At some stage, most great ideas are no longer great. John M McKee makes the case that the same thing holds true for organizations and he uses Sony to make the case.
Are you old enough to remember Japan's Sony Corporation?
You may be too young to know, but once upon a time it was great! They made wonderful products, they invented the future creating things we didn't even know we wanted. Their products came with bragging rights, as in: "Well, I'm the kind of individual who only buys the best - so I got a Sony..."
It was kind of the opposite of what it is now. Back then:
- The company's leadership was clear-headed and directional. Using a company "Founding Prospectus" they were focused on creating a company where, "engineers (and others) could work to their hearts' content in full consciousness of their joy in technology and their social obligation..."
- The value proposition was apparent and strong: Regardless of what product you purchased, you knew you were getting the best, even though it cost more than the other brands.
- Societal awareness was considered a valuable asset. The founder saw trends long before the rest of the world did and he helped his teams to become aware so they could lead (not follow) others with whom they competed.
- They created beautiful products. Although they cost more than products that did similar functions, those who could afford a Sony product didn't mind because it was so attractive it was worth the extra money.