Leadership

A Wishlist of Innovation Mindsets

A few years back I published an article on LinkedIn on the The 7 Magic Roles for Creating Sustainable Innovation Culture based on my experiences in working for, building and putting to work effective innovation teams. What dawned on me recently is that what made those teams effective (or not) was not so much the roles that we established and ...

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One Thing You Must Master to Succeed in Business and in Life

This may well be the most important factor in determining your professional and personal success. One thing I’ve realized about the most successful people I’ve met is that whatever their varied personalities and idiosyncrasies, there is one attribute they consistently share: high “conversational intelligence.” Simply put, conversational intelligence is the currency of success. It’s the rare ability to create trust ...

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These Two Words Will Change Your Perception of Jeff Bezos and Amazon

It’s easy to criticize Amazon until you realize that what Bezos is doing is what every disruptive company desperately needs. The firestorm of controversy about the work environment at Amazon, sparked by the New York Times article a couple of years ago, has become almost religious. Not only did it surface an important dialogue about the personal cost of success, ...

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4 Things Successful Leaders Say to Create a Culture of Innovation

In my 25 years of playing in the innovation space and partnering with both Fortune 500 and start-ups, I’ve come to realize that the most successful leaders say “I’m wrong” more than they say “I’m right.” Truly successful leaders that seek to build a culture where innovation thrives don’t try to have all the answers. In fact, it’s their willingness ...

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Six Innovation Traps to Avoid From the Start

Having recently concluded my fourth leadership tenure as “The Innovation Guy” in a corporate setting, I thought I’d share some patterns that seem to emerge when introducing innovation systematically to organizations with low innovation maturity. Since the sample size is small, there is certainly no statistical significance. However, it doesn’t appear to matter whether an organization is for profit, not-for-profit, ...

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We Need to Stop Bashing the Millennials

As with all stereotyping, using generations to define the behaviors of an entire class of people is mostly a convenient and lazy fiction. The Final Frontier for Diversity The U.S. and most of the world’s developed economies have embraced and celebrate the importance of diversity in national origin, creed, race, and sexual orientation. We clearly have room for improvement, but ...

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What is the best time to build a culture of innovation?

You already know that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” When do you start paying attention to your company’s culture and changing it? My research made me realize that the reason people are more creative when they work in startups than when they work in mature companies is due to the difference in culture of those two types of companies. I don’t need to convince you ...

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Why You Need a Gremlin Group

True story. A brilliant engineer, one of the smartest people I’ve met, was confident that his 6-year old daughter would win the annual school science contest called the Great Egg-Drop Challenge. As the name implies, the challenge was to design a package that would protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from the school roof. The reason he was ...

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4 Ways to Create Talent Gravity and Get the Best People

“There’s no lack of talent out there; the key is creating gravity that draws talent to you.” Few companies aren’t envious of the incredible talent gravity that Google, Facebook, and Apple exert. Companies in these enviable situations literally have talent knocking down their doors. So how can you possibly compete? After all, you don’t have the expansive campus and the ...

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