Category Archives: Leadership

Want To Hire Innovators? Here’s How You’re Dismissing Them

 Rebels and nonconformists are often the pioneers and designers of change

Most organizations are not setup to hire innovators, rather they filter them out. Why? Because they follow the tried and true solid advice for making good hiring decisions: hire for culture-fit.

To hire for culture-fit is to hire for comfort, the short-term, sameness; to keep optimizing what is rather than creating what’s next. The problem with hiring for culture-fit is that if your culture doesn’t reward risk taking and learning from mistakes then you will filter out innovators.

This is how most organizations work.

Embrace Weird To Find The Next Revolution

Established companies don’t like misfits, renegades, weird people. It’s a fact. I always ask leaders of established businesses if they keep their eyes open for a Steve Jobs to hire; their answer is no.

I’m not surprised. See, most leaders of established businesses are preoccupied with maintaining the status quo, keeping the wheels turning, making sure nothing disrupts their day to day. So, bringing in misfits is out of the question because it means chaos.

Yet chaos is what’s needed to find the next revolution!

Make Awesome Where Awesome Is Not

Cover of "Big"Every assumption is an innovation opportunity. The assumption that only a few of us is brave, creative and bold needs to be killed for everyone to make an impact in the Next Economy, one where most routine jobs will be delegated to algorithms and robots.

The only thing we can’t delegate, and shouldn’t, is that what makes us human: creativity.

One of my all-time favorite movies is Big, which stars Tom Hanks. It’s “must watch” for anybody who wants to drive creative thinking in their organization!


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.

How Innovators Distort Reality

blank canvas thinkingAre all innovators alike?

Michael Dearing, a venture capitalist, has developed strong views on the similarities of innovators after screening over three thousand founders and funding over sixty companies since 2006. Dearing observed that the most successful founders are prone to certain “cognitive distortions”: biased, even objectively inaccurate, ways they think of themselves and filter information that enable them to make quicker and better decisions, bounce back from setbacks, and attract talent.

Innovation Killer: Leave Your Innovation Team Alone If You Want Great Ideas

how leaders enable innovationAs a leader, to enable innovation in your teams, you need to create the conditions necessary for innovation to happen. That means setting bold goals, providing support and getting out of the way; but it isn’t easy.

A common innovation challenge inside established organizations is getting out of people’s way to let them put their talent to use and develop ideas that could change the course of the company.

A common strategy that is executed to overcome this challenge is to create a dedicated innovation team, one that doesn’t work on core business challenges; rather it is given time to find the next revolution by letting them play with ideas.