#ProdMgmtTalk Live Broadcast: Terry Jones, Founder and Former CEO, Travelocity.com

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Terry Jones, Founder & Former CEO, Travelocity.com 06/10 by ProdMgmtTalk | Blog Talk Radio

Terry Jones, Founder & Former CEO, Travelocity.com 06/10 by ProdMgmtTalk | Blog Talk Radio

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For Innovation’s Sake, Reach Through the ‘Bozone’ Layer!


Terry Jones founded Travelocity.com and then founded its new competitor Kayak.com. What was the secret to his decades of leadership success?

“The leaders at the top need to hear from the people on the line – the clerks, the customer service reps, the people who are actually touching the customers,” says Jones, author of On Innovation (www.jonesoninnovation.com).

“They’re almost always the employees with the best ideas for solving problems, streamlining processes, improving the customers’ experience. That’s where innovation begins.

The trouble is, in companies where the leadership has made failure too risky for middle managers, an impenetrable “bozone layer” forms between those at the top and those at the bottom.

“The short-term solution is for leaders to find ways to reach through the ‘bozone layer’ and talk to the workers. Solicit their ideas, implement them and give them a really big shout out for their great contribution,” Jones says.

“The long-term solution is to vaporize the bozone layer by changing the culture.

Encourage experimentation and new ideas. When something doesn’t work, kill the project — not the person! People need to know it’s safe to experiment and even to fail.”

Discussion Questions

  • If company leaders reward middle managers for their successes, doesn’t that encourage risk-taking?
  • In your own experience as a business leader, what was the best innovative idea you implemented that came from “the bottom”?
  • How can leaders win the trust of managers who’ve seen people demoted or fired for taking a risk that bombed?
  • What’s a good example of an innovative company that has successfully dealt with the bozone layer?

Terry Jones joined host, Cindy F. Solomon, on Monday, June 10, 2013 at the simultaneous times of 10:00 AM Pacific Time, 11:00 AM MST Denver, 12:00 Noon CST Chicago, and 1:00 PM EST Boston.

Participants are welcome to listen live to the weekly show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/prodmgmttalk, call in to talk on the show (323) 927-2957 and to participate on Twitter by following @ProdMgmtTalk and tweeting using the hashtag #ProdMgmtTalk

About Terry Jones
Terry Jones founded Travelocity.com in 1996 and led the company as president and CEO until May 2002. He is managing principal of Essential Ideas, a consultancy he cofounded to help companies in their transition to the digital economy, and serves as chairman of the board at Kayak.com, which he also founded. Previously, he served as chief information officer at Sabre Inc., where he held various executive positions for 24 years. Before Sabre, he joined American Airlines as director of product development and eventually became president of the division. Jones is a graduate of Denison University. http://tbjones.com/

Terry’s New Book is “ON Innovation”

This book’s focus is turning on innovation in your culture, teams and organization.

On Innovation has 72 short ideas on how to build teams, create a culture, and select the best ideas. It includes a section on “Innovation in a large corporation”

It is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format and in the IBook store for Ipad.

First editorial reviews of ON Innovation

Terry Jones’s book “On Innovation” is a gem. You’ll come away from this book enriched, even if you just only dip into it in 10 minute snatches now and again.  TNOOZ Travel News

If you’re looking for inspiration to kick-start your business for 2013, get your hands on a copy of ON INNOVATION. Tahoe Bonanza

A quick and inspiring take on building innovation from the ground up.  KIRKUS Reviews

The book… speaks in layman’s terms, to the everyman and everywoman who wants to better himself or herself and their teams. MOONSHINE INK

This is a book that is ideal for front line staff, CEOs and definitely middle managers… “how to” book. How to do things, how to look at your business in a new way, how to be strategic, how to listen — overall, how to innovate. Lake Tahoe News

PIPELINE 2013 Mini Conference: June 19th

View special re-airings of presentations from Terry Jones and Dr. Robert Cooper and then join them for live Q&A. Already registered? You’ll just log in right here on June 19 with your email address. Not yet registered?Register today for the PIPELINE 2013 Mini Conference: June 19th.