You Must Forgive AND Remember Failure

In this excellent blog post Stanford University professor, Robert Sutton, points out that it’s not only critical that leaders forgive failure; it’s also vital that they remember it as well so that the organization can learn from mistakes. Sutton writes that, “A vital difference between good and bad bosses is that the former consider it their responsibility to surface and learn from past setbacks, errors, and failure. They apply their management skills and dedication to building trust and an atmosphere of psychological safety.” According to Sutton, many organizations exist in which leaders do not even accept the fact that “failure is a by-product of risk-taking” and, as such, must be forgiven. While the wisdom of forgiving failure sounds obvious, he writes, “…consider how rare it is in large organizations rife with personal ambitions, politics, and scapegoating. If people perceive that the best way to look good is to make others … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Leadership, Management | 1 Comment
Help is Not a Dirty Word

As much as some people won’t want to hear this, “help” is not a dirty word. Rather asking for help is a sign of maturity as a leader. So my question is this: Are you easy to help? Think about it…do you make it easy for others to want to help you, or is your demeanor such that most people won’t lift a finger to assist you in a time of need? How many times during the course of your career have you witnessed executives and entrepreneurs who desperately need help, but either don’t recognize it, or worse yet, make it virtually impossible for someone to help them? In today’s post I’ll address the importance of positioning yourself to be helped… If your pride, ego, arrogance, ignorance, the way you were raised or any other excuse (yes I did say excuse) keeps you from asking for help, it is precisely … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Management | 3 Comments
Are you checking your Innovation Pulse?

So often our innovation health seems to change abruptly or equally just simply slip away. It could be caused by many things: a call for reorganization or restructuring or a key part of the team decides to leave. It might be the organization has a second quarterly drop in sales and profits or those layoff simply keep cutting away until you are into the bone. Suddenly the ‘beating heart’ of innovation seems to slow and sometimes even stops completely. Innovation abruptly goes into intensive care. We so often miss the ‘vital signs’ of healthy innovation as we get caught up in the issues of the day, in defending our corner or simply playing safe, hoping the ‘ill winds’ that constantly blow over us go away. In the meantime we often we fail to recognize what has ebbed away in creative energy or innovation initiatives until we are heading for the … Continue reading

Posted in Build Capability, Culture & Values, Headlines, Innovation, Leadership, Management, culture | 3 Comments
Tablet Market Dominated by Apple iPad - For Now

Microsoft just posted a really good quarter and has been openly criticized for its lack of strategy in the tablet market and other consumer market. This software giant has failed to innovate in many fronts despite massive resources and strong talent based. The company has also failed to create any buzz on their product launches; you wonder what is not working with this company. It is not lack of money for sure, and not about lack of talent either. The iPad has only been on the market for half a year, the buzz has quiet down but adoption is high and broad unlike previous products. This is an instant success and looks like no one us close to being a threat. Though Samsung, LG, HTC, Dell, HP and Lenovo, and others are unveiling their own tablets, no on has the advantage of full software and hardware integration. Apple’s complete integration … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Headlines, Innovation | 4 Comments
Why Open Innovation is Not for Small Companies

It is difficult to find good cases on how smaller companies have engaged with open innovation. It is also difficult to give strong advice on how such companies should engage with open innovation. I have reflected much on this and I am approaching a conclusion that is slightly provocative: Open innovation is for big companies; not small companies. Let me provide some reasons for this: Small companies are most often based on one product, service, technology or platform. They are bound to find partners around this in order to prosper let alone survive. This is, however, not open innovation in my mind. This is simply entrepreneurship. Small companies are not big enough to engage with open innovation, which I view as more of a mindset in which they innovate across many types of innovation and business functions. They just don’t have the organizational infrastructure – and need – to engage … Continue reading

Posted in Headlines, Innovation, Open Innovation | 11 Comments
Innovative Pricing Model Drives App Store Succcess

In the early days of the Apple App Store, there were free apps and there were paid apps. With the release last year of the iPhone 3.0 software, Apple began to support “in-app purchases”, and there were great expectations (and a little trepidation) that it would help developers make more money off of their apps by offering them for free, and then charging for various things like new levels, hints, or virtual goods within the apps. Apparently this simple pricing innovation is indeed reaping big rewards. According to a GigaOM article, 34 of the top 100 grossing apps on the iPhone are free, and make their money from in-app purchases. While the model wouldn’t work with every type of app (a calculator app where you pay for every 10 calculations probably wouldn’t fly), it makes sense for a lot of apps, including just about every type of game. The …

Posted in Apple, Innovation, Strategy, marketing | 4 Comments
Sleeping in Meeting

There is something seriously wrong with the way we rent meeting space. Does anyone else notice it? Problem No. 1 – We don’t care where we meet. Standard practice for an off-site meeting is to pick a city then ask the admin or specialist to ring up a few hotels to book rooms for the team and then book a meeting space. This is conveniently handled in one call, as most hotels have a conference rooms. However, these spaces – some large with ballrooms, others smaller with themed names – all have something in common. That they are common. There’s nothing special about them. They’re designed to be generic, and tan, and multipurpose. A tan shell. To be filled this weekend with a wedding reception, tomorrow your meeting, and next week a Bat Mitzvah. Why aren’t we asking the admin or specialist to first find the best place in the … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation | 3 Comments