Creating Breakthroughs – How to Transform, Grow & Innovate with Bestselling Author Adam Alter (Sparkr Podcast #26)

Creating breakthroughs

Adam is a professor for Marketing at the Stern School of Business at New York University and author of multiple insightful books such as „Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked“ or his latest work „Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most“.

On September 7th he’ll be one of the keynote speakers at the International Retail Summit by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich. Check them out if you are interested in visionary trends, important management insights and connecting with thought leaders in retail.

Tactics to get unstuck and transform

In this conversation, Adam and myself discuss how we can create breakthroughs in our personal and professional life. But first, we explore why we get stuck every once in a while in our life and what the best tactics are to get unstuck again and prepare ourselves for breakthroughs.

Adam has done extensive research about this topic and has uncovered valuable insights to get unstuck and be successful in the transformations we want to make.

  • We elaborated on the state of being stuck, what it origins can be and how to proactively avoid it.
  • We discussed concrete tactics and mindsets to get ahead, create breakthroughs and get unstuck.
  • And also we talked about how we as leaders in business, as parents or otherwise caring human beings can be helpful for others who are stuck.

Some Take-Aways

Let me share just a few of the take-aways from the conversation here:

  • There are many sources of getting stuck. One of them is the plateau effect when doing more of the same does not lead to better results anymore.
  • When first red flags are emerging (i.e. slowing revenues, disruptions announcing themselves etc.), the time has come to prepare a strategy for the scenario in which the threatening trend accelerates. I‘m looking at you generative AI and ChatGPT. With strategies ready when you need them, this helps you a lot to get unstuck.
  • Slow down, understand the source of the stuckness and then get active. Don‘t rush to combat stuckness blindly and immediately.
  • To get unstuck and achieve breakthroughs experiment with options of exploration and exploitation.
  • Diversity of thought (in the form of inner dialog or in teams) is key.
  • Often it's the initial movement from 0 to 1 and not from 1 to 100 which is challenging when trying to get unstuck. When the ball is rolling and you are experimenting, that's already a first success.
  • Create bite-sized subgoals and a reward system to stay motivated and eliminate the long demotivating middle phase of a project or transformations.
  • Leaders play a crucial role to create the circumstances in which others are willing and able to achieve breakthroughs.
  • There are stories in the interview of great performers like Lionel Messi or Miles Davis and their relationship with getting unstucked.

I hope you find the time to listen to the entire conversation and check out Adam's book since there are many more insights available there for you.

You might also like this: A conversation with frugal innovation expert Navi Radjou

Listen to this episode of the Sparkr Podcast with Navi Radjou to explore what businesses can learn from the innovation mindset in developing countries and do better with less.

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