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Foundational, Growth, and Large Cap CEOs!

One must be careful with seasoned executives because in my belief there are three different types of growth leaders for businesses and picking the wrong one can slow growth.

Foundational leaders; they are excellent at building companies from zero to a 50 to 100 hundred person operations. They create the motivational vision, get people to join with low salaries, they are great at creating results on very small budgets, and they excel at getting small footholds in tough markets. Their management and organizational skills may be adequate. They have a compulsive need to get their hands dirty. They see their role as a founder and are willing to do anything to get the company going.

Growth leaders; they are excellent at taking 50 to 100 people companies and bring them to 500 to 1000 people companies. They drive growth through more rigorous management techniques and create a driven culture. They have management and organizational abilities that are superior to foundational leaders and can drive achievements through their ability to set motivational companywide goals. They to like to get their hands dirty, but they are much more intent on getting basic processes and systems in place for growth. They see their role as both a leader and a master manager.

Large cap leaders; they are excellent at taking a large company (1,000+) and making it an international brand. They do not like getting their hands dirty with the basic everyday tasks (like line work), they prefer to manage the upper managers and focus on high level strategic issues and plans. They need a set of personal secretaries to get basic work done, because they fundamental believe their time is too valuable for simple office duties. They are masters of markets and know how to pull strategic levers to get large market and companies to changes. They act as leaders, and see their role as strictly that.

In my opinion, there are few leaders which can perform all three of these roles effectively. For example, large cap leader dislike getting their hands dirty doing things like deliveries or customer calls and eventually grow to dislike startups for this reason. Similarly, growth leaders have a hard time letting go of their management responsibilities to focus solely on the leadership role required for international companies. Finally, foundational leaders often lack the raw management and organizational talent to be a master manager. Foundational leaders also often lack the knowledge to put in processes and systems to grow their company beyond the foundation phases.

When picking a CEO for a startup one must be careful to pick the appropriate leader.

Dr. Brian Glassman
Ph.D. in Innovation Management and Business from Purdue University
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White Paper Metrics for Idea Generation


Metrics are one of many tools to monitor the performance of a process. For idea generation there are no general metrics which span across industries. Instead, an innovation manager must select idea generation metrics based on the strategy of their company and their current idea needs. The following white paper will discuss the selection of metrics for idea generation projects, and the management of the process given its’ inputs and outputs. Further, a management chart tool is introduced to aid in managing the process.

Download the white paper here

Pending paper: A Detailed Guide to Implementing and Managing the Idea Generation & Idea Management Processes

Pending paper: A Detailed Guide to Implementing and Managing the Idea Generation & Idea Management Processes

Proposed release date: August 2009

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Thomas Edison would have laughed at how poorly today’s companies manage idea generation

Super Short Story:

Thomas Edison founder of General Electric was the first true inventor of the R&D lab. So I figured he was a worthy place to start my research on idea generation. I dove into references about his company and saw how he invented and marketed their products. He was and interesting character indeed. Next I marched upwards in time toward the current days’ practices and research in idea generation. One would imagine that we evolved much since these humble beginnings in the 1900s, but the statistics tell a different tale. My academic survey sample of mid-to-large cap companies showed that the majority placed very little management attention on their idea generation process, resulting in haphazard and poor ideas. Somewhere in the mix Thomas Edison’s lessons were lost, and if he was alive today he would have laughed at the poor state of these processes. I could imagine him zestfully saying ‘If something is important to you, then manage it!’ So, are you managing your idea generation process?

Dr. Brian Glassman

Ph.D in Innovation Management From Purdue University

Want more info on Idea generation & Idea management visit Dr.Glassman’s Blog

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