Author Barry Linetsky

Good Work and Creative Innovation

Photo by Martin Shreder on Unsplash

This excerpt from the book Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet by Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and William Damon (2001) struck a chord with me. I immediately thought of creative geniuses like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, but these observations equally apply to lesser minds who dedicate large aspects of their lives to working long hours more for the joy of the challenge of the work itself than the potential financial rewards.

Contributions by Creator-Leaders

A final source of change is innovation by individual practitioners. In every  epoch, a few people come up with new ideas or ways of doing things, and if these innovations are accepted by others, dramatic transformations of the realm may result. …

Creative people are usually driven by curiosity and tend to be more intrinsically motivated – more interested in the rewards of intellectual discovery than in financial or status rewards. Therefore, they are often considered odd both by the general public and by fellow practitioners. But the reason innovators are less concerned with money and power is that they get their reward directly from their work. They are satisfied by the excitement and wonder involved in the process of discovery – a fulfillment no amount of money can buy. (20)

Barry Linetsky is President & CEO of Cognitive Consulting, Inc., and a Partner with The Strategic Planning Group, a Toronto-based consultancy. He is the author of The Business of Walt Disney and the Nine Principles of His Success (Theme Park Press, 2017) and Free Will: Sam Harris Has It (Wrong). His articles have been published by Ivey Business Journal and Rotman Magazine. Visit his website www.BarryLinetsky.com to find original articles and blog posts on Walt Disney and other management topics of interest to entrepreneurial executives. Follow Barry on Twitter @BizPhilosopher and on LinkedIn.

© 2018, Barry L. Linetsky. All Rights Reserved

10 Disruptive Meeting and Workshop Behaviours to Avoid

People abuse meetings and meetings abuse people.

We are all victims of far too many unnecessary and meaningless meetings.

While managers always complain about this scourge of corporate life, they are themselves commonly the reason for bad meeting behaviour. Rising through the corporate ranks sometimes appears to be a license for engaging in and promoting such disruptive, unproductive, and costly behaviour. Read more

Advice For New MBA Students

Prepare for obstacles on the road to an MBA

Shortly after completing my Fast-Track MBA at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Management in 1992 (now Rotman School of Management), I was invited to address the new incoming Fast-Track class to share my experiences and observations. Read more

Why Visionary Leaders Embrace the Value and Wisdom in Effectiveness

“Effectiveness is evaluated efficiency.” Russel Ackoff

Having completed my book The Business of Walt Disney and the Nine Principles of His Success and building a website, I’ve been able to spend time this spring and summer between work assignments catching up on some reading in areas of professional and personal interest. Read more

Walt Disney’s Method of Optimizing Success Through Failure

Walt Disney’s Persephone: The Goddess of Spring

Looking back at the long and varied career of Walt Disney, it seems that almost everything he touched – from Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse to Disneyland and Florida’s Walt Disney World – resulted in success.

Walt Disney surely had the golden touch.

The truth isn’t quite as kind. Walt wasn’t always right and his ideas weren’t always successful.

But Walt Disney was curious and honest, and therefore also committed to recognizing and assessing his own failures and learning from his mistakes. “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles have strengthened me,” he said. Read more

Walt Disney, Pinocchio, and Lessons for Leaders

Walt Disney’s Pinocchio

One of the attributes that made Walt Disney unique amongst movie studio heads in Hollywood was that he was both a businessman and an artist. Walt worked everyday with the sensitivity of an artist and the hardheadedness of an entrepreneurial business owner, leading and directing his artistic and technical staff to create high-quality entertainment that would bring joy and happiness to ordinary people.

Long-time Disney animator and director Wilfred Jackson (1906-1988) provides insight into how Walt worked on his earliest feature-length films in a series of retrospective correspondence letters with author and musician Ross Care from the mid-1970s through the early-1980s that are newly published in the book Disney Legend Wilfred Jackson: A Life in Animation (Theme Park Press, 2016). Read more

I’m In Love With The Amazon Doctrine (or The Once and Future King)

Jeff Bezos, amazon CEO

I just learned about something called The Amazon Doctrine, which explains why I love amazon so much.

The company’s leaders and guiding minds are committed to treating customers right. They invest, learn, and continually adapt to win and keep customers. They help me acquire knowledge, entertainment, and other solutions-oriented products to make me a more productive and happier person. They are what they proclaim to be: the everything store. And they never seem to stop working to make my life better so that I will continue to buy from them. Read more

Author Barry Linetsky

Why You Should Never Utter “Internal Customer”

When customers collide

It has long been recognized that businesses survive when they create and deliver solutions at a profit that customers desire and will pay for by means of voluntary exchange. Business success is ultimately in the hands of consumers. In this sense, the customer is king. The choices made by customers decide which businesses will succeed and which will fail, and so much more in terms of the efficient allocation of resources in a free-market society.

Peter Drucker famously identified this notion as a broader business philosophy he referred to as The Marketing Concept.

Then along came the TQM gurus. Read more

Organizational Insights into Effective Strategy Development and Execution

I am a huge fan of the value and effectiveness of the research and writings of management science pioneer Elliott Jaques.

Jaques conducted organizational research for 50 years, culminating in an management system he called Requisite Organization. One of the most impactful management books in my education and practice is a book written by Jaques and Stephen Clement, Executive Leadership. Following closely behind two other late career books by Jaques, Requisite Organization and Social Power and the CEO. Read more

Allergan’s David Pyott on Responsible Leadership

In my last blog post I provided my comments on Bower and Paine’s observations in the May-June 2017 issue of HBR regarding two popular perspectives on the purpose of a business: shareholder-centric and company-centric.

In the same issue there is an interview with former Allergan CEO David Pyott.

I like David Pyott’s perspective with regards to the responsibility of executives qua managerial leaders, so I thought I’d share it. Read more