There are two essential keys to success in global business today that will determine if you emerge bloody and battered  or ready for the next epic battle: 1) Cash is king and how you, as Commander, manage that cash will determine your ability to live to fight another day. However, if you do not strategically develop products and services that will enable you to consistently triumph over the competition, you will find yourself overtaken    2) If cash is king, then innovation equates to the arsenal of weapons used to protect the castle walls and conquer new territories. Without innovation you can not conquer your enemy or protect your kingdom.  If you, as Commander of all the armies within your domain, are responsible for ensuring strategic battle-plans are executed successfully,  you must leverage the best artillery you have available – including yourself… especially yourself.

As Commander, you are prepared to go forth and conquer everyday operations, selectively forget past triumphs, and boldly and strategically go forth into uncharted territories. In doing so, do you fully comprehend what it will require of you, personally, in order to fight successfully on all three battlefields and emerge triumphant in a war that is constantly evolving – a moving target? What is it that separates the good commanders from the great? What kind of leader does it take to mandate continuous, aggressive innovation on an ongoing basis?

Who has mastered the art of war, successfully engaging innovation as a strategic weapon to consistently emerge victorious?   Steve Jobs, Lou Gerstner, John Chambers, Richard Branson, Larry Page/Sergey Brin, or perhaps Mark Zuckerberg…all of these commanders have some distinct characteristics we can look to for guidance. If we observe behaviors, what we find is that strong commanders that embrace the role of innovation consistently:

  1. Embody Energy & Drive
  2. Display Courage & Focus
  3. Possess Mental Clarity
  4. Create Demand
  5. Seek & Drive Change
  6. Develop Dreams
  7. Engage & Deliver
  8. Value Accountability
  9. Intuitively Understand Customer Needs/Wants
  10. Embrace & Use Failure As A Springboard To Success

But how do you, as Commander, agressively drive innovation both internally and externally? Because you are the weapon of choice and will ultimately have a great impact both in the midst of ongoing battles, as well as on the outcome of the war, it is critical for you to embrace the fact that innovation will substantially drive outcomes. Ask yourself some interesting questions as you evaluate your commitment to innovation:

Within your arsenal of weapons lies innovation – too big, and too formidable, for any enemy to conquer if the Commander (you) chooses to leverage the competitive advantage within. How far will you go to ensure you are not the weak link in your companies ability to innovate?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how you mind the innovation gaps in your organization. Please feel free to contact me at or by visiting our website at Check back next week for the next installment of the Mind The Gap series.

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