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

Steven Dennis is a trusted advisor and thought-leader on customer-centric strategic growth and innovation. As President of SageBerry Consulting, he applies his C-level executive experience to drive growth and marketing strategy for multi-channel retail, e-commerce and luxury industry clients. He shares his ideas and wisdom regularly in the press, as an industry speaker and through his popular blog "Zen and the Art & Science of Customer-Centricity"(http://stevenpdennis.wordpress.com/). Prior to founding SageBerry, Steven was Senior Vice President of Strategy, Business Development and Marketing for the Neiman Marcus Group. As a member of the Executive Committee he drove the company's major growth initiatives, multi-channel marketing programs and customer insight agenda. Before joining Neiman Marcus, Steven held leadership positions with Sears, including Acting Chief Strategy Officer, Lands' End acquisition integration team leader, Vice President-Multichannel Integration and General Manager-Commercial Sales. Earlier in his career he was with NutraSweet and the global management strategy consulting firm, Booz & Co. Steven received his MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University. In addition to his consulting work, Steven is an executive-in-residence at the JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence at SMU’s Cox School of Business, President of the DFW Retail Executives Association and serves on the Advisory Boards of Invodo Inc. and Nectar Online Media. He is also active in the social innovation and education reform arena as a Partner and member of the Board of Directors of Dallas Social Venture Partners. He is currently co-leader of DSVP's investment and engagement with SMU's Center on Communities and Education "School Zone" initiative in West Dallas.

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