Archive for: February, 2013

Ubiquitous leadership = ubiquitous innovators


Put simply, if a culture of leadership exists, a culture of innovation also exists.

Why? Because the innovation challenge companies face is really a leadership problem. Being accountable for innovation means being accountable for value creation and customer satisfaction. Period.

As I’ve argued before, it is ultimately the CEO/Leader who owns value creation. And, it has to come from within. You have to really want it, because no matter how much you want to, you can’t copy another person’s leadership style. You have your own style.

What it really means to be different

“Differentiation is not a tactic. It’s not a flashy advertising campaign; it’s not a sparkling new feature set. It’s not a laminated frequent buyer card or money-back guarantee. Differentiation is a way of thinking. It’s a mindset. It’s a commitment.” –  Youngme Moon

Differentiation is a commitment to innovation. Period.

The difference between a tactic and a mindset is that when you choose to be different with tactics, you are choosing excuses to be interesting. And, when “difference making” is your mindset, because you act according to your values and beliefs; you don’t have to try to be interesting.

But, sometimes this pursuit of differentiation is confused with technology. Innovation comes in a variety of ways, of course. It isn’t just technology which enable us to do more, there is also processes and even human innovation which can be valuable sources of new value.

Innovation must reads of the week: The Hidden Barriers to Innovation

No strategy is foolproof

enjoy uncertainty

Anytime I meet with Presidents, VP’s or just the business owners of a company, I come in with no expectations whatsoever. I aim to be surprised. So, last week when I met with the President of an innovative construction company in Mexico, I was surprised.

I consider this company to be innovative because they developed a unique building, the only one, in the Baja region. And like any innovator, this innovation needs more attention. That’s where I come in.

Now, let me tell why I was surprised. Usually, when you talk to businessmen about innovation, all they want to know about is the ROI. They want to know that whatever you propose, will work. “If isn’t going to work, don’t talk to me” is what I hear.

But the guy I met the other day, he was different. He literally said: Here we’re all about leading our industry. And, to achieve that, we know that some things will not work. We don’t like reacting.


Innovation must reads of the week: Three obstacles to innovation diffusion

If you like these links, check out all the previous “Innovation Must Reads of the Week“. And don’t forget to

How can we become better thinkers and decision makers?

question to innovate

This the sixteenth of a series of weekly posts where I will answer a few common questions about innovation. Please feel free to add your own response. Also, if you have any questions you think we should discuss, let me know.

“The better decision maker has at his/her disposal repertoires of possible actions; checklists of things to think about before he acts; and he has mechanisms in his mind to evoke these, and bring these to his conscious attention when the situations for decision arise.” – Herbert Simon, Nobel Laureate

There are plenty of ways to make better decisions. But what about when you are dealing with complexity (which we all do)? How can you see the essence of anything quickly?

You don’t need permission to make things better

make it better

I’m coaching/advising a couple of people on two completely different, but just as important, things. One is competitive strategy, and another is on social media. Recently, both asked me the same question: What if I’m associated with a business/institution I might end up competing with? Shouldn’t I let them know what I’m thinking of doing?

My answer:

If you think it sucks, make it better