Over the years I’ve found it essential to read broadly.  Spending time reading in a variety of disciplines enables creativity and strategic thinking.  So I read all kinds of things.

In the last two years listening broadly has become increasingly more possible with the development of the podcast.  Now you can listen to some of the worlds most innovative thinkers…for free.  You can even take it with you in the car.

One of the resources that I take advantage of is the The Educators Corner, made available by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.  Talk about listening broadly!  At this one site you can download talks from a really wide variety of speakers.  Everything from Google’s Marissa Mayer to Stanford’s Bob Sutton.  This week’s talk was by Scott Kriens, the CEO of Juniper Networks.  Fantastic and really, really relevant for all of us who are trying to figure out how to make changes in the way we think and work…so that we can get to the next level of effectiveness.  Scott’s comments about wrestling with the growth obstacles in order to grow from 2 Billion to 5 Billion are extremely practical for all of us who are wondering what changes it will take to do the next thing we need to do.

I came away from Kriens’ talk with a great question to add to my arsenal of questions.  In talking about the changes they’ll need to make in order to grow he’s asking the question, "Is it still the right thing to do?"  In other words, is the way I’m investing my time…still the right thing to do?  Or, is the strategy we used to get here the one we’ll need to get there?  Is it still the right thing to do?

How’s that applicable?  Know any organizations that are still doing things the way they did on their way to the size they are?  Know anyone who’s still plodding away at an organizational style that worked well at one time but now recognize that they’re stuck?  What if you could help them wrestle with the question, "Is it still the right thing to do?"

Listening Broadly