One of the most uniquely innovative companies in the world was once a small start up that over took an already established niche. What Google does is fight obsolescence and commoditization by relentless upping the game. “Innovation through complementary acquisition is often overlooked as a tool for competitive advantage. Henrich R. Greve a Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD
But, that is where the complementarity comes in. Skybox satellites have good flight paths and optics, but at the end of the day they are flying cameras with decent software. Add Google to the equation, and you get flying cameras, excellent software, and immense databases. These two companies have different capabilities, and when listing them it looks like they could be combined to make something completely new. Skybox and Google are complementary and complementarity is a good start to innovation. The innovations might involve valuable new products and services, and they might also involve worrying levels of monitoring and privacy breaches. We don’t know in advance, except that there will be surprises.
- Be nimble
- Understand every advantage is assailable
- Avoid the tendency to play defense especially in lean complex times.
- Raise organizational and individual expectations
- Make every meeting a resource meeting for improving talent.
- Make competitive advantage the desired goal
- Every process, every procedure, every hire must assist you in achieving dominance in your industry
Jim is president of InnoThink Group and Leadership Matters. He is a leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership training solutions. For over 25 years, we have helped companies improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results.