We are approaching Thanksgiving. I have many reasons to be thankful – to family, friends and colleagues. One of the things I am most grateful of is the encouragement I have got to be and stay curious. This trait alone has carried me far.
I am planning to share a series of posts about Innovation, Digital transformation and Global Leadership. But to put it in perspective, I thought it would be relevant to share some of my earlier experiences and insights.
My fantastic mother has always told me that i can do anything I want to do, it just depends on how much i want it..
So what would I do? I explored many routes during my journey to where I am now – an independent board member at several companies, a partner at a venture capital company, a business coach at a startup accelerator and a corporate business advisor.
During my late teenage years I was very engaged in environmental issues, that had just started to be exposed. Thanks to that curiosity I ended up at a technical university, the only one that had environmental management on the agenda at the time, and finally graduated with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology (www.chalmers.se/en/). My curiosity also helped in having my final exam work done for NASA (www.nasa.gov), where we used computers for calculation. Since my parents where both in medicine, I wasn’t introduced to technical matters from them, but I was encouraged to explore!
I started to work at Skanska (www.skanska.com) a major construction company, and learnt about leadership, with some cultural challenges, and also about practical construction practices. Some years later IBM (www.ibm.com) was looking for people with experience in information technology and due to my earlier and continous curiosity, I was offered a new exciting job in IT. That took me into an entire new arena to explore, which hasn’t stopped yet.
I still hold both NASA and IBM as great sources of innovation inspiration, so let me share some examples;
A recent article in Forbes http://onforb.es/1zkuwo3 referred to the significant change affecting organizations and an IBM study http://ibm.co/1xQvQAX found that two out of five CEOs expect their next competitive threat to come from outside their industry, requiring them to fundamentally rethink, amongst many things, their current workforce design. A similar study http://ibm.co/IAHz0lreported that nearly 90 percent of business leaders do not feel enough focus is placed on managing change. In fact, only 40 percent of respondents felt they have the right skills in place to manage change in the future. It is clear that much innovation will be needed to support a much more collaborative and flexible workforce.
The challenges we experience with our climate change will also require significant innovations. NASA is sharing how we can illustrate the impact of concentration of carbon dioxide in a way that gives us more knowledge and motivates more reasons to act http://1.usa.gov/1wQqe5t .
I look forward to discuss more about about different aspects of innovation as intra- and entrepreneurship, new business models, digital trends and digital transformation, social businesses, startups and also about leadership, employee engagement and learning.
So now I am curious… What inspires you? Where do you find insights to motivate change?