Beth Comstock’s 7 Keys for Leading Innovation at Work

Beth Comstock has a love for change, and she welcomes the unfamiliar. As chief marketing officer at General Electric, attributes her ascent up the corporate ladder to her passion for new challenges. Comstock is known for her ability to rally team members and convey enthusiasm that inspires leaders and achievers across the board.

Here are the 7 key strategies she uses:

1. Fostering creativity: “Give some sort of guidelines or framework on which to be creative. Great creative gives you great outcomes.”

2. Overcoming obstacles: To overcome shyness, “I found that curiosity propels me forward. Sometimes I look back on a situation where I was reluctant to speak up, even when I knew I could have added value, or was afraid to meet someone new and regret the missed opportunity. That’s what I tell myself now: ‘You don’t want to miss this opportunity. Get in there.’”

3. Best practices: “Allow the culture you create to be driven by curiosity. Constantly discover the new and listen.”

4. Motivation: “I motivate people by recognizing the strength of the whole team. It starts when voices are heard. It’s an energy that builds upon itself.”

5. Flexibility: “We may have certain descriptions in our heads or other people’s descriptions of what success is supposed to look like, but you need to go where your passions are. But your definition of success can change, and you have to let go and give yourself that flexibility.”

6. Time management: “Give yourself time to think, and iterate professionally and personally. People need physical space to go to as well as mental space to think.”

7. In retrospect: “I wish I’d done more internationally. I have traveled the world, but I haven’t lived anywhere else. I wish, in my 20s, I had taken off to live somewhere else to have a different point of view.

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