How to Facilitate Operations to Innovate [Yes! And. Blog 185]

by | Sep 21, 2015 | Collaborate, Develop Opportunities, Facilitate meetings, Innovate

How might you facilitate Operations to innovate? When I inquired further on this, he explained that he could not understand why the Operations people in his area seemed to have an attitude of blocking innovation or at best, ignoring it. It was clearly very frustrating for him, as I know it is for other innovation teams. The innovation team leader had invited to the workshop one of the Operations leaders who was very supportive of innovation. Over a cup of tea, he explained to me that many people did not appreciate that the Operations managers were totally focussed on achieving their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). He had spent a year turning round an underperforming team and while he was supportive of innovation and had encouraged it on his unit, unless the innovation initiative helped him improve his operation and did not divert resources, why would he support it? So here are three actions you might take: Focus on their pain Entrepreneurs look for where people have pain and develop (create) and implement (innovate) solutions to eradicate that pain (at a price). So look for where the Operations manager is having pain and focus on the challenge that provides the opportunity to create innovative solutions. This makes innovation real, not abstract, not “the fad of the month”. Once there is some payback on initial innovation, people become more willing to take risks. Make sure everybody knows about the innovation too. Success breeds. Make it simple. Make it real. I worked in the payment industry and one thing I learned is that if you make the product simple enough for the user, they will use it (and vice versa). My son...

How to Innovate With Passion [Yes! And. Blog 161]

“As the earlier vintages matured in bottle and progressively became less aggressive and more refined, people generally began to take notice, and whereas previously it had been all condemnation, I was now at least receiving some praise for the wine.” Max Schubert – Viniculturist I have fond memories of making and drinking my own wine when I was younger and short of cash. My ’84 vintage, produced from a strawberry jam that never set, was a classic. This increased my interest in wines and I like to take the opportunity to visit wine growing districts when I can. Being in Magill, Adelaide recently and just a short walk from the Penfolds winery where they make their premium Grange wines, it was a great chance to see how they do things in Australia and perhaps give them some tips! To move away from a tradition of drinking fortified wines like port and sherry in Australia, winemaker Max Schubert experimented with making the first vintage of Penfolds Grange wine in 1951. In 1950, Schubert had toured Europe and observed wine-making techniques in Bordeaux. Back in Adelaide he implemented these techniques with the aim to create a red wine of the same quality and ageing ability of the finest Bordeaux wines. In 1952, he released his first commercial vintage, having given away most of the 1951 vintage, however, wine critics gave it negative reviews and it sold poorly. Later vintages received a similar response until in 1957, the management team of Penfolds in Sydney told Schubert to stop producing it. Schubert ignored their instructions (as you do) and continued making the wine...

Six Tips To Innovate [Yes! And Blog 160]

“As innovation becomes a management discipline, there is a risk that it is seen as the end rather than the means.” John Brooker  How can you start to innovate? A while ago I was travelling quite a lot, delivering training courses for a client in Asia. One Saturday, I arrived at Beijing airport and went to the ATM to withdraw cash on my UK debit card. I entered the PIN, a few seconds later the cash appeared and I got a little kick of satisfaction. Every time I use a cash dispenser abroad I get the same kick because I led the original team that made it possible for people to get cash from machines throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa using a Visa Card. No matter that it was almost thirty years ago when we started, that feeling returns. It is this feeling that I want to pass on to others when I facilitate workshops; to get that great kick when something you have put a lot of creativity and effort in to achieves successful fruition. So here are six tips to help you innovate: Don’t talk about innovation. Innovate! Don’t learn to innovate. Innovate to learn. Don’t leave it up to a few. Have everyone innovate. If THEY won’t innovate, innovate yourself. Don’t boil the ocean. Start small and scale up.  Commit to move the proposition forward. Tip 1 – Don’t Talk About Innovation. Innovate! As innovation becomes a management discipline, there is a risk that it is seen as the end rather than the means. Many organisations talk too much about innovation but don’t innovate. In...

5 Tools to Explore Opportunities [Yes! And Blog 155]

 “Using a metaphor in front of a man as unimaginative as Ridcully was like a red flag to a bu…was like putting something very annoying in front of someone annoyed by it.” Terry Pratchett. Author. Lords and Ladies.   If you want to explore a problem or opportunity well, here are five  tools. Imagine that you are sitting in an exam hall with an MBA examination paper in front of you; the subject is Creativity, Innovation and Change. The examiner asks you to turn over your paper, you look at the first question and your mind goes completely blank. You cannot think how to tackle the question. An examination question is a problem to solve or an opportunity to show what you know. It is comparable to exploring a problem or opportunity in work. What are some ways you might structure your exploration? Some of you will know that until recently, I ran an exam study day for students on the Open University, “Creativity, Innovation and Change” course with my friend and associate, Elvin Box. We ran the last ever one in October 2012 (sadly this brilliant course has finished after twenty years) and so that they did not fall victim to the blank mind syndrome, we encouraged the students to structure how they might answer the question. To do this we suggested a number of generic tools that are easy to recall and use. As I travelled home from the study day, I thought those tools might be useful for Creative Gorillas. As a bonus, you can use them for evaluation too. 5 Ws and H Who? What?...