The Idea-Driven Organization by Moe Abdou

One of the more memorable highlights of my leadership journey took place at a study group meeting in the early 90s when a friend arranged a conversation for the five of us with Peter Drucker.  At that time, each of us were in our early 20s, and had been in management less than three years. So as you might expect, we were as anxious to learn from the legend as were to be in his presence.  Our topic was management effectiveness, and as my turn came around to ask a question, I decided to ask Peter how he ran effective meetings.  As was his trademark, he asked a litany of questions, before finally recommending that we stop having meetings all together - instead, he suggested that we start facilitating idea sessions.  

To someone who vehemently opposes the status quo, that was music to my ears, and as it turns out, a major turning point in the evolution of our firm.  We immediately changed our weekly team meeting to an iPower session, where the (i) stood for ‘idea’, and the goal was for each member of our team to come prepared to share two small ideas that would distinguish our firm.  Although simple, that shift not only made us better managers, but perhaps even more significant was the team chemistry that we saw evolve as a result.  Dean Schroeder and Alan Robinson have been inspiring organizations to unlock the ingenuity of their people by rewarding new insights and collaboration.  In their book, The Idea-Driven Organization, they start by describing the type of leader who’s most likely to make THIS happen.

Further Reading
  • Unveils the Future of Artificial Intelligence — When Dennis R. Mortensen hired his founding team members at, he pitched them by illustrating his vision of a world where everyone has a personal assistant to schedule their meetings. Recognizing the complexity of the challenge, he concluded by saying: “We may die trying.”
  • The Power of Explosive Creation: How to Harness Your Creative Callings — If Steve Martocci could give everyone a fortune cookie with a customized saying inside he’d write: “Lost cookie. Please Return” with his name and address. “Imagine if I managed to reach the billions of people in the world. I’d love to see what kinds of letters I’d get back if I gave them a feedback loop,” he says.
  • How Gatheredtable is Designing an Intuitive Product to Streamline Meal Planning — As someone who suffers from over 50 food intolerances, the convenience of meal delivery and planning services has yet to become a reality for me. While its impossible to accommodate circumstances like this at scale, my family and I are are equally in search of a service to streamline our meal planning efforts.

back to the blog