Stella Community Question: What is the CEO's Role in Innovation?

by Chris Trimble

Stella Community ForumsThe parable How Stella Saved the Farm addresses the most challenges that organizations face as they struggle to make innovation happen. Many of the scenes in the book are instantly recognizable to anyone who has been involved in an innovation effort. We call these “Stella Moments.”

Here, Innovation Excellence and Chris Trimble convene friendly and open public discussions about How Stella Saved the Farm, one “Stella Moment” at a time.

Discussion Topic #1: Who Should Lead when Innovation Becomes Top Priority?


The Stella Moment:

Marcus, the aging leader of the farm, is worried. He runs a very successful animal-run farm, but human farms just keep consolidating and using ever larger machines. The future of the family run farms like his looks bleak. Marcus believes that the farm must chart a new course to survive, but he does not know what that course might be.

Marcus, who is ready to retire, must make a choice about who will succeed him. All of the animals on the farm expect him to choose Bull, who has been his second in command for years. The problem is, Bull is likely to run operations just as Marcus did, with an eye towards maximum efficiency.

So, Marcus makes a surprise decision. He hands the farm to Deirdre, who he believes is the farm’s most creative thinker.

Questions for Discussion:

As we approach our live web chat on April 2nd, I’m curious about how you see Marcus’s decision. Would you please join the conversation by weighing in with your reactions to the two questions below? I promise to engage between March 29th and April 2nd, and then wrap up the discussion on the live web-chat on April 3rd.  You can make comments here or join our Stella Discussion Forum on LinkedIn

  1. Who should lead when innovation becomes top priority?
  2. What is the CEOs role in making innovation happen?

image credit: howstellasavedthefarm.com

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There’s No I in EnnovateChris Trimble is an expert on making innovation happen in large organizations. He is a frequent speaker on the topic — keynote, roundtable discussions, and executive education programs. Chris is on the faculty at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and at The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science. He has written four books: How Stella Saved the Farm; Reverse Innovation; The Other Side of Innovation; and 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators – from idea to execution.

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