Imitate or Innovate
by DW Green — April 3, 2019
I was reading an article on leadership the other day. The following from Bill Taylor, cofounder of Fast Company, makes really good sense to me.
“The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action—an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development roadmap, a controversial marketing campaign—even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special.”
It’s been my experience that following the status quo promotes imitation rather than innovation. Leadership is about discovering and performing different activities from rivals or performing similar activities in different ways. Differentiation arises from both the choice of activities and how they are performed. Activities, then, are the basic units of competitive advantage. Overall advantage or disadvantage results from all of a company’s activities, not only a few. The status quo often impedes the search for competitive advantage.
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