* Return to Newsletter Archives

* NOTE: Links in newsletter will open a new browser window. Close the browser window to return to this page.

September 2008

Welcome to your September newsletter! We certainly have some strange weather, gyrating stock markets, and a crazy political situation (at least here in the U.S.)! I hope you find some insights in this issue to help you creatively navigate through these troublesome times.

in this issue
  • Insightful Quotes
  • Innovation Summit - 2008
  • The System of Innovation
  • Successfully Leading Change
  • Eight Creative Talents Workshops

  • Innovation Summit - 2008

    Last fall, more than 30 leaders from global and German companies, such as T-Mobile, Henkel, Bayer, and Siemens, met in Cologne to discuss how to build a culture that supports innovation. The conversations forged new relationships among the participants and sparked many new ideas for creating a more innovative culture.

    The next Innovation Summit, organized by "innovation europe" and its strategic partners, is planned for October 30, 2008. I will be facilitating this year's topic: "What Does it Take to Lead for Innovation?"

    In this interactive session, set again in Cologne, we will be exploring innovation leadership challenges. We will also learn more about the impact of a versatile style on leading an organization for more innovative. Participants will have an opportunity to take a mini-version of the Leadership Versatility Index. (For more background on the LVI, please see the July and January, 2008, issues of this newsletter at www.breakthroughcreativity.com)

    The System of Innovation

    It is now very clear that innovation is not a management "fad du jour." Instead, innovation is viewed as vital for long-term success. However, building and maintaining a sustainably innovative organization continue to remain an elusive, although critical management challenge for most organizations. Why is building an innovative organization so difficult?

    I believe there are two root causes: One is that too few recommendations focus on the complete picture so advice can often be confusing. Is innovation about product development? Disruptive technology? Building external alliances? Customer centricity? Ambidextrous organizations? The second root cause is that leading for innovation is both a science and an art and requires diagnostics, tools, as well as all of the attributes of creative and effective leadership.

    Sorting through the literature and advice is not easy task. Based on my research and experience, I have identified four building blocks that in combination lead to sustainable innovation, which I define as an organization's ability to leverage the talents of its employees to create and successfully produce new and different results. Such results range from breakthroughs to incremental changes and improvements in products, services, business models, as well as operational and managerial processes. (See side column for Professor Teresa Amabile's comment on organizational innovation.)

    Successfully Leading Change

    A recent article in Harvard Business Review which I co-authored with Professor David Garvin provides valuable advice on cascading a change initiative down through all levels of the organization. "The Multi-Unit Enterprise" recommends several steps leaders can take to make sure their organization is successful at executing change initiatives and achieving expected benefits.

    A limited number of free copies of the article are still available:

    Eight Creative Talents Workshops

    While my consulting practice has expanded to embrace the issues of innovation and strategic leadership, creativity remains as the foundation of my practice. After all, it's the creative ideas of individuals, as Professor Amabile writes, that organizational innovation is built upon.

    I just delivered another well received workshop, this time to a group of design professionals, on the eight creative talents and how to make them work on a team. In addition to descriptions of this and similar workshops, my website contains several resources and tools for leaders and teams to help them be more creative, productive and effective!

    Insightful Quotes

    Harvard Business School Professor Teresa Amabile in 1988 wrote:

    "Creativity is the production of novel and useful ideas by an individual or group of individuals working together.

    "Innovation is built on creative ideas... Organizational innovation is the successful implementation of creative ideas within an organization."

    In Fortune Magazine, July 7, 2008:

    "The classic CEO needs to be right, or rather needs to appear to be right more than he needs to actually be right - and that's not Bill [Gates]," says his pal [Nathan] Myhrvold. "Lewis and Clark were lost most of the time. If your idea of exploration is to always know where you are and to be inside your zone of competence, you don't do wild new sh*t. You have to be confused, upset, think you're stupid. If you're not willing to do that, you can't go outside the box."

    Bette Davis wrote:

    "To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given the chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life."

    Lynne Levesque Consulting
    A global consultancy dedicated to accelerating the strategic and creative performance of leaders and their organizations -- in ways you've never seen before!

    Quick Links...

    Register Now

    Newsletter Archive

    About the book

    More About Us

    Join our mailing list!

    * Return to Newsletter Archives
    Copyright (c) Lynne C. Levesque. All rights in all media reserved.