Margaret Heffernan: “We talk cavalierly about leadership as if everybody with a big title is a leader”

Part 2: The author and entrepreneur on why CEOs are bad at innovation, 3M and why you need to think dangerously.

by Stephen Jones

In the first part of her recent interview with Management Today, Margaret Heffernan outlined why she thinks the western world was hit so severely by the coronavirus pandemic: reassured in our ability to predict the future, we failed to prepare adequately.

All we can do is learn from those lessons, says Heffernan. In order to sustain long-term success, you should work out what you want your organisation to look like and then work back from there. That will require leaders to embrace imagination and become comfortable with experiments. 

Trying new things is not something that comes easily to many organisations, which tend to favour structure and formal (and therefore measurable) processes. There is room for both, Heffernan believes - the trick is finding the balance. 

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