Category Archives: Greatness

When You Punish People for Asking Questions They Stop Asking

questions are a way of seeing

Questions invite collaboration and shared responsibility. Great leaders understand that it takes new questions to create a new future, and they’re not necessarily the ones asking those new questions; employees are. Unfortunately, it’s more common that leaders seek answers than questions from employees; blocking their development by resisting new ideas.

Complacency Is A Silent Killer

complacency is a silent killer of businessComplacency kills…big time!

Two weeks ago I was invited to talk to a group of marketing and MBA students at INIDE University about what it takes to make innovation happen inside established organizations.

As I mentioned in a previous post, nothing prepares you for reinvention. There is no class, course, workshop that teaches one how to “unlearn” old habits and skills which only use is to maintain the status quo.

Jeff Bezos on Culture: Failure and Invention are Inseparable Twins

jeff bezos on corporate cultureFailure can’t be separated from invention, it’s not optional. It’s also why you can’t mandate innovation, only inspire it. You can create the conditions necessary for it to happen, but it’s not a set-it and forget it deal.

It’s something that Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, understands well and repeated this message once more in the latest letter to shareholders:

Netflix’s culture is a prime example of one that isn’t afraid to reinvent itself

culture of innovation

We are in a constant state of becoming, and it’s not entirely obvious to anyone or any team that is starting out, and nobody tells you this in school, that we must reinvent ourselves.

Case in point Patty McCord, former Head of HR for Netflix and the person credited with creating their culture, believes that the ideal culture isn’t afraid to reinvent itself:

Different: Escaping Mediocrity

be different

There comes a point in time when all business compete for the same thing: sameness.

It shouldn’t be this way, because competing to be the best at what everyone else does leads to mediocrity. On today’s episode we discuss how to escape mediocrity; not mindlessly pursue it.

What every organization can learn from the CIA’s Red Cell to avoid stagnation

red team how to succeed by thinking like the enemyHow can your organization avoid stagnation and future proof itself?

In his book, Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, Micah Zenko tells the story of the CIA’s Red Cell group, devoted to “alternative analysis,” which includes techniques like “what ifs,” Team A/Team B exercises, and premortem analysis, all of which are used to identify holes in a plan, model an adversary to understand their weaknesses, or consider all of the conceivable ways a plan can fail beforehand.

Arnold Beekes On Being A Generalist

the rise of the generalistOn this week’s episode we chat with my friend, and fellow Generalist, Arnold Beekes about being a Generalist and how to thrive in a society full of specialists. We need to cultivate more curiosity in people!

I came to use the word “Generalist” after knowing Arnold, and have previously written about it at length (here, here, here, here).

The benefit of cultivating a Generalist mindset is huge, and is widely considered a trait of innovators because new problems require new perspectives and approaches. The best leaders are pattern thinkers because they are always learning, that is what a Generalist brings to the table: an ability to connect the dots in new ways.