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Stanford Prof. Tina Seelig discusses how motivation and experimentation are essential for creativity. She also shows how true problem-solvers and entrepreneurs utilize whatever is within reach to overcome obstacles, and then quickly prototype, rather than let challenges stand in the way of a solution.
Publisher and entrepreneur Tim O’Reilly offers insights and inspirations that have influenced the successful growth of his business. O’Reilly also challenges companies to think in terms of the kinds of transformations and results they can help customers achieve.
Skybox Imaging Co-Founder Ching-Yu Hu eloquently talks about the challenges of trying to scale culture in a growing organization. Hu also touches on how the company aims to bring a Silicon Valley, agile approach to satellite development that differs from traditional aerospace companies.
Palantir Co-Founder Stephen Cohen articulates how to approach a deeper understanding between knowledge and data that is quantitative versus qualitative in nature. Recognizing the depth and subtlety of the qualitative domain, in contrast to what is precisely definable, says Cohen, provides scientists and entrepreneurs with a new and valuable perspective on solving problems.
Enterprise business buyers fundamentally demand choice, says Cindy Padnos, managing partner of Illuminate Ventures. According to Padnos, this insight, along with thorough data, support her firm’s passion for focusing on investments in enterprise software and cloud computing, instead of in the consumer internet space.
Believing that we are exiting the “dark ages of computing,” investor and entrepreneur John Lilly issues a challenge to technology entrepreneurs in this era of chaos: What will you create in the white space of opportunity that lies ahead?
It’s better for a CEO to describe success than to prescribe the exact methods employees must use to achieve it. This is done, says Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig, by establishing a company vision and sharing it often with employees. He advises to not think in terms of business models, but rather to reframe the questions to ensure your company is thinking big enough. Then, hire people willing to be part of a team that will be integral to this vision.
Both the enterprise and the end users are better served by a culture that revolves around rewarding great ideas, rather than the self-promotion of getting others to acknowledge the contributions of an individual. Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products & User Experience at Google, believes that if you fill a room with smart people and give them access to information, brilliant ideas will flourish, and the need for a strict management hierarchy dissolves. A platform for the free-form sharing of ideas promotes an open culture and a flat organization.
We already know empathy makes relationships rich, but more and more it is becoming recognized as a relevant lens to look through to help us be creative and get to better quality solutions and innovations. In this excellent YouTube video, philosopher Roman Krznaric explores how to become a more empathic adventurer.
Author Guy Kawasaki suggests teams conduct a “pre-mortem” before launching a product. This technique allows teams to discover possible problems, or ways the launch could fail, while there is still time to make adjustments. Kawasaki explains this method is far more helpful, and far less contentious, than postmortem meetings that come too late to help.
Sue Siegel, CEO of GE healthymagination, offers a thoughtful list of values for properly setting team expectations and interactions. While these ideas may seem obvious at first glance, says Siegel, a commitment to these values imbues teams with the cohesiveness and integrity needed to build a high-quality culture.
Rather than trickling new innovations from the edge to the core, is it possible, rather, for the edge to dominate? The creative thinking of John Seely Brown, Deloitte Center for the Edge Independent Co-Chairman and former Chief Scientist of Xerox PARC, seeks to bring this flavor of creative thinking to the corporate world. He cites, as example, conservative business software solutions company SAP, and its internal transformation through a thriving social development network.
NVIDIA started as the first consumer 3D graphics company in 1993 and met over 200 competitors in a few years, reports its co-founder Jensen Huang. Yet today the company is the only remaining player in that sector, despite the deep pockets and global spread of others who possessed quality talent and technology. Huang attributes a pursuit of insatiable technology, despite the price, that delivered even more than the customer requested or needed, for their decades-long market endurance.
CEOs that freeze in decision making quickly cause politics in their teams, says venture capitalist Peter Fenton. Here Fenton talks with Polyvore CEO Jess Lee about the need for leaders to make timely decisions to provide necessary direction and the dangers of CEO inaction.
Noam Wasserman, of Harvard Business School, explains how he came to focus on trying to understand why high potential startups commonly fail. According to Wasserman, while a certain percentage of these ventures succumb to issues of product or market fit, the vast majority meet their end due to people problems.