Today, I’m thrilled to introduce a very special series that tackles the topics shaping the world of innovation. Joining me is Peter Temes, Founder & President of the ILO Institute, a beacon of wisdom in the innovation community and someone I’ve had the privilege of calling my intellectual mentor.

In this episode, we explore the crucial dilemmas and opportunities within large organizations, touching upon the essence of trust, the ambition behind moon shots, and the intricate roles of chief innovation officers. With the ILO Institute setting the benchmark for innovation research, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge and insights that have guided countless organizations through their innovation journeys.

Peter’s story begins two decades ago, emerging from the lessons learned in the aftermath of strategic missteps within a large educational institution. This experience sparked a burning question: How do formidable organizations falter in their decision-making processes, and more importantly, how do they miss the open doors to serve better and scale greater?

Throughout our conversation, Peter uncovers the enduring practices and evolving strategies that define innovation leadership. From the constants that have stood the test of time to the dynamic shifts in approach necessitated by an ever-changing world, we dive into what it means to balance efficiency with discovery, to lower the cost of failure, and to cultivate an environment where risk-taking is not just accepted but encouraged.

But perhaps the most compelling part of our discussion centers on the paradox of innovation in big organizations—the tension between the drive for efficiency and the imperative for discovery. Peter recounts tales from the trenches, illustrating how, even with the best intentions, the push for innovation often bumps up against the complex reality of efficiency metrics. Through his eyes, we see the challenges and triumphs of fostering a culture where innovation can thrive against the odds.

Join me as Peter shares his journey, the mission of the ILO Institute, and the invaluable lessons learned from a career dedicated to understanding and enhancing the innovation process. This episode is an essential listen for anyone with an innovation mandate, offering perspectives that resonate at the intersection of what we know, what we feel, and what we dare to imagine.

Guest Details:

Name: Peter Temes
Title: Founder & President
Company: ILO Institute
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Peter Temes founded the Institute for Innovation in Large Organizations in 2005, and in the years since he has advised many Global 2000 firms, including Fidelity, Microsoft, Google, Bayer, Telekom Austria, and Black & Veatch, as well as NASA, Save the children, Kaiser Permanente and the public health system of Texas.

Peter began his career as an academic, and has been a faculty member at Harvard University, a dean at Northeastern, and president of the Antioch New England Graduate School, He is the author of several books, including The Power of Purpose and The Just War.