My CEO client sent the following e-mail to his leadership team last week to prepare for this week’s retreat that I’ll lead. His e-mail is an example of terrific business model innovation leadership.
We will make mistakes as we go through this planning –this week and beyond. I’m more concerned about not making mistakes.
If we don’t make mistakes, it means we are taking no risks, we are content with the status quo and are defaulting to making a few minor changes here and there. We can’t do that.
The way I see it, that’s far riskier than making decisions and finding out that our best plans need to be adapted. Not making mistakes means choosing film over digital, slide rules over calculators, Northern Lights [bet you never heard of that] over Google.
As we think about what we plan this week and going forward, let’s be ready to make mistakes. I don’t want to make decisions that would compromise our values or undermine what makes us special nor do I want to make decisions that put the essence of the business at jeopardy. But we have to take risks.
So, let’s approach our plans with the idea we will do new things, test our ideas, find some successful, others that need to be adapted or dumped and keep trying.
Fearing “reasonable mistakes” is a huge mistake in this process.
Leadership is effective only if you have followers. Followers are looking for credibility (i.e., trustworthiness), inspiration and competency. After reading piles of leadership books, I distilled all I learned into 5 behaviors that leaders must demonstrate through their words and actions for potential followers see “leadership” and follow.
- Foster change and renewal
- Articulate and model the core values of the organization
- Enable others to achieve their full potential
- Instill a meaningful purpose and shared vision for the organization
- Maintain momentum
What do your actions, words and decisions say in terms of these five practices of business model innovation leadership? Are you a leader or a barrier to change?
For insight on business model innovation, read my recently released book, Beyond Price.
Fred H Schlegel says
Hi Kay, I like the way he’s put the need for risk in context. The idea that if we avoid making mistakes “we end up choosing film over digital….” is a great way of pointing out that avoiding mistakes creates even larger, corporate life endangering errors. Leaders often end up in situations where they don’t know what they don’t know, but creating an environment where experimentation and safety allow results (both good and bad) to percolate to the top creates a balanced view from which good decisions can be made. Your leadership points are dead on. Hope you’re having fun at the retreat!
.-= Fred H Schlegel´s last blog ..Open Innovation – Filing a non-patent =-.