I love the blank page. I see a horribly renovated row house in a cool neighborhood and decide to turn it into an amazing B&B, even though I’ve never owned property before. When a senior leader says “It would be great if we could create a thought leadership platform about healthcare” and I don’t know what a thought leadership platform is, my stomach aches and I’m exhilarated and I put one foot in front of the other until I’ve created something great. When I had to transform the culture of a 5,000 employee division of a global insurance company and I had no idea where to start, I just started. To me, figuring it out is the best part of the journey.
Over time, I’ve come to realize that for some, the blank page is terrifying and baffling. I’ve seen individuals and teams tread water for months and years not knowing how to take the right steps (sometimes ANY steps) to putting something on that blank page. The blank page is an amazing opportunity to create something perfectly aligned with your customer’s needs.
While I’m out filling the blank page (and helping others do so), my husband is the CEO of our busy household. When I told him I was thinking of blogging, he asked me to explain what I do, because people ask him and he doesn’t know how to answer them.
I’m a blank page innovator. I take on the biggest challenges, dive in and talk to customers or stakeholders to understand them, then create solutions to meet the need. Sometimes I do this directly as an entreprenuer, but for more than a decade I’ve been an Intrapreneur (an entreprenuer within a large organization) and then an executive building a corporate innovation function. Inside a large organization, I worked to transform the corporate culture so it was more nurturing to new ideas and the people who incubate them. I built structures and processes that support other intraprenuers as they disrupt the status quo with their own blank page innovations.
In this blog, I hope to share some of the insights I’ve derived along the way and begin to fill my next blank page.