Eliminate Your Own Job

Eliminate Your Own Job

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for every job drops to zero. There are people and companies out there designing substitutes for what you do, and they are going to succeed at some point. The situation is ever more urgent because innovation cycles are getting shorter.

Read More

Recognizing Mediocrity and Rising Above It

Recognizing Mediocrity and Rising Above It

Most people have good ideas, but only a very small percentage of these ever sniff execution at all, much less participate meaningfully. This is because most management structures enable mediocrity by providing employees with boxes to check, grading them on that box-checking and then believing things are going great.

Read More

Staying Out of the Ivory Tower

Staying Out of the Ivory Tower

What happens to our favorite artists when they get popular? A lot of things do, but the reason they resonate less is that they’re in an ivory tower. The pains and struggles they sang about when they made their first few albums are gone. The unique perspective they drew upon to write in an original way no longer exists. They are different people. They still have problems and struggles, it’s just that now those are ivory tower problems; problems that are meaningless to you.

Read More

Cultivate Disruption

Cultivate Disruption

Human reflexes tell you to be rigid when you are pushed. They tell you to seize control and to settle things down. It is a reflex because it’s overwhelming if you are already busy with something (or several things). You are at capacity, can’t work another 60-hour week and besides, there is enough cool stuff in the pipeline already.

Read More

The Confidence to Disrupt

The Confidence to Disrupt

For ideas to become real, support from others is imperative. Disruptive innovations directly affect a number of stakeholders, in some cases across multiple companies. These stakeholders include not only executives and customers, but peers in other departments and frontline employees. All of these people care greatly for the continuity of their processes and outputs, and they are not going to support an idea that threatens to harm them. They need to see confidence to take on the change risk. 

Read More

Individual Contributors (Should) Make the Best Innovators

Individual Contributors (Should) Make the Best Innovators

How can a mid-market or big company be as good at quickly innovating as a great start-up? By putting more empowerment back in the hands of individual contributors. To understand why this works and how to achieve it, it’s important to understand the make up of start up employees. Start up employees are:

Read More