Described as ‘The Jane Bond of Innovation’, Nilofer Merchant has grown businesses — from Fortune 500s and silicon valley web start-ups — for 20 years. She will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 9 October 2014. As an innovative thinker and practitioner, Nilofer will share her thoughts and experience on how we best align our organisations to succeed against our business challenges today and into the future.
IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business – what would they be?
NM: Not everyone will, but anyone can.
IMI: What does this mean?
NM: Most organizations think of work in boxes. As in engineering does this and marketing does that. Or, even more personally as Tom is responsible for delivering X and Susan is responsible for Y. This is to put work into neat little boxes to create some type of measurability. It’s a relic of the industrial era when the way to profitability and market performance was on efficiency and productivity. But if you look around your workplace, you’ll notice the most obvious truth. Most things are not failing because so and so didn’t do such and such. It’s because of a gap. A gap between organizational silos. A gap between understanding. A gap between the organizational boxes. In order to close the box, you need to organize not around boxes but around purpose. Organize not by “who should be here” but who wants to be here. And while not everybody will rise up to solve the situation, create new products, etc … what you’ll discover is an amazing reserve of talent that exists. Things you didn’t know were possible will happen. Because anybody can.
IMI: Where should we look for further information?
NM: Visit my website nilofermerchant.com