Before the holiday, Matt Damon was quoted saying “the system is rigged.” Immediately, I felt horrible. If the world is against this handsome, famous millionaire, what hope does a business hobbit like me have?
It’s not the first time I’ve heard this feel-bad, defeatist mantra. It was a cornerstone of the 99% protests and famously reiterated by Elizabeth Warren, now Senator Warren. (And brilliantly rebutted by Adam Carolla). On the right, an anarchist flavor of the same pessimism is brewing. Conspiracy ringleaders like Alex Jones are quietly mobilizing an angry, disenfranchised army. In uncertain times, it’s easy to succumb to paranoid defeatism. Why? Because it excuses failure. It de-stigmatizes the shame of not trying. It justifies hating the other guy’s success or telling those with nothing to fend for themselves.
Let’s say the system is rigged and everything is a conspiracy. Now what? Do you keep stocking your bunker with guns, canned goods, and homemade jerky? Or, sleep until noon on mom’s couch, then rail online against your oppressors – in your underwear? Instead you can focus on the incredible list of things you can control. In fact, the only time better and more empowering than today is tomorrow. The real revolution already started, but an entire generation of young and able-bodied Americans is about to miss it. Here is their recipe for The Great Unrigging – and to never accepting excuses again.
At first, it was funny to hear insurers, IT firms, and startups with no revenues compare themselves to Apple. Since the iPod launched in 2001, I’ve seen hundreds of presentations that liberally use “learnings” from Apple. 1) The word is LESSONS, not “learnings”, my Hillbilly friend. 2) The comparison feels as fresh as that Michael Jackson impression your spouse has been doing since you started dating. 3) Drenching slides (or products) in an iconic brand’s juices won’t transmit innovation, like some benevolent plague. If that were possible, we’d never stop harvesting and packaging Brangelina extract. It’s time for an intervention. Here’s why brands must find their own voice (and scent)…and keep those synthetic Apple fumes from turning into laughing gas.
This is a repost of Steve Faktor’s original article on Forbes.
In a way, innovation is like sex: those talking about it most are probably doing it the least. Before founding IdeaFaktory, I’ve had the privilege (and collateral hair loss) of innovating at top Fortune 100 firms, where ‘talk’ was unavoidable. So I decided to codify my lessons as The 4C’s of Innovation(TM). These are: context, creativity, capabilities, and most importantly, culture. Any innovation worth doing demands cultural change. But who will lead that change? And who will reject it? Why does the same ra-ra event move some employees to tears, but lands like the Hindenburg with others? No need to hire an army of psychologists to electroshock your workforce for answers. Unlike fluffier lists of people to hire, I’ve profiled the nine kinds of people in your company now who will make or break any innovation or change initiative. (For more on culture change, also check out my new podcast with this week’s guest Stan Slap.)
The 9 Corporate Personality Types and How to Inspire Them to Innovate. I’m excited to welcome Stan Slap to the podcast. Stan is the Chief Executive Officer of slap, the international consulting company renowned for achieving maximum commitment in manager, employee and customer cultures. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Bury My Heart at Conference Room B. Listen in as we discuss what keeps companies from innovating and how to get emotional commitment from management in a way that won’t make everyone cry or watch Dr. Phil.