Innovator. Entrepreneur. Visionary. Each accurately describes Steve Jobs, the legendary Apple founder who recently succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Although he possessed a number of excellent qualities, the one I most admired was his ability to “think different.” More than just a slick ad campaign that helped propel Apple to the top of our collective pop-culture consciousness, it seemed to be his way of life. It allowed him the freedom to challenge generally accepted “truths” about products, services and operations and replace them with ones that were more vibrant, more efficient, more intuitive.
Can we follow Steve’s example and challenge the status quo? In the distribution industry, there are indications that we’re heading in the right direction. The Hershey Company-Ferraro Group collaboration—marking the first supply-chain merger by competing manufacturers—and the exploration of alternative-fuel trucks to make transportation greener are two stellar examples of innovative solutions to existing challenges that defy traditional supply chain management operations.
Thanks, Steve, for reminding us that thinking different can change the world.