I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my life. I’ve recently been working with larger companies to bring innovation into them but want to bring innovation into both large and small organizations. I have found that there are few differences–often only a few zeroes, actually, between small and large businesses.
Question: You speak of innovation and bringing innovation to companies. Can you expound on that idea?
Business leaders don’t know where to turn—the first place is the mirror. Ask some really hard questions such as whether you are breathing, whether you are growing. Get the right things in your business set up to succeed.
I think people and companies tend to lose their sense of discovery. They get caught up doing the same things with the same people. Look at Apple. It lost it for awhile and got it back. Kodak lost it for awhile and got it back. Always act like a new company—a growth company. Good athletes are good because they continue to push themselves.
I like to say ‘mix it up.’ That’s why I’m a change agent. I think it’s important to try new things. Imagine a business owner who goes back and works in the customer service department or goes out and sells again. If leaders in companies took the time to do those things it would be great for their companies.
Question: What do you think the business landscape looks like now?
It’s a time of growth now. We are done cutting and now it’s time to grow again. It’s time for companies to step forward again.
‘Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,’ a line from Shakespear’s Julius Ceasar describes this time.
Question: I would call you a maverick. Do you like that name?
Actually people call me a cowboy. Like a cowboy I can see the vision of something but I am not going to realize it until I have what I call ‘clear conditions of satisfaction.’ More companies have to have that attitude. I trust you but I want to see that you are reliable and competent first.
It’s a major issue. I find people aren’t as responsive as they used to be. There needs to be mutual respect. There is no pact that’s written in blood that things will stay the same. If an employee is good for the company then that should work but there is no solid contract.
Question: What’s different about your book?
This is coming from a person who has done it. I wanted people to “hear it from the horse’s mouth” so to speak.
In writing my book I tried to break ideas down to make them very simple. I’m a storyteller so each chapter starts with a story and ends with a story. I also use, sometimes, self-deprecating stories to help people understand that they can make mistakes just as I did and still become very successful.
Order your copy of “The Mirror Test” today (click here), forward it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a confirmation and a call in number for you to join us for a chat with Jeffrey during our exclusive Networlding Author’s Insights Chat Series, Wednesday, June 16th, 11 AM (Eastern – 10 AM Central).
Jeffrey has over 25 years of international marketing and management experience and has received numerous global awards and honors, including the Frost & Sullivan Lifetime Achievement Award for marketing. He is currently chairman of the board of directors of the Business Marketing Association (BMA), a member of the board of directors of the Electronic Document Systems Foundation (EDSF), a member of the advisory board of the CMO Council and serves as chairman of SMEI’s Foundation for Marketing Education. He is also a permanent trustee to the SMEI Academy of Achievement Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame.