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Innovation is Everybody's Business: How to Make Yourself Indispensable in Today's Hypercompetitive World by Robert B. Tucker

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Chapter 3. Your Personal Innovation Strategy: Four Critical Components for Making Yourself Harder to Replace

Lisa Peters was awarded the Society of Human Resource Professionals' Human Capital Manager of the Year award for her work on the highly successful merger of Bank of New York and Mellon Bank. After both banks' management teams came together to negotiate various roles and procedures, newly named chief executive officer (CEO) Robert Kelly turned immediately to Lisa and asked, "What do we do to create a single culture?" This was the beginning of a grueling but rewarding three-year integration that Peters helped lead and orchestrate. The merger was so successful that Harvard Business School did a case study.

I asked Lisa, "Would people in your organization describe you as an innovative thinker?" Her answer surprised me. She didn't think so. "I think the first thing they'd probably say is, 'She has the ability to get new things done.' And if you pressed on that, probably the next level of thinking would be, '[She] can see the big picture, can see where someone [in senior leadership] wants to go, and can put the project plan in place to get that completed.' And eventually I'm sure someone would talk about my innovative approaches to putting a team together or to getting new things done."

After my interview with Lisa, I began to notice this comment over and over again. He or she has the ability to get things done. What it said to me was: Forget those romantic portraits of lone-ranger ...

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