Fifty years ago, though leadership was a relatively slow process, enabled by conferences, papers, books, and other presentations. Then word of mouth took over and the leading thoughts of the day were slowly passed from mind to mind. Thought leaders had time to think, reflect, and refine their thinking.
Today, thought leadership moves at the speed of digital light and thought leaders need to constantly be evolving and rethinking to stay in a leadership position. Two of the best are Rajul Garg and Gaurav Bhalla.
Gaurav is one of the world’s preeminent thinkers, presenters, and writers about innovation, specifically “collaborative innovation,” which he defines as “an investment in providing incremental value to your customers, done in partnership with those customers to offer them increased value.”
Rajul and Gaurav were recently at the same conference where Gaurav was speaking about disaster management, politics, and governance. When thought leaders merge ideas — or there is “collaborative innovation,” as Gaurav might say — the results are always fascinating. Or, as Rajul says:
Sustained innovation is the best chance you have at sustained growth, and collaboration is the best way to sustain innovation.
Rajul is a leading thinker and writer about leadership and decision-making. Here are a few of his thoughts as a result of the conference, a confluence of the best thinking on leadership and collaboration:
- Picking a problem that makes the world a better place provides an opportunity for you to collaborate far and wide to drive innovation. In that way, those are the problems that matter and you might have a higher chance of solving those.
- Smaller collaborative experiments (in the programming world, this has resulted in the agile approach) with an evolutionary pattern have a much higher chance of success than large central planning driven approaches. Find a way to experiment!
In the past, it was an infrequent and often chance encounter that brought leading thinkers of the day together, or the long and invariably spirited conversations were delivered by hand. Those meetings are often detailed in history books about the collaborative innovation of ideas between great minds. These days, the melding of minds usually just happens, as it has occurred between Gaurav and Rajul, and the results — the collaborative innovation — benefit us all at the speed of digital light.
Source: “Leadership: Collaborative Innovation,” Sunstone Business Review, 09/04/12