Leadership and Innovation

Don’t expect this to be either of the typical articles about diversity. I’m here not to fawn over its benefits nor to rant about who does or doesn’t get hired. I’m here, instead, to ask why we react to it in the baffling way we do, why it often accomplishes the exact opposite of its stated goals and what dramatic approaches we might take to make achieving its goals more realistic. Announce a round of diversity training, or of progress toward reaching diversity hiring goals, and one thing is guaranteed. Eye rolls and sarcastic comments among workers will abound behind management’s backs. Why so much distaste for something that many of us recognize, at least on some level, as worthwhile?
Modern theories of the firm remain focused on transaction costs, operational efficiency, employee motivation, leadership, strategy and other related factors. While any of these may support our success at various times, none of them alone will facilitate it in the long run. Even strategy, while vitally important, is set at a point in time and is vulnerable to change. The one factor that enables our company’s long-term viability is Enterprise Resilience which enables a company to adapt to a change.
Curiosity is a vital element in all aspects of innovation, yet is tightly confined by many companies to only certain stages of developing solutions. It’s a characteristic that all companies claim to value, but that many companies, in their actual culture, firmly suppress. Curiosity increases employees’ value to the company and amplifies employees’ enjoyment of their jobs. The idea of actively fostering it in their teams, however, often makes company leaders uneasy. Why does this disconnect exist, and what can leaders do to encourage the benefits curiosity brings to both employees and the company?
I have completed 60 days now at PwC and wish I could say that I am charging along, full-speed ahead on all the challenges of working for the biggest of the Big 4. The truth is that my pace is more like a slow jog as I discover what a fast-paced world of exciting challenges I have entered. My first 60 days here has involved me in a learning curve that I hadn't expected. Working at the same level as my peers here requires a whole new level of leadership skills and the ability to multitask. In my first 60 days my biggest achievement can be summarized as: I now think I know what I don't know. Or, as the Four Stages of Competence model calls it, I achieved the level of Conscious Incompetence.
Businesses, facing an ever-increasing variety of complex problems, are in desperate need of good interim managers to help solve them. Such positions are highly rewarding, with the opportunity to explore new places, meet new people – and fill your plate with a steady diet of fascinating challenges. Perhaps you’ve considered...
Are you hiring and using interim managers wisely? Why is it that some companies attain exceptional results from interim manager hirings and some are disappointed? It has little to do with the quality of interim manager candidates. The only way they become candidates is by demonstrating exceptional skill in implementing...
The face of interim management is changing. Traditionally, an interim manager was someone at the end of his career who chose interim management to extend his working years. This is changing fast. An increasing number of managers – both men and women – have entered the market in recent years,...
When crisis strikes your business, what can you do? As you try to pick up the pieces, at some point your mind would likely turn to the fantasy of bringing in an accomplished executive with extensive experience in the exact type of crisis your business is experiencing, just long...