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Leadership and change

May 10, 2013

Knowledge@Wharton has published an article featuring Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer at GE.

Her message regarding leadership and change is important, especially for communities like Contract Management, Procurement and Legal. These groups are not famed for their advocacy of change, yet as this blog regularly indicates, it is in these fields that much of today’s change is needed, as a source of competitive advantage.  To quote Beth Comstock: ” …you have to be willing to expose yourself. You have to put yourself out there. Instigators take on great challenges. The ultimate thing about being a leader is whether you can be an instigator and an agent for change.”

In the article, Ms. Comstock also highlights two sayings attributed to Thomas Edison – “I find out what the world needs; then I proceed to invent,” is one, and “The value of an idea lies in the using of it” is the other. These are valuable thoughts for the commercial community, because they go to the heart of our need to undertake research to discover what terms, practices and procedures are needed to support business in the modern environment; and also they point to the need for experimentation, a readiness to not only have ideas, but to pursue and implement them.

It is perhaps a good moment to pause and ask yourself, “Where is the source of my ideas, my understanding of what the world needs?’ And “what value have I generated through the use and implementation of an idea?” If you want to discover what others are doing, or to share your success stories, there are now forums to do this. IACCM has created its ‘License to Act Differently’ program and this year will see the 2nd Annual Innovation Awards, currently open for entries.

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