Author Archives: Stefan Lindegaard

About Stefan Lindegaard

Stefan Lindegaard is an author, speaker and strategic advisor. His work focuses on corporate transformation based on disruption, digitalization and innovation in large corporations, government organizations and smaller companies. Stefan believes that business today requires an open and global perspective, and his work takes him to Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia. The author of several books including 7 Steps for Open Innovation; Social Media for Corporate Innovators and Entrepreneurs; Making Open Innovation Work, and The Open Innovation Revolution, you can follow him on LinkedIn.

Four Growth Mindset Myths

Four Growth Mindset Myths

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

It’s not about profit, you don’t have to be upbeat all the time and you actually have a hybrid mindset!

# 1 – Growth mindset equals business growth, profits

A common finding by Neuro Leadership Institute is that some leaders believe growth mindset is about profits. In reality, growth mindset is the continuous belief that improvement is possible and that failures are opportunities to learn

# 2 – You either have a growth or a fixed mindset

No, we have a hybrid mindset with growth and fixed traits. Whether one is stronger than the other is often situational. Know yourself in given situations and be careful when labeling others

# 3 – Organizations, rather than people, can have a growth mindset

A mindset is a personal thing and thus not a part of an organizational culture as such. However, the essence of the growth mindset in an organizational context is to instill a mindset that is wired towards always trying to get better rather than believing – and proving – that you are the best. It overlaps

# 4 – You have to be positive all the time

Developing a growth mindset is much more about self-awareness and development rather than being in a positive growth mode all the time. We all have our ups and downs

What’s your mindset and what behaviors does this bring along? What about your team? Let’s talk if you want some free resources or other help on this. Get in touch.

Stefan Lindegaard Four Growth Mindset Myths

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Innovation Evolution in the Era of AI

Innovation Evolution in the Era of AI

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

Half a decade ago, I laid out a perspective on the evolution of innovation. Now, I return to these reflections with a sentiment of both awe and unease as I observe the profound impacts of AI on innovation and business at large. The transformation unfolding before us presents a remarkable panorama of opportunities, yet it also carries with it the potential for disruption, hence the mixed feelings.

1. The Reign of R&D (1970-2015): There was a time when the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) held the reins. The focus was almost exclusively on Research and Development (R&D), with the power of the CTO often towering over the innovative impulses of the organization. Technology drove progress, but a tech-exclusive vision could sometimes be a hidden pitfall.

2. Era of Innovation Management (1990-2001): A shift towards understanding innovation as a strategic force began to emerge in the ’90s. The concept of managing innovation, previously only a flicker in the business landscape, began its journey towards being a guiding light. Pioneers like Christensen brought innovation into the educational mainstream, marking a paradigm shift in the mindsets of future business leaders.

3. Business Models & Customer Experience (2001-2008): The millennium ushered in an era where simply possessing superior technology wasn’t a winning card anymore. Process refinement, service quality, and most critically, innovative business models became the new mantra. Firms like Microsoft demonstrated this shift, evolving their strategies to stay competitive in this new game.

4. Ecosystems & Platforms (2008-2018): This phase saw the rise of ecosystems and platforms, representing a shift from isolated competition to interconnected collaboration. The lines that once defined industries began to blur. Companies from emerging markets, particularly China, became global players, and we saw industries morphing and intermingling. Case in point: was it still the automotive industry, or had the mobility industry arrived?

5. Corporate Transformation (2019-2025): With the onslaught of digital technologies, corporations faced the need to transform from within. Technological adoption wasn’t a mere surface-level change anymore; it demanded a thorough, comprehensive rethinking of strategies, structures, and processes. Anything less was simply insufficient to weather the storm of this digital revolution.

6. Comborg Transformation (2025-??): As we gaze into the future, the ‘Comborg’ era comes into view. This era sees organizations fusing human elements and digital capabilities into a harmonious whole. In this stage, the equilibrium between human creativity and AI-driven efficiency will be crucial, an exciting but challenging frontier to explore.

I believe that revisiting this timeline of innovation’s evolution highlights the remarkable journey we’ve undertaken. As we now figure out the role of AI in innovation and business, it’s an exciting but also challenging time. Even though it can be a bit scary, I believe we can create a successful future if we use AI in a responsible and thoughtful way.

Stefan Lindegaard Evolution of Innovation

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The Biggest Challenge for Innovation is Organizational Inertia

The Biggest Challenge for Innovation is Organizational Inertia

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

I often talk about organizational inertia being the biggest obstacle for innovation but if this is true for your organization what should you look out for? Here’s my take.

  1. Aligning with organizational goals and strategy: Innovation teams need to ensure that their ideas and initiatives are aligned with the broader goals and strategy of the organization. This can be challenging if there is a lack of clear communication or alignment between the innovation team and other parts of the organization.
  2. Gaining support and buy-in: Innovation teams often need to gain support and buy-in from others within the organization in order to move forward with their ideas. This can be difficult if there is resistance to change or a lack of understanding of the value of the team’s ideas.
  3. Overcoming cultural barriers and resistance to change: Many organizations have entrenched cultures and practices that can be resistant to change. This can make it difficult for innovation teams to gain support and buy-in for their ideas, and can even lead to resistance or pushback from others within the organization.
  4. Navigating organizational structure and processes: Innovation teams may face challenges related to the structure and processes of their organization, such as bureaucratic red tape or a lack of clear decision-making processes.
  5. Generating new and creative ideas: Innovation teams need to constantly come up with fresh ideas, which can be a challenging and pressure-filled task.
  6. Delivering results quickly: In today’s fast-paced business environment, innovation teams often face pressure to deliver results quickly, which can be difficult if their ideas require a significant amount of time and resources to develop.
  7. Communicating and collaborating effectively: Innovation teams often need to work closely with others, including other teams, departments, and even external partners. This can be challenging if team members have different backgrounds, perspectives, and communication styles.
  8. Operating within constraints: Innovation teams often have to work within the constraints of limited budgets, resources, and other factors, which can make it difficult to pursue new ideas and initiatives.

Overall, these challenges can make it difficult for innovation teams to be effective and successful in driving innovation within their organizations.

How to address this is very much related the specific situation of an organization and in particular the root causes they deal with.

There is, however, no doubt that this has to dealt with from the top down in order to release the full potential of innovation for the organization.

Image Credit: Stefan Lindegaard, Pixabay

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How to Defeat Corporate Antibodies

A Guide to Beating Resistance

How to Defeat Corporate Antibodies

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

Imagine yourself as the CEO of a mid-sized organization that’s struggling to grow and adapt to the ever-changing business landscape. You decide that it’s time for a significant transformation, which will involve new partnerships, revamped processes, and a shift in the company’s culture.

Despite the potential benefits, the proposed changes are met with strong resistance from within the organization. Corporate antibodies, individuals who fight against innovation and maintain the status quo, are now the biggest challenge to overcome.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through a story that illustrates the impact of corporate antibodies on organizational development and explores the role of organizational culture, leadership, and employee engagement in fostering a supportive environment for change.

A Tale of Two Teams

In our fictional organization, there are two departments that perfectly illustrate the impact of corporate antibodies on organizational development: the marketing team, led by an open-minded and forward-thinking manager named Susan, and the finance department, led by a risk-averse and conservative manager named Mark.

Susan’s marketing team is known for embracing new ideas and encouraging collaboration. She has created a culture where employees are motivated to share ideas, challenge assumptions, and learn from failures. On the other hand, Mark’s finance team resists any proposed changes and defends the status quo. Mark is wary of any initiatives that could disrupt the stability of his department and is often skeptical of suggestions coming from outside his team.

The Power of Culture

One day, during a company-wide meeting, the CEO announces a new partnership with a cutting-edge technology company to streamline processes, reduce costs, and drive innovation across the organization.

Susan’s marketing team quickly embraces the idea, eager to explore the opportunities this partnership could bring. They begin brainstorming ways to integrate the new technology into their work and share their ideas with other teams.

In contrast, Mark’s finance team reacts with apprehension and skepticism. They question the need for such a drastic change and raise concerns about potential disruptions to their well-established processes. Mark himself is hesitant to support the initiative, fearing that it might expose weaknesses within his department and lead to a loss of control.

Detecting Corporate Antibodies

The stark difference between the two teams becomes apparent during meetings and discussions about the upcoming transformation. The finance team, led by Mark, expresses their resistance through statements like:

  • “We already tried something similar, and it didn’t work.”
  • “Our current process has worked fine for years; there’s no need to change.”
  • “If that were a good idea, we’d already have thought of it.”

Some individuals in the finance team genuinely believe they’re looking out for the company’s best interests, while others prioritize their personal interests or fear the potential consequences of change.

The Battle Begins

As the transformation moves into the incubation phase, the tensions between the two teams escalate. Susan’s marketing team starts working closely with the new technology partner, sharing their progress and achievements with the rest of the organization. They demonstrate the positive impact of the change initiative and inspire other departments to get on board.

Meanwhile, Mark’s finance team continues to resist the change, erecting roadblocks and questioning every decision made by the marketing team and the technology partner. Their relentless negativity creates a tense atmosphere and slows down the progress of the transformation.

The Turning Point

As the organization enters the Acceleration stage, the CEO recognizes the need to address the corporate antibodies that are hindering the company’s growth. She decides to implement the following strategies to manage resistance and foster a more supportive environment for change:

  1. Engage potential blockers: The CEO invites Mark and key members of his finance team to participate in decision-making processes, ensuring they feel valued and included. By involving them in shaping the transformation, she gradually turns some of the blockers into backers.
  2. Encourage open communication: The CEO fosters a culture where employees can voice their concerns and suggestions without fear of backlash. This allows the organization to identify and address potential issues early on, reducing the likelihood of resistance emerging later in the process.
  3. Provide support and resources: The CEO allocates resources to offer training and support to employees who need help navigating the change process. This alleviates anxieties and creates a more positive attitude towards the change initiatives.
  4. Celebrate successes: The CEO acknowledges the achievements of Susan’s marketing team and other departments that have embraced the change. Recognizing progress and milestones helps maintain morale and motivation while demonstrating the benefits of the transformation.
  5. Foster collaboration across departments: The CEO organizes cross-functional workshops and team-building activities that encourage employees from different departments to work together. This helps break down silos and promotes a greater understanding of the benefits of the change initiative across the organization.
  6. Appoint change champions: The CEO identifies key influencers within the organization who can help advocate for the change and address concerns from their peers. These change champions play a critical role in maintaining momentum and enthusiasm for the transformation.
  7. Establish a feedback loop: The CEO implements a system for collecting regular feedback from employees about the progress of the transformation. This allows the leadership team to monitor the effectiveness of their strategies, make necessary adjustments, and address any emerging concerns promptly.

With these additional strategies in place, the organization begins to witness significant progress in its transformation journey. The impact of the corporate antibodies is gradually diminished, and a culture of innovation and adaptability starts to flourish.

Monitoring Progress and Ensuring Long-term Success

The CEO understands the importance of monitoring progress and adjusting strategies as needed to ensure the long-term success of the transformation. To do this, she establishes a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that help track the progress of the change initiatives and their impact on the organization. These KPIs may include employee engagement, cross-functional collaboration, efficiency gains, and financial performance.

Additionally, the CEO remains vigilant for signs of lingering resistance or the re-emergence of corporate antibodies. By maintaining open lines of communication and actively soliciting feedback from employees, she can quickly identify and address any issues that might hinder the organization’s development.

The conclusion is that identifying and tackling corporate antibodies is essential for successful organizational growth and transformation. By understanding the reasons behind their emergence and applying effective strategies to manage them, organizations can build a positive environment for change and promote long-lasting progress.

Emphasizing a strong organizational culture, good leadership, and employee engagement can help ensure your organization’s development efforts succeed, leading to a more resilient and adaptable business in a constantly changing world.

Image Credit: Stefan Lindegaard

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Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

Do you have a fixed or growth mindset?

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

What does it mean to have a mindset? How does it shape your actions, and those of the people you interact with? Is it steadfast, or does it evolve? Could it perhaps be a fusion of elements? It’s crucial to understand mindsets as they influence not only our behaviors but also the behaviors of those we engage with, allowing us to better navigate the world.

Research defines “mindset” as a mental frame or lens that selectively organizes and interprets information, orienting an individual’s understanding of experiences and guiding their responses and actions. This definition, adapted from Carol Dweck by Salovey and Achor, illuminates that our mindset, composed of our thoughts and beliefs, influences our perception of ourselves, our environment, and the broader world. Such understanding is vital in team dynamics, leadership, and organizational contexts.

Dweck identified two primary mindsets:

  • A fixed mindset, in which intelligence is viewed as static, leading to the desire to appear intelligent and influencing specific behaviors.
  • A growth mindset, where intelligence is seen as something that can be developed, sparking a desire to learn and driving diverse behaviors.

The growth mindset, characterized by the belief that abilities can be honed with consistent effort, is shaped by how we perceive and tackle five critical areas:

  1. Viewing effort as a path to mastery
  2. Demonstrating persistence in the face of obstacles
  3. Seeing others’ success as a source of inspiration and learning
  4. Embracing challenges
  5. Welcoming criticism as an opportunity to learn and grow

However, we need to acknowledge that our mindsets aren’t strictly “fixed” or “growth” in nature. They’re typically a hybrid of both, influenced by the context and phase of our lives. It’s is also situational. Our response to situations can shift, revealing the dominance of one mindset over the other at different times. Recognizing this within ourselves and avoiding prematurely labeling others is vital.

Here are a few case study examples:

Case Study 1 – Education

To give a practical example, let’s look at the world of education. Imagine a student who struggles with math. With a fixed mindset, they might think, “I’m just not good at math,” and subsequently put less effort into learning. However, if they adopt a growth mindset, they would perceive math as a challenge they can overcome with practice and effort. Using different strategies and seeking help when necessary, the student’s math skills can improve, highlighting the practical application of a growth mindset.

Case Study 2 – Microsoft

In the business world, Microsoft provides an excellent case study. Under CEO Satya Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft shifted from a fixed to a growth mindset. Nadella introduced Dweck’s growth mindset concept to the company culture, fostering innovation and collaboration. The shift, encapsulated in the motto “Learn it all” vs. “Know it all,” encouraged employees to remain open-minded, learn from their mistakes, and continually improve. This change in mindset led to increased employee engagement, innovation, and contributed to Microsoft’s recent growth.

Case Study 3 – Sports

In sports, athletes often exemplify the growth mindset. Consider basketball legend Michael Jordan. He was cut from his high school varsity team because he was deemed “not good enough.” Rather than accepting this as an unchangeable state, he viewed it as a challenge and redoubled his efforts to improve. His eventual rise to becoming one of the greatest basketball players of all time showcases how a growth mindset can lead to superior performance in the face of setbacks and criticism.


As I often say, “The essence of the growth mindset in an organizational context is to instill a mindset focused on continuous improvement rather than the need to prove that one is the best.”

Implementing the growth mindset in team dynamics is part of my work. However, it doesn’t stand alone. It must be complemented by other factors like fostering a learning culture, ensuring psychological safety, and navigating the comfort zone. All these components are critical to effective team, leadership, and organizational development.

Image Credit: Stefan Lindegaard

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39 Digital Transformation Hacks

39 Digital Transformation Hacks

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

Here you get 39 hacks that can help yourself and your organization in its digital transformation efforts. The hacks are divided into these six main categories:

  1. Corporate Mindset
  2. Personal Leadership / Executives
  3. People – Mindset, Skills and Toolbox
  4. Organizational Structures and Processes
  5. Networking and Ecosystems
  6. Tools

This is work in progress and Grimur Fjeldsted, my co-author and partner at Transform XO and myself are very open to your feedback and input. Get in touch!

Here we go with the hacks.

1. Corporate Mindset

Strategy for a digital world: Your company needs new approaches to strategy that must be rooted in the belief that there is no such thing as a digital strategy; just strategy in a digital world. Besides crucial digital focus, your strategy approach must also be built on speed and flexibility which means that you must listen, adapt, experiment and execute better and faster than ever before – and than what your competition does.

Profitability: Digital acceleration should be geared towards driving economic benefits aimed of keeping – or developing – a healthy culture of profitability. So focus on growth and profitability and know that when setting up something new, it does not always mean that the old is bad. The key is to know the gaps and build the bridges.

Create a vision statement: You need a vision statement in order to build the narrative for the digital transformation your organization must undertake. Build upon the visions you already have in place, but have in mind that you need to think as if you are already in a digital world.

Align digital efforts to vision and overall corporate strategy: Executives – and later on their teams and the rest of the organization – need to think of digitalization as a tool to reach the goals stated in the corporate strategy – short, mid and long-term.

Ride the waves of merging industries: Exponential growth, mergers of technologies and disruption created by new business models will change the supply and value chains that make up the industries as we know them today. This will happen faster in some industries than others, but every company need to prepare themselves to be disrupted. Digital is a key enabler.

Be competitively unpredictable: Either your industry stays the same or it will be disrupted significantly in the coming years. The challenge is that you don’t know which scenario wins, so you need to prepare the organization to face either option. Agility is key for this. If you decide to be proactive on this and if you read the merging of industries right, you are on the way to become competitively unpredictable.

Develop the digital compass: Knowing where to go in the digital world is one of the biggest challenges. In this context, you must look at digital for operational elements as well as digital for transformation/innovation efforts. This covers all aspects of digital from social media, e-commerce, digital life to big data, artificial intelligence and IoT. It is difficult developing a digital compass so be ready to experiment to find the right way forward for your organization.

Step up the communication efforts: You have to develop a common understanding and a common language around digital transformation. Build your communication strategy on the above efforts.

2. Personal Leadership / Executives

Go from doing digital to being digital: Internal and external forces with a special focus on the shifts in customer expectations require new approaches for dealing with digital. Did you company react to these changes by doing digital or by being digital? Getting to know your patterns of action will help you on the long journey of understanding what digital transformation really is about.

Know the leadership challenges: Who leads on digital in your organization? Is digital leadership spread across silos, functions and business units or is it unified? Who has the ownership of the touch-points in the customer, supplier, innovation and other journeys? Do you have the capabilities and infrastructure to be data-driven or do you rely on your gut instincts? If the leadership team does not get this, all other efforts will be in vain.

Build a core team and give executives skin in the game: Set up a small core team with a mix of top level executives (at best led by the CEO him or herself) and people with the right mindset and skills towards digitalization. This team must make things happen and the key elements are to set the direction, build the belief and remove the obstacles for digital transformation. Don’t turn this into a talk, talk committee. It has to be action-driven and people – including the executives – need to be hold accountable for its success.

Focus on the root causes, not the barriers: Too many executives and their chosen teams keep fighting the barriers, but they will not go away if you don’t attack the root causes. Root causes are different for each organization. Know yours.

Bring Emotional Intelligence (EQ) into digital efforts: Develop your ability to have successful conversations with others, up, down, sideways, inside and outside the organization. The ability to empathize impacts employee engagement, retention and performance and it is critical to good teamwork. It it also critical for customer engagement and ecosystem driven innovation. This is about interacting rather than managing. It is important today and even more so in a growing digital world.

Identify the heroes and make space for the first rebels: Who sounds the alarm horn, when the rest of the organization steers towards the abyss? You need to identify the heroes who really make a difference for your digital transformation and you must beware that many of the future heroes might have the label of being a rebel today. Once you know what to look for in people and later on who the heroes are, make sure they are close to your inner circle.

Build belief, instill a sense of urgency: First, the executives and their teams must believe – and upgrade their own mindset and competences. Then, they must build belief within the organization and external stakeholders. Communication including networking and stakeholder management is key. The paradox is that this must be done with a sense of urgency that very few people can understand.

Manage speed plus complexity: Today, we all try to handle speed, but in the near future it will also be about handling complexity. The rising complexity gives leaders headaches, and thereby resistance to take the first steps towards change. Establish a collective realization to embrace change og listen and adapt much more dramatically than ever before. Maybe AI will soon help us on this.

3. People – Mindset, Skills and Toolbox

Asses your digital maturity: You need to assess not only the organizational maturity but also your personal maturity for digitalization. Once you know your starting point as well as your objectives, it becomes easier to develop in the right direction. You can find many assessment tools online although it can take some time finding one that works for you. We are working on this.

Know your network and skills: Assess your network and skills with regards to the elements that are the most important for your work and career issues today and in the near future. If you read this, you already know that digital is important. The next questions to consider are how you can grow your network in this direction and context.

Learn in new ways: You need to challenge yourself constantly in the next couple of years in order to keep up with the best – or just stay relevant. You can do this through reverse mentoring, taking classes at platforms like Singularity and Udacity and by expanding your network in directions that works for your new future. As a starter, you could look into exponential growth and how this brings along merging technologies and even industries.

Embrace the positive aspects: There are so many public perspectives on digitalization and they are both positive and negative. If you want to prosper in this new era, you must embrace the positive aspects and explore the opportunities while still keeping a healthy balance by having a realistic view and understanding of the less positive consequences. And remember that the worst you can do is to do nothing at all.

4. Organizational Structures and Processes

New ways of working: Explore the “new” ways of working which often includes buzz words such as lean, agile, experimentation, MVP, holocracy, RACI and boss-less management. Adapt the ways that can work within your organization and experiment on how to bring the past and future together.

Don’t act like a startup: You are not one, but you should still adopt a beginner’s mindset. This means you need to look at things with a fresh perspective, stay curious and be open for experimentation while learning from the failures that come along with experimentation.

Experiment, implement and standardize on digitalization: Set up small teams that work in new ways, capture the lessons learned from successes as well as failures and communicate strategically about this. Build from this to float more projects into the organization and consider establishing a new competence center. Validate and standardize well consolidated working methods across the corporation and focus on the next development.

Break down silos, review governance structures: Internal resistance is often caused by business units and functions that are working towards different objectives. This will be a major issue with digitalization as it has strong impact across the board. Assess the processes, policies and systems that prevent success in this context. Update.

Educate in new ways: Forget Harvard, INSEAD, London Business School and all the other business schools that are rooted in the last century. Ok, that might be a tad too much, but you should definitely find ways to complement traditional training and educational efforts with the offerings by the likes of Singularity University and Udacity. Learn by doing and train the trainers.

Work with HR – when/if they are ready: Most HR teams lack a strategic role when it comes to corporate transformation, digitalization and innovation. This is a paradox as everyone agrees that people are the key element here. This has to change and the core team need to help them upgrade their capabilities in this context. If successful, HR becomes a powerful partner as they have a strong influence on corporate training including the executive level.

Don’t go full frontal with learning activities: Before you push learning, use 3-6 months to influence the executives by sharing short pieces of information and insights that fit their specific situation and objectives in the context of digital transformation. Build further on this to help them develop their own ideas on how digital can help their personal agendas. Then, develop a program to upgrade their mindset, skills and toolbox (and for their key people and teams). Make it action-driven.

Note: several of the below hacks on networks and ecosystems are also highly relevant to organizational structures and processes.

5. Networking and Ecosystems

Digital business models are platforms based on networks and communities: Products have features, platforms have communities and networks. Platforms are connected, collaborative and scalable. You do not have to replace your current business models based on products as the digital business models often live alongside the traditional ones (at least for now). The key is to learn the new rules of strategy based on a platform-driven world or begin planning your exit.

Develop a networked business structure: A next generation organization is highly networked. It is plugged into physical as well as virtual assets and resources and entrepreneurial and industrial ecosystems on a global scale. The external strategic stakeholders (current and potential) must be identified and mapped based on their role in the value chain, business model ecosystem and/or supply chain. Better interaction and flow across ecosystems must be enabled.

The internal networked business structure: The same as the above needs to be done internally where the focus is also to break down silos. Here it is critical to know how to navigate the fine line between the existing corporate culture and the different culture that is often needed for a successful transformation. A mindset upgrade program must be initiated in this context, and key internal resources should get their feet wet fast.

Form a strategic alliance with IT: You cannot do it without them. But make sure IT also sees opportunities that everyone can pursue together rather than just risk that IT wants to shut down.

Be the accelerator for your ecosystems: Strive to become the accelerator that brings together your ecosystems and takes the lead in developing the services, processes and products needed for everyone to win with digitalization.

Win early and reap the benefits: The key benefit of being perceived as the thought/action leader within your industry and the preferred partner of choice within your (innovation) ecosystems is that your organization get the first look on new opportunities as well as the important heads-up on new directions within the industry.

Work with multi-layered approaches: Today, networking and ecosystems is not just organizations with its teams and people working with other organizations and their teams and people to form ecosystems. It is also the digital and virtual infrastructures of these companies and ecosystems. Furthermore, we need to have in mind that competition today is not between two or more companies, but between two or more ecosystems.

6. Tools

Current versus new services, systems and tools: What is already in place to facilitate digital transformation? How do we learn what else is needed? How do we get the new things and how do we bridge the new and the existing in ways that build competitive advantages? Getting the overview here is a job for the top executives. You might need new tools just to get this overview.

Tap into existing structures and opportunities for digital development: Many companies and service providers have been working on digital transformation for years. Just think of Watson in general (and their narrow approaches towards health and law) and the new partnership between IBM and Salesforce with regards to digital-driven sales structures. As above, you first need the overview and then you find out how to tap into what is already on the market and link this with your own efforts.

Metrics and KPI’s in a digital world: Many traditional metrics are outcome-driven in the sense that they are based on 1-3 year old decisions and the actions taken around these decisions. In the future, we need to balance traditional metrics and KPI’s with new ones that focus more on behavior in order to provide an overview of the corporate capabilities and a sense of the direction that the organization and its partners is taking. This is important in order to facilitate much faster strategy development processes and even faster responses to the markets.

Harness the power of big data: This will be the starting point for many organizations. You can start start small by forming data collection and insight teams and build up your analytical capabilities. But starting small does not mean that you should not invest heavily in this. If you are at this stage, you are years behind and you have to catch up fast.

Use digital to work smarter, not harder: What good are all the tools if they do not enable your organization to work smarter rather than harder?


Image Credit: Unsplash

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A People-First Perspective on Corporate Innovation

A People-First Perspective on Corporate Innovation

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

As we ponder on corporate innovation, our minds often dart to the latest technologies, inventive solutions, or groundbreaking business models. While these components have their place, my 25-year journey, dotted with experiences from hundreds of innovation teams, has shown me a deeper truth: people form the core of corporate innovation. It is the individuals in an organization, their mental frameworks, and their team dynamics that truly drive innovation.

People-First Innovation: More Than Just Ideas and Tech

Innovation goes beyond simply developing new ideas or adopting the latest technologies. It’s about weaving the ethos of innovation into the fabric of our organizations. This means aligning innovation with our deeply-held values, principles, and strategic ambitions. It calls for a consistent commitment to continuous evolution, growth, and improvement.

A people-first approach stands at the heart of this innovation-friendly environment. This entails fostering a culture where creativity is celebrated, risk-taking is seen as courage, and learning from one’s actions is the norm. It requires an environment that champions psychological safety, a space where everyone feels comfortable voicing their ideas, taking calculated risks, and learning from their experiences, whether successful or not. In this environment, innovation is demystified and becomes a natural part of our day-to-day operations.

Leadership: Shaping a People-First Culture

Leaders play a pivotal role in molding a people-first culture. They have the responsibility to set the tone for an environment that cultivates innovation. This involves promoting open and respectful dialogue, appreciating the value of diverse viewpoints, and fostering collaborative and effective teamwork.

The challenge for leaders lies in harmonizing their attention between immediate operational tasks and the nurturing of this culture. It is common for leaders to become absorbed in the pressing tasks of today, inadvertently sidelining the equally important task of shaping tomorrow’s culture. To genuinely embrace a people-first approach, leaders need to prioritize building a supportive, innovation-friendly environment.

People: The Heart of Innovation

People are the driving force behind innovation. They generate the ideas, share them, evaluate them, and refine them into tangible, impactful outcomes. You can have the most brilliant minds in your organization, but without the conducive team dynamics to harness that intelligence, the innovation potential remains dormant.

The Innovation Ecosystem: A Collaborative Endeavor

Corporate innovation isn’t an isolated phenomenon confined within the walls of a company. It reaches out to external stakeholders – customers, partners, and even competitors. Innovation in today’s world is a collaborative endeavor, often taking place within intricate networks or ecosystems.

These ecosystems act as fertile grounds for the cross-pollination of diverse perspectives, varied knowledge bases, and a broad range of skills. This melting pot leads to more comprehensive and holistic solutions to complex problems. The interactions and collaborations within this ecosystem are the engines of innovation, highlighting the paramount importance of people and their relationships.

The Way Forward: Customizing Your Innovation Journey

Every organization is distinct, each with its unique set of values, principles, and strategic goals. Therefore, an approach to corporate innovation should be individually tailored to resonate with these unique characteristics.

In my experience, a people-first approach really works. It can be tough because it’s different from what most companies have been doing for years. But by putting people at the center and creating a supportive environment, companies can reach their full potential for innovation. Yes, it takes effort, but the results are worth it.

Remember, this is just one perspective in the vast and dynamic field of corporate innovation. It would be great to hear your thoughts on this people-first approach and your take on other key elements for successful corporate innovation.

The images in my original LinkedIn post give you a further idea of my perspectives on corporate innovation. Get in touch if you want to discuss ideas or learn together!

Image Credit: Pexels

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Psychological Safety, Growth Mindset and Difficult Conversations to Shape the Future

Psychological Safety, Growth Mindset and Difficult Conversations to Shape the Future

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

How can we embrace and implement the growth mindset and psychological safety in our organization? How can we train our people and in particular our leaders on this? How do we get better at shaping the future?

Those are questions I hear often these days as the interest in the above topics rises fast.

In this post, I share lots of ideas on how you and your organization can embrace the growth mindset, psychological safety and related attributes in the context of shaping the future. Feel free to use my work as you see fit as long as you give due credit!

At the same time, I hope you will read this and give me some feedback as this is also a work-in-progress approach for how I work with my clients on these topics.

It’s a longer than usual read, but skim through and stop, read more if you find something of interest to you. I have also added a number of images at the end. Enjoy!


The purpose is to help individuals, teams and leaders get even better at shaping the future in the context of people and organizational as well as market and business perspectives.

The key pillars are the growth mindset, psychological safety and innovation for an agile, learning organization.

The problem/challenge

In general, the leaders in most large organizations are very capable at managing the day-to-day activities while they struggle in terms of mindset, skills and tool-box on shaping the future activities.

The challenge is that leaders can’t become great leaders – or even good leaders – who can take your organization to the next level if they do not find the right balance between managing the day-to-day activities and shaping the future.

This balance should not be 50/50. It should not even be close to that as the day-to-day issues will always require more focus and attention than the future-shaping activities. However, the current balance of 90/10 as we see in most companies is not healthy and we need to change this in order to develop an organization that will be even more ready for a future driven by constant change and disruption on many levels.

Why do we need to work with the growth mindset and psychological safety in this context?

It’s quite simple. If these pre-requisites are not in place, you can’t build an environment that allows your organization to be good at shaping the future and then you are left with only being good at managing the day-to-day activities.

This has been enough to be successful for decades, but it will not work for the future. So, do you want your leaders to be stuck at the past and present or should they get ready for shaping the future as well?

The approach, solution

You can develop a tailored program based on The Collective Growth Mindset framework which helps you embrace and implement the growth mindset approach and complementary attributes such as psychological safety within your organization.

It’s a training and coaching program that builds on these five elements: Mindset, Shape/Pulse, Communicate, Learn and Network.

Here’s a short description on the elements for each area.

The mindset of your team

  • Know the mindset of yourself and your team members
  • Map the mindset of key stakeholders and/or a specific leadership team
  • Group reflection on behaviors and actions (if any) to be taken on this

The shape and pulse of your team

  • What’s in it for me? – address an important question
  • Know the T-shapes
  • Understand your level of psychological safety and ability to have hard conversations
  • Do you play to win or not to lose?
  • Know your barriers, obstacles and attack the root causes in the context of getting stuff done

The communication of and around your team

  • Know how to have the hard conversations
  • Build mechanisms to ensure better feedback
  • Create a common language (big picture, smaller tasks)
  • Work your stakeholders with consistent messages

The learning ways for your team

  • Know how you learn the best as individuals and as a team
  • Apply shared, peer learning for better access to “tacit” knowledge
  • Take the first steps for a PLC, a personal learning cloud

The network and networking capabilities of your team

  • Network for the future, not the past
  • The mindset of your network
  • Learn to build better networks and relationships

The key delivery elements within our program are training sessions (physical and on-demand) and coaching for individuals and teams. See more on this below.

Actions, desired achievements

Having the above five elements as the starting point, we focus on specific actions and desired achievements such as:

Identification of needs and opportunities

The Collective Growth Mindset framework offers much depth, but we need to make sure our efforts fit the needs and opportunities of our participants. We map this out and use it as the main guiding tool for our activities.

Training sessions

Shorter sessions (even micro-learning – few minutes) and up to full-day workshops are used to address the needs and opportunities. It will be a mix of inspirational insights and hands-on workshops. We focus on mindset as well as actions. This will be delivered physically and virtually and when possible, we will save this for on-demand learning.


Constructively thought-provoking coaching sessions will be made available for individuals as well as teams. Here, we can go in-depth with more specific and even personal elements.

Role models

We help leaders become role models on the growth mindset. We do this by minimizing and eliminating the negative behaviors while enforcing the positive behavior in the context of the growth mindset for teams and the organization.


Once, we are on track to help leaders become better role-models, we work with them to become good story-tellers on the growth mindset. This allows us to build a positive circle of strong communication that can help change behaviors for the better.

Hard conversations

Great leaders can facilitate hard conversation within their own leadership teams as well as within the teams they lead themselves. For this, we help them identify and address the weaknesses and strengths and we give them practical tools for having such conversations.

Conversation and feedback guides

We develop feedback guides and tools to help your people, teams and leaders get better at feedback. This goes for giving as well as receiving.

Network for the future, not just the past and the present

Networking, relationship skills are underrated and underserved. It’s unfortunately often assumed that this – networking – happens by itself. Not true as this requires direction, effort and time. We address this in the context that the people you network and associate yourself with are highly influential on what and how you learn. Thus, this impacts your mindset.

Behavioral metrics and KPI’s

There are too few metrics and KPI’s that focuses on behaviors and in particular some that can measure a “live” progress. We will address this through on-going self- and team assessments and the tracking a chosen keywords within the communication of our target groups.

Creating the psychological safety, team by team

Professor Amy C. Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.” We work with assessments and exercises to help your teams and organization to create a high level of psychological safety.

Personal learning cloud

Within the current learning systems at Wartsila, we build a personal learning cloud with training and materials that are targeted to and relevant for each participant. Although this has a personal starting point, it will also be social and collaborative as this is how we need to embrace and implement the growth mindset and its attributes.


I sense a lot of power and value in the growth mindset approach and its attributes like psychological safety, hard conversations, networking etc.

However, we are also in the early phases of developing the concepts and frameworks we need to make this happen within our organizations.

My ambition is to share what I know to help move this forward in a collective way. The tide rises all boats. We all win. Let’s help each other get better!

Thanks for reading this. Your likes, shares, questions and comments are much appreciated.

Image Credit: Pexels

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Accountability and Empowerment in Team Dynamics

Accountability and Empowerment in Team Dynamics

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

A winning mindset is crucial for team leaders and teams striving to achieve their goals. Empowerment and accountability are two key elements that contribute to a mindset of success in team dynamics.

When team members feel empowered to make decisions and take the initiative, they are more engaged and motivated to excel.

Coupled with accountability, which ensures team members are responsible for their actions and outcomes, these two elements form a powerful mindset that can unlock your team’s full potential.

The Value of Empowerment and Accountability:

Empowerment fosters an environment where team members are encouraged to use their unique skills and expertise to contribute to the team’s success. This sense of autonomy can boost creativity and innovation, as team members feel they have the freedom and support to explore new ideas and take calculated risks.

Accountability, on the other hand, establishes a culture where team members are held responsible for their actions and the results they produce. When team members are accountable for their work, they are more likely to take ownership of their tasks and strive for high-quality outcomes. By embracing a mindset of empowerment and accountability, teams can achieve a synergistic effect that leads to improved performance, collaboration, and overall success.

Action Suggestions for Team Leaders and Teams:

# 1 – Set Clear Expectations: Ensure that team members understand their roles, responsibilities, and performance expectations. This clarity will help them feel more confident in taking ownership of their work and being accountable for their outcomes.

# 2 – Cultivate a Growth Mindset and Psychological Safety: Encourage team members to view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning while fostering an environment where they feel safe to take risks, express opinions, and ask for help. This combination will help them embrace empowerment and accountability as essential aspects of their development.

# 3 – Encourage Open Communication and Feedback: Create an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their successes and challenges openly. Encourage them to give and receive constructive feedback, helping each other grow and improve.

# 4 – Celebrate Success and Learn from Mistakes: Acknowledge and reward team members for their contributions and achievements. At the same time, use setbacks as learning opportunities to reinforce the importance of taking ownership and being accountable for their work.

Your team’s success is a direct reflection of the mindset you cultivate within it. As a team leader or member, you have the power to ignite the potential of your team by embracing a growth mindset, psychological safety, empowerment, and accountability.

Now is the time to challenge the status quo, defy mediocrity, and strive for excellence. Make the conscious choice to create a team culture that dares to empower, holds each other accountable, and thrives in the face of adversity. The success of your team lies in your hands.

Are you ready to unleash it?

Image Credit: Pixabay

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A Global Perspective on Psychological Safety

A Global Perspective on Psychological Safety

GUEST POST from Stefan Lindegaard

Professor Amy C. Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes.” Achieving psychological safety is essential for fostering innovation and maintaining a competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

In this article, I will share my personal perspectives on psychological safety across different regions around the world, based on my extensive travel and interactions with leaders and organizations over many years. Please note that these observations are not exhaustive but serve as a reflection of my experiences in these regions.

Northern Europe – high psychological safety today

Northern European countries, including the Nordic region and countries like the Netherlands and Germany, are known for their high levels of psychological safety. Leaders in these countries often adopt a more participative and collaborative approach to decision-making, promoting open communication and employee empowerment. Flat organizational structures are more common, allowing for reduced power distance between employees and managers.

For example, in Sweden, the practice of “fika” – regular coffee breaks where employees gather and engage in informal conversations – encourages open dialogue and builds trust among team members. In the Netherlands, the “polder model” of consensus-based decision-making fosters a cooperative atmosphere where diverse opinions are valued and considered.

Southern Europe, Middle East, and parts of Asia – potential for growth through proper implementation

In Southern European countries like Italy, Spain, and Greece, as well as Middle Eastern and other countries such as Turkey and China, top-down and hierarchical leadership styles are more prevalent. Cultural norms and values that emphasize deference to authority can make it challenging to establish psychological safety in these contexts. However, there is significant potential for growth if organizations can adopt more inclusive leadership styles and promote open communication.

In some companies in these regions, forward-thinking leaders are beginning to recognize the value of psychological safety and are implementing practices such as regular feedback sessions, team-building activities, and mentorship programs to foster a more supportive and inclusive work environment.

Psychological Safety Graphic by Stefan Lindegaard

Southeast Asia – an emerging tipping point

Countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, are witnessing a shift in leadership styles, driven by a younger generation and visionary veterans who are blending Eastern and Western approaches. While these countries may currently lag in innovation, their appetite for learning and desire to transform organizational cultures could lead to rapid advancements in psychological safety.

In Southeast Asia, several organizations are embracing the concept of a growth mindset, encouraging employees to take risks, learn from mistakes, and continuously improve. By adopting more inclusive leadership styles and creating spaces for open communication, these countries have the potential to foster psychological safety and drive innovation.

North America – a tale of two realities

In innovation hotspots in the United States and Canada, psychological safety is already well-established. The war for talent in these areas has led organizations to prioritize employee well-being and create inclusive environments. However, other parts of North America may not share the same level of psychological safety, and it’s essential to differentiate between these diverse contexts.

Innovation-driven companies in North America often prioritize transparency and openness, with leaders who actively seek employee input and promote a culture of collaboration. By empowering employees to take initiative, express their ideas, and challenge conventional thinking, these organizations create a psychologically safe environment that fuels creativity and innovation.

Latin America and Africa – unique challenges and opportunities

In Latin American and African countries, cultural norms, economic conditions, and political contexts can vary widely, leading to diverse approaches to psychological safety. While some organizations may struggle with hierarchical leadership styles and limited resources, others are embracing more inclusive practices and leveraging local talent.

Recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities in these regions is crucial for fostering psychological safety and driving innovation. For example, in countries like Brazil and South Africa, companies are increasingly focusing on employee development and well-being, investing in leadership training, and promoting open communication.


Psychological safety is a critical component of successful organizations across the globe. While the degree of psychological safety may vary from region to region, leaders in all contexts can benefit from fostering a supportive, inclusive, and open environment that encourages employees to speak up and share their ideas.

As a global community, we can learn from one another’s experiences and perspectives to advance the development and implementation of psychological safety in organizations worldwide. I encourage readers to share their own insights and experiences with psychological safety in different regions and explore how we can collectively promote a more psychologically safe and innovative world.

So, what are your thoughts on psychological safety from a global perspective?

Feel free to share your comments, perspectives, and questions.

Let’s learn together.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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