What is innovation?

I’ve been in my current role for 10 months now and have learned a lot about innovation as a result. One thing that I have noticed, is that there are many different definitions out there for innovation.  DBD International has one definition in the slideshare below, which really caught my eye.  Not only is it a great example of animation, it tells a great story and defines innovation easily and quickly!

Do you see the dots that other’s don’t see?

How would you define innovation?

+Alesandra Blakeston

7 Sites For Free and Beautiful Public Domain Photos

Great SlideShare by Kapost detailing several sites that I didn’t know with public domain photos!


+Alesandra Blakeston


40 going on 4

Believe it or not, I actually turn 40 this year.  I have more in common with some of my millennial friends than with the typical 40 year old woman, and yet all of my friends have been telling me that I am getting old or have asked me if it bothers me.  The truth?  No.  Not even slightly.  The fact is that in many, many ways, I am still around four years old.  Old enough to know better, but still young enough to get up to mischief  I still love super heroes (Avengers and X-Men anyone?), I still devour fantasy stories (The Hobbit, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal to name but a few) and I still love Disney (Little Mermaid, Frozen!!!).  Of course, I’ve learned a lot along the way.  I’ve been hurt, knocked down and bruised.  I’ve laughed, loved and soared high.  Frankly I wouldn’t change a thing – even the REALLY painful parts.  Since not everyone I know feels this way about themselves and their lives, I thought I would share my life lessons in the hopes that it will help not just them, but others too.

It seems as though I’ve always been little miss confident, little miss independent as you can see from the photos below.  Was this behaviour learned or inherited, I couldn’t say, you would probably have to ask my family.  I do know though that I was the first and only one in my family to go to university, the first to travel outside of Europe and the first to work abroad.  Confidence can be learned, failure embraced and learned from, and fear should be seen as a motivator.  If you’re not afraid, you are not challenging yourself enough!  Why do I say this?  I present to you my facts of life:

20140502_0947241. Children learn by making mistakes.  You learn to walk by falling, you learn to ride a bike by crashing.  This first photo shows me at the age of three checking to see if my parents are watching before I sneak off to climb my neighbour’s six foot brick wall.  Funnily, there are plenty of other similar photos of me.  I once was grounded for peddling my tricycle on the main road.  There was a long queue of traffic behind me, the first and foremost of which was a six wheeler flatbed truck.  Everyone in my street was watching the funny parade of traffic following this 3 / 4 year old child being honked and blared at by the impatient drivers.  When I eventually turned off onto my side street, the lorry driver pulled up to talk to my parents.  When he asked “Didn’t I hear him honking?”  My reply was simple. “I was peddling as fast as I could…”

I have to admit I don’t remember either of these stories actually happening, but my parents (and their friends) have told me these stories and others enough times that they (and I) are village legend.  As you can imagine, I used to scare the pants off my parents on a regular basis!  I never fell off that wall, but I am sure I fell off enough smaller walls to be confident enough to tackle the bigger one.  I’m sure you get the point I am making.  Dont’ be afraid of falling or of making mistakes. Instead, be afraid of not trying.  Life is very very boring if you play it safe!  Also, you’ll never be noticed by doing what everyone else does.

20140502_0946442. Find out what makes you special and own it!  Both of my parents worked when I was young.  It was necessary as my parents weren’t rich by any standard.  This of necessity made me independent.  I used to walk myself and my brother to school.  In the small village where we grew up, it was perfectly safe back then!  As a result, I learned responsibility young.  That being said, I distinctly remember hating the dresses I was put in to go to school.  One of the parents of a classmate of mine was a dressmaker and almost every girl in the village wore these dresses as they were of a good quality and inexpensive.  Of course, I was a tomboy and hated dresses on general principle.  The only way my mother could get me into the day’s dress was if it had the colour red in it.  (I still prefer that colour to any other).  We also compromised with my school coat.  It had to have big buttons, so that I could use it as a cape when playing G-Force or Wonder Woman in the playground.

Growing up in a family where we had very little and in a village where everyone was related and knew everyone else’s business made me determined to escape, to be better and to be different.  Luckily for me, my mother encouraged me to read and let me live and play in my fantasy world.  I was always making up stories and little fantasies where I would be the hero and save the day.  Now I work for a global corporation, and have done not one but two different secondments outside of the UK.  My job entails creativity and innovation (I get to play and teach games for a living) and being a thought leader.

That being said, I went through a horrible phase (both professionally and personally) in the early part of my career with the company.  Work and home felt like a battleground.  During that time, I was lost.  I lost sight of who I was and why I should care.  I felt mired in failure and thought I couldn’t do anything right.  Fortunately one or two amazing people mentored me and helped me to regain that self-confidence that I lost for a while. They saw potential in me and helped me to bring it out.  I won’t name them (they know who they are) but because of them, I was able to win a National Training Award for the company and for a short while flew with the stars.  It only seems fair to pay that gift forward.

The fact is that everyone has a gift.  Some more than one.  If I can help just one person find what makes them unique, special and help them to turn that gift into a talent that they can leverage, then I have done well.  One of my friends is going through a bad patch at the moment.  She’s lost faith in herself and doesn’t know which way to turn.  She’s trying to fit in and keep her head down.  I keep telling her that regardless of what others around her think and say, it’s her opinion of herself that should have the most weight.  Value yourself and others will value you too.  Being different worked for me as a child, and being different is what has made me successful as an adult.  The truly successful are unique and original.

3. Be proud of your connections and help them to develop.  As the eldest child of three brothers and sisters, I was forever hearing “Take your brother / sister with you!”  or my favourite, usually when my brother had done something stupid and of course, it was my fault,  “Why didn’t you stop him?  You know better!”  Regardless of whether I was popular or not at school (and for a while, I really wasn’t!), I always had someone tagging along.  I learned a lot about teaching and mentoring and it made me a better person because of it.  I learned patience with my brother who is three years younger than me and I learned teaching with my sister who is eight years younger than me.  When I was a teenager, she was just a little girl.  I taught her to avoid all the mistakes I made.  Now I do the same with the young people I mentor at work and the interns whom I employ.  I learned that being responsible for someone (being a leader) means looking out for their welfare and development as well as bossing them around (like big sisters do).  You have no idea how proud I am of my little brother and how far he has come, especially since the birth of his gorgeous little daughter…  I feel the same way about my interns.  There’s nothing like the pride you feel when you see someone you have encouraged succeed.  The bike in the photo below eventually became my brother’s.  Both of us started with stabilisers and eventually moved on to a bigger better bike (I eventually moved onto a motorbike – but that’s a whole other story!)


4. You should never stop learning, regardless of your age.  Incidentally, I would never have gotten as good on social media and blogging if it weren’t for my younger friends helping me out and paying me back.  Just because you are older and wiser, it doesn’t mean you are better.  The younger generation has a lot to teach us about life in general (not just the latest tech and which apps you should have on your smartphone). Having a reverse mentor doesn’t just keep your outlook young, it can help you be more assertive and dare I say it more successful.  I belong to Generation X, but have Baby Boomers as friends as well as Millennials.  Believe it or not, I learned how to demand what I want from my job and my position from my millennial friends.  I learned diplomacy, tact and how to behave at work from my baby boomer friends.  No one knows everything, regardless of how old they are or how wise they are.  Being willing to change and adapt, understanding what to do with information, is more important in today’s world than being an expert.  Let’s face it, you can find anything you might wish to know with Google search.

20140502_0947165. Passion and Humour makes the day go faster.  This year, I will have worked for the company for fifteen years.  Strangely enough, that feels more like a milestone than my turning 40!  As a typical Brit, I am a master of sarcasm and wit (ask any one of my team!) and of course self-deprecating humour.  That doesn’t mean though that I don’t value myself or others.  In fact, the people that I am most fond of, usually get the most stick, myself included!  When preparing a facilitation session or a presentation, I always try to add in some fun and some jokes.  After all, if you can make people laugh, they are much more likely to remember you and by extension, your message.  After 15 years I have hundreds of co-workers (or should I say co-conspirators?), many with the same irreverent sense of humour, and I think  I have stayed so long because the company believes in its people and doesn’t take itself too seriously.  We’re passionate about what we do and it shows.  Frankly, if you can’t be passionate about your subject, then stop talking!  My blog is chock full of tips and techniques, musings and inspirations.  Above all though, it is about things that I am passionate about, whether that’s developing people, innovation, simplifying difficult topics, Excel charts or PowerPoint presentations.  As a child I grew up knowing that I was an odd little duck – my blog (and my twitter feed) is no different.  But I was given this advice by an old friend who mothered me on more than one occasion.

Stick out your tongue, tell the world to get in line, be good to your friends and march to your own tune!

Don’t you agree?

+Alesandra Blakeston

Building a PLN

Loved this presentation by Sylvia Rosenthal Tolisano.  I have a Personal Learning Network and have had one for many years.  I learn from those both younger and older than me as well as via blogs, SlideShares, videos and images.  As Sylvia says:

Your PLN is no longer tied to your zip code and you no longer work in isolation. Collaboration no longer just means to work with a colleague in your building. You are able to connect to educators from around the world who are ready and willing to teach beyond the walls of their own classroom.

The internet has made learning so much easier and allowed me to personalise my learning experience, making it more efficient.  What about you?  Do you have a PLN?  Who do you learn from?

+Alesandra Blakeston

Creativity quotes by Svetlana Bilenkina

Saw these three famous quotes designed by Svetlana Bilenkina yesterday and they really got me thinking, so I thought I would post them!  I thought they might inspire you too!

“Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.” by Albert Einstein

logic a to b

“Vision without execution is Hallucination.” by Thomas Edison

vision without execution

“The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.” by Sylvia Plath.

worst enemy to creativity

What do you think?  Hopefully these mini-posters inspired you as they did me!

Do you think of yourself as a logical person or a creative one?  I ask because, even if you are a logical person, you can still be creative.  There are tools and processes to help you do this – I will be posting on this later (though you can check out an earlier post of mine on the six creative thinking hats already.)


+Alesandra Blakeston

Being on the road to success

A friend from the US sent me this quote from Oprah Winfrey recently:

“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it”


It got me thinking. What does the road to success look like for me? What does it look like for other people? Is it…

  • Money
  • Power
  • Position
  • Personal comfort
  • Prestige
  • Happiness
  • A big office…

On one of the many blogs that I follow “Method leadership”, Michael J posted something recently on a similar theme: Why Lead? In fact many of the reasons above were listed by Michael as being factors on why people lead. This made me wonder if you are a leader and have these things, then does it then follow that you are successful?

According to the English Oxford dictionary, success can be defined as:

  • the accomplishment of an aim or purpose:the president had some success in restoring confidence
  • the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status:the success of his play
  • [count noun] a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.:to judge from league tables, the school is a success. I must make a success of my business

Obviously I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but success for me isn’t about how I am perceived by others. Fame, wealth, social status doesn’t do it for me. I get a sense of success, of accomplishment when I have achieved something I perceive to be challenging, worthwhile. This in turn makes me happy.

As a leader, I would also hope that my successes have something to do with the people I lead. In effect, I am successful, if my team is successful. As they develop and grow, I feel pride in their accomplishments, in their successes.

While doing research on this subject, I came across a post on LinkedIn by Jeff Haden. This post talks about happiness being an indicator of success. The best definition of success is the one you never use. It also talks about trade offs in business and how typically people who are classed as being successful have had to trade off time in their personal lives etc to achieve this “success”. I really liked this point:

If you’re making serious money but are unhappy on a personal level, you haven’t embraced the fact that incredible business success often takes a heavy toll on relationships. Other things are clearly important to you besides just making money.

He also says:

Defining success is important, but taking a clear-eyed look at the impact of your definition matters even more. As in most things your intent is important but the results provide the real answers.

If helping others through social work is your definition of success, you may make a decent living but you won’t get rich… and you must embrace that fact. If you’re happy, you have.

I also found a post in Inc.com by Eric V. Holtzclaw which made me think even further. Do you know your true definition of success. It defines success in several ways:

  • Jobs created – lives touched
  • Money made
  • World changed
  • Opportunities afforded
  • It’s about the journey

It’s the last point that I really identified with:

Entrepreneurs really don’t like to make it to the goal, because once we do we are looking for the next climb. All too often we focus too much on “making it” and don’t take the time to enjoy the journey. It’s in the journey and the creation that an entrepreneur is truly the happiest. This we must all be reminded of often.

I think the same is true of leaders and trainers, or at least of me. As well as of making it to the goal – and then the next (which all leaders try to do), think of developing / encouraging a person or member of your team. In my humble opinion, no-one is ever a finished product. Once I’ve finished one training course, once I’ve developed a person to the point that they are ready for the next role, I start again, encouraging and developing them (or someone else) to the next point on their journey. I’m successful when the next milestone is reached and I’m happy when they are growing.

In summary, and having thought about it probably way too much, I feel that I am on the road to success. I am happy in what I am doing, in the path my career is taking. When I view my team and their successes, I also feel successful. I’ve achieved most of the goals that I wanted to achieve (though not always on the first attempt) and I’ve learned from the mistakes that I have made. I will never be Steve Jobs, but I don’t want to be!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this one! Are you successful? What would make you successful?

Alesandra Blakeston

road to success (Medium)

5 tips to make the most out of collaboration

0010063532R-849x565How many times have you heard that collaboration is King?  Why?  It’s creative – each individual has a different way of looking at things, which sparks new ideas in others.

Collaboration is also useful when you have limited resources as it helps to bring together resources, people and ideas.  However, is every collaborative effort successful?  Unfortunately not.

When most people talk about tips to help collaboration, they’ll tell you about this tool, this methodology.  For me, though collaboration is about people.

So, here are 5 people oriented tips to help you make the most out of your collaborative efforts

1. There is a queen bee in every hive!

People often think that when a manager / leader is involved with true collaboration, his only role is to facilitate (Make an action or process easy or easier).  Don’t misunderstand me, facilitation has its place in every collaboration, in fact it is essential.  However, so is leadership.

nCzacjUI’ve been reading a lot about innovation recently and one of the ideas that I’ve picked up is Edward de Bono’s “Six thinking hats”.  Well worth a read if you have the chance.  The six thinking hats discuss the different roles needed for creativity.  One of those roles is the “leadership” role or “administrator” role (the blue hat).  Each collaboration needs a mediator, a time keeper, a referee.  Without this role, you could end up in anarchy.  Someone needs to solve dispute; someone needs to keep track of time scales and deadlines.

Imagine a beehive.  Each bee inside the hive has a role to play and a function.  However, without the queen nothing much would get done.  How will you know when you have achieved a task or a milestone if you don’t have a queen bee?  So if one person doesn’t immediately step forward, elect a team leader for each collaborative effort.  The team leader / blue hat role helps to focus and support the group!


2. It doesn’t take much to curdle milk

Collaboration is dependant on the people in the team and as such it doesn’t take much for it all to go sour.  Being flexible and accepting failure is vital, however if you see a problem, fix it and fast.  Unnecessary red tape, a problem team member, negativity can all cause the collaborative effort to fail.  Identify the weeds and throw them out!

Curdled milk is never salvageable   It will take you less time to identify and remove your problem areas than it will to do the project twice and it’s less damaging to your reputation!

3. Recognise your power users

955071_80397867For those of you who speak IT, you’ll know that a power user is not quite an administrator, but they have more access and more “rights” than a normal user would.  In terms of collaboration, this means that not everyone will put in the same effort and time, not everyone will contribute at the same level.  As well as identifying the problems, identify your shining stars.

Collaboration is about balance and working in concert, pairing needs and working towards (a sometimes but not always) shared goal while accomplishing smaller tasks as you go.  Thinking back to the beehive, if you had the same number of queens and warriors as you had worker bees, the end result would be a mess.  Don’t force everyone to be equal just to be perceived as fair. Give everyone their due and let people contribute what they can.

4. When 10 is not greater than 2

1259849_90935436 (Medium)If you asked someone for a definition of collaboration, they will probably start talking about team work.  We often think of collaboration as a group effort sharing the weight from beginning to end.  However, who says it cannot start small and get bigger?  Projects evolve.  People can leave, people can join as the needs arise.  Leverage the talents you require to get the job (task) done.  If someone is not needed, let them get on with something else.  For the record, teamwork and collaboration are different:

Teamwork = individuals working together for a common goal harmoniously

Collaboration = people with various goals banded together, only a few of which are usually shared

It makes sense then that your collaborative team could and should change as the goals and milestone adjust.  This will make any sudden game changers (new objectives, focus) less of a problem

5. A poor workman blames his tools

0008333352T-849x565There are some fantastic tools out there, both online and off, which can help collaboration.  There are so many tools available that make it easy to stay on top of tasks and easily collaborate with your team even if they are not all in the same room.  However they are just that.  Tools.  Without clear direction, deadlines, updates, people skills and leadership, the best tool in the world will not make your project successful.  You will get out what you put in as we say.  Or if you prefer you will reap what you sow.

In R. Keith Sawyer’s study of jazz performances, Group Genius: The Creative Power of Collaboration, Sawyer made this observation:

“The group has the ideas, not the individual musicians.”

According to Sawyer, more often than not, true innovation emerges from an improvised process and draws from trial-by-error and many inputs, “with sparks gathering together over time, multiple dead ends, and the reinterpretation of previous ideas.”  This happens when people are involved.  Tools will only help you to get there.

Hope this helps!

Alesandra Blakeston

Prioritising visuals using colour and symbols

Saw this post yesterday on HBR: Make priorities clear with green, yellow and red by Anthony Tjan.  In it, like the title suggests, Anthony Tjan suggests making your priorities clear using colour.  It’s definitely a good start, so I thought I would explain further.  For example, let’s take the table below:

table 1

We could prioritise the table by target date or by resource or by importance of the action.  If we use target date as an example, we could put completed actions in green, ongoing actions in yellow and actions behind schedule in red…

table 2

As a project manager, I can tell you that this idea definitely has merit.  In fact, I’ve used it several times in presentations and reports, to enable my managers and teams to immediately see the priority.  That being said, I also have a big problem with this idea.  What if you are colour blind?  I myself am partially colour blind.  I can see reds and greens, but similar colours are a problem for me.  So how I can I make this idea user friendly for those that canot see colour? Personally, I would do two things:

  • Separate the table into sections to put the different categories together
  • Add icons to show good and bad to make the distinction clear

table 3

However, those that know me, will probably tell you that I wouldn’t be satisfied with this either.  It’s a good start, but it’s still not visual enough.  There are various statistics out there on the value of a good visual and retention.  If you ask someone to remember just text, 72 hours after the training / presentation, they will only remember 10% of what was written.  If you add visuals (good ones) that retention rate can go up to 75%!  So how could I better present the table above visually?

First I might split the table into two slides; one slide entitled “New training templates” another entitled “Leadership training package”.  Then I might use timelines, photos, icons and tables as needed to illustrate the point I want people to remember!


What do you think?  What is your take home message?  Is the slide above easier to read?  Are you more or less likely to remember it?

Alesandra Blakeston

Innovation and Implementation: A Risky Business…

0010363503V-849x565A large part of my job is project management.  I oversee the results of the training program I manage, I motivate and energise the teams involved in it, and I implement smaller projects within the program to improve it and reduce cost.  This year, we’re hoping to make a lot of innovations, though of course it is all dependent on resource and time.  What do I mean by innovations?  Obviously we make changes to improve things all the time. What I mean here are significant changes where we take giant leaps of faith, completely changing the way we do things or using completely new products / services / technologies.  This involves a lot of research, development, training and support.

Deciding which innovative projects to implement and the strategy you’re going to adopt can be difficult when technology is involved, especially if there is a significant difference in the old and new technologies.  However it gets even more difficult when large numbers of people need to be brought on board, with big changes in competence.  You not only have to work out which personnel are going to help you drive the innovation, but also train large numbers of people and this is in addition to making the change.

I’ve been asked several times over the last year, why did we change this piece of software, or why did we implement that program.  Often people assume it’s about cost (because let’s face it, in business it usually is) but sometimes, it’s about the user experience as well.  As a trainer, I won’t adopt software just because it’s cheap; for me it has to be easy to use and somewhat intuitive if possible.  When I decide to make a change, it’s because I believe in the change.  Nothing less will do. Why?  Because implementations are risky.

0001332960GG-849x565When you decide to do something, to implement a new program, to change existing working methods, your credibility is on the line.  In short you are publicly telling your team and any other staff in your vicinity that “We can do it!”  When you consider that all implementations involve large scale changes (and this means Risk with a capital “R”), it is definitely scary putting your reputation on the line.

If the implementation is successful, then your credibility soars, you get moved to larger projects and you are seen as being innovative.  However, it is not just you who is responsible for the implementation.  Other members of your team / service / site / factories are involved and their commitment to the implementation will have an effect.  Unfortunately, this is just one of many factors that you have to take into consideration, assess and put measures in place to control.  If the implementation goes badly, you and your team can spend years trying to recover and overcome the negative backlash.


In addition to involving multiple people in the implementation, others will be impacted by the change as well.  For the implementation to be successful, these impacts need to be analysed carefully and training programs / communication plans put into place, otherwise they will have a negative impact later.  What is the population of people affected by the change?  Are they young, old?  Is there a culture of continuous improvement in place?  Are they used to change?  Remember the old adage “You can’t teach and old dog new tricks”?  Imagine trying to get them to adopt new technology, new software.  Change is hard, especially on thosewho are out of the habit of learning and are set in their ways.

Implementations also involve beginnings, ends and changes.  Regardless of the type of innovation, (new contracts, changes to programs or software) there are expectations when we use the word implementation.  Expectations that can be unrealistic or unachievable given the current level of resource / budget.  Delays or over spending of the budget brings along with it fiscal and contractual risk.  What exactly are your managers expecting?  What exactly do you and your team expect?  What exactly do the end users expect?  Are they the same thing?

WIIFM (Medium)Managing the risk is vital, starting with understanding what is at stake. This is often underestimated and a common mistake is thinking that the person controlling the purse strings / budget “likes you and / or understands where you are coming from.”  They may like you, but ultimately, they will do what is right for them.  Instead think WIIFT, or what’s in it for them.  Why are they willing to invest?  What do they get out of it?  Meeting their needs, rather than yours should be first on your to do list.

Does any of this mean that you shouldn’t innovate though? No, far from it.  It simply means that when you innovate, you need to accept that there is an element of risk.  Make thorough plans, make as much of the process as possible completely transparent and get early buy in from your team.  Some argue that getting early buy in from your managers is risky.  If they don’t like the initial idea, they can shut it down before it even starts.  In addition, even when you have done further research to prove your idea many will still dislike it, simply because it is human nature to see what you want to see, in this case they will find holes in the project as they are expecting to see holes to back up their earlier assessment.  However, if you do plenty of research beforehand and work out what is in it for your investor / manager, you are more likely to get support and early support can make the difference when reducing possible delays and smoothing over difficulties.


Accept also that you are going to make mistakes and where possible budget for the mistakes.  This may sound odd especially when you need to get buy in from managers above you, but a good management team will understand that mistakes happen when you are being innovative and will respect you more if you plan for them.  I remember one project a few years ago that was actually successful, but needed much more support and effort on my side than I could ever have envisaged.  We’re planning another change this year along similar lines and I simply will not do the change in the same way.  The software we currently use to create training material is somewhat cumbersome now (although when we first got it, it was top of the line).  I plan to change it; however this means updating all of the existing training content, training all of the current team and changing the way we work significantly.  Instead of asking my local teams to make the change with their limited resources, I’m going to create a small central team of specialists who will do the bulk of the changeover work for the local teams, leaving just end user training to do with the bulk of the people who will eventually use it.  This will significantly lessen the impact of the change on the majority of the people and so increase the chance that the end users will accept the change more readily.  Of course, I am also planning to market the new software and I’ve identified the key people in my organisation who will be open to the change and find it immediately see the usefulness and so have incentive to make the change.  Once they are sold on the new software, they will in turn impact their networks and so on and so on.  You are always more receptive to an idea from someone you trust.

Another point I would advice is to give yourself leeway in terms of time and don’t underestimate or overestimate how much you are going to spend in an effort to look good.  When you spend significantly less than what you plan to spend it shows bad management just as over spending does.  Quite simply, you haven’t planned correctly.  Gantt charts are great and I use them a lot, but you need to put thought behind the calculations.  Allow for human error, but still aim to optimise the time you have.  It’s a balancing act!

0002843528UU-849x565Once you have identified all of your risks and then assessed their impact, you will know which risks could cripple your project and which ones have a high likelihood of occurrence.  You can then take it one step further and identify ways to reduce the risks that have a high likelihood and high severity.  You are more likely to be successful if you have contingency plans in place.  Obviously you cannot plan for every eventuality, but you can identify most of them.

Finally, if you can’t be passionate about the change, no one will be. If you are nervous about the change, others around you will be even more so.  Accept the risks, plan to mitigate them as much as possible, acknowledge your mistakes and improve your strategy as a result of them.  Put good people in place around you, who also believe in the plan and are optimistic about it. Then and only then will you succeed!

Alesandra Blakeston