I’m writing this on a Monday morning as I work my email to juggle a complicated week. Though I have delivered versions of my Outthinker Process program perhaps a few hundred times now and am supposed to be an expert, I realize I still need reminders. It’s so easy to lose the “strategic clarity” that comes out of the IDEAS process (Imagine, Dissect, Expand, Analyze, Sell).
In a sun-filled boardroom overlooking lower Manhattan, I was sitting with a group of chief strategy officers for part of our Outthinker Roundtable discussion. Professor George Day, leading expert on innovation and marketing, and faculty member at Wharton Business School, shared a concept about disruption that has been infecting my thoughts ever since.
Last Wednesday, in a suburban New Jersey warehouse converted into conference space and a cooking show set, I joined 80 managers assembled to discuss their company’s strategy. We had helped design the two-day experience and were at the point in the flow of the off-site when we hoped we would hear some new, breakthrough insights.
I was never the star soccer player. I played every game throughout high school, but rarely scored. Today, I huff and puff Saturday mornings with friends ages 40 and up, yet my record remains unchanged.
Your mindset is the lens through which you see the world.
Your mindset is created by combining your different beliefs about the world into one unified belief-system. The purpose of a mindset is to help you filter the information in the world to be more effective at understanding your reality and operating within it. Everyone has a mindset because everyone has beliefs about the world.The management mindset is the worldview that the organisation is a machine that must be optimised.
Here is the fundamental issue: innovation seems too risky. Your company says they want it. They hold innovation events, call “innovation” a top priority, and build internal innovation teams. But no one, even the most admired innovators, is confident their efforts are paying off.
My friend and client Doug is one of those rare crossbreeds of seasoned entrepreneur and capable big-company operator. A mathematician by training, he spent 18 years with a small company moving from engineering to sales, then joined a start-up that grew 40% per year for seven years before selling to Raytheon. An acquisition or two later and he found himself in a senior role at one the largest engineering companies – and one of the largest companies period – in the world.
Whether you come up with an idea on your own or a colleague shares it with you, you will invariably find yourself at a fork in your career road. Is this an idea worth pursuing?
Last Friday, jetlagged and wired from having just delivered a keynote, I sat in Paris at the back of a Consumer Electronics Association conference ballroom, sucking up all I could from Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly. I believe whenever you get the opportunity to learn from someone who has seen more, done more than you in any area, squeeze out all the learning you can.
You know you’ve felt it. You want your team passionately engaged about your shared mission, business, project. You want to generate the energy of a start-up fueled on pizza and dreams in a garage. And yet your corporate incentive system falls flat. We got a chance to hear from someone who has dissected exactly why so many incentive programs fail to generate the motivation you need to forge a truly great team: Paul E. White, Ph. D., the coauthor of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Rising Above a Toxic Workplace, and Sync or Swim. Learn from his advice below.