From the Masters

An excerpt from Change is Good…You Go First by Mac Anderson

Linus Pauling said, “The best way to get a good idea is to get lots of ideas.” Not rocket science, but it works! The only way to keep a change culture alive, long-term, is to set the stage for innovation. Kevin Kelly, in his book, New Rules for the New Economy, said “Wealth today flows directly from innovation, not optimization. It is not gained by perfecting the known, but by imperfectly seizing the unknown.”

Tomorrow comes at us with lightning speed, and your competitive advantage is a fleeting thing. As leaders, we must create an environment that puts innovation front and center. Your people must know it is the key to your company’s survival. You must create a climate that rewards risk and creative effort. Your people must not fear mistakes, but understand that honest mistakes can be life’s main source for learning. So teach them to fail quickly, and often, to enable them to reach the next plateau.

Far too many leaders consider innovation the business equivalent of football’s “Hail Mary” pass or the buzzer-beating three pointer in basketball. On rare occasions it might work, but “rare occasions”, and “might work” are not the foundation of effective innovation programs. Innovation requires a system, a culture, leadership, and an allocation of resources. Then it becomes a matter of discipline, commitment and determination.

Tom Peters gets it. He said…

“I’ve spent a good part of my life studying economic successes and failures. Above all, I’ve learned that everything takes a back seat to innovation.”

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Reprinted by permission of Simple Truths (c) 2011. In order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, no portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent. All rights reserved.

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