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CEO Speak - Culture of Innovation


Welcome to the first episode of CEO SPEAK.

This series will be about the office of the Chief Executive Officer and how that position needs to evolve in the face of major changes in the world of business specifically and society in general. I would like to start by going over how dramatically the marketplace has changed and how we as the leaders have been remiss in recognizing the new environment and consequently changing along with it. Call 647-466-9717 or email

Maybe it’s human nature to see no evil, and to take comfort in the status quo. Power, after all is intoxicating and not many leaders are prepared to give it up or dilute it or even change it.

Changes have come in other aspects of life and leadership either forced by the market, by the shareholders or by the people.

Communism, dictatorships, and even democracies have undergone substantial change in their importance, structure and their leadership.

As far as industry is concerned we need only remember Enron and Arthur Andersen. Their actions certainly forced legislators, and shareholders to act and to demand more governance from boards. Some of the new regulations even put more direct responsibility on the CEO. But fundamentally that office still works day to day at its discretion.

We need to re define what leadership is, what it means in this new and changing environment and what the new paradigm requires from that office and the person in it. Otherwise it’s like changing the ship from a rowboat to an ocean liner and not looking at the qualifications and duties of the captain. Or better still to going from an ocean liner to an aircraft carrier and not looking at the captain’s day to day duties, responsibilities and his or her qualifications.

Unfortunately leaders do not self-regulate like many other professional groups, and it’s understandable why change is not volunteered. And why we’ve evolved to a point where the idea of the office is to some, more important than the responsibilities.

I want to share a few examples of why the way we do things that we’ve accepted as conventional wisdom are failing us. As a result, we are challenged with identifying a replacement for conventional wisdom. Because what is revolutionary today is mundane tomorrow and likewise what is conventional wisdom today is anachronistic tomorrow.