Will Always Outpace Knowledge
fundamental belief is the environment outside the
business is the source of business results and
opportunities, and so there is no way of isolating the
study of management from other academic disciplines.
unprecedented speed of change and heightened
complexity of events, every advance in knowledge is
now accompanied by a similar increase in ignorance.
Consequently, ignorance will always outpace knowledge
in the analysis of problems because there is always so
much more of it.
The key to dealing
with this problem, Drucker says, is to identify the
future that has already happened but whose real impact
has yet to be felt. Unfortunately, most leaders feel
more comfortable taking a "cookbook approach" to their
challenges of the day---blocking out their ability to
explore new possibilities.
happens when the "recipes" aren't there?
can be very mysterious to engineers and other
technically oriented people. This is especially true
when it comes to the commercialization of a new
product or the startup of a technically driven
leaders think that the key to marketing success is to
learn and implement the appropriate secret marketing
"recipe" or "template." So, they may take a marketing
course at a business school or they read some books on
marketing. But they still don't get it because the
"recipes" aren't there. In fact, they aren't anywhere.
Marketing leadership is much more an "art" than a
science. It's simply a mistake to look for recipes or
formulas within the field of "art".
commercialization combines the "science" of
formulating a winning physical product or process with
the "art" of marketing strategy and implementation. In
a way, this combination of product science and
marketing art emulates the craftsmen of yesteryear who
applied crude tools within a system of methods and
principles resulting in skillful performance that
could not be learned solely by study.
In today's complex
world, most product developers would be well advised
to seek out a marketing artist to work with -- rather
than try to become the all-in-one craftsman.
Leadership Happens When You Marry Technology with
The development of
xerography back in the early 1960's is a good example
of the combination of product science and marketing
art. Chester Carlson, a physicist and patent attorney,
obtained a patent on xerography and searched for a way
to commercialize it. He happened to be an attorney for
a client of Battelle (a research organization in
Columbus, OH) and sent a copy of the patent to them
interested. For 55% of the patent rights, Battelle
agreed to invest in the technology, with Battelle
research making three technical improvements. However,
it was the little Haloid Company (a market-oriented
100-employee company in Rochester, NY) that figured
out how to commercialize this expensive and
very-service-intensive machine ($15,000 cost). As a
result, in 1963 the Xerox 914 was born.
Joe Wilson, Haloid
Company's president, is given the credit for the
marketing leadership that led to the success of
xerography -- "Lease the Xerox 914 copier for only
$100 a month, but pay an additional penny per copy
made on the machine."
It was Haloid's
addition of marketing "art" to Battelle's solid
product "science" that created a winning product. The
marketing-oriented Haloid Company changed its name to
Xerox Corporation, and technically oriented Battelle
received $350 million of Xerox stock.
Self-Awareness Builds Leadership
Your natural talents
are gifts at birth. You had nothing to do with them.
However, you have a great deal to do with becoming
aware of them and developing them into strengths. It
is up to you to discover your natural signature
talents and transform them through focus, practice and
learning into consistent high
awareness of a signature talent comes in late
childhood or adolescence. They then build on this
competency in their first job or when some other
transitional situation occurs that demands they use
this signature talent more purposefully. Focusing on
what matters helps them reach clarity.
As the years go by,
they regularly practice developing their signature
talents into strengths. The progression from a
person's first awareness of their signature talents to
the point of mastery offers a clear picture of how
leadership excellence is achieved.
When we are
conscious of our identity (our assumptions and
beliefs, values, vision and guiding principles), we
can make choices on how we wish to act in certain
situations-rather than just defaulting to our
unconscious behavior. As the leader transitions to a
higher level of personal development, s/he is able to
create more productive corporate cultures.
degree, we all have an innate talent for
By focusing our
attention on building strengths within our individual
and enduring talents (while applying damage control to
our weaknesses), we can choose to move from
satisfactory performance to excellence. When we know
what our signature talents are and how we might apply
them, the application of attention allows our focused
energy to push us toward success. Individual and
corporate transformation happens when the leader truly
understands who s/he is through increased
self-awareness that leverages innate talents into
leadership strengths. Knowing
who you are and what you are meant to do
the difference in moving from good to
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