Forbes: Indiana Jones: hero, archaeologist, and…innovation entrepreneur?

Just as the “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” movies tell the stories of ancient relics that give their handlers power, so, too, can innovation give companies great power and a sense of command. From failure to organization, the problem solving of the Indiana Jones character provides insight on business innovation.

In the first post of the series, Chris Cancialosi explains how the hero archaeologist discovers innovation. In the second post, Chris goes into the Indiana Jones-style innovation implementation process.

Forbes: Don’t Believe the Hype

Being the top dog in an industry can bring previously unknown rewards and accolades, but how close to the sun can you fly before your wings fail?

Many companies are guilty of the “Icarus trap” because they begin believing their own hype. This active inertia can lead to overconfidence and an insular perspective. As a result, many businesses lose focus and experience a loss of momentum and awareness. Rather than proactively planning, they revel in past successes.

In this article, Chris Cancialosi discusses active inertia and provides five tips for combating this potentially fatal flaw.

Five Ways To Change Your Company Culture

Free donuts can only accomplish so much. Sure, they’re tasty, and the sugar rush can help you make it through the next 30 minutes, but are they really boosting company culture or just your blood sugar?

If you want to see a real difference in your company, you don’t have to wait for your CEO or department head to introduce the next great idea. You have the power to initiate changes to boost your fellow employees’ motivation and your company’s bottom line.

In this BrazenCareerist article, Chris Cancialosi describes how you can take the reins and trade the dull donuts for a chance to truly revolutionize your company’s culture.

Forbes: Why Pivoting Shouldn’t Influence Your Company’s Core Values

How invested are you in your company’s core values? While some businesses might switch their values at the drop of a hat if it means more revenue, those that maintain consistent values ultimately benefit from their dedication to a vision.

The marketplace can, however, demand that businesses develop interim values to address possible shifts. Your business needs to have the ability to reinvent itself for new audiences, but this process should still retain that adherence to your core values and vision. Interim values may come and go, but consistently communicating what you stand for should always be a top priority.

In this article, Chris Cancialosi discusses how to make and your core values congruent so your brand’s vision isn’t compromised.

Forbes: Today’s Leaders Must Learn To Thrive In Disequilibrium

Many self-help programs try to help you achieve a state of equilibrium. You can align your chakra. You can balance your chi. You can even achieve inner peace. But what does all this equilibrium do for your business?

Businesses that try to achieve equilibrium have become our modern dinosaurs. Technology and customer preferences are evolving so rapidly that the only means to success is constant adaptation. By adopting a policy of disequilibrium, businesses can thrive by embracing this flux.

In this article , Chris Cancialosi discusses the importance of disequilibrium and how it can benefit your business’s ability to grow and adapt.

Why Your Company Needs A Leadership Brand

What’s in a name? Your company’s reputation means far more than just free publicity — it’s the factor that sets you apart from the competition and defines you as an industry leader.

Most people think a company’s success depends on creating a unique product and generating lots of sales, but truly successful businesses develop their employees into their industry’s future leaders. By establishing a strong leadership brand, you can distinguish your company’s promise and work to fulfill that promise in every aspect of your business.

In this LinkedIn article, Chris Cancialosi describes what leadership branding is and gives tips on how to strengthen your company’s reputation.

Forbes: The Dark Side Of Bonus And Incentive Program

The VA debacle that’s dominating the news unfortunately highlights a disjointed and inefficient system meant to help our veterans. What caused such a divide between what the organization was intended to provide and what it actually offered?

Many signs point to unethical and disorganized bonus and incentive systems. Something that began as a way to encourage efficiency and customer service became corrupt, leading to many employees gaming the system.

In this article, Chris Cancialosi examines the VA scandal and explores the potentially dark implications of bonus and incentive programs for all businesses.

Forbes: Time to Break Business Tradition?

Tradition is safe, it’s easy, and it brought your business success in the first place. But the urge to uphold existing business methods can be detrimental to your company’s growth if you’re not mindful of changes in the industry.

For your company to pursue growth and innovation, you must be open to adopting new practices and be able to determine which methods are no longer valuable or need improvement.

In this Forbes article, Chris Cancialosi outlines how your company can break tradition and ultimately improve your bottom line.

CEO Succession Planning: What Target Should Have Known

In any corporation, big changes are bound to happen — including the loss of leadership. To avoid chaos, you need to have a backup plan. Take Target, for example. The corporation continues to flounder with the departure of its CEO amidst a massive customer data breach and lackluster performance in Canada. Until a new leader is appointed, current Target executives are attempting to navigate the situation, but this plan (or lack thereof) will undoubtedly make it harder to drive focus and alignment across the organization.

In this latest LinkedIn article, Chris discusses the lessons you can learn from Target’s CEO stepping down and why it’s so important to have a succession plan.

Designing Leadership Development for Organizational Impact

Data. Metrics. Impact. Evaluation.

These key words are only becoming more dominant in organizational life as we have increased our capacity to collect, process and analyze larger amounts of data. But what are we really measuring? Often times, when we think about program evaluation, especially leadership development programs, we ask people if they liked the program and if they learned something useful and call it a day. What we forget is that just liking a program or learning something does not always translate into organizational impact.

And in fact, participants might even say they didn’t like a particular experience, but at the same time, it was one of the most transformative experiences that they have ever had. Additionally, when we think about impactful learning, we often think about the importance of inducing a bit of “productive discomfort” in the participant as a means of creating a transformational learning experience. This also might not be ranked so highly on the smiley scale. Clearly, measuring impact is important, but measuring impact only from participants’ on-the-spot evaluations falls short.

Just as connection to mission, intentionality, and advanced stakeholder alignment are crucial to designing and evaluating any initiative, they are also critical when designing and evaluating leadership development initiatives in a way that has a clear, measurable impact. Thus, it is crucial to intentionally engage all of the key stakeholders early in the process of designing the leadership development program and create metrics of success together.

As key stakeholders, participants should also be included in the process of designing metrics because they will be the ones doing the learning. Additionally, if they understand and are involved in designing their own goals for the leadership development experience it will be that much more powerful.

And of course, these metrics of success should be tied to organizational mission or bottom line results, or else why is the organization spending resources on it? For example, one measure of impact could be that at least 90% of participants will receive higher rankings from their direct reports in their next 6-month 360 in a pre-determined aspect of leadership that has been deemed crucial to organizational success (tied to mission or bottom line).

Knowing and agreeing upon these metrics from the beginning creates more opportunity for having broader organizational impact because the starting point of reference is grounded in organizational impact rather than creating a positive individual experience. While measuring organizational impact of leadership development initiatives might be more of an art than a science, this challenge is no excuse not to try to think in terms of impact and metrics.