Out on a limb

Twain famously said “why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.”

Of course, as we move further out on the limb the chances go up that it will break or we will lose our balance and fall. And not every limb can support the weight we carry–some of it accumulated over a lifetime.

And yet…

Innovation doesn’t spontaneously combust from simply having a new idea.

Organizations don’t transform through minor variations of what we’ve always done.

Movements don’t arise if we aren’t willing to aggressively challenge the status quo.

Spiritual growth doesn’t happen without confronting our bad habits and deepest fears.

True love is not possible without laying one’s soul bare and letting ourselves be truly seen by another human being.

The bad news is none of this might work. The good news is we’re still going to be okay. The better news is that we might receive, accomplish or feel something amazing.

Alas, we have to be willing to fail, to look foolish, to endure that gnawing pain in our hearts and that queasiness in our stomach. We have to do the work.

But it just might be worth it.

And the first step is figuring out what’s worth fighting for.


Author: stevenpdennis

Steve Dennis is a strategic advisor and thought-leader on retail innovation, marketing and growth strategy. He has served as the chief strategy officer and led the development of omni/multichannel integration efforts as a member of the executive committee of two Fortune 500 retailers. He was recently named one of retail's top 20 influencers and is a retail contributor for Forbes. As President of SageBerry Consulting he helps retail, consumer and social impact brands accelerate their growth and improve their customer focus and results. Prior to founding SageBerry, Steve was Senior Vice President, Strategy & Multichannel Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group where he drove major strategic initiatives and led the company’s multichannel integration, loyalty marketing and customer insight strategy. As a speaker, Steve delivers keynotes, leads workshops and moderates expert panels on how retailers and brands can reinvent themselves to thrive during an age of digital disruption. Steve’s blog at www.stevenpdennis.com is one of the retail industry’s most followed and his thoughts on the future of retail have been featured at Bloomberg/Business Week, CNBC, Fortune, the Harvard Business Review, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and many other media channels. Steve is a member of several for-profit and non-profit Board of Directors and Advisory Boards. In the social impact sector, he is a long-term partner/Board member with Social Venture Partners Dallas and its immediate past Board Chair. Steve is also actively engaged as a Mentor and Advisor to the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ GroundFloor Social Innovation Accelerator. He has worked with numerous non-profits and social enterprises to amplify their impact, including Education Opens Doors, the Akola Project, Bonton Farms, Children@Risk and Leadership ISD. Steve received his MBA from Harvard and a BA from Tufts University.

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