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Implementing Change from the Ground Up: The Power of First Steps to Create a Movement

Implementing Change from the Ground Up

I started my career in the 90s, as an external management consultant who worked on the business process reengineering aspects of large systems integrations. Our clients would spend millions of dollars reengineering the organization, but they often did not implement the changes. My personal experience reflected what research indicated: 80% of change projects fail.

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You Are Not Being Disrupted: Distinguishing Disruption from Turbulence

You Are Not Being Disrupted: Distinguishing Disruption from Turbulence

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.

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Scout, Juggle, and Ignore Technology to Out-Innovate the Competition: Lessons from CSAA

Innovation: Scout, Juggle, and Ignore Technology

Debbie Brackeen was in the “innovation” business before it was even called “innovation.” After completing her undergrad at Stanford University, she found herself in the heart of Silicon Valley. She spent her first years at Apple followed by stints at a variety of high-tech companies from HP to venture-baked start-ups. Today she is the chief strategy and innovation officer at CSAA Insurance Group, one of the largest AAA insurers in the world.

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What Two Psychologists and a Hedge-Fund Manager Can Teach You About Persistence

What Two Psychologists and a Hedge-Fund Manager Can Teach You About Persistence

The 150+ internal innovators I’ve interviewed over recent years all have precisely one thing in common. This thing they share is not any of the traits we typically associate with successful innovators: not creativity, customer insight, or influence; not technical knowledge, team leadership skills, or marketing prowess.

No … the one thing they share is this: persistence. They don’t give up.

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How the Hype Cycle Can Help You Make Sense of the Future

How the Hype Cycle Can Help You Make Sense of the Future

While working on an analysis for a client, attempting to assess the key trends that will shape the future of apparel, my mind turns to how an emerging technology in any industry can rise, fall, and eventually succeed. To help understand how trends like artificial intelligence, blockchain, or big data will affect any client, we often turn to the “hype cycle.”

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The Math Behind Big Thinking

The Math Behind Big Thinking

If you are thinking this is a motivation piece about the power of ambitious thinking, it’s not. What I’m going to lay out here has nothing to do with psychology or inspiration. This is basic math. A concept so simple, you will grow frustrated that your company doesn’t embrace it. My 11-year-old gets it. But the $50b company I worked with yesterday doesn’t.

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5 Approaches To Incentivizing Innovation From P&G, 3M, Google, and More

5 Approaches To Incentivizing Innovation From P&G, 3M, Google, and More

People often ask me how to incentivize entrepreneurial behavior from within an established organization. My first answer is “stop killing it.” Leaders put so many barriers and shut doors in front of would-be internal entrepreneurs that just lifting a few barriers or leaving a few doors ajar would on their own create a momentous acceleration in their flow of innovation.