Meet a need and innovate

“Innovation is meeting an unmet need,” was an insight by James Kimmel, co-founder and CEO of  Epic Seats when I interviewed him last week for my upcoming book on innovation leadership.  Ever since our conversation I’ve been assessing everything through the lens of “a need being met… or not” seahawks tixand it’s fascinating how the world begins to open up in an exciting way.

James told me how Epic Seats got started by recognizing an unmet need for “consignment” tickets to sports events.  It was actually an unintended consequence of another business idea James and his buddy Scott were starting. They originally thought they’d be in the business of organizing trips for football fans to go to games all around the country. Their first trip was to a game in Ann Arbor, MI in 2002. Unfortunately, it turned out that several people canceled and the guys were left with extra tickets in their hands. When James and Scott decided to sell the leftover tickets on eBay, they realized there was a sweet, untapped opportunity to re-sell unused tickets.

Epic Seats is now an established 12-year old industry leader with a solid track record of outstanding service. They are also known for the supportive and fun company culture where people want to work so badly that they even take pay cuts to work there. It was brilliant how the two young football fans observed the need in the market place and put their smarts to fulfill that need.

This made me wonder what kinds of needs that nobody is fulfilling or that could be done better am I passing by or ignoring in my daily life?Whoever realized there is a need for cappuccino or a latte to go? Whoever realized people would buy toilet paper on a roll? When was it that paying for things on the internet become normal?

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Thank you, Satya Nadella! Leadership Lessons from CEO of Microsoft and Pope Francis

Last October, when the Karma-gate exploded at the annual Grace Hopper conference, it was a true blessing for women in corporations everywhere! It was as if two world-class leaders who are passionate about making a difference and leaving a legacy of transformational innovation had staged a cosmic theater play for shifting the consciousness of corporate leaders everywhere.

President of Harvey-Mudd College, Maria Klawe is also one of the two women on board of Microsoft Corporation. This gives her unique access and powers to talk to important leaders like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who agreed to satya nadella and maria klawe at grace hopper oct 2014 Continue reading Thank you, Satya Nadella! Leadership Lessons from CEO of Microsoft and Pope Francis

What you value is where you spend your time and money

Even though time is an arbitrary, man-made construct, its significance in our lives is ever-present. As a child time passed by slowly.  It felt like it almost stood still when I was staring out of the window into the snow-glowing night on Christmas Eve and waiting for Santa to come by with the presents from his workshop in Lapland.  Sometimes I was holding my breath out of excitement so long that I almost fainted when he finally appeared.  As an adult trying to fit all the responsibilities into a day makes time evaporate in front of my eyes (yes, I’m watching the clock on my computer screen).  I still find myself holding my breath – but for a different reason: maybe by doing it, I can slow down time and get more done.tonttu 2014

In my leadership coaching and training of executives and managers we inevitably come to a place where  Continue reading What you value is where you spend your time and money

Ready for leadership? How To Strut Your Leadership Abilities The Right Way

Leadership continues to be a hot topic in the corporate world. Anyone wanting to brush their skills as a leader or learn to become a leader may take to the how-to world of books and suddenly find themselves overwhelmed by the more than 17,000 choices on the topic. These 17,000 different leadership books are a telltale sign that there is not any one clear answer on how to be a leader.

Studies, like James Kouzes & Barry Posner’s work, continue to show, however, that some key essentials factor into people’s willingness to follow a leader.  For some 30 years Kouzes and Posner have found that people – across countries, cultures, ethnicity, organizational hierarchies and functions, ages and levels of education – rate the same four qualities of a leader as the most important year after year.

Ready for leadership How To Strut Your Leadership Abilities The Right Way Continue reading Ready for leadership? How To Strut Your Leadership Abilities The Right Way

Do Women Have a Relationship Advantage In Business?

A study by Pepperdine University shows that women leaders in top positions continue to break industry records in terms of profitability and productivity. While more women than ever are obtaining professional degrees like MBAs, we are still far from gender balance in leadership in America’s top corporations. Gender balance can be achieved when there is 40-60 percent of either gender.

Some (controversial) studies show that the ways female and male brains are wired are ideally complementary. According to this view, women are naturally wired to act, think and innovate in ways that men are not.Do Women Have a Relationship Advantage In Business

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Managing Great Leaders Into Leadership: Stepping Up From Management To Leadership

Managers are expected to lead their teams, take responsibility for fixing issues and even make sacrifices in order to create value and show “leadership”. What does it mean to show “leadership”, though? Leaders are not just managers, they manage and lead. While a manager deals with the practicalities of getting things done in the most efficient manner (or the what and the how), a leader communicates why the work must be done. Whereas managers plan and coordinate, leaders inspire and motivate.

A manager administers while a leader creates conditions for innovation; a manager focuses on systems and processes to maintain the structure of the organization while a leader focuses on developing the people in the organization. A manager often works on short-range tactics, while it’s the job of a good leader to focus on the long-range perspective in order to create sustainability and legacy. Managers are under increasing pressure to grow into leaders and be able to fulfill expectations for both their managerial and leadership duties at the same time. They are expected to continuously prove their credibility by staying current and competent – and also be visionaries who inspire by modeling the way with integrity.Managing Great Leaders Into Leadership Stepping Up From Management To Leadership

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