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Strategic Thinking

Creativity+ Innovation = Game Change!

Steve Jobs was the Henry Ford of his time. Henry did not invent the automobile. He turned automotive transportation into an affordable consumer product. Steve did not invent the computer, the phone or the tablet. He turned these devices into affordable consumer products.  The car and the modern computer interface came from the creative minds of other people but were commercialized by creative innovators Ford and Jobs.

Creativity is the development of a novel idea that has value (de Bono 2011, Amiable 1996, 2004; Sternberg 1999). Being creative in a leadership sense is the capacity to see and think differently than most. But, “being creative is not enough!” 

Strategic Leadership: Key Definitions

At the center of anything strategic is a purpose that needs to be fostered, enhanced, or nurtured. So, when you hear the word strategic think purpose, priorities, strategies and the tactics you use to achieve your purpose.

What Makes these Events Creative?

Observation #1
I was standing in the lobby of the Europa Hotel in Belfast waiting for a colleague to go to dinner.  Singles, pairs and groups of young men and women rushed into the lobby and asked where was the White Collar Boxing taking place.  The doorman said on the first floor,  After observing this scene for a few minutes I asked the doorman what is white collar boxing and why were all these people rushing to participate.  After all I had been at the hotel for 4 days and had not seen this many people in the lobby before.  He explained that white collar means managers, lawyers, directors of companies where donating their talent to box each other for charity,  He surmised that some of the people rushing in where coming to see their boss take a beating.   

The Master SLer Steps Down!

Steve Jobs

The Master SLer steps down!  Steve Jobs says his health no longer allows him to fulfill his duties. He is the man who was a role model of:

1. Persistence and learning from mistakes – the Newton – Lisa. The newton turned into I Phone; Lisa turned into the Macintosh;

2. Commitment to values – ease of use and cool design – closed sourcing –

3. Resilience – forced out of Apple, he founded Next computer – returned to Apple and took it to greater heights.

4. Branding and Image - The Black Mock Turtle – The well worn blue jeans - The annual presentation of products we couldn’t do without. — The image, voice and soul of Apple.  A Rock Star

We are in the Weeds!

uuA few days ago, some the STQ Online Team (John, Lin, Gianni) shared a pizza at a local pizzeria.  The waiter came over and asked “how are you!”  I responded in my customary appreciative inquiry mode - “great and you?”  He answered, we are in the weeds. Thinking the worst, I aked, “what does that mean?” He said its restaurant talk for “we are busy.”

You Don’t Have To Change!

  • Mohammad Ilyas, Guest Blogger 

  • No, you don’t have to change!  But don’t expect the world to stop Changing! In fact, by all indicators, the pace of change in the world around us is becoming faster and faster. Here are few eye-opening projections from a YouTube video “shift happens.” This six-minute video beautifully describes the dynamics of the changes that our world is going through. It provides glimpses of powerful technology trends, global competitive environment, and the challenges that next generations are expected to face. There is no way that old approaches (and mindset) will provide effective solutions to these challenges. Here are a few relevant highlights from this video: 

The Million Doller Idea

Sherry Andre
Assistant Professor

Johnson & Wales University
Guest Blogger

With the New Year right around the corner, it is pretty safe to say many people will be creating a list of New Year’s resolutions. However, the reality is most people will never accomplish what they set out to achieve. Is it because their idea or plan is flawed? Probably not. Instead, it is much more likely to be the result of a failed attempt at execution, similar to a well defined strategy that fails to reach fruition due to implementation failure.

Do you think you are the exception? I don’t know. If you’re reading this maybe you are, but regardless I ask you to consider the following. I’ve heard we are exposed to at least one $1 million idea every day, but most, in fact almost all of us fail to do anything with those ideas. In a world so obsessed with money and material objects, this sounds a bit contradictory.

How I Missed the Future!

John PisapiaTwo years ago I entered my classroom and a student asked if her baby sister, a twenty two year old undergraduate student at the University of Florida (UF), could sit in the back of the room. Her reason for this request was that it was a holiday weekend and many public spaces on campus were closed.  She explained that her sister who was on break from UF would be attending a family function after class as a surprise guest.  So she needed to hide out for awhile. I said no problem; she could hide in my class since some of my own students were also hiding out; and I began class.

Watermelon, Zucchini, Keystones, & Strategic Leadership

WatermelonIn The Strategic Leader, I suggest that leaders are responsible to create the conditions by which individuals and organizations can flourish.  Consider these two examples.  

Years ago, the central common bond among my executive team was a love of farming. Having come from a non farming childhood, I had difficulty being accepted into the group on any basis except competence.  I set out to hone my farming instincts and not only participated in hay baling, castrating bulls, and butchering pigs but started gardening.  I got a bunch of books on the subject and set out my plants, and watered as directed in a small space in my yard.  Lo and behold, I soon had giant watermelons, corn as high as the sky and more tomatoes and zucchini than I could eat in two years. 

Blindspots and Fenderbenders

Blind Spots and Fenderbenders

Jennifer Freeland - Guest Blogger -

 The back cover page of the New York Times Magazine, April 4, 2010, displayed an advertisement for the Acura MDX Advance. Normally, I wouldn’t pay any attention to a car ad because I’m not in the market.  This ad was different. The small black dot on the upper left center of the page looked out of place. I wondered why it was there.
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