Innovation, Risk & Failure at Pixar

In a recent interview, Ed Catmull, the cofounder of Pixar, shares his views on risk, failure and culture. The entire interview is worthwhile, but I found Ed’s perspective on these three issues to be especially insightful and applicable to all industries. Taking Risks The nature of innovation requires risk taking. This creates a fundamental tension[…]

Einstein & Creativity

In 2015 we celebrated the one-hundred-year anniversary of the publication of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. What Einstein was able to achieve was so astounding and so creative, it is worth reflecting on how he did it. Thought Experiments. Einstein’s intellectual journey toward the General Theory of Relativity did not begin with complex equations and high[…]

Busting Through Leadership Myths

MythBusters, the TV show starring Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, focuses on confirming or “busting” popular beliefs, Internet rumors, or other myths. Given the shows popularity, Hyneman and Savage created a live performance and are on tour. Energy was high during the sold-out afternoon show this past weekend in Seattle: kids were out of their[…]

Leaders Who Inspire Innovative Ideas

It’s easy to think of innovation only in terms of the big developments or breakthrough concepts – the iPod, Frappuccino blended coffee, hybrid cars. We don’t think as much about the teams of people behind those ideas. More importantly, we forget that those teams are led by leaders who embrace and create environments where innovation[…]

4 Ways to Drive Innovation

Innovation isn’t just about creating new products or developing a new design. Innovation also plays a key role in employee engagement, customer satisfaction and company success. Here are five things you can do to drive innovation in your organization. 1. Encourage Story Telling. Employees that are more engaged are also more innovative. So, how can[…]

Zuckerberg, EQ, Chopra and Benjamin Franklin

How Mark Zuckerberg has grown into his role as CEO of Facebook. Emotional Intelligence as a predictor of success. Video of my friend Jit Chopra addressing a group of executives on the creative process.  If you like my post on “start with the bad ideas first“, then you’ll love to hear Jit tell the story about[…]

The 8 Most Important Qualities of Leadership at Google

For most of Google’s history, and especially in the early years, it took a laissez-faire policy toward leadership. The company hired smart engineers, promoted the most brilliant into leadership positions and then pretty much left them alone. The assumption was that they were smart and would figure it out or ask questions if they needed help.[…]

How Effective Leaders Deal with Information Overload

Information overload is not only a productivity killer; it can also lead to low morale, anxiety and mistakes.  The U.S. Military has identified “information overload” as the underlying cause of several major mistakes in the war in Afghanistan, and is taking steps to address the issue.  A recent article in the New York Times explains[…]

When Brainstorming, Start with the Bad Ideas

  At one time or another we’ve all been invited to attend a brainstorming session, where the leader stands up in front of a white board, pen in hand, and says something like, “Innovation is critical. We need to come up with some good ideas to stay innovative.  So who wants to start?”   As any survivor[…]

Web 2.0 is the Future of Corporate Learning

A much discussed article by Tony Bingham, the President of ASTD, appeared in the August 2009 T+D Magazine under the title “Learning Gets Social.”  In the piece, Tony delivers a shot across the bow for many learning and development departments, saying basically, if we all don’t get on board and start leveraging and supporting Web[…]