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Innovate – Yes! And…

117 Make Progress With the Progress Canvas…

Yes! And Blog #117 Help your team progress with the Progress Canvas… “I never cry about what I don’t have. I’m always positive. I am happy with the team I have and I am confident that we can do well.”  Fabio Capello, former England football coach and optimist On the TV back in 2010, pundits were discussing what had to be done to enable England to win the World Cup, England having gone out in the second round (Round of Sixteen), losing to Germany 4 – 1. Eight years later, having achieved the semi finals, it seems England have made  progress. How might England have achieved that progress? In my work, I use a tool called the Progress Canvas with teams. This is based on one known as the Strategy Canvas (see here for original article). The Progress Canvas provides a simple way for teams to describe the future they want, make progress towards it and monitor how they are doing. You use the tool in steps: Step 1: Detail a preferred future by asking, “What would we, our customers and other stakeholders notice when we are successful?” I like to have teams draw a picture and then document  this, but there are many alternatives. Step 2: Identify the five to six areas your customers / stakeholders would say you must focus  on to achieve success: Discuss if these focus areas really are critical to success and whether collectively they will enable you to achieve success Avoid having more than 5 – 6 focus areas, otherwise they are unlikely to be focus areas. Step 3: On a scale of 1...

8 Be a creative leader

YES! AND…blog # 8   “You have the capability to lead. Even if others are not yet ready to follow you can still lead yourself. You can be a leader of one.”    John Brooker inspired by the words of Tony Robbins Do you want to be a creative leader? I once attended an Anthony Robbins weekend “seminar”. It was an awesome event. I can best describe it as a self development rock concert, so may I suggest before you read on, you put on the music that most makes you want to dance round the room screaming “Yes”. Tony is a motivational coach. He has a lot of thoughtful information to impart, delivering it with an enthusiasm that fires up 12000 people (and that’s before the fire walk). One point he made that resonated with me I have written as the quotation above. Read it again. Does this ring true with those of you trying to enhance creativity and innovation in your organisation but finding it a challenge?   At times, that challenge can daunt you, especially if others are not yet ready to follow. If others are unwilling, there is still something you can do. You can focus on you leading you to be consistently creative, to build your own creative climate and to lead by example. Here are six ideas to be your own creative leader. You might like to develop this list to suit you. Develop a vision for what your work place or home life will be like when YOU are being truly creative and innovative. What will it look, feel, sound, taste and...

133 Encourage Action

Yes! And… # 133 How do you  innovate and maintain the operation? Use Sprint Actions “Great acts are made up of small deeds” – Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher Are your people struggling to effect change and run the operation? Some of you may be the type of person to pull out a toolkit at first sight of a drawer knob dropping off or other domestic issue. To my discredit, I can always find something more interesting to do and many jobs build up before begrudgingly, I complete them. However, when our bathroom door hinge recently developed a very high-pitched squeal that grated on the teeth, I lubricated it quickly with WD40. It was easy and the WD40 was handily under the kitchen sink (that had a knob on the door). I wish I could write an article about a tool that cures management issues as easily as WD40 cures many household issues, however, the squeaky door hinge provides a good analogy. When a management team has a “to do” list of more pressing things to do, it takes a very squeaky issue to replace an action on the list. However, I am sure most of you have sat in meetings and created a large list of additional actions to add to the already full “to do” list. Many people are enthusiastic and accept the actions; others are pressured to take them. It is no surprise though that people often fail to take actions because the issue is not squeaky enough. This is especially the case when new actions are about creating change and the existing actions are dealing with operational issues...

Make Innovating Simpler [Yes And Blog 150]

“As innovation becomes a management discipline there is a danger that it is seen as the end, rather than the means” John Brooker  Want to make innovating simple again? I was out riding my bike recently when I found I could not use any gear above number eight, so instead of twenty-four gears through three front cogs, I had just eight gears on one. I couldn’t fix it myself and didn’t have time to take it to the repairers so carried on using it. I am no Bradley Wiggins (Olympic cycling gold medallist and winner of  the Tour de France) and after a couple of rides, I noticed that the lack of gears was not causing me much of a problem, apart from going down steep hills where I could not pick up as much speed. After noticing that, I compared the enforced simplicity of my gearing with how complex innovation seems to have become. I appreciate there are some organisations that need more sophisticated approaches, just like the Tour de France needs more complex bikes. I am also sure most organisations could cope with a simpler approach. In fact, many could cope with just three “innovation gears” if they had the nerve to get on the “bike”. So In the spirit of keeping it simple, here is my three gear approach to help your people innovate. The three gears are, Climate, Model and Tools. Create and nurture the right climate to encourage collaboration When you wish people to be more collaborative and creative you need to create a macro-climate within the organisation and a micro-climate within meetings. Here...

How Creative Leaders Can Encourage Innovation [Yes! And Blog 123]

“It occurred to me by intuition and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception.” Albert Einstein Want to encourage more innovation?    There are regular  discussions on Linked In forums and elsewhere about innovation and what it is. Is it a lot of small steps over time that transforms a company (as heard at a dinner recently) or is it a paradigm change that shakes up an industry (as discussed in a telephone call yesterday)? I had racked my brains for a while to find a simple way to describe my thinking and this week, inspiration struck. For some reason, my computer started playing music tracks at random (I suspect childish fingers at work). Suddenly, I had the soprano of La Bohème fading in to James Morrison, followed by a snatch of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, leading in to a (surprisingly catchy) rap song my son had downloaded.  The thing was, it worked; they segued in to each other with a few rough edges. The inspiration was that if we equate music to innovation, there is no need to differentiate. Whether it is a thirty second advertising jingle, the theme tune to a TV series, a three minute pop song or Beethoven’s 9th, it is all music. So Let’s play with the metaphor of music here. As creative leaders, let’s not waste time arguing whether this is music or that is music. Good jingles can launch products in to popular culture; the writers of the Neighbours’ (Australian soap opera) theme tune have made a fortune and Beethoven has inspired millions. There...