My Greatest Lesson from a Lifetime Spent Innovating Businesses
September 22, 2022 - Doug Bell, Parallel Founder & CEO
I’ve been solving business problems since I was 8. I was just a regular employee with a manager and teammates, but I also had the perspective of the company president & the executive vice president – my Pop & Dad.
So when I was assigned to a stockroom and told to retrieve merchandise for salespeople, I started innovating to see how fast the merchandise could be in their hands. I had so much fun breaking speed records, transforming stockroom operations, and helping salespeople & managers, knowing that all of my efforts were helping our company perform at the highest possible level for our customers.
And I worked every day to keep innovating my process, keeping me super engaged and excited to go to work everyday. I felt so lucky to be able to get paid to figure out how to add more value to the lives of our salespeople, managers and executives which brought me great joy.
By 21, I had gained a global perspective having traveled extensively in 1980’s India, Egypt, South Africa, Ecuador and Russia where I experienced wonderful people and beautiful cultures, along with human suffering that shouldn’t exist in the modern world. I wanted to contribute to making the world a much better place for everyone. So I started developing my ability to solve problems – studying engineering & business before starting to guide Disney’s business leaders at 24, helping them navigate their businesses to their chosen destinations on the fastest, most direct routes possible.
Now at 52, I’ve guided hundreds of leaders & have been a global business leader myself over the past 28 years, and I’ve found one glaring problem that every single one of us struggles with: making change happen. The lack of a fast & easy process for change has been slowing down progress in every industry sector and facet of our society across the globe.
The greatest lesson that I’ve learned is that without a process for change, organizations must change in a new way every time. That’s a lot of work and takes a lot of time. By the time change is implemented, more change is often already needed. So you’re always chasing what you want from the rear instead of leading from the front. And perhaps most importantly, the changes being made aren’t connected to one another so it’s impossible to see how they all fit together and maximize their impact holistically.
In creating Parallel, I set out to give leaders a turnkey process for change that would make it easy to connect their organizations’ efforts and focus everyone on enhancing the lives of their teams, customers and shareholders.
After all, if we could make change easy, we could enhance lives everywhere by solving the problems people are facing in today’s world and tomorrow’s. We could produce any future we want.
Next week, I’ll be breaking down the first step of our process so that you can use it to help everyone in your organization and in your life feel excited to succeed.