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The First Step: How Square conquers fear to bring new ideas to life

On this episode, Chris dives into how to take an idea and put it in action with Jesse Dorogusker, Hardware Lead at Square. Then he talks to Ralf Dreischmeier, global leader of Leap by McKinsey.

The First Step: How Square conquers fear to bring new ideas to life

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THE FIRST STEP: ACTING

Whether you are starting a new digital business at your company or just starting a new task at work, the gap between thought and action can often seem cavernous. Often we find ourselves paralyzed, unable to act. In the case of starting a new digital business, taking action is essential to maintaining success and growing your company. Leap by McKinsey was designed to help companies take that first step and launch new digital businesses.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PODCAST:

Chris Denson: With the theme of the series just being, Taking a Leap. What sorts of hesitations do you find even inside large organizations where you do have the bandwidth and the resources and the aptitude. Where do you find more hesitation in taking the leap with the teams that you interface with?

Jesse Dorogusker: It’s pervasive. It’s a combination of fear generally. Fear that it won’t be successful. And then accumulated with that fear is worry, which is that the idea presented, the prototype built, the idea put together might not work for all of these reasons. It’s one of the reasons that that new ideas really need to start with a lot of protection and gentleness. Scrutiny and iteration, but they still, you can’t take 2000 people and ask them their opinion on something that’s new and fresh. Otherwise, it’ll just get worried to death.

Chris Denson: Yeah, that’s a good one. When I think about fear and worry, there’s this philosophical in goal that we’re afraid of, which either we’re going to get fired or we’re going to look silly, but there’s also an excitement to building something and making something new. From a cultural standpoint, how do you influence and maximize that culture of exploration?

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Jesse Dorogusker: Well, you have to be present for it. You have to be there and look at models and prototypes and talk about them and hear those worries out, and not panic. I think one of the things I’m known for as a leader is my calmness at least on the outside. And you have to just be able to take all that in and make sure you’re learning from it and make sure the people around you know that it’s okay to learn from it. It’s also okay to challenge some assumptions that you’ve made in the past. Even some assumptions that were the formula for your success in the first place. 

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Chris Denson: So Ralf, why is building business so important for successful companies in this way?

Ralf Dreischmeier: We’re living in the age of disruption as we all know, and that means even if you’re doing well now, you can’t rest on your laurels. So business building, from our perspective, it’s not a choice anymore. It’s a differentiating capability that all enterprises need to survive and to prosper.

And successful companies have key advantages. They’ve got resources, they’ve got money, they’ve got infrastructure, they’ve got a brand awareness. That means that if they can innovate, they are in a great position, and that’s where Leap comes in. We help establish companies think like startups so they are more able to take a good idea and run with it. 

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Leap by McKinsey works with established organizations to build and scale innovative new businesses from scratch. Together, we help our clients build capabilities, adopt the right technologies in the right places, and break out of the status quo.

Leap draws on McKinsey’s expertise in business, design, and technology. We have over 700 founders, designers, engineers, marketers, and analysts in our team and collaborate closely with McKinsey Digital’s team of over 5,000 experts across digital and analytics. Together, we are helping clients create Change that Matters. Get to know Leap on our website.

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