Successful Leaders Know They Can Learn From Everyone at Their Company
Smart leaders ditch the top-down, mentor-mentee mindset, creating a culture driven by ideas -- wherever on the organizational chart they happen to come from
Source | www.entrepreneur.com | Aviva Leebow Wolmer
There are plenty of people who believe Kodak, that most iconic of photography companies, failed because it was disrupted by digital technologies. Yet Kodak’s downfall truly had nothing to do with technological capability.
In fact, Steve Sasson invented the first digital camera at Kodak in 1975. At the time he was just a young engineer at the bottom of the company ladder. Unfortunately, leadership, most likely blinded by what had always worked for the company, was not impressed by the innovation. They failed to see that viewing and sharing pictures on devices through digital photography was the way of the future. They resisted business transformation.
Not embracing new technology and a new business model led to several decades of poor performance for Kodak, and eventually it filed for bankruptcy in 2012. What this makes you wonder is this: What if the person presenting the digital camera was a department head or an executive, instead of a lower-level associate? Would leadership have listened more?
There’s much to be learned from Kodak’s famous misstep. Most importantly, it is that incredible ideas and innovations can come from anywhere within a company.
Executives must realize that all their team members have much to teach them. Here are what CEOs can learn specifically from associates at all levels and how they can ensure knowledge and skills are exchanged freely and productively across the entire organization.