Sunday, April 9th, 2017


The demand for large company innovation is here again. It does come and go as with different  two pressures–a tightening market and economy or optimism combined with need for the new to compete. I used to do lots of keynote speaking and training on innovation and the creative  process.

It is actually highly skill based but needs the ooomph and discipline to support develop it in large organizations.

Here are some of facts about early adapter CEO’s as researched by

business+strategy and written up by David Clarke.

—They embrace novelty and take pride in being ahead of the game

—They’re willing to be guinea pigs

—They are taste makers

—They lose interest quickly

—They are fundamentally optimistic about the future

The rationale for the need to become an early adapter CEO is, as Clarke says, that the price that early adopters were willing to pay was a multiple of what the product would cost once it hit critical market adoption.

I like this kind of talk. It energizes me. And I hesitate. I’ve worked with CEO’s obsessed with innovation and I’ve worked with the determinedly prudent CEO. I wonder if the CEO is the early adapter or is it  the mavericks or company culture who push innovation. I see the CEO managing the pace and strategic content of innovation and demanding new ideas from the company–whole company. A balancing, choke is needed.

Then again, Virgin Galactic has already taken $250,000 as deposits from 700  people for trips to space. Check your reaction to that statement. It may reveal your blind spot about your early
adapter muscle. Do you immediately get interested or do you immediately dismiss it as too bleeding edge? I would certainly have Boards assess their CEO’s (you) on this dimension.


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