Monday, February 18, 2013

Go Ahead and Innovate: Just Do It

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So how exactly do you become the number 1 innovative company of the year while manufacturing something as dull and drab as shoes? Simple: By making them not dull or drab. Shoe manufacturers are not what you would be looking for in the top innovator’s list, but Nike is there – at the very top of the most innovative companies of 2013 by Fast Company. Their secret: Continuously reinventing themselves and their business model through disruptive thinking, says Austin Carr, the author of the source article.
Nike CEO Mark Parker says, "One of my fears is being this big, slow, constipated, bureaucratic company that's happy with its success. Companies fall apart when their model is so successful that it stifles thinking that challenges it…”. For now, it looks like Mark is being quite successful at challenging their (extremely successful) business model and evolve Nike into thinking and behaving like a new-age, small, hungry company so much that Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps says, "Nike has broken out of apparel and into tech, data, and services, which is so hard for any company to do". Nike's annual revenue at $24 billion, up 60% since Mark took over as CEO in 2006 and profits up 57% firmly support this ongoing and very successful transition.

Austin Carr mentions two specific Nike products in supporting their innovative credentials. The first one is FuelBand, an electronic bracelet that measures your movements throughout the day. This is the product that earned Nike the above comment from Forrester. The second product being the Flyknit Racer, shoes that are more like a sock sewn over a sole. This second product not only required an innovative product design, but also forced a rethink of their manufacturing process to bring it to life.

Read more on how Nike got to be the most innovative company by following the link below.
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© Vivek Sehgal, 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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