I spend a lot of time travelling the world, speaking to leaders of organizations about leading for innovation and growth. As I prepare for these engagements, I request a meeting with the chief executive officers (CEOs) to understand the challenges they are facing. This allows me to tailor my remarks to address their specific concerns. A question I always ask is, “What keeps you awake at night?”
The most common response: “To continue to grow in today’s economy, we have to outthink and outperform the competition. To have a competitive edge, we must have an innovation edge. How do we do that?”
If you work in an organization, large or small, you’re probably looking for ways to increase your contribution and enhance your career prospects. That’s what I was searching for continually during my 30-year career at RCA and FedEx. Thinking back about all the promotions and awards I received at both companies, they were the result of focusing on my boss’s biggest problems; conceptualizing novel solutions by asking, “What if [we did this or that]”; and then leading teams to produce the innovation we needed. My goal for this book is to share proven insights and strategies to help you unleash your potential for creativity and innovation.
Most of us go to work and fulfill job responsibilities to the best of our abilities. We do the same thing day after day. This is routine ...