Jonathan La Greca

VP, Strategic Growth

Marketing and Insights Innovators, we salute you.

As some of you know, we are launching the Insights Innovators Award with the goal of celebrating innovators and getting their help to decode insights innovation.

In the spirit of decoding innovation, I’d like to share some of the best innovation advice that I have come across in a while.

It comes from Jane Hwang, Global Vice President Fruit Confections & Skittles Global Brand Director at Mars Wrigley, who we had the fortune of sharing an espresso with at the Cult Gathering of Brands in Banff this week.

Here is Jane’s advice on innovation…

Playing it safe isn’t always the safest option.

If you want to be an innovator, you can’t always play it safe.

You have to adopt an attitude of fearless authenticity and relentlessly help your team remove their ingrained fear of failure.

It is important to remind your team that every decision has a variety of potential outcomes, with several positive and negative consequences. Each of those consequences has varying probabilities of occurring.

As a leader, you and your team have to be ok with the possibility that the worst-case negative consequence could come true, but still move forward because you believe the potential reward outweighs that risk.

Jane gave one of the best talks at the Gathering this year.

What made Jane’s presentation stand apart from the others was that she proudly shared some of the biggest mistakes she has made in her career and what she learned from them.

She explained how those mistakes helped her make better decisions in the future and also reinforced the importance of paying those learnings forward to strengthen her team’s decision making.

In addition to her advice on innovation, Jane shared several other insights on brand building that I’ll dig deeper into when I publish our collection of brand building insights that we “gathered” at this year’s Gathering in Banff.

For now, I would like to thank Jane for role modeling what true authentic leadership looks like.

We can apply her wisdom in coaching our teams to overcome the fear of failure and take more well-calculated attempts at innovation.

As we continue to celebrate insights innovators, please let me know of any other role models that you think should be recognized through the Insights Innovators Awards.

We will continue to share back what we learn from these innovators through our Decoding Insights Innovation thought leadership program.