This week’s Five Quick Reads post offers an opportunity to think about innovation, what it means (in general) and what it means for leaders and for companies.


In this Harvard Business Review article, authors combined phone interview data of leaders who “scored at or above the 99th percentile on innovation, as measured by their peers, subordinates, and bosses in a comprehensive 360-degree feedback survey” and those they work with to find 10 distinctive behaviors emerging among the leaders that set this group apart as innovation leaders. Check out “Research: 10 Traits of Innovative Leaders.”

Scale and innovation are not mutually exclusive is one takeaway from this editorial in Deloitte Review Issue 15. In fact, the author suggests:

The most innovative large organizations employ approaches I think can be adopted by any organization, large and small. First, they champion innovation at every level. The most innovative organizations may designate a few executives to lead innovation efforts, but they do not leave “new thinking” in a single division or business unit. They set an expectation among everyone to innovate.

Read more via “Editorial: Scale and innovation.”

Zetlin’s tagline for this Inc. article is “A few hours of TV watching can give you a year’s worth of wisdom.” She challenges:

If you’d like to start 2015 with a big dose of inspiration, consider spending some of your viewing time on 47 enlightening speeches published by TED during 2014. To make this prospect as tempting as possible, the TED folks have assembled an eight-minute video of the highlights from these talks which is guaranteed to get you curious about at least a few of them…

If you’re a leader who is a “work in progress that mistakenly [thinks you’re] finished,” you can read more at “9 Thought-Provoking Lessons from the Best TED Talks of 2014.”

In an interview with University of Pennsylvania’s Knowledge@Wharton show, Barry Calpino, the Vice president for breakthrough innovation at Kraft shared, “These big ideas don’t just happen overnight. You have to stick with them and you have to invest in them” Listen to the interview or read it here.

In one social media platform Inc. highlighted its post “4 Ways to Create (or Crush) a Culture of Innovation” with this hint attached “Get out of the way.” If that’s not enough, the post’s tagline reminds readers “Coming up with the next big thing isn’t just your job–it’s a job for everyone on your team.” Read more.

Quick Reads offers us an opportunity to share some of what we’re reading each week. This week we tie it back to the message from Dr. Joann Sternke, Superintendent of the Pewaukee School District which was awarded the Baldrige. Dr. Sternke described how the Baldrige criteria and a systems framework allows leaders, staff, and teachers in the district to “think differently in the midst of thinking more systematically” to create increased opportunities for innovation.

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Dr. JoAnn Sternke is Superintendent of Pewaukee School District (WI). Prior to earning the 2013 Baldrige Award, Sternke led the school district to receive the state’s highest award, the Wisconsin Forward Award. All schools in the district have an “excellence” distinction. Dr. Sternke will keynote Destination High Performance in Orlando, FL, February 9-10, 2015. Learn more about this invitation only event by emailing Dr. KK Owen, Coach, at

Read about Pewaukee School District Baldrige celebration in the official Baldrige blog by Christina Schaefer, April 7, 2014, Celebrating the 2013 Baldrige Award Recipients. Available online here: Learn more about Sternke and Pewaukee School District: In her What’s Right in Education presentation titled “Creating a Culture of Excellence,” Dr. Sternke shared the continuous improvement process that set the stage for Baldrige recognition. Read our What’s Right post highlighting her presentation here. Follow Dr. Sternke on Twitter at @jsternke. For more information about Pewaukee School District check out its website at Follow the school district on Twitter at @PewaukeeSD.

Let us know how you connect with the articles and share with us and WRIE readers what you’re reading.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Filed under: How to Lead… Tagged: #TEDTalks, Baldrige, Five Quick Reads, Harvard Business Review, HBR, Innovation, Knowledge@Wharton, Leadership, Sternke, Studer Education, TED Talks

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