Culture & Values

Culture Doesn't Trump Strategy

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I was checking Twitter yesterday while getting ready to board my flight when a quote attributed to @zappos (Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos) came across my timeline. It read “Culture Trumps Strategy.” I did a double-take on this as it just didn’t resonate with me. Then my timeline started to get peppered with Retweets of this quote from some very ...

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Realistic Impossibilities

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Being on the wrong end of the continuum between realistic and impossible is what plagues many of today’s large multi-national corporations. The fear of failure by employees who are only partially engaged and don’t entirely feel like valued members of the team, will always translate into goals and ideas that are mediocre and achievable and never ones that are innovative ...

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Creating Conditions for an Innovation Culture

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “creating a culture of innovation”, which is what a lot of firms suggest they want to do. Of course this is a very lofty goal. Changing a corporate culture doesn’t happen easily, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Yet clearly one of the most significant barriers to innovation is the entrenched culture of ...

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Identifying the Innovators in your Firm

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Thanks to Twitter, much of my research is done for me. I found a story linked on Twitter about the key innovation characteristics of leaders in innovative firms. That article was published by HBR. The five attributes the authors identified as relevant for innovation are: associating (making connections across unrelated ideas or problems), questioning (especially focused on “what if” or ...

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Why can’t your firm innovate?

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by Jeffrey Phillips Recently there’s been a debate about why larger firms can’t innovate. Perhaps they are too comfortable. Perhaps they are too afraid to cannibalize their markets. Perhaps they are afraid of risk and uncertainty. Perhaps, Perhaps. Or maybe they operate under a management model that rewards compliance and punishes creativity. Now I think we are getting to the ...

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An Innovation ‘Quick Fix’

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Recently we received a call from a potential client. The individuals I spoke with noted a number of significant issues preventing them from innovation effectively. As I recall there were several significant issues: an ‘engineering’ oriented culture, several large customers who demanded exceptionally high quality, few competitors and a complete lack of risk taking in the organization. The good news ...

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Radical or Gradual Innovation?

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“Radical Innovation” refers to high risk, high uncertainty projects which hold the potential to both influence the marketplace and bring high returns to firms. It’s a kind of “promised land” of differentiation, growth and wealth for businesses and nations. Radical innovation is different from gradual innovation, in which small, incremental changes are made to activities in order to create more ...

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