Beyond Customer Centricity

‘There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer…. Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only these two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.’  — Peter Drucker   Peter Drucker’s words are frequently used – and perhaps over-used – to justify a business focus on the… Continue reading

The ‘Whiplash’ Effect: Rethinking the Lessons of Musical Leadership

For many years, the conductor leading an orchestra has provided a useful metaphor for thinking about how to lead diverse talents gathered around a shared purpose. The metaphor assumes multiple forms, of course, from the commanding George Solti to the inspiring Gustavo Dudamel. A favorite TEDTalk, by Italy Talgam, captures the power and complexity of… Continue reading

Top Ten Creative Leadership Books of 2014

Each of the top ten books of the past year offers fresh ideas, actionable insights, and imaginative solutions to a range of pressing challenges faced by creative leaders. The listed titles, including the notables that follow, celebrate thinking differently and acting differently in order to foster creativity, build innovative organizations and better engage customers across… Continue reading

Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh, ‘The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age’

Review of Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, Chris Yeh, The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age (Harvard Business Press, 2014) The implied social contract that has long existed between larger companies and their workers is evolving.  Often described (by company leaders, at least) as like that of ‘families’, the relationship between individual employees and firms… Continue reading

Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove & Kent Lineback, ‘Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation’

Review of Linda A. Hill, Greg Brandeau, Emily Truelove & Kent Lineback, Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014) The Introduction to Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation calls for a different kind of leader who creates organizations both willing and able to innovate.  From that… Continue reading

Building New Strategies for Creative Excellence: Michael Porter vs. Chuck Porter

On Thursday evening, June 19, I had the privilege of presenting ideas for ‘building new strategies for creative excellence’ at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  The session grew out of a White Paper with the same title co-authored with my Berlin School of Creative Leadership colleague, Professor Paul Verdin.  Guiding both session and… Continue reading

‘The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success,’ by Rich Karlgaard (Wiley)

For Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes and writer of its “Innovation Rules” column, businesses able to create and sustain success do so by balancing attention and development of a strategic base, a hard edge and a soft edge.  Each of those edges is constituted, in turn, by five elements.  Historically, managers have tended to focus… Continue reading