Marriott CEO on Innovation: ‘Don’t Try to Failure-Proof New Ideas’

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CEOs on INNOVATION
This interview is from our CEOs on Innovation report, in the Fall 2017 issue of Innovation Leader magazine.
Arne Sorensen became CEO of Marriott International in 2012—the company’s first leader from outside of the Marriott family. In 2016, Marriott acquired rival Starwood Hotels and Resorts for $13 billion, creating the world’s biggest lodging company.

The comments below are excerpted from a conversation Sorensen had with Innovation Leader members at a June 2017 event at the company’s headquarters in Bethesda, Md.

Integrate, Don’t Separate I think in years past, we didn’t necessarily use the word “innovation.” We used a sort of skunkworks team, a strategic planning team, or some group of folks who came out of consultancies. We’d say, “We want you to go off and come up with the brilliant ideas that are going to take us to a promised land in the future.”

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