Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Speaking Out

Magazine article Management Today

Brainfood: Speaking Out

Article excerpt

DR MICHAEL LYNCH

CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AUTONOMY

Michael Lynch's speech at a recent management awards ceremony showed that a bit of self-deprecation can get the audience on-side. After an unsteady start, he questioned the logic of being asked to speak on 'the capacity to innovate'. 'I'm the guy who sat next to Erik Schmit just after he'd become CEO at Google and told him he didn't have a chance. I thought Yahoo! had the search engine business tied up.' He moved up through the gears to deliver an accessible insight into innovation and how to harness it, leaving no doubt that his self-criticism had been mere play.

Lynch kept his light touch - 'Sometimes,' he said, 'innovation can have damaging effects. I have suffered airplane food and reality TV.' But he delivered substance when it mattered, breaking down his subject into its fundamentals. 'Innovation is all about finding out what people need, and what they want.' Once you have had your idea, it's essential to build the right environment to let it flourish. …

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