Autodesk CEO on innovation: speak up, have a point of view

Good advice for corporate rebels from Autodesk CEO Carl Bass. When asked by Adam Byrant, the New York Times "Corner Office" columnist, what he does to foster teamwork and innovation Carl Bass said he focuses on three things:

  1. Find people with different world views who are willing to challenge you.
  2. Create an environment where they can do that.
  3. Go out of your way to tell people that you want to hear their opinions.

In the recent interview, Bass said:

It's not uncommon in meetings for me to say, when I know something is very controversial and important, "For the next 20 minutes, I want to hear from everybody."  At the heart of it people have to take on and hold a point of view...I think one of the main roles for a leader is to get as many opinions as possible on the table.

I also appreciated Bass' views on the need for leaders to set clear visions.

As CEO you're the one who's driving the bus. And if you're erratic while you're driving, everyone gets pretty nauseous. It's really important to be as clear as you possibly  can be and not just wake up one day and say we're going this way and the next day we're going that way.