tasty morsels of goodness on open platforms, developer relations and motherhood 2.0

Sunday, October 15, 2006

fostering innovation at Motorola

"Risk-taking does not just mean placing big strategic bets with long-term pay-offs ... Success turns just as much on the willingness of people throughout a company to take all the little risks that add up to good execution ... That sort of atmosphere is hard to achieve unless the boss takes it seriously - and unless everyone in the company knows that the rules really have changed."
innovation is impossible without risk. this recent article from The Economist about Motorola's CEO, Ed Zander, highlights the leadership that is required when trying to encourage risk-taking at big, established companies, esp. one that has stumbled and experienced a dent in their confidence. it involves a simple message heard straight from the top: when you take risks, you're going to make mistakes. mistakes are OK. not taking risks is the biggest mistake you can make in today's global economy.

Zander took over in January 2004, with an established market leader (Nokia) that had surpassed it back in 1998. inspiring corporate confidence and a willingness to take smart risks means making sure your people don't learn the wrong lesson from a big bet that failed, in this case Motorola's Iridium satellite project - that also happened, perhaps not coincidentally, in 1998.

final pearl of wisdom (you need a subscription to view Economist articles online, hence so many quotes):
"(Zander's) new corporate culture has also filtered through to the company's hiring, where more emphasis is now placed on people skills, rather than just technical ability. After all, when innovation involves complex interactions between many internal teams and outside partners - as it does at Motorola - the ability to communicate is prized."


Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:43 PM

Blogger Raghu said...

You can watch Ed Zander's video in Kellog School at my blog


-Raghu Raman

9:36 AM


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