The Hewlett-Packard Company was famously founded in a one-car garage by William Hewlett and Dave Packard. It has become one of the world’s most innovative and successful technology companies, but it’s never lost sight of its founders’ original vision.
According to legend, these rules on innovation were posted in the garage:
That about sums up any doubts they had about what they were capable of doing! About the only rule that seems to be missing is “reinvent the wheel.”
Innovation seems to move at the speed of light in business and education. New products and methods pop up almost every day. Your phone/computer/television is outdated as soon as you take it out of the box because of new systems constantly being developed. Your car can essentially drive itself. Your house can tell you whether the lights are on when you are across the ocean. Innovation affects every phase of our lives.
I’m way beyond wondering why I didn’t think of that myself – I’m just grateful that someone had the courage to tackle a seemingly impossible idea that made my life much easier.
Innovation is central to every organization’s growth. As a manager, it’s important to develop an environment where it will flourish. If you are working on your own, give yourself the gift of time to let your plans simmer.
Not all innovations have to be technical or expensive. Let me share a couple of innovations that we now take for granted.
When automobiles first came into common use, there were few roads and none of them were striped to denote lanes. When Dr. June Carroll, who lived in the California desert, made house calls, she couldn’t tell what side of the desert road she was on, especially at night. She bought a brush and a can of white paint, and painted a line down the center of the road as a guide to other travelers. The California Highway Commission adopted her innovation for all the roads in California.
A Florida citrus grower lost 85 percent of his trees in a tropical hurricane. Instead of being discouraged, he formulated a plan. Before the storm, his trees had been planted far apart because land was cheap and he had plenty of space. But when he replanted after the storm, he put them close together, almost like a hedge, to protect each other. His yield was twice what it was before the storm destroyed most of his trees.
Where do you find inspiration for innovative ideas? Some days, ideas pop into your head without any effort at all. Other days you probably feel like you’re digging for them at the bottom of the ocean. Don’t get frustrated. When you are looking to develop a new concept, there are some steps that will make it easier.
Mackay’s Moral: Bright ideas light the way.
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.