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[Creators Spotlight]: I think the debate around ideas is very important, it helps individuals to develop further - Christian Stadler

In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us. Today we have with us Christian Stadler. Mr. Stadler, Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, talks about growing up in Austrian Alps and shares his motivation for creating regular content.


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Tealfeed Spotlight

2 years ago | 4 min read

Creators are the heart and soul of Tealfeed. As they continuously work towards feeding us more information every day, it's only fitting to bring out their journey for the world to know.

In this series “Creators Spotlight”, we are asking our creators about their journey. Watch out for them sharing their journey and getting candid with us.

Today we have with us Christian Stadler. Mr. Stadler, Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, talks about growing up in Austrian Alps and shares his motivation for creating regular content.

Tell us about your childhood, what was the best part? Is there any specific incident that has largely influenced the kind of person you are today?

I grew up in a very small village in the Austrian Alps. If you watched the music, then that's exactly what it looks like. It’s a lovely place. As a child, I used to run around in the Woods, climb the mountains. It was just amazing. It's exactly the sort of thing that you're looking for.

I had a very protected upbringing. Then at the age of 14, I went to a boarding school. There, interacting with people from other parts of the country, I learned to be more independent. Becoming independent was one of the most crucial aspects for me while growing up.

How important a role does content play in your life? Are you a full-time content creator? Why did you start creating content?

Content plays an important role in my profession, being a professor of strategic management. There's teaching, obviously, as well. But most people think we spend more time teaching while actually, we spend more time doing research and looking into subjects that we write about.

Some of those content is written for an academic audience while some of them cater to a wider audience. It's something I really love doing. It's just amazing to think of a question that I'm interested in, and then spend several years diving into the same and writing about it.

What’s that one aspect of being a content creator no one talks about?

I'm not sure if there's anything that no one talks about. To be honest, I've never listened to anybody talking about how they create content, but one thing that is easy to underestimate is the amount of uncertainty you develop when you research and spend several years on a project over a long period of time.

I certainly remember wondering during my Ph.D. what would happen if somebody hits me over the head as I will have then nothing to show for in the last few years. So, that period between trying to find ideas and getting them on paper is one that can be quite stressful.

What are you up to currently and what are your long-term career goals?

I've just published my new book "Open Strategy. Mastering Disruption from outside the C suite".

Typically, when we strategize and take big decisions, we have a small group of people who work exclusively on it. That can have some serious drawbacks.

First of all, it's harder to come up with fresh ideas when you talk to the same group of people. And secondly, it is actually more difficult to convince others that these ideas are great when they are not involved in creating them.

There is an alternative. We suggest creating a more open approach in the strategy domain. You involve the frontline, you involve customers, you involve people from other industries to really think fresh and come up with new ideas.

I'm sure this will occupy me for a while. There are several research projects in that space that I'm conducting, and I'm starting to go around the world to give talks and spread the news.

What drives you to create content regularly?

I guess there are a couple of things. First of all, I'm always curious when I come across something interesting. I want to find out a bit more, and then form an opinion which I want to share. Secondly, I guess as somebody who creates content, there is also a growing pressure that you have to do it much more regularly.

Writing a book every five years and doing nothing in between is not really sufficient. Take my new book as an example. I think I have written something like five or six articles related to the book. Several on Forbes – where I am a regular contributor. One for Harvard Business Review, another one for Sloan Management Review, and quite a few podcasts. It’s all about making the content of the book more accessible. 

Christian Stadler

How do you make sure that you aren’t affected by nasty comments and negative things said about you?

So first of all, I don’t create content that is particularly controversial. That’s very different from someone who focuses on politics. I'm talking about strategy, which is not necessarily controversial.

Sometimes I talk about things like social justice, etc. But even here my focus is less on the principle – others are much better in talking about this – and more about the implications for firms. Again, that does not usually attract nasty comments. Now, of course, you have some right wingers who still make an issue with that.

And if I have shared these things on LinkedIn and someone's not behaving appropriately, then I just disconnect. If the comment is civilized but opposed to my view, I welcome it. It’s great to have a bit of a debate. 

I think there has to be a debate around ideas, and it's important that people don't just take whatever I say at face value, but push back as well. It helps me to develop further. And even if I don't change my opinion, I think it's more interesting for others who are accessing this content if they are bringing in fresh new perspectives.

Who’s your favorite creator?

I have a couple of them, Malcolm Gladwell and Margaret Heffernan. I think both of them have, first of all, have some really cool ideas.

They often look at things that are familiar to us, but give a new perspective on these topics. That's really wonderful. And both of them manage to package their ideas in a very accessible way. I love that. It's just fun to read what they're saying.

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Few maintain consistency, few remain unique, and fewer are the ones who do both of these right, and earn a spot in Tealfeed Spotlight.


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