In 2010, Stanford University graduate Kevin Systrom was working on a multifeatured HTML5 (the markup language that structures content for the web) check-in project on mobile photography, originally called Burbn. He began to build the prototype without any branding elements or design at all, just concentrating on its functionality and usability. After meeting a VC from Baseline Ventures and another from Andreesen Horowitz at a party, Systrom pitched his idea and within two weeks, he had raised a total $500,000 from both. Continue reading
Innovation has always been defined quite differently from invention. It used to be that innovation was “the introduction of something new; a new idea, method or device; a novelty.” In a more modern and revised definition, innovation is “the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society.” The definition of innovation has now changed to reflect its differentiation from improvement, in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something differently rather than doing the same thing better. Continue reading
Leadership has entered into a new era. Science, technology, workforce changes and new business models have advanced leadership tools and skills, and our understanding of how to use them. If we don’t keep up, someone else will, and nobody wants to be left in someone else’s wake. Meet a few of these pioneers in leadership:
ROBERT SAFIAN – During his twelve years of running Fast Company, Safian started researching the exciting emergence of Flux Leadership. This is as much about new mindsets as it is about skills, and it is driving the wave of disruptive innovations and new strategies. Safian has interviewed and researched the great disruptors of our time, and helps us understand how to create flux leadership cultures in your organization.
REBECCA COSTA – Costa has already won numerous awards for her advancement in the sciences regarding leadership adaptation and predictive technologies. She has revealed the rapid change in the tools, methods and skills that are crucial for modern leaders.
LANCE SECRETAN – This legend in executive leadership coaching has introduced his best work yet, showcased in his new book The Bellwether Effect. He explores the corrosive effects of chasing cookie-cutter business trends, and provides truly inspiring leadership alternatives that are proven to significantly boost growth, increase retention, and create cultures that adapt to change rapidly.
NANCY GIORDANO – She has quickly built a reputation as the top strategic futurist, melding the trends in advancing technologies with leadership strategies. She helps organizations capture opportunities and get out in front of future competition.
DEBORAH PERRY PISCIONE – Her ground-breaking work on bridging the gap between great ideas and implementing those ideas has made her one of the top leadership and innovation experts in the world. She has developed the largest pool of research on building innovative leadership cultures, which she highlighted in her three acclaimed leadership books.
I first published this article in 2015, and there was a universal outpouring of agreement and support for promoting more women into keynote slots. In fact, for conference held in the second half of 2017 and the first half of 2018, there was nearly a doubling of the number of women keynotes. But that still leaves only 2.2 out of every 10 keynotes being women for corporate events and industry association conferences. Continue reading
One of my colleagues in Silicon Valley shared an experience with a programmer who wanted to work on a project. The programmer was quirky in the extreme; he wouldn’t look the project lead in the eye and spent most of his time staring intently at his own shoes. The interview was awkward, with the programmer talking at length about his video game play, while responses on work topics were monosyllabic.
It is remarkable, with so much knowledge of modern management practices, that only a small number of companies manage to generate significant revenue from new businesses. Surveys of senior executives indicate that only 6 percent are satisfied with their company’s innovation performance.
One of the key differences between being a manager and being a leader is the focus from what you do in business to how you get things done. How do you enable employees who have good ideas to build upon them in a safe environment and make them great, free from the burden of bureaucracy? How do you start from a place of trust and measure results, not just in increments of time, but also by creative pursuits, productivity, and overall outcome?