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Free Articles – Page 6 – Yes! And…

167 How to innovate better in organisations

YES! AND… Collaborate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla #167 How might your organisation innovate better?  “Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” William Pollard American Business Leader Why do large organisations have issues with innovation and what might they do to resolve them? Recently, a company asked me to help them be more innovative. I asked to tour their operations facilities with a colleague, to understand their business and obtain a feel for their current capability. Far from finding an organisation adverse to change, sloth like and bureaucratic, we witnessed a dynamic company with engaged employees that encourages people to create solutions and is willing to take the risk to implement good propositions. They had innovated to reduce costs, to improve process efficiency and to respond to the changing needs of their clients. After the tour I asked the CEO why they needed our help! He responded: When staff innovate, they focus mainly on operational efficiency A major trend in the industry is for clients to favour suppliers who can help them innovate There are innovation hot spots in the organisation; it is not consistent There is no standard approach that all employees can use to innovate. This was a worthwhile visit and discussion and revealed some of the key factors and issues that leadership teams in large organisations must wrestle with when they want to innovate. Let’s look at those factors and key issues now and consider a way to overcome them. SO Key Innovation Factors and Issues[1] Each heading below is a...

Create Ideas Systematically [Yes! And Blog #142]

“What if we: Divide; Reduce; Enlarge; Adapt (use and form); Mix; Exclude; Replace; Switch?” John Brooker   DREAMERS create ideas systematically When I was a student on my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) course, I regarded as sacrosanct the theories, tools and techniques we were taught. The gurus of strategy, marketing, innovation et al were demi gods and we should bow to them reverentially. This was easy to do because as a student doing a full time job and a part time MBA, I was often short of time to think. Having gained my qualification, I became a tutor. With time to think, I was able to cast a more appraising eye over the materials and realised the gurus were as human as me. I really started to learn the materials and began to question the theories, tools and techniques. This was a revelation to me and I urge students to challenge the theories and bend the tools and techniques to their own ends. Whether it works or fails, they will have learned something by doing their own thinking. SO This week, I was reviewing Robert Eberle’s classic mnemonic “SCAMPER”: Substitute; Combine; Adapt; Magnify / Minify; Put to other uses; Eliminate / Elaborate; Rearrange / Reverse (please see Yes! And blog 136 for a short review). You can use this tool with “What If” questions to generate ideas by challenging various aspects of a situation, service or product. It makes the process very systematic. This works very well, however, this week I was in a curious mood and thought, “Put to other uses” is not that elegant (the “Put” on its...

How to Innovate to Maximise Opportunities [Yes! And. Blog #138]

How to avoid common mistakes when you innovate to maximise opportunities. “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.” A. A. Milne. Do you have any obscure rituals you carry out in secret? I confess I perform one every week, the ceremonial “wheelie bin stomp”. This is not a dark practice overlooked in Harry Potter novels, but a practical solution to the problem that there is too much bulky waste packaging and too little dustbin. So I step on the garden wall, climb in the bin and begin stomping so we can push another week’s worth in the bin. Too much waste and too little bin – when someone has a problem, it means there is an opportunity to exploit with a sound proposition. Having admitted my secret and defined an opportunity, let’s move on to the core of this article. All leaders in organisations have opportunities. They may be in areas requiring new policy, meeting a need in a new market, or dealing with waste packaging, etc. Some people exploit them well and some do not. SO Here are my thoughts on how you can maximise opportunities more effectively at lower cost and with less effort. Use a structured approach to think it through This will ensure that you create a proposition that is acceptable to a wider range of people, meets...

How to Create Novel Ideas in Five Minutes…[Yes! And. Blog # 136]

6 Tools to Create Novel Ideas…  “If I had one hour to save the world I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.” Albert Einstein 5 Minutes to Save the World? This week I attended a course to help me focus my business and get me on track to write a book in twelve weeks. We spent a day developing a pitch with Mike Harris (who I mentioned in the last blog). At the end he had us develop a twenty second pitch for use only when you have just a few seconds to tell someone what you do. This led me to think that it would be an idea to have some tools you can use in five minutes to help with creativity. Here are some: 5 Ws and H This really is the complete multi purpose tool, courtesy of Rudyard Kipling. Designed to elicit all facts about a situation using “Who?” “What?” “Why?” “Where?” “When?” and “How?” For creativity you can ask questions about a product or service e.g. “Who uses it?” “When do they use it?”etc. Compile a list of answers and then ask, “How might that be different?” SCAMPER You can use 5 Ws and H with another tool; SCAMPER. Eberle designed the mnemonic to aid the creative process: (Substitute; Combine; Adapt; Magnify / Minify; Put to other uses; Eliminate / Elaborate; Rearrange / Reverse). It helps to generate ideas by challenging various aspects of a situation but in a more structured way. To use it, take one of the categories e.g. Substitute. Use the 5Ws and H...

125 Facilitate Meetings More Effectively…

Yes! And… Creative Gorilla # 125 How can you facilitate more effectively as an organisational leader…… “Like baby, baby, baby oh, I thought you’d always be mine”  Lyrics , Justin Bieber How do you facilitate as an internal creative leader in the organisation? Last night I read an article, which stated that coaching is a lot easier for external coaches than internal leaders. As I tramped through the woods this morning, I thought about this, as people in organisations regularly say to me that it is a lot easier for an external facilitator to facilitate a group. Overall, I agree and as I walked, I thought about the issues that people in organisations have and how they might overcome them. Here are my thoughts in a question and answer format: 1. How to facilitate when you want or need to contribute? Response: Understand the different roles in a meeting. The facilitator manages the process, the attendees deal with the content.   One way to overcome the issue is to make clear you are stepping in to an attendee role by creating a facilitator space and a contributor space in the room. Tell the others this and physically move between spaces when you need to contribute. (Michael Grinder, a communications expert, calls this “decontamination”). A second way is to agree with a colleague that they will facilitate parts of the meeting where you must contribute; a good way to ease others in to facilitating. 2. How to find time to prepare? Response: Share out different sessions in a meeting amongst your team and have people design and facilitate them. This involves...

How to Make Change Stick [Yes! And. Blog #17]

To make change stick you need certain things in place… “In this world of change, naught which comes stays and naught which goes is lost” Anne-Sophie Swetchine ~ Russian hostess How can you make change stick? The family visited the Roman baths in Bath last week, learning about the Romans in Britain. I never realised that Julius Caesar’s army came and left, the Romans not returning for 100 years. Were they hoping the weather might change? I also didn’t realise how abrupt their departure was after they did settle. They took over the country for four hundred years, and then they left. After a while, it was like they had never been. That may be a simplistic view, but all of their brilliant engineering, sewers, water supplies, buildings and roads (even if the route was there), that brought major benefit to the country rotted away or were destroyed. How could that happen? I wondered if the Romans could settle and rule a country for 400 years and leave almost no trace of their settlement, how difficult must it be to cement change in organisations, even if it is for the good of the company? There’s a temptation here to reach for the textbooks and see what Kotter and other change gurus would say. But let’s try some thinking first, consider what might have been needed to make the Roman way of life stick and see what conclusions we can draw for ourselves about change. I think: The Romans enslaved many of the indigenous people who did not benefit as much from the changes, so there would be little urgency...