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The Importance of Innovation During a Turnaround

David Lykken
Aug 25, 2015

On the Aug. 17th episode of my Lykken on Lending radio show, we had the opportunity to interview Donna Peeples about how innovation can play a role in a turnaround. Today, United Guaranty is well-known as the number one mortgage company in the U.S., and I was surprised to discover that Donna was instrumental in the turnaround that eventually led them to that lofty position. So, what did Donna bring to the table that helped the company turn things around?

Coming from the energy sector, Donna brought a fresh perspective and helped the organization refocus on their values in a new way. This fresh perspective is key, because it gets at the heart of what innovation is all about. If an organization is stuck and cannot seem to move forward, it is never going to break out of that rut by doing the same things over and over again. If you want to turn things around, you've got to do something different.

Innovation requires change. The ironic thing is that, when organizations are suffering and on the brink of failure, the last thing they want to do is change. Change also involves risk, and leaders often feel that their position is too precarious to risk trying something that may not work. But when we find ourselves in a position that aren't moving forward, complacency obviously isn't working either.

So, we essentially have two options when we find ourselves in that position:

1) Wait for a luck or break; or
2) Do something innovative and turn the organization around.

The best leaders in our industry will choose innovation. Leaders don't wait to get lucky. They move their organizations forward—no matter what they have to risk doing it.


David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected]


Aug 25, 2015