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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #3--From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up
Build it like you would a new organization--from the ground up. What got you to where you are now (the current state of your organization) won’t get you to the new place that makes you competitive in a changing environment. So, building the new innovative group from the bottom up requires rethinking and hard choices. Not everyone can or will be capable of being on the new team. However, you will need a strong sponsor on the core team—to support and sustain the new business at birth and through its infancy—or it will die before it can prosper. Things will get tough along the way. Courage will ensure that you stay on course, based on trending evidence, not simply hope!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #2--Dedicated Team

Dedicated Team
 Build a dedicated team—focused on the innovation: Make them separate but connected. Maverick (Mav) gets chosen to lead the new venture on the farm based on Stella’s idea—producing luxury wool. He must implement the process; this is how creativity goes from a great idea to an innovation, a commercial product or service that can be sold for profit. However, if the new enterprise is to survive, it must stay connected to the core business of the organization for its nourishment and support—like a child for its mother. You can’t expect to tell a new leader to just go off and “make it happen” without core support. Certain operations, like marketing and sales, might be completely independent, but production, HR and administration are more efficiently managed as a joint operation. Conflict will be inevitable; expect it, but understand that the partnership (between the existing business and the new innovative one) is critical to moving the organization forward into the future.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #1--Overview

How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale About Making Innovation Happen by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble (St. Martin’s Press, NY), reviewed by Steve Gladis, PhD, June 2013.

Overview: On the surface, this is a story whose main characters are barn animals—Stella (a creative sheep), Marcus (the aging stallion CEO), Deidre (Marcus’ daughter, a mare, and successor to run the farm), Bull (the ops guy for the main farm), Mav (the renegade innovator), and others. At its core, the story about how a farm, run by (very literate) animals, competes with “humans” and their huge new tractors. On the surface, it looks like a simple fable. However, so was George Orwell’s Animal Farm! Fable and allegory have long been the craft of authors who really wanted everyday people to understand complex ideas. Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble—both experts on innovation—have written a book for everyone about how innovation works successfully in companies. Read it, heed the wisdom, and watch your organization prosper.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Positive Leadership: Post #5--FINAL: Get Positive in Your Activities (Psychological)

Get Positive in Your Activities   
You can practice getting more positive, just like swinging a golf club or hitting a tennis ball. Watch this video and try some of these psychological activities....and notice the difference in your attitude. Watch this video:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Positive Leadrship: Post #3--Get Strong at Work

Get Strong at Work  If you get the opportunity to work at things your strong at, you will enjoy work and find that time flies--otherwise the clock just drags. The ratio should be 80/ should be doing the work you like 80% of the time and the stuff you don't prefer only about 20% of the time. Watch this video:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Positive Leadership: Post #2--Get Social

Get Social
Get Social  People who are social—those who have a strong relationship with their families, friends, and colleagues at work are among the happiest people on the planet.  Watch this video:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Positve Leadership-- Post #1--Overview

Will be posting a series of YouTube videos that summarize my new book: Positive Leadership: The Game Changer at Work.

Overview: After culling through much of the research on positive psychology, I pulled together a compilation of how happiness and positivity affect leaders and how, in turn, leaders impact on direct reports. The findings are eye opening. Watch the video:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Group Genius: Post #10--FINAL Words

Final Words: Innovation is the future of any society. Governments often respond to big companies, who want to restrict competition. Such companies have the most to lose from innovation and collaboration that might be better for the whole of society. We need to pay attention to this tension to remain economic leaders in the world.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Group Genious: Post #9--Collaborative Economy

Creating a Collaborative Economy: Our future relies on the power of tapping into the magic of collaboration. Possessiveness kills creativity. We need to reward individuals but ensure collaboration to continue. Social scientist Richard Florida claims that 30% of American workers are part of the creative economy. Warning: Collaborate or become irrelevant in today’s creative economy. We need laws to protect inventors that also allow collaboration. How to do this? 1) Reduce copyright years (down from 95 years); and 2) Reward small sparks (go to more open source, collaborative efforts).

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Group Genius: Post #8--Collaborating with Customers

Collaborating with Customers: Google uses mash-ups—a combination of their technologies and customers’ applications to allow collective wisdom to fuel their search engine. Google hosts “code jams”—contests that allow users to solve their big problems; finalists come to their headquarters—big prize is only $10K. Amazon, eBay, Cisco, SAS, and IBM all use a form of collective mindshare. At Wikipedia and YouTube, customers drive the car.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Group Genius: Post #7--Team-based Companies

Team-based Companies: Cross-functional collaborative teams (innovation teams) create products more quickly. But isolated “skunk works” don’t work due to a lack of necessary collaboration across the company. “Innovation labs” consist of people from all over the company; they come together but then go back to their units—they do not become a separate entity. Key ways to measure innovation: 1) Count time on exploratory projects—up to 20% works well; 2) Measure how much time is required to terminate a project—quick is better than slow; 3) Measure how the company celebrates failure. Author suggests: “Fail often, fail early, fail gloriously.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Group Genius: Post #6--Connecting Sparks

Connecting the Sparks: Ideas build on previous ones based on four everyday mental processes:  1) Conceptual Transfer (analogies help people find a path to solve new problems); 2) Conceptual Combination (think Reese’s Pieces—nouns combine creatively, and the farther apart the two concepts are, the more creative the outcome); 3) Conceptual Elaboration (leveraging new uses of an existing product); 4) Concept Creation (hard work, collaboration, and deep familiarity—takes 10 years). Conversation is a critical place for connections and creativity to happen.

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