“Old school models of leadership are not enough anymore. Telling people what to do doesn’t lead to creativity. Instead, leadership is about generating and embracing bold ideas—and that all starts with asking questions.”
Tim Brown via IDEO U
I spent the holidays at home in Quito, Ecuador this year. I read, I wrote and I learned some really interesting things through in person conversations and online courses. In short, I became a little wiser as I rang in the new year! I share 3 nuggets of wisdom that represent my first post of 2018. May the new year bring you health, connections and opportunities to be present!
Health is the basis for growth.
In all aspects, staying healthy is preferable to dealing with health consequences after the fact. This applies just as much to organizations as to personal physical health. Health is a smart medium/long term strategy.
Connections are gold.
Connections create opportunities that would otherwise not exist. After posting a note about this on LinkedIn last week, I received an overwhelming response from people (some connections, some not) all over the world. Connectors connect interests resulting in value creation and problem solving. Without connections (and the platforms and people that connect), innovation and growth would not be possible. Blockchain (and distributed ledger) provide some interesting opportunities for transparency, connection and efficiencies.
Being responsible means you are response – able.
Even if we are trained to blame others or the weather or some third party when faced with something we are unable to accomplish, doing so means that we are giving up our ability to provide a solution or “own” the situation. Taking responsibility even when other factors played a significant part, means we are “response-able”; a great takeaway from philosopher Fred Kaufman.
Did you know that Ford made typewriters? Now you do… business inspiration for those who enjoy seeing brands evolve and change. – EMC
la investigación y el desarrollo no son iguales a la innovación; que la innovación implica la capacidad de coordinar el aprendizaje a través de entidades y funciones distintas – EMC
R&D does not equal innovation; innovation implies the ability to coordinated learning across distinct entities and functions – EMC
“Leaders often believe their organization is capable of doing anything. In reality, organizations often fail because they force new innovations through their existing resources, processes, and profit formula.”
Clayton Christensen – Disruptive Strategy, Harvard.
I am 50% through this course with Christensen and I was thrilled to study this section of the course talking about how organizations should plan and choose what they say YES and NO to. This theory is central to my management style (things should be simple but no simpler) and my usual contribution when executives are planning projects and future actions. – EMC
“Customers rarely make buying decisions around what the “average” customer in their category may do—but they often buy things because they find themselves with a problem they would like to solve.”
…from the Christensen Institute.
If you always do what you‘ve always done, you will always get what you‘ve always got.
(Quote attributed to H Ford, Einstein etc.)
From Esther Clark’s article “Seemingly Bad Ideas” published April 2016.
Earlier this year I opened an article with an interpretation of a line from Arthur Ransome’s book Swallows and Amazons: “Better dead than duffers.” I have studied the cult of failure as part of my consulting practice and to help my clients understand how and if “fail fast, fail often” makes for a higher overall result.
I have spent the last week on vacation and continue to see this topic pop up in business articles, TED talks, presentation and discussions within my social networks. If you have the opportunity, pick up the December issue of Harvard Business Review where research around the “80% of companies that existed before 1980 are no longer around” idea is well diagnosed and ties into the discussion of creative destruction and “fail fast fail often”.
The purpose of this post today is a short reminder that mistakes are the “necessary evil” (as PIXAR’s Ed Catmull says) of companies who innovate, transform and disrupt. The evil or pain from the failure becomes less when value is extracted from the experience. Think about it.
Do you remember having skinned knees as a child while trying to ride your bike or learn to rollerskate? Did the pain lessen when you first took the freeing ride on your own?
Failure in business is exactly like that. If you extract maximum value from failure than although you might not have “failed fast” or don’t want to “fail often” you will have maximized the overall result of the project or the innovation bringing benefits to your organization.
All the best in 2017! May this coming year be filled with health, wealth and happiness.