I was in Denver last week, speaking to senior business leaders who are on the board of directors of various public and private companies.
My job that night was to teach them the latest methods for leading innovation. However as I spoke to people during the cocktail hour before the event I became VERY UNSURE how it would go.
I was unsure because I perceived a very low level of understanding on innovation best practices among the board of director members.
Entering the stage - I thought of Dr. Deming - my opening words were delivered with empathy… “How could you know. “How could you know how much faster and less risky Innovation is today. Tonight myself, the host and my fellow speaker will seek to begin your education process.”
I had been very SURPRISED at their lack of understanding before the event. However I was SHOCKED during the event at their passion for learning.
In 40 years of presenting to audiences I’ve rarely felt an audience listening so intently. They really, really wanted to learn. Their questions showed depth of understanding and genuine curiosity.
OVERALL - the experience left me encouraged and more committed than ever to teach, teach, and teach some more.
So here’s some advice to all of you who are fighting the good fight to educate your co-workers, bosses and yes board of directors - never, ever, ever give up. Keep educating. How could they know that their was any other way.
In Denver I had an easy way to help this group. The organization has advance reader copies of my new book that comes out this fall. I held it up and explained - read and learn because as my friends in Louisiana say - Innovation Is No Longer Optional.
Three people at the event are attending our Innovation Engineering Quick Start course in Cincinnati June 5 and 6. To learn more about it click here