The CEO Is The Only One Who Can Make The Big Bets

This blog was written with Jay Terwilliger and Mark Sebell, managing partners at Creative Realities, a Boston-based innovation management collaborative.

You have probably heard the Wayne Gretzky quote about skating to where the puck will be a hundred times at least. But did you ever see it as the central metaphor for what truly innovative organisations must do?

Listen up, CEOs: Only you can make the big bets about where your industry’s hockey puck is going. And you have to use what we call the educated gut to make those bets. Too many of you know you need to do it, but you still don’t.

In the late 1990s, we presented the Gretzky metaphor to a division of a large, global bank. Suddenly the president of the division got agitated, jumped up, came to the front of the room, and said something like this:

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