How to Achieve Your Targets Faster [Yes! And. Blog #183]

by | Mar 31, 2015 | Free Articles, Solution Focus, Tools

  Eight Steps to Achieve Your Targets Faster Do you have tough targets to achieve? How can you plan to achieve them faster in a less conventional way? This article provides you with an eight-step approach to use as an individual and it will take you about 90 minutes. Whilst developing an individual plan is a good thinking tool and starting point, I urge you to involve your peers or your team to develop the final plan. Involving others will broaden your perspective and enrich your planning. To illustrate the article, I use an adapted case study of a leader responsible for software testing in four countries, with teams brought together through mergers and takeovers. There were different tools and methods at each site and the leader had a target to integrate the country teams. The leader arranged for a set of workshops to follow these steps. Step 1: Identify Stakeholders First, identify who has an interest in your success, both internal and external. This may be customers, end users, regulators etc. In our case study the stakeholders were internal product managers and the end users of products. Let’s call them customers. Create a short profile for an example customer,e.g their job role, what they do  and the key issues they have. Step 2: Sense the Future Detail a preferred future by asking, “What will we be doing in future that will most benefit customers?” Instead of writing your description draw a picture. Drawing taps into different parts of the brain and broadens your perspective. In our case study, the leader described a view of what the customers would see when testing...

172 How to Make Better Team Decisions

YES! AND… #172  How might your team make better decisions?  “When we hear all voices, we make better decisions.” Headline on Loomio website. Four years ago we had to make a decision to buy a bigger house or extend our own. That was a hard enough decision for two people to make. How much more difficult is it to make a decision when there is a group of people involved? Last week, I completed an Inn8 Workshop programme with twelve senior managers, using the Inn8 Model and Tools, to help them innovate. They developed two excellent new service propositions for their company and to achieve this had to decide on the opportunity to exploit, the solutions to implement and whether to proceed. To have twelve people agree on a decision requires them to understand the situation fully (in our case, the opportunity and the solution). This requires a willingness to listen to all voices, a structure and thinking tools. How can you gain that agreement, efficiently and effectively, so that people don’t leave the meeting thinking, “That’s what we agreed, but this is what I will do.” True, if you have enough power, you can force through decisions unilaterally. Strange though how difficult it can be to implement such decisions! So Here are some ideas and links to descriptive articles of tools that should help you to build sustainable decisions in your organisation, in the context of facilitating people to innovate. Most should help in other contexts too. Create Understanding Good decisions are informed decisions. Therefore, you need to create understanding amongst the decision makers (the group). This entails processing...

Use Imagery to Explore Issues [Yes! And Blog #143]

Need a creative tool to explore issues? During our holiday last July we spent three days horse riding. After two days I had seen enough of horses and my back ached terribly. I was a “groucho” not a gaucho. I decided that I would sit out the third day, but my son loved riding and really wanted to go. So I said I would go with him. Bad decision.  On the way back, the leaders galloped, my back seized up and I was in agony. To cut a long story short, after four months of osteopathy and pills I was better, but still had a chronic pain across the middle of my back. One night in December I went to sleep and had a dream. In the dream I saw a woman appear and slowly walk towards me. She reached out her hand and gently touched a finger to my spine on the centre of the pain; there was a loud click and the pain disappeared. I woke up and the pain had gone. I got up and was pain free for the first time in months. How did that happen? If it were just my spine clicking back in to place, why did I see the woman walking towards me and touching my back before it clicked? The power of the subconscious?. So Recalling that dream recently (please see the closing story) I thought it might be an opportunity to discuss an interesting technique I have tried occasionally, known as Image Manipulation. In this tool you explore an issue with a client without you knowing what the issue...

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...