Like Moths to the Light: Don't Get Seduced by Innovation
You can get easily distracted by the next thing, the next thing, the next thing.
Stephen Miles is the founder and chief executive officer of The Miles Group. Previously, he was a vice chairman at Heidrick & Struggles and ran Leadership Advisory Services. With more than 15 years of experience in assessment, executive coaching, top-level succession planning, organizational effectiveness and strategy consulting, Stephen specializes in CEO succession and has partnered with numerous boards of global Fortune 500 companies to ensure that a successful leadership selection and transition occurs. He has also led many chairman successions and board effectiveness reviews, partnering with boards of directors to help them with their overall effectiveness, committee effectiveness and individual director effectiveness.
Stephen is a recognized expert on the role of the chief operating officer, and has consulted numerous companies on the establishment and the effectiveness of the position and supporting the transition from COO to effective CEO. He is a coach to many CEOs and COOs around the world, and his clients cut across all industry sectors.
Stephen and his CEO advisory services were profiled in the Bloomberg Businessweek article “The Rising Star of CEO Consulting." Prior to The Miles Group and Heidrick & Struggles, Stephen held various positions at Andersen Consulting.
People who work inside companies always want to be part of what’s new. If you look at Apple for example, once they’ve developed a product, 99 percent of the people inside Apple work collectively to deliver on that product. There are only two or three with the propellers on their heads hiding in some place in the company inventing the next one.
Being focused on delivering on that outcome is really, really important. You can get easily distracted by the next thing, the next thing, the next thing.
I think a lot of times companies get distracted and diluted because they’re continually chasing the shiny light and the moth goes to the light. And we’re all moths. We want to go to the light.
The challenge is that what we need are an army of people to deliver on the today. And I think having a set of people inside the company who are also excited about doing the day-in, day-out relentless focus on delivering on a product that has already been developed is equally important to having the few people that are envisioning, ideating on the product of tomorrow.
You need to have both, but I think it’s easy to move over to the other side which is we always need the new, the new thing.
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