What Innovation Lessons Can Businesses Learn From Spacex, Lionhead Studio And Apple? 

What Innovation Lessons Can Businesses Learn From Spacex, Lionhead Studio And Apple? 

November 7, 2023

Amid the hype of change and innovation in every nook and cranny, have you ever heard of these innovation paradoxes?

The more you innovate, the higher the turnover rate? 

Innovations in the field of launch industry and space exploration such as the development of reusable rockets and spacecraft, commercial crewed space flights… have helped SpaceX become a company regarded with a higher innovation rate. than other businesses in the same field. This is thanks to innovation mindset is nurtured as the core DNA of business, as well as the experienced staff. However, SpaceX’s talent retention rate is at a worrying level with 73% of employees considering looking for a new job. In addition to the change in leadership model, creative burn out is the main reason why more and more employees choose to leave SpaceX.

Is it good for employees to freely be creative?

Lionhead Studios – the “father” of legendary games like Black and White or Fable – has built a free development environment for employees to unleash their creativity. But when they give “excessive” power to employees – as in the case of production with the game Fable: Legends, Lionhead Studios wasted not only time and resources but also spent up to 75 million USD but did not achieve the results as desired. 

To keep freedom from turning into worry, building appropriate KPIs and defining clear tasks for employees is necessary. Businesses can track project progress and performance, and help employees understand the direction and goals for creativity. Although it is encapsulated in the formula “Creativity x direction = efficiency”, to apply, businesses may need to listen to lessons from leaders who have pioneered the “sea” of innovation. 

Businesses can help employees understand goals for creativity through tracking project progress and performance.
Businesses can help employees understand goals for creativity through tracking project progress and performance.

I thought I was going forward, but instead I went backward? 

Apple also had to fall into the situation of thinking it was ahead but instead, they were going backwards with an invention called Apple Newton. The introduction of Apple Newton is expected to launch a revolution in handheld technology devices. However, this breakthrough idea could not conquer the market because of miscalculations about the timing of product launch. At this time, Apple Newton’s features were not yet complete, so they did not meet consumer needs and cost Apple $100 million. 

When innovation becomes a core issue, every business wants to be “one step ahead” to catch new opportunities. But sometimes, determining the right time and taking slow but steady steps helps businesses avoid unfortunate failures.

How can businesses avoid falling into the “paradox”?

Like two sides of a coin, innovation and associated risks are something businesses cannot avoid throughout the development process. But what’s interesting is that despite the risks, 96% of executives identified innovation strategy as a top priority. Ms. Tieu Yen Trinh – CEO of Talentnet Corporation shared: “Managing change and innovation, especially for business leaders, will always be a battle with many concerns, choices, determination, and flexibility. But above all, it is still a matter of how to innovate from your internal resources.” 

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