Careless use of language can derail a company's innovation programs, warns H. James Wilson. Overenthusiastic metaphors and hyperbole too often substitute for hard data and clear strategic thinking, Wilson writes, so save the florid language for sales pitches, and try to use simple, easy-to-quantify language when describing a new idea's implications to your colleagues.
The most-traveled road to the CEO's office used to be via marketing, but now it's through finance, according to a recent study of CEOs in the U.S. and Europe. The time it takes to reach the top is falling, from 28 years in 1980 to 24 in 2001. And in America, the tenure in the CEO seat is longer.
Leaders don't become great until they've failed, according to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, author and professor at the Yale School of Management. "Failure empowers leaders to do things differently. It gives them courage to be independent thinkers," he says and explains some ways to deal with failure when it happens.
When you take on too many projects, you run the risk of spreading resources too thin and rewarding efforts rather than results. You can achieve more when you focus, set priorities and manage accountability. This piece explains how.
A virtual customer experience may be the boost you need to get innovative ideas to the table. This MIT Sloan piece looks at experiences from six leading corporations and explains how they managed their customer relationships -- and gained beneficial, novel ideas.