While virtually every organization began as the brain child of one or more innovative entrepreneurs, even the most groundbreaking tend to become more conservative and set in their ways as they mature, just like people do. Some of that is structural; big organizations can fall captive to their own processes, rules, norms, and metrics, and those of the larger ecosystems that they function in, financial and otherwise.

Much of it has to do with their leaders’ mindsets. If you want to change what you’re doing, you have to change the way you think. Though present-forward thinking is the necessary and predominant mode for routine, day-to-day business management, visionary leadership demands future-back thinking as well—a different, ...

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