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Innovative Intelligence: The Art and Practice of Leading Sustainable Innovation in Your Organization by Claude Legrand, David S. Weiss

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

LEADING INNOVATION

With the ever-changing media landscape, News Inc. had to evolve. Advertising dollars were decreasing, printing and paper costs were escalating, the customer base was declining and aging, and competition was increasing—mostly as a result of the digital age.

The president decided to put together a cross-functional innovation team to develop a plan to respond to the competitive challenges. Most leaders thought the president would choose a senior publisher of one of the largest magazines or newspapers or a member of the executive team to lead this strategic project. But instead, the president chose Tammy, a 35-year-old MBA graduate with experience in marketing, who had joined News Inc. as a director and had only two years of experience with the company. Tammy consistently exceeded expectations and her vice president identified her as a high-potential employee.

At the next executive meeting, several people questioned the choice of Tammy as the innovation team leader for this highly strategic project. They felt the project would be far too great a stretch assignment for her. After some debate, the president explained his logic. He felt this challenge required new perspectives. What had made News Inc. so successful in the past was not going to make it successful in the future. This innovation project needed fresh ideas and a different approach, starting at the top. He believed this was a complex problem that none of the executives had encountered before. ...

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