A Final Word on How to Create an Innovative Organization

I’ve been focused over the past couple of months writing about how to create innovation in the workplace.  Really, being an innovation leader comes down to one simple question: Do you believe people are fundamentally good? Because if you do, you are led to: Hire for diversity Give people freedom with trust at the core Structure rules that help people exhibit the good instead of bringing out the bad  So, do you believe people are fundamentally good? Innovate or die.   Like this post? You may also like: Leading through Expectations and Empathy 3 Questions for Balancing Empathy and Expectations

You Gotta get a Mantra to Run and Lead Well

Week 3 Mileage: 27 miles (with 6 on the elliptical for cross training) Long run distance: 11 miles   “Just keep swimming.” “Crush it.” My two running mantras.  The one I use depends on how I’m feeling. The swimming reference from Dory in Finding Nemo is my go to when I just want to stop. When I really just want to quit and take it to the house.   I say it to myself often, like on our long run last week when it was blazing hot, and Drew and I both wanted to quit. The Brad Paisley song “Crushin’ It”

You Can’t Innovate Without Your House in Order

“Victory awaits him who has everything in order—luck people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck.” Roald Amundsen -The first person to lead an expedition to reach the South Pole We live in a VUCA – Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous- world.  Innovation, in part, creates this dynamic.  However, creating an environment where innovation can be cultivated and thrive relies on people and businesses having the opposite of this- a house in order. As Jim Collins stated in Great By Choice, leaders who have navigated

Hills in the heat: Why you have to do the hard stuff to run and lead well

Weekly 2 Mileage: 24 miles (with 6 on the elliptical for cross training) Long run distance: 9 miles “Tell me why again y’all are running hills in August? The marathon is in Philadelphia (in other words, flat) in November (in other words, cold),” asked my training partner’s husband. My first thought was, good question, smart man that he is, why are we putting ourselves through this?  Why did we pick the training plan that involves hills in the heat?  There are many more to choose from that don’t involve this weekly ritual for the first half of the training calendar.

10 years of Marriage and Five years of Blogs

August has been a month of milestones at our house. First born off to kindergarten and the celebration of 10 years of marriage. We decided to celebrate our marital bliss (of course it hasn’t been all roses, but it has been a fun ride so far) with training for a marathon together and a trip to the Dominican Republic. Just us. No kids. Thank goodness for wonderful in-laws and parents. While we’re away, I thought it would be nice to honor the man that makes me a better person everyday with the blog posts he’s inspired over the years. Most

4 Steps to Become a People Innovator

“The best people and HR leaders I know have been labeled maverick at one time or another because they build something that goes against the norm, they challenge the status quo, and they see beyond the perceived limitations of their function and therefore extend well beyond it. They bring meaning to the workplace and it runs through everything that affects people.”   Ben Whitter Maverick.  Pirate.  Experimenter.   Words to describe HR?   Doubt you’ve heard HR people being called these things regularly.  I think it is why, in many ways, people are commenting that HR is dead or changing its name entirely

4 Steps to the Motivation to Run and to Lead

Week 1 Week 1 mileage: 22 miles Long run distance: 9 miles I’ve set out with my husband, my bestie, my dad and his bestie (my dad and I don’t actually call them our “bestie”, but it has a nice ring to it) to run the Philadelphia marathon in November.  All five of us just completed the first official week of training.  Fifteen more to go. Except for two brief hiatuses when I was too big and too pregnant to run, running has been a part of my regular routine for about ten years. It’s my sanity; it keeps me

8 Inspirations from the Kindergartener

                My baby started kindergarten yesterday.   Actually, he’s not the baby, he’s the oldest. But sending the first one off to “real” school, though exciting, causes a momma to reflect on how quickly the first five years of his life have gone. And I realized that many of those first five years have been captured in the inspiration he has created in the way of blog posts.  So here’s to Andrew and all the lessons he helped inspire before he even launched his formal school learning…. Do you want to go to timeout?

Do you need a spin off? How innovation and entrepreneurship prevail

Is there such thing as too big in business?  Can a company become too big and therefore too bureaucratic, thus limiting its ability to innovative entirely?   To address this question, the easy answer is to just point you to reading The Innovator’s Dilemma. It answers this question thoroughly. But for the sake of this blog post, I’ll tell you, it depends. The book will tell you it depends on whether or not what you are creating is a disruptive technology or a sustaining technology.  The best way I can describe the difference in the two is that sustaining technologies improve

Rules to preserve freedom and culture: How innovative companies go about rule-making

“We have rules.” Was one of the first things a CEO of a highly innovative company that has also won several best place to work awards, said to me when I asked him what the secret sauce was for a best place to work. Honestly, at first thought, I wanted to say, “Really?” He went on to site some examples, but it took me a while to digest and understand, in my please-throw-out-the-employee-handbook type mindset, what he meant and why he was right. And rules don’t have to contradict the need for a certain amount of freedom that is necessary