In his excellent new book, The Breakthrough Company, Keith McFarland makes this point:
“A search of the Harvard Business Review web site revealed that nearly 50 percent of the articles published by the Harvard Business Review mention at least one of the following companies: IBM, GE, Dell, Wal-Mart, and Southwest Airlines.”
Is it surprising that best practices quickly become common practices? If we all learn from the same examples, won’t we all look, well, similar? What are the odds for distinction and innovation?
There is much to be learned from the success of the mentioned media superstars, but remember there is much more to be learned–and often lessons more innovative–from the less notices and less written about companies in the marketplace.
To be uncommon, look for uncommon lessons.