The Tortoise and the Hare in Innovation – Go Slow to Go Fast

The Tortoise and the Hare in Innovation – Go Slow to Go Fast

Aesop's fable of the Tortoise and the Hare is well known from our childhood. The braggartly Hare spent his time gloating about how fast he was until the Tortoise finally had enough and challenged him to a race. Laughing at the slow Tortoise the Hare happily accepted the challenge. When the race started the Hare sped off and looking back yelled: "How do you expect to win this race when you are walking along at your slow, slow pace?" As we remember the Hare found himself so far ahead that he stopped to rest and take a nap and fell asleep. Slowly and steadily the Tortoise continued in the race and won the day while the Hare was caught napping. It's a familiar story, but for some reason we seem to have forgotten the message when it comes to business and in particular Innovation. The moral that Aesop shared was "Don't brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!". ...
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Leading to Outcomes

Leading to Outcomes

One of the more successful strategies I have seen managers take in their organizations has been shifting their focus from managing the process to leading to outcomes. In the age of employee empowerment, one of the best ways to allow your team to feel like they have a say in the work is to allow them some flexibility in the process and approach. As long as they deliver the desired outcome, they should be able to define the path. The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. Theodore Roosevelt I would suggest that the act of simply managing for outcomes isn't enough in the current corporate environment. Setting goals and offering flexibility in the approach by Leading to Outcomes is a far more effective approach. If you retain the concept of managing in the approach, you won't achieve the full...
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Emotion Leads to Action

Emotion Leads to Action

I joined a group of Niagara professionals at IdeaShare yesterday for breakfast and met some very inspiring entrepreneurs who had some great stories to share. The IdeaShare concept is essentially a Mastermind group (think Napoleon Hill - Think and Grow Rich) where a group of business leaders and entrepreneurs get together to discuss issues that are relevant to their business and the rest of the members provide advice and/or thoughts that might help them work through their challenge. At the end of the meeting, Dennis O'Neill shared something he was told by a mentor previously in his life which was resonating with him - and it definitely resonated with me: Logic leads to conclusion; emotion leads to action. (more…)...
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Build a Strong Foundation for Innovation

Build a Strong Foundation for Innovation

Those of you who know me won't be shocked by the fact that I have a serious passion for innovation. I believe you always need to be constantly pushing your organization (and your life) forward. You need to focus on reinventing what you do and how you do it as often as possible to drive new value for your customers and your organization. To succeed, you need to build a strong foundation for innovation. Companies like GE or IBM who have consistently changed their business sold off core components, reinvented their primary revenue base, and evolved how they execute based on the demands of an evolving market. These are great examples of companies that innovate very well. But their innovative success isn't based solely on a mindset, fancy frameworks, or crazy wild innovators (although that helps). To earn the right to be innovative they first had to be exceptional companies. (more…)...
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Why are you Here… and What are you going to DO about it?

Why are you Here… and What are you going to DO about it?

Over the past few months I've come across some very valuable thinking and ideas that have made me examine a great deal of how I approach my life and work, and I've been struggling a bit to pull the ideas together into a coherent and meaningful framework.  This is my attempt to summarize and bring clarity to those thoughts. The first source of inspiration that triggered some of this thinking was a TED talk from Simon Sinek where he outlined the concept of the "Golden Circles", an assertion that we naturally work first to define What we do, then examine How we do it, and finally (if we have time) we look at Why we are doing it. Simon's assertion is that our natural tendencies, while rooted in the science of the brain, are fundamentally backwards. The first question we should be asking ourselves is Why? Shortly after seeing Simon's talk I was on a one week leadership training course and I had an opportunity to...
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