Category Archives: Leadership

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.

To Manage for Innovation is to Manage for Progress not Stability

progress and stability are mutually exclusive

Something extraordinary happened to the human species over the past two centuries: Economic growth transformed everyday life and changed poverty from a near-universal condition to a limited problem. The technologies that enabled this change emerged largely in Western Europe. Why there  and not, say, in China?

The Washington Post explores why the industrial revolution didn’t happen in China in a fascinating interview with economic historian Joel Mokyr.

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!

Why?