Leading the Innovation Charge!
To move your organization toward competitive heights, you must be a Change Leader Triathlete. Before I describe what I believe to be the organizational triathlete's characteristics, I thought I'd share "The 10 Things Not to Say to a Triathlete", courtesy of www.IRONMAN.com:
- "All you ever do is work out, don't you have a life?"
- "I could do a tri, I just don't have the time."
- "My cousin, sister, friend did an IRONMAN in an hour."
- "Triathletes are in love with themselves."
- "Tri looks boring. All you do is swim, bike and run."
- "I would have gone faster, but ____________."
- "So you can eat whatever you want then?"
- "I'm doing the Warrior Dash, Spartan Race and Tough Mudder."
- "Now that you're done with IRONMAN, what's next?"
- "I just want to finish."
The fact of the matter is, not unlike IRONMAN triathletes, Innovation Change Leaders are a rare and oftentimes misunderstood breed. Having an infinite appetite for raising the performance bar, these leaders drive with unparalleled passion and limitless endurance. The "best of the best" Innovation Change Leaders are lifetime devotees. Innovation fuels their imagination, energizes their spirit and feeds their soul. They live, breath, eat and dream innovation. Sparked by their insatiable curiosity, they invest their time in exploring the world of ideas and possibilities, championing the incremental to the unprecedented, and paving the way for game-changing solutions. They continuously conceptualize the "what could be's" while simultaneously breathing life into the newly imagined. I consider the following to be the "top 20" characteristics of the Change Leader Triathlete.
Change Leader Triathlete
Top 20 Characteristics
- Create today's unrest
- Paint a vivid tomorrow
- Honor endings and inspire beginnings
- Lead with integrity, values and respect
- Engage hearts and minds
- Detect both glimmers and swaths of opportunity
- Invent things that aren't and re-imagine things that already are
- Dynamically think and strategically act
- Embolden diversity
- Welcome risk and uncertainty
- Fearlessly push through conventional boundaries
- Sway the innovation pendulum from "why change" to "we must change"
- Speak passionately and powerfully both publically and privately
- Draw the goals-to-tactics connections
- Tap into vibrant networks of people
- Marshall the requisite resources
- Cultivate a spirit of unwavering drive and support
- Corral and inject energy, vitality and enthusiasm
- Equally celebrate the successes and failures
- Tirelessly invest in and advance the mission