers, animation, telephony or cars - they lead the pack.
Then there are the companies that started in a garage. They have vision in spades.
But being first, even if your office is in your garage, or being the biggest, isn’t always the ultimate measure of innovative success.
Sometimes turning a struggling company around can be just as satisfying.
When Mike Edwards turned the clothing store Lucy around, he had to overcome huge obstacles to create a successful active wear line of clothing that was fading, and then sell it for a nice profit. That’s vision. He went on to shepherd Borders through bankruptcy and be involved in several other successful retail ventures.
But what about the smaller companies. The ones you may not hear of as often, yet make a big difference in the lives of many.
I particularly value the companies where you can design your own logos and messages, or buy a replica of a famous athlete’s uniform. Whenever I go to a San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball game, I can’t get over the sea of orange and black that fills the stadium.
The companies that create these cool professional sports outfits and gear are leaders too, even if they aren’t first, are not turnarounds or do not have huge market caps.
So if you have a great idea, regardless of what industry you are in, don’t worry if you’re not out of the blocks or are coming from behind. Get out their and make it happen. Follow your dream and be the best product or company offering you can be! You will find success in the contributions you make for the rest of us and probably make a pretty penny in the process.