After nearly seven years writing this blog, I’ve decided to start work on a book about innovation. While there is certainly no shortage of great innovation books on the market, I feel strongly that the time has come for a different approach and I think there is much I can add to the discussion. The problem, as I see it, is that most of the literature tends to be narrowly focused on a particular approach, leaning heavily on either a single organization’s experience or a limited set of case studies.
The most important thing I've learned as a naturally impatient person is that sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. But for a CEO/founder/entrepreneur/leader, finding the free time to focus on something other than your business or your family is difficult. So I tend to sprint through books, usually with audio files, on car rides, airplanes, or while I'm hitting the treadmill. If I have the luxury of a full attention span, I pick a paperback, so I can take notes in the margins.
To understand the anxiety inside American Express — which has announced its second consecutive year of declining revenue — you need to know about a story that made its way through the company's headquarters last fall. A few Amex executives heard that a rival company had enticed a group of young, affluent professionals — the kind of millennials whom credit card companies salivate over these days — to a fancy meal.