Work inspiration with Charlene Li

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Charlene Li

Founder and CEO of Altimeter Group

I'm Charlene Li, and I'm the Founder and CEO of Altimeter Group, which provides research and consulting that helps leaders make confident decisions related to business and disruptive technologies, such as digital, social, big data, and mobile. 

What tools do you use to organize your work?

  • Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, and Drive), Box, Evernote, Salesforce, Harvest to get work done
  • Skype, Chatter, and GoToMeeting for communications

What is your ideal work environment?

One that allows me to seamlessly transition from one work mode to another. I need to go from meetings (internal and client) to administrative work to research/thinking work quickly, multiple times throughout the day. I work in the office about two days a week (if I'm in town) and from my home the other days. I'm often working in public spaces (airport lounges, coffee shops, Regus offices) and it's easy to transition. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

I don't think you can wait to be inspired – you have to actively seek it out. I look for inspiration in every conversation – and sometimes they are small, sometimes they are mindblowing. But I find inspiration in everything – but I have to take the time to pause and look. 

Who are the people you admire most?

People who have great empathy. It's the most selfless of acts, to have enough resilience, strength, and confidence to leave yourself behind and understand someone else's condition. Empathy is the source of great design – by understanding where someone else stands, you can help them solve their problems.