An MY SMR an initiative that explores how technology is changing management practices.
More in this series
Few doubt that something extraordinary has happened to Nvidia, as its stock price has risen more than 8,000% over the past decade. It is now one of the top 10 most valuable companies in the world, having transformed from the world’s leading supplier of graphics processors to a leader in computing for artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.1 CEO Jensen Huang confounded the conventional wisdom that built companies. cannot reinvent itself and its industry through radical innovation.
Nvidia is not an outlier – rather, we see it as one of the most compelling examples of the development of large corporations leading radical innovation. Among them is LexisNexis, which became an early leader in big data analytics by building a multibillion-dollar business that is bigger than the original legal information company. Another firm, Deloitte Consulting, is challenging the century-old management consulting model with the Deloitte Pixel, a new open talent model. Best Buy broke out of its retail box to create a health technology and services company for the elderly. MasterCard has shifted from processing credit card transactions to developing new digital payment solutions.
Get updates on transformational leadership
Evidence-based resources that can help you lead your team more effectively are delivered to your inbox every month.
Please enter a valid email address
Thank you for registering
A new crop of leaders is pushing disruptive companies out of big corporations. These corporate explorers are ambitious, goal-driven executives who want to campaign for disruptive new ventures from stable, successful organizations. They invent, incubate, and scale innovations like an entrepreneur does. However, innovating within an existing corporation differs from conventional entrepreneurship in important ways. These leaders need an enabling context to empower and encourage them. This is a role we call a strategic ambitions.
Definition of Ambition
CEOs like Nvidia Huang, Analog Devices’ Vincent Roche, MasterCard’s Ajay Banga, and Best Buy’s Hubert Joly have given their organizations strategic ambitions that inspire aspiration and hope, not fear.
Most importantly, leaders articulate an emotionally compelling higher purpose for their companies, such as Joly’s aspiration that Best Buy has “technology to enrich people’s lives and contribute to the common good.” Many companies have mission and vision statements that express a commitment to a higher purpose. They can tell us where the company stands on important social issues like climate change and the Black Lives Matter movement.
1. According to https://seekingalpha.com, in 2021 December 22 Nvidia stock is up 8,736.68% over 10 years.
2. N. Furr, A. Shipilov, and A. Duvauchelle, “How does digital transformation work?” The MasterCard Case (A), INSEAD Case Study No. 6348 (Fontainebleau, France: INSEAD, 26 February 2018); and N. Furr, A. Shipilov, and A. Duvauchelle, “How is digital transformation happening? The MasterCard Case (B), INSEAD Case Study No. 6348 (Fontainebleau, France: INSEAD, 1 December 2020).
3. S. Pangambam, “MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga on Risks in Your Life and Career (Full Transcript),” The Singju Post, 2015. December 7, https://singjupost.com.
4. Jensen Huang, interview with authors, 2016. February 27