October 4th, 2016
Neetan Chopra is the Group Chief Technology Officer at Dubai Holding, formerly serving as VP of Innovation and Technology at Emirates Group. Chopra has a fascinating futurist/technologist view and explains what it means for organizations to “crack the egg from the inside.” When the egg is cracked from the inside you have new life, but when it is cracked from the outside, you have destruction.
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Chopra’s brilliant metaphor he uses to illustrate the power of maintaining your edge to avoid disruption. “If you think of an egg—if it breaks from the outside you get destruction, or death, or breakfast. But if an egg breaks from the inside, that’s when you get life and rejuvenation.” The most interesting part of his role is to keep breaking eggs from the inside, keeping his competition from eating his breakfast.
Challenges When Breaking The Egg From The Inside
He maintains Emirates’ inventive spirit, it’s about refining all processes from operational excellence, customer service, and internal management of people. And managing people is key.
Chopra mentioned that the ideas he sees younger people come up with. Emirates runs an innovation summit annually and invites a lot of outside energy and outside executives to help them disrupt their own internal culture. He is also passionate about students and has seen incredible ideas come from Emirates hackathons. He says letting their ideas flow freely into their company helps them a lot.
Check Your Ego At The Door
When I listen to Chopra, what I hear is that they don’t let their egos get in the way of a good idea. Often companies resist ideas from the outside. My previous guest Matthew E. May often talks about the Not Invented Here (NIH) problem that prevents companies from seeing value from ideas that aren’t their own. It takes a lot of humility to ask for help and find answers beyond your own work culture. Chopra says it’s a viewpoint that embraces the intersection of viewpoints, industries, and cultures.
When those viewpoints intersect with internal viewpoints, the results are incredible.