The fundamental difference between leading and leading innovation is simply this: there is no data on the future where breakthrough innovation happens. Try guessing what will be the hot consumer electronics item in three years or what miracle medical treatment will emerge in four or what the newest fashion will be in five and you get the point. The future is highly variant and ambiguous. This is why the number one form of resistance to innovation is excessive data collection. Have you been to the meeting about the meeting? Have you seen the report about the report? While you were stuck in the planning cycle others were out launching meaningful experiments and moving forward with a reasonable sense of destiny. (more…)


Innovation happens behind-the-scenes. It’s often not the faces of a company–the directors and managers–who come up with breakthrough ideas but the individuals working out of public view, in the background. These are the people who can see where the dots connect, who can tell where there are opportunities for change.

Think of the structure of any large organization in terms of a mid-office and a back-office staff. Mid-office and back-office team members work in legal, IT, and HR departments. Most of these units in larger and more complex organizations are traditionally vertically oriented so that everyone reports to their own sector’s manager. (more…)


Every two years the Thinkers50 (T50) ranks the top 50 thought leaders in management and innovation. Because it relies on community voting, the Thinkers50 is a trusted record of real innovators. The T50 voting takes place on two lists: the Top Management Thinkers and the Distinguished Achievement Award.

Your support means everything to me, and I’m humbly asking you to vote for me in both Thinkers50 awards.

Below are descriptions of both awards and how I’m competing for them.

Top Management Thinkers. Jeff has advised many of the world’s leading corporations, using the Competing Values Framework that he co-created, on how to grow, change and ultimately move forward to see positive results. Jeff’s previous clients include Eaton, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, General Electric, Prudential and Pfizer. Vote HERE. (more…)

Jeff’s Books