When we created Integrated Business a few years ago, I had a meeting with its new chair Jim Gilkeson where I handed him a book: “How Stella Saved the Farm” (click here for a synopsis). To make a long story short, the book is a simple parable about how to innovate. Key to the story is Stella’s decision to bring in alpacas to save her farm. At first the other animals don’t like the alpacas, mainly because they’re weird and they smell. Acceptance and assimilation of these exotic creatures into the farm is fraught with several challenges but ultimately the alpacas’ wool saves the farm. When I handed Jim the book I told him to “go get me some alpacas.”
What I didn’t mention to Jim at the time is that innovative efforts like Integrated Business require a high tolerance for risk and failure and that every alpaca has a unique personality. Case in point….
There are alpacas and then there is Chris Leo. I love Chris Leo… He is never afraid to take a risk…