strategic, counter-intuitive, and innovative intention of being hit as much as possible as a prelude to him
conquering his opponent. 4
See Further Than Most
The opponent we seek to conquer today, as leaders, is the mundane, the ordinary, the slide-backwards,
the ‘good’ that prevents our organizations from becoming great. That is what this chapter is about.
If Isaac Newton saw “further than most” it was, according to him, because he stood on the “shoulders of
giants.” Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, in his article, The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators, 5
identifies “Social Capital” as one of the five characteristics. In writing about social capital, Chamorro-Premuzic says, “innovators use their connections and networks to mobilize resources,” in pursuit of
change. The insights here were possible because I ‘stood on the shoulders’ of my network and mobilized
my resources in order to see further than most. It was a three-step process:
1. I built a cohort of 113 people that I consider innovative thinkers and leaders. These individuals are
the giants upon whose shoulders I wrote this chapter.
2. I asked my cohort: What is the single most 'effective strategy' or 'stylistic characteristic' you have
used, implemented, or modeled to nudge, foster, or create a culture ofinnovation in your
3. I massaged their feedback into what I hope is a coherent thought-piece. What follows is their
collective insight: the voice of accountants, educators, diplomats, entrepreneurs, lawyers, chefs,
yogis, bankers, a Rabbi, and others.
On the topic of ‘getting good ideas from people,’ here’s three quick take-aways:
Do not waste time on unstructured brainstorming—the results are in: Brainstorming, as it
traditionally is structured, is useless and counterproductive (read the research) 6. This does not
mean that group-thinking activities and protocols cannot be incredibly effective; they can and are.
Do not allow unaccountable devil’s advocates7 to kill your teams and the good thinking that teams
generate (especially during the early stages of ideation). Instead, expel the selfishly destructive
devil’s advocate, and plant or assign a collaborative out-of-the-box thinker on every team.
Instruct all your teams to build a process (after the ideation phase) for identifying and building
responses for all PPFs (possible-points-of-failure).