Innovation Management ? Reducing Hierarchy
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.
There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.
There are distinct processes that enhance problem identification and idea generation and, similarly, distinct processes that enhance idea selection, development and commercialisation. Whilst there is no sure fire route to commercial success, these processes improve the probability that good ideas will be generated and selected and that investment in developing and commercialising those ideas will not be wasted.
Theory consistently states that the reduction of hierarchy and "flat" organisations are better suited to increasing optimal performance. Reality shows us that even the flattest organisations have hierarchy and that it cannot be completely eliminated. Further, hierarchy has value ? for example, there are compelling arguments that people look for and follow good leaders.
But results from organisations that consciously and forcefully attempt to reduce status differences produce superior results:
a) Good leaders, though of higher status, make others feel valuable by increasing their value and hence status.
Status deference hinders rather than increases output:
a) People tend to shut down when confronted by higher status individuals.
b) People tend to put greater value to the input of higher status individuals.
c) People tend to allow higher status individuals to get away with bad decision-making.
d) The competitive rush to attain a higher status creates restriction of information, which lessens intellectual cross-pollination.
These and other topics are covered in depth in the MBA dissertation on Managing Creativity & Innovation, which can be purchased (along with a Creativity and Innovation DIY Audit, Good Idea Generator Software and Power Point Presentation) from http://www.managing-creativity.com/
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Kal Bishop, MBA
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Kal Bishop is a management consultant based in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a passionate traveller. He can be reached on http://www.managing-creativity.com/
How to Make a Difference Every Day
Every day, everyone can make the world a better place. It's simple; it's quick and it is free. All it requires is a recipe containing you (yes, that's YOU!), awareness and a natural disposition to be brave enough to change the day of everyone you come into contact with in a positive way.Appreciating what people do for you, whenever you come into contact with them is the first step. It may not sound much, but saying a sincere 'Thank You' means much to many people - it is not what they experience normally. This can be a 'Thank You' to someone who holds a door open for you to the guy you buy your morning paper from. It can be to an employee who you manage, for something, for goodness sakes, for anything they did well - in the moment, sincerely.The next step, when it is comfortable for you, is to explain what it was they did that was great. So, as an example, it could be to an employee who you manage,'Thank you for that piece of work, your effort has made such a difference to it'.It could be a 'Well done' as you stand in front of a display of merchandise'What I especially like about it, is how you made such a great impact with the cornflakes'Outside your place of work, you buy a sandwich,'Thank you - can I just say what a great job you did putting that together for me; I truly appreciate it'.Sharing positive observations that people might not see in themselves, because there is not enough positive feedback in the world creates positivity.You can make a difference to literally dozens of people every day and makes their lives brighter. And how do you think they will respond to the next customer; and the next. Research shows that they will be buzzing for the next 5 interactions with others. Maybe they will 'Pay it Forward' as in the film. (Not seen it - do so!). This is about small things that you can do every day. And if you can't do it consistently? Just do it sometimes and that is much, much better than never at all.You may never know the positive difference you have made to someone you spend a little time, a little courtesy with - but you will have to live with that delicious 'not knowing'!Tip? Set yourself a target of doing this five times a day - and if you do, give yourself a pat on the back! This works in business and the real (:-)) world too!
Forget The Sandwich Technique
Do you remember being told to use the "sandwich" techniquewhen you needed to reprimand someone? Let me give you anexample:
Whatever it Takes!
I have a sign on my office door. It pretty much summarizes my philosophy of life.
Creativity and Innovation Management - Turning Ideas into Action
The phrase "turning ideas into action" is a Russian doll.
Project Management - Preventing Project Slips
Can Project Managers prevent projects from slipping?
Keeping and Motivating the Best Employees
Keeping and Motivating the Best EmployeesIn "You Win With People" we talked about the need to hire the very best people to build your team. Now that you've done that the question becomes, how do you keep them, and how do you keep them motivated.Much has been written about Employee Retention and about Motivation. But most of what has been written has been written in terms of the average employee. In fact, if you are measured at all by your company in this area, it's almost always a measurement of employee retention. But all turnover is not bad turnover, so a retention measurement is actually a false measurement of how you're hiring and firing practice helped the company. So back to the question. How do you keep and motivate the best employees that you've hired? All human beings have basic needs that must be met, starting with food and shelter. So it's obvious that you must pay a fair wage and provide adequate benefits or people won't be able to stay with you. But once the basic needs are met, does it require more money or more elaborate benefits packages to keep the best employees? In reality, neither are truly required. Pay and benefits only go so far, and the best employees, the intelligent, self motivated, team oriented, results oriented employees are not out to squeeze the last dollar from their employers. The best employees have other needs that must be met and the good news is that you, their manager can meet these needs yourself. Recent studies of highly motivated employees show that once their basic needs are met that other factors keep them motivated and interested in their jobs. Here are the 12 questions that the best employees want to be answered:1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my workright?3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do bestevery day?4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praisefor doing good work?5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care aboutme as a person?6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my jobis important?9. Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?10. Do I have a best friend at work?11. In the last 6 months, has someone at work talked to me aboutmy progress?12. This last year, have I had opportunities at work to learnand grow?It's important to note that of these 12 questions, 11 of them (all except number 8) are controlled locally by the employee, the manager, or the supervisor. This means that the first and second line managers have enormous control over their ability to motivate and retain the talented employees that they've hired. You can even argue that you directly impact number 8 based on how you represent the company.Look back at your own career and think about the people you've worked for and which one's you were most willing to follow. Were these the needs that that leader met for you?Goals and ObjectivesPicture this scenario and see if it seems familiar to you. "Dave, I need you to give me the goals and objectives for your group for the new year"."Sure boss. What would you like them to look like?""You know. The usual. Increase productivity by 10%. Reduce your headcount by 15%. Implement some new controls. Oh, and I need them in two days."Frankly, I've had this discussion about 25 times in my career and it always made me just a little bit crazy. Without any real look at what is going to happen this year, or any idea what the top executives are shooting for, I'm going to lay out my department's goals for the next year. Then I'm going to drive my people to meet these goals so that I get a good review and an increase in salary. Not only does this scenario ignore the direction that should be set by the top executives, but it also misses the single most important reason you are in business..... The customer. So, while you're out doing the victory dance for meeting your objectives, your customer is sticking sharp pins into a voodoo doll that bears a remarkable resemblance to you.Let's cut right to the chase here. When you create your departmental objectives based on the above conversation, the only thing you are really thinking about is getting the task complete so that you can check it off your list. You're not thinking about customer satisfaction, or how you are going to improve quality, or even major initiatives that you know (or don't know) are coming your way. You're thinking about getting the boss off your back. And why not? The exercise above is just that, an exercise.So, how should objectives really be set?From the top down. The very top. The CEO of your company should be sitting down with his top executives and laying out the 2 or 3 top priorities for the company for next year. Those priorities represent the vision for the company. Each executive takes those 2 or 3 priorities and determines what they can do to support the vision. Working together the executives assure that the goals that they are passing down to the next level of management are consistent with each other and with the overall company goals. Nothing can do more damage to a company and its customers' then major functional areas with conflicting or unrelated goals and objectives. After the buy in has been received at that level, those visions and goals are passed down to the next level of management, where more specific goals and objectives are designed and shared with their customers. It's critical that everyone in the company see and understand the vision from the top, and that everyone understands what they are doing to support the vision. By developing a company vision at the top and then developing goals and objectives that explicitly support those goals you can then be sure that you are supporting the companies true goals. Then when you look at what you have accomplished for the year you and your customers will be looking at the same results.So, how should you act on this? Start now. And start by asking your boss for the goals and objectives of your senior executives so that you can stay in synch. Plant the seed that you would like to see them to make sure you are marching down the right path and then share what you have developed with your customers. If nothing else it will highlight where you and your customers are going.Remember, developing goals and objectives for your team that are fundamentally aligned with the companies strategic objectives is a fundamental part of good management.
Nine Steps to Help You Develop Your Potential
Go into any bookstore and you will find a big selection of self-help and personal improvement products. Most everyone (and I'll bet everyone reading this) wants to improve. We know we need to get better, and we want to get better. We may want to improve our personal relationships, our business capabilities, our ability to be disciplined, our desire to juggle four chain saws, or any of hundreds of other things. In that book store you can find books to help you do any of those things!
Satisfied Employees, A Powerful Marketing Strategy
Even in today's still uncertain economic times, there are companies who are doing extraordinarily well. Why is it that some companies are thriving while others are barely making it? You can always blame the economy, but is that the only reason? The answer could be as simple as how respected and appreciated your staff feels.
Innovation Management ? Diversity Can Make All The Difference
Companies are welcoming a diverse range of employees (The Sunday Times, April 10 2005). Doh!
Creativity Management and Behaviour
What behaviour maximises the chances of thinking of great ideas? What behaviour maximises the ability to nurture ideas until they begin to reveal their potential?
How to Build Your Business and Still Take Time Off
We all know people who are like human dynamos. They seem to make an art form of building their business and still enjoy quality time with friends and family. It isn't magic, you can do it too.
Smart Staffing: Replacing a Key Manager
Have you been in this situation? One of your top managers left suddenly and you're under the gun to replace her quickly. So you promoted her assistant. That was a disaster. You now need to replace him but want to do it right this time and avoid another costly mistake.
What Every Manager Should Know About How to Reduce the High Cost of Employee Absenteeism
Employers pay a high price for absenteeism, often more than they may realize, in terms of both financial and production losses and employee morale. Managers may view the tasks of finding a substitute employee as a short-term inconvenience; however, absenteeism frequently has more serious long-term effects. Employers can, nevertheless, ensure that employees report in regularly and remain on the job.
5 Creative Evolutionary Leadership Niche Strategies!
I have a short story to share with you about an importantskill many leaders need to develop, use and perfect.
Hire The Person, Not The Resume
"? [get] the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats (and the wrong people off the bus) and then [figure] out where to drive it." - Jim Collins ? Good To Great
Ten Top Ways for Managers to Motivate Their People
So to help start the ball rolling, here are ten top ways to get your people motivated. Ten small steps for you to start with.
The How-Tos of Firing Incompetent Employees
CATEGORIES OF OFFENSES: Most organizations have two categories of offenses in their policies. One category is for flagrant actions which are cause for immediate termination. Cited as examples of such offenses were theft of company property, gross negligence, and being intoxicated on the job. The second category comprises all other offenses for which some prior notification to the employee is required. In these cases, there is a slow but steady accrual of chronic problems or offenses, no single one enough to cause a termination, but taken together making the decision unavoidable.
Quick Tips On Bringing Out The Best In People
Want to bring out the best in people?
Innovation Management: The Quality and Quantity of the Idea Pool
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.
Tales From the Corporate Frontlines: Diversity in the Workplace: Ethnic Considerations
This article relates to the Diversity in the Workplace Competency, commonly evaluated in employee satisfaction surveys. This competency explores whether your organization provides understanding and supports interaction among diverse population groups while respecting individuals' personal values and ideas. Research shows that by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic, an organization can create a success-oriented, cooperative and caring work environment that draws intellectual strength and produces innovative solutions from the synergy of its people. All businesses can benefit from a diverse body of talent bringing fresh ideas, perspectives, and views to the workplace. However, a diverse workforce means that the managers within your organization must be capable of capitalizing on the mixture of genders, cultural backgrounds, ages, and lifestyles present in your staff to respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively.
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