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No Risk, No Reward - Memphis Daily News

No Risk, No Reward - Memphis Daily News

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A good CEO should make the CFO a little nervous. When the CFO is sleeping soundly, the CEO is not reaching high enough and lacks vision.

If the CEO does not provoke people with an aggressive vision of organic growth, someone at the firm needs to be appointed as the official risk-taker. Without risks, there is no reward.

While a company can streamline itself to operational excellence, it still needs to innovate to grow market share. You cannot realize real growth from cost cutting alone.

Innovation requires a different mindset and behaviors than crafting an efficient organization. Businesses need both operational excellence and strategic innovation to prosper in the short- and long-term.

Does your business have a culture that fosters growth and innovation? So many innovation efforts are merely puny attempts to pacify a board request. Worse: when companies believe they are earnest in their innovation efforts, but the culture of the business does not allow for real innovation to happen.
A good CEO should make the CFO a little nervous. When the CFO is sleeping soundly, the CEO is not reaching high enough and lacks vision.

If the CEO does not provoke people with an aggressive vision of organic growth, someone at the firm needs to be appointed as the official risk-taker. Without risks, there is no reward.

While a company can streamline itself to operational excellence, it still needs to innovate to grow market share. You cannot realize real growth from cost cutting alone.

Innovation requires a different mindset and behaviors than crafting an efficient organization. Businesses need both operational excellence and strategic innovation to prosper in the short- and long-term.

Does your business have a culture that fosters growth and innovation? So many innovation efforts are merely puny attempts to pacify a board request. Worse: when companies believe they are earnest in their innovation efforts, but the culture of the business does not allow for real innovation to happen.

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Published by: Southern Growth Studio on Jun 17, 2012
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No Risk, No Reward - Memphis Daily News

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2012/jun/15/no-risk-n...

No Risk, No Reward
By Jocelyn Atkinson and Michael Graber

A good CEO should make the CFO a little nervous. When the CFO is sleeping soundly, the CEO is not reaching high enough and lacks vision. If the CEO does not provoke people with an aggressive vision of organic growth, someone at the firm needs to be appointed as the official risk-taker. Without risks, there is no reward. While a company can streamline itself to operational excellence, it still needs to innovate to grow market share. You cannot realize real growth from cost cutting alone.

MICHAEL GRABER & JOCELYN ATKINSON

Innovation requires a different mindset and behaviors than crafting an efficient organization. Businesses need both operational excellence and strategic innovation to prosper in the short- and long-term. Does your business have a culture that fosters growth and innovation? So many innovation efforts are merely puny attempts to pacify a board request. Worse: when companies believe they are earnest in their innovation efforts, but the culture of the business does not allow for real innovation to happen. Is your company really innovating or just talking about it? Take this short quiz by answering “yes” or “no” and find out. • People are tasked to plan how to push the boundaries of what seems possible to ensure that we stay ahead. • Employees are comfortable asking provocative and unsettling questions about company strategy. • Project teams apply offbeat sources in search of the breakthrough solutions. • Our organization actively seeks solutions to stay ahead of the curve. • Project teams are given time and resources to learn about innovation and trends. • We push for continual improvement, even if what we’re offering is the industry-leading product or service. • Competitors change their offering to mock our business model and market strategy.

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6/17/12 6:44 PM

No Risk, No Reward - Memphis Daily News

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2012/jun/15/no-risk-n...

• Failure and smart risk taking are celebrated our leadership. Efforts do not have to be “successful” to be recognized. • There is an active, open culture of dialogue between roles, departments, functions, and levels within the organization. • We know that we do not have all the expertise in-house, and partner with firms outside the company to develop new ideas. • We purposefully hire people with diverse backgrounds and strive to create teams that are comprised of a variety of disciplines to ensure a wide-sweeping perspective. • Good ideas are born from every corner and rank of the company—and there is a formal way to present them and have them seriously considered. Add up the yeses. Here’s the score key. 10-12, rejoice. Your company knows both the wild joys and smart business sense of innovating. 7-9, high five. Your company has a healthy innovation attitude and will be around in the future to celebrate. 4-6, sigh. Well, your company suffers from wanting to innovate but not really understanding how to implement strategic growth across the culture. 0-3, ugh. If you are an employee you deserve more, hit Monster now. If you own or run the company, it is time to get real. Your competitors will crush you and your best people will leave, soon. Get help, today. Jocelyn Atkinson and Michael Graber run the Southern Growth Studio, a strategic growth firm based in Memphis. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

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6/17/12 6:44 PM

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