Leadership lessons from your GPS guidance system

If you want to be a better leader then take a look at the satellite navigation system (GPS) in your car. Here is what it can teach:   1. The Sat Nav stays focused on the destination. Regardless of blocked roads, obstacles, traffic and diversions it continues to focus on finding a way of reaching the strategic goal – the destination. In the same way a great leader continues to focus on the... Read More--

Success is the Enemy of Innovation

Success can be innovation’s greatest foe.  When thing are going well we can become blinded. Success becomes a prophylactic against disruptive ideas. Why should we change a winning formula? Don’t mess with success! These are the sorts of things people say. And yet the business cemetery is littered with companies that were shooting stars – a brilliant success for a while followed by... Read More--

How to Overcome Customer Resistance to Change

Sometimes the biggest resistance to innovation comes from the person who should benefit most from it – the customer. Customers can be very conservative. When you come along with an unorthodox new product or service they are often initially unimpressed. Why should the buyer take a risk with your unproven new gismo? He knows that new products often have bugs and he does not want to be the guinea... Read More--

Give Everyone Two Jobs – their current job and finding a completely different way to do it

As the leader, how can you continually improve the performance of your business and at the same time innovate? Should you just focus on making the current model work better or should you seek to find different ways to do things? The answer is that you and your team need to do both. Give all your people two key objectives. Ask them to run their current jobs in the most effective way possible and at... Read More--

Welcome Failure

Very often the best way to test an idea is not to analyze it but to try it. The organization that implements lots of ideas will most likely have many failures but the chances are, it will reap some mighty successes too. By trying numerous initiatives we improve our chances that one of them will be a star. As Tom Kelley of IDEO puts it, ‘Fail often to succeed sooner.’ Honda Motor Company... Read More--

Why Do People Resist Change?

We all experience change and most of us grumble about it. We know that change is necessary. We cannot keep doing things the old way.  But we do not like changing.  Why do people oppose innovations and what can we do about it? In a survey we asked why people resisted change. The main reasons identified were: Fear of the unknown Suspicion of motives Bad prior experiences of change leading to low expectations People... Read More--

The Innovative Leader needs to be an Arsonist and a Firefighter

Innovative leaders are comfortable with ambiguity. They know that there are many ways forward. They are evangelical about the vision but agnostic about how to achieve it. They have a clear strategy but are quite prepared to change tactics. They recognise the need for different leadership styles at different times. When it comes to innovative ideas they are alternately arsonists and fire fighters. They... Read More--

What is Astonishing about your Business?

There is a French construction company that uses an ‘astonishment report’. They ask all new employees to complete the report at the end of their induction period. The employee must list anything they find astonishing about the company – good or bad. It has to be done early – if they waited 12 months to complete the report it would likely be too late. We only notice the astonishing when... Read More--

Five Reasons why CEOs and their Companies Crash

Failure is a natural part of the capitalist system of business. Less effective firms are supplanted by innovative competitors who can better meet customers’ needs. Unfortunately however, it must be admitted that many companies fail not because of superior competitors but because their leaders make egregious errors. Here are five key reasons (CRASH) why CEOs and their businesses crash and burn. 1.... Read More--

Can you use Prediction Markets to forecast which Ideas will turn into Successful Innovations?

Most large organisations have suggestions schemes which involve sharing ideas on an intranet social media site.  Here people can comment on ideas and vote for them.  But there is a problem with voting for ideas.  People can be lobbied to vote and they support the suggestions of friends and co-workers.  We see this often on the TV talent show X Factor.  People in Lancashire vote for the boy from... Read More--