Articles in categories Innovation
SPARK Ideas: How To Find Your Leadership Voice
This blog was first printed in Inc. earlier this fall. It generated quite a bit of interesting discussion. How did you find your voice?
It’s fairly easy to get caught up in the fantasy of the idea of your business–before the reality of the challenge hits you. As the leader of your business, you establish the voice of the company. You are often the face of the business, and you drive the energy that will represent the gestalt of the business. So it’s no surprise that you will be up days and nights and days planning the important strategic issues about the company–the business model, the launch strategy, the funding, the board, the people, the culture.READ MORE at Inc. >
We wanted to share some more great nuggets from inspirational leaders. We can't stop thinking about this stuff.
- John Sargent from McMillan: He tutored participants on how to make difficult decisions when there is no historical context or relevant experience. Using the analogy of surfing, he described the need to do in-depth analysis (is this the wave?), acknowledge and think through your concerns (this wave is really big?), create possible futures (start to paddle along the wave) and at the point of decision (when your board dips down), do something that focuses you on your body more than your mind. Then make the decision at the highest level of what your gut tells you is right (stand up or don't).
- United Way of NYC's Sheena Wright: She focused on transforming through identification of the pinch point - the place where a modest effort of change will reap huge rewards, assembling the key stakeholders and working hard through rapid experimentation (trial and error) to find...
When you get down to the most basic, elemental level, growing your business, no matter how big or small, is a matter of continuously increasing the number and/or size of current and new customer transactions. So why does it seem so challenging and complicated for so many businesses, businesses leaders and their teams to stay focused on what matters the most at that point of each transaction?
Often as a business experiences success (a new customer, a big sale), as a business enlarges its team, as a business begins to collect and analyze more market, customer and business data, a business can lose sight of its Strategic Heart of the Matter – the critical, essential intersection between its customers’ heartfelt and functional needs and its unique ability to serve those needs. The leadership and the team lose track of what will really make a difference to their customers before, during and after each transaction.
There can just be too much data and information which never is...READ MORE >
For many years, relying on in-depth analytical assessments of market trends, consumer surveys and brand equities identified the opportunities and generated the innovations to drive consistent business growth. It was a time before the internet crumbled so many competitive barriers to entry allowing anyone new - big or small, near or far - to launch a new product, before the time of big data burying managers in both relevant and irrelevant information about customers and before consumers became saturated with so many new offerings and messages that innovation needed to be truly significant to stand out or attract their interest. Today, relying only on the traditional left brain tools – information, data and analysis – is not enough to generate the truly breakthrough and disruptive ideas required for significant growth. It is essential for innovation success and growth to begin to integrate some right-brain skills and abilities – including empathy, intuition and imagination. Why,...READ MORE >
We often have the opportunity to meet with inspirational leaders as part of our work. Last week, we met some terrific thought leaders at a meeting on Transformation - sharing real world examples of what they have done to transform their industries, create new ones and drive growth.
Some of our favorite tips from interesting people:
- The Power of the Pause: Use a moment of stillness, quiet to slow down the chaos and reconnect with ideas and creativity. Pauses create moments to Celebrate, Reflect and Renew. Tim Tompkins, working with his team at Times Square, creates moments of Powerful Pauses in the heart of the definition of intense, relentless energy and chaos - Times Square. From New Year's Eve to holding the largest yoga class to beach chairs for sitting and reflecting in the summer, Tim and his team are providing the opportunity for New Yorkers and visitors to experience and transform with powerful pauses.
- Craft, Culture and Creativity: Veronique Gabal, from Estee Lauder,...