Musings and Writings

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I publish most of my writing on Forbes:

What’s Your Innovation IQ?

The most successful organizations (companies or teams) create breathtaking products we all love by having an environment where innovation thrives. These organizations have built a culture that encourages generating and pursuing new ideas and rewards experimenting with new approaches. The results are unmatched value for […]


Excellence, a word we use every day and a state we are always striving to achieve, is not a very well understood concept. There is surprisingly little research and science behind what excellence is and what drives it. With the exception of the vast number […]

Is Your Company Primed For Innovation?

Does your corporate culture support or hinder innovation? Most companies have no idea.

Worse yet, many companies who invest in innovation often face a scarier problem: they believe the investments they are making—such as increasing R&D budgets or creating an innovation department or appointing an innovation […]

Why Companies Lose Their Best Innovators

Corporations fail to innovate because they lose their most innovative talent. Internal innovators, the people most likely to create new value, find themselves leaving the company they work for to start their own ventures, often creating vast amounts of customer and shareholder value. This value […]

The Myth of the Solo Superstar

The most exceptional individuals, those whom we personally know and those known to the world, never achieve their brilliance by themselves. Sure, they are immensely talented, but the outsized success of exceptional individuals in every field-be it Roger Federer or Usain Bolt or Thomas Edison […]

Creating The Most Innovative Company In The World

How can you make your company the most innovative in the world? Is it even possible? Can your company become more innovative than the ones you admire most? No matter who you are, what industry you are in, whatever potential disruptors may be out there, […]

The Best Innovations Are A Cluster

Many people consider the wheel as one of the great innovations in history. Introduced over 3,000 years ago the wheel enabled the earliest information and commerce highway. The invention of the wheel closed distances and led to unity and collaboration, but also war and destruction.

When […]

The First Step Towards Becoming Exceptional

It was a hot, sweltering triple-digit day in in early July. They were crammed into a tight conference room in a cheap motel just outside Phoenix for their first meeting. As uncomfortable as the surroundings were, this group of about 40 wide-eyed young men […]

The Four Attributes That Will Win The Masters

Eighty-seven of the world’s finest golfers will tee it up this week with hopes to win the Masters Tournament, golf’s grandest stage. These players represent the past, present and future of the game. And while no one knows who will be victorious on Sunday […]

Why Your Innovation Initiative Will Fail

Every company knows the importance of innovation. Everyone knows that without innovation you are headed to irrelevance. As a result, every company tries to innovate in the best way it can. Companies invest in innovation officers and teams, who are charged with creating new […]

How To Turn an Innovation Failure Into Success

Most people realize that failure is necessary for innovation, and failure in innovation is expected. In fact, failure is something increasingly celebrated. Companies around the world now talk about “wearing failure as a badge of honor.”

But should companies really celebrate failure? Do these companies […]

For Big Innovation, Think Small

Organizations trying to innovate are wired to think big. They want to make a big impact, set big goals, and talk about big plans and big successes. No one is interested in anything that appears small. At first blush, this makes sense: in order […]

The #1 Reason Innovation Efforts Fail

Despite the countless books and articles written about innovation, we don’t have a good understanding about what drives innovation within organizations. Instead, we have multiple, often conflicting, theories about what makes innovation happen. We follow the one that resonates best with us or is […]

The Exceptionals

Being exceptional is special. We have all been amazed by the achievements of a special set of incredibly gifted and talented individuals. In every field there are people who have achieved a rare and elite status. Their talents and accomplishments are admired and envied and emulated, all at […]

It’s not all about Grit

Most of my research recently has been around what makes certain individuals exceptional. What makes a very small subset of people achieve a rare and elite level of excellence in their field. They may be athletes who are household names, or people you have never […]