The Innovator's Personality

My favorite feel-good book of the last decade is Harold Evans' They Made America Unlike the many self-help books on innovation, this one is a coffee table book, filled with vivid stories and photos of American invention over the last century jumping off the page. It is a stirring account of audacity, the bold and sometimes arrogant disregard of natural restraints in service of some vision or problem to be solved. Flip the pages, while listening to America the Beautiful and watching Clint Eastwood's Half-Time in America spot, and Read More >>

PsyCap and Gamification

A new concept is gaining momentum in the world of work psychology: positive psychological capital or PsyCap for short. It describes a constellation of other, more established psychological constructs such as efficacy, hope, optimism and resilience. Together, these have been shown to produce some pretty powerful results for organizations: higher job satisfaction, reduced absences and higher levels of individual performance (see Peterson's recent study in Personnel Psychology http://bit.ly/oJ9pnw.) So how does your organization get more PsyCap? Some in the field believe PsyCap resembles a stable trait, and as Read More >>

Playing In Traffic

The story of the Denver Barnes Dance caught my attention this week. In the 1960's, a young traffic engineer named Henry Barnes tried to make the streets of Denver safer for pedestrians. He instituted a new crosswalk system "trusting those on foot to get to their destination without the confining guidance of crosswalks." He opened the whole intersection to pedestrians, stopping traffic in all directions and letting pedestrians cross any way they wanted – even diagonally – to help prevent drivers making reight-hand turns from hitting them.His intent was Read More >>

The Berserk Warrior

Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.Chuck Close talking about the creative process to Charlie Rose, October 28, 2010 I have long believed that leading means capturing the hearts and minds of others. Capturing minds is the stuff of visionary leadership – painting a compelling picture of the future that engages people, focusing on a mission that calls people to use their skills in service of something larger than themselves, keeping everyone's eyes on the prize. Capturing hearts is something else, more like charismatic leadership – arousing the passions and motivations of followers, through a Read More >>