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'Vision Without Execution Is Hallucination'

When you're clear in your company purpose--your "why," as leadership author Simon Sinek puts it--your strategic direction becomes self-evident.

Implementing Innovation

When you're clear in your company purpose--your "why," as leadership author Simon Sinek puts it--your strategic direction becomes self-evident.

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Video Transcript

00:11 Simon Sinek: As Thomas Edison said, "Vision without execution is hallucination." It's all fine and good to have vision. It's all fine and good to know your why, but if you can't execute it, then it's no value whatsoever. Even organizations that have a clear sense of why, that have a clear sense of why they exist, their purpose, cause, or belief that defines their very existence, the challenge still exists of, "Okay. Now that I know that, how do I implement it?"

00:31 Sinek: When we're clear on the why, the strategic decisions that we can make after that become actually much simpler. Take Steve Jobs for example, he believed that technology should seamlessly integrate into our lives and that we shouldn't have to change the way we live our lives to fit technology. Technology should fit how we live. This is the reason why simplicity mattered. This is the reason why design mattered. This thing that he believed was so important that it drove all of his decisions. It set their strategy. It also is what allowed for all the innovation.

00:59 Sinek: There is a wonderful story that is told, how Steve Jobs and some of his senior executives went to Xerox, PARC in the early 80s and were shown something that Xerox had developed called the graphic user interface. The problem was, Steve Jobs, with his vision of seamlessly integrating technology into our lives, sees this graphic user interface and sees it as a much better way to getting to his vision. So, he says to his executives, "We have to invest in this graphic user interface thing." And his executives say to him, "Steve, if we invest in this, we're gonna blow up our own business." To which he replies, "Better we should blow it up than someone else." And that decision became the Macintosh.

01:34 Sinek: When we're clear in our why, the strategic directions that we choose becomes so self-evident even if they are expensive. There's nothing efficient about innovation. Innovation is the application of technology to solve problems, but you have to know which problem you're setting out to solve.

Last updated: Dec 4, 2012