Superheroes. They question the status quo. They use superpowers to save the world. They wisely engage the help of a sidekick. And the results are breathtaking.
Children? They are superheroes at home – ready to face defeat, but never ready to fail. And the outcomes inspire. So, shouldn’t we all be searching out our own inner superheroes to solve some of the world’s biggest problems?
Ashley Haynes-Gasper, Chief Marketing Officer of GE Oil & Gas, asserts that you still possess superpowers – like imagination and creativity – that you can use to drive innovation and transform your company or organization.
Ashley’s interest in innovation comes from her passion for meeting customers’ needs. “To truly delight our customers, we need to innovate around service and delivery as much as product”, Ashley explains. “That requires a revolutionary approach”. And to whom does Ashley turn for inspiration? Kids who, as Ashley puts it “are real-life superheroes”.
Take collaboration as an example. As any group of kids building a snow fort knows, it doesn’t matter whose job is what, or who gets credit, the point is to work together to get the fort built so the real fun can begin. Ashley takes this same fluid approach to innovation within a corporate environment. “We engage and collaborate with our customers so that we are co-creating and co-innovating to find breakthrough solutions”.
Ashley’s approach to trying new things is also inspired by children. “Kids are natural risk-takers. They fail fast, and fail often. And we can learn from that”, Ashley notes. “Companies often take too much time and energy to figure out if it’s worth the risk to try something new. Sometimes you need to just take a leap of faith and try something, simply because you have a belief that there’s a better way to do it”.
In her creative and inspiring TEDxBeaconStreet talk, Ashley makes the case for learning from kids to rediscover the superhero within each of us. By reigniting the superpowers we had as children, we can harness our creativity and imagination to unleash transformative, customer-centered innovation in our organizations and companies. So unfurl your cape, grab a sidekick, and get ready to save the day!