Doug Sundheim

President, Clarity Consulting

Doug Sundheim is a leadership and organizational consultant with over 20 years of experience in growing businesses and helping others do the same. He works with leaders and teams of Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial firms to help them maximize their effectiveness. His clients include Morgan Stanley, Harvard Management Company, The Chubb Corporation, Citigroup, University of Chicago, and Procter & Gamble among others. Prior to his work in leadership and organizational consulting, Doug spent several years in the Internet strategy field and started a 100-person catering company. Doug holds a BS from Cornell University and an MA in Adult Learning & Leadership from Columbia University. He lives in Westchester, NY with his wife and three sons. Doug’s second book Taking Smart Risks: How Sharp Leaders Win When Stakes Are High was published in January 2013 by McGraw-Hill.

On the show, Sundheim discussed how companies and managers can do a better job of taking smart risks in order to promote innovation. One group of people that tend to do an excellent job of taking smart risks are those with something worth fighting for. For Sundheim, these people are distinct from those with mere passions, and they will do just about anything to accomplish their career and life goals. Interestingly, he also introduced the idea that when a firm has a process in place for innovation, but innovation still isn’t happening quite right – the problem may be in the quality of the dialogue. CEOs and other managers must lead the way during check-in meetings with project teams to ask a lot of questions and not worry about sounding dumb. It’s important that the manager is asking when the leap from data analysis to conclusion or product idea isn’t entirely clear, or any reasoning isn’t so clear. This focus can help make any innovation management process significantly more effective.