Ever wonder how in spite of this difficult economy there are those who continue to prosper, whose products and services remain in high demand, Stephen Jobs being a great example? Did you see in the news how many people are lined up to purchase the new i-phone? What’s his secret? Does he work harder than we do, is he smarter than we are, does he just happen to be in the right industry at the right time, or is he just plain lucky? Maybe, but I’m willing to bet you work hard too, are plenty smart, offer products and services you believe in and that others would strongly benefit from, but as for luck it just doesn’t seem to come your way like it seems to for him. So what is it that sets him apart?
We are currently in the midst of doing some major repair work, painting and spruce up around our house, and in the course of doing so we have discovered two things. One, embarrassingly, is how much dust and filth has accumulated above, beneath and around furniture, books, and various sundries that have remained in the same spot far too long. But the other is how many new ideas have emerged as we began to move things around, discard, clean and freshen up. We now have a whole new concept of how our home should be arranged.
So what does that have to do with the success of the new i-phone and what Steve Jobs is up to that seems to work in this seemingly endless recession we are in? The answer is innovation. It is the innovators who not only survive but thrive, and it is the innovators who will lead us out of the recession. They always do. And those who fail to innovate will, unfortunately, fall behind.
Innovation is neither a special talent possessed only by a gifted few, nor is it exclusive of hard work. In fact the two go hand in hand, as demonstrated by the new ideas that began to emerge as we move, clean and paint around our house. Those ideas are the result of hard work not idle day-dreaming. I of all people should know this, for as a business coach what I do professionally is challenge clients to become innovative, and to realize that innovation emerges when we begin to move a few things around that have remained in the same spot far too long. And when we do something innovative there is a much better chance people will stand in line for it, even in a difficult economy.