Fresh beginnings. New ideas. Fuel the innovation engine. In October, I started the Thriving at the Crossroads podcast. From an outsiders viewpoint, let’s face it – ERP is not the most glamorous job out there in IT. When I tell people I work on ERP, often the question is “why?” On the surface, other areas of IT seem much trendier and provide better water cooler conversation. But I recognize that the beauty of working on ERP is having real business problems to solve, and knowing we have to keep up with the speed of business. And seeing innovation after innovation by the companies disrupting industries and solving seemingly intractable problems.
I’m 8 episodes in to the podcast – and my brain is stretching in ways I could never have anticipated when I started. How about you – what have you found most interesting so far from the podcast guests? Has it challenged your thoughts on what is possible?
As I wrapped up 2016, I reflected on the previous year to see what I’ve learned. (For you listeners, each recorded podcast is available.) And, in order for me to know my guests better, we have conversations before and after the recorded portions. It is here where I glean many more observations that don’t make it to the recordings.
As I reflect on the common traits of my interview guests, I see themes and threads emerging. How many of these behaviors are you adopting?
- Innovators leverage the power of networking and connections
All of us claim to understand the importance of networking. But how much of a concerted effort do you make throughout the year? Many of us attend the same conferences year after year. And we may think, “oh, it’s many of the same people there, not worth my time.” Or even worse, we attend those conferences never bothering to ask questions to get to know our usual industry suspects better. My guests take the exact opposite approach. It is those same attendees year after year that allow you to build deep connections. When you have your innovative ideas, it is often THIS group to rely on for the first customers, funding and knowledge needed over time.
2. While the devil is in the details, strategic communication is required
In business and technology, it is often tempting to dive straight into the details of the problem, without an overall ability to explain the challenges in simple language others can understand. It can be particularly challenging in technology where acronyms seem to multiply faster than rabbits.
3. Humble, Hungry and Smart leaders will shape the companies of tomorrow through the teams they build
Have you read Patrick Lencioni’s book the ideal team player? All my guests have embodied the characteristics Patrick describes. These leaders understand they are not playing in a one man band, but assemble great teams to challenge the most difficult problems.
4. Passion for problem solving coupled with deep industry knowledge brings truly disruptive solutions
None of our podcast guests simply chose a new industry and decided THAT was the one where they would innovate. All established themselves in their respective industries over time. THEN they created their product to solve problems.
5. Resilience and agility are necessary to get through the inevitable set backs that occur.
How well do you handle setbacks? Do you give up at the first sign of challenges, or dig deeper and re-group? Listen to their stories with these ears and you might find something different.
Want to hear the full re-cap? Listen in to Episode 9 of Thriving at the Crossroads.
Thank you so much to the first 8 podcast guests- all are listed here with links to their episodes so you can listen in- what will you learn from these innovators to use in 2017?