Line of Sight Innovation

I sometimes encounter organizations which want to want to become more innovative but whose corporate culture is inimical to agility and innovation.  Such organizations typically display these characteristics: – They have set procedures which are difficult to change. – All decisions are made by committees which meet regularly and require discussion, review and consensus so progress is slow. –... Read More--

Are you Playing too Safe? Review your Innovation Portfolio.

Many companies plough money into innovation projects without a clear strategy for their overall portfolio. Here is a method which gives a framework for sorting and reviewing our innovation initiatives. We can categorise our new product development initiatives into one of four quadrants using the two by two window shown below. On the vertical axis there are markets – the ones we currently occupy and... Read More--

Never Hire on First Meeting

Brian Tracy Hiring people is one of the most important tasks that a manager performs yet many hiring managers are easily fooled and make bad hires.  Here is some valuable advice about hiring for key positions from the veteran management guru Brian Tracy.  He calls it his four rules of three.  Say you meet a candidate who makes a strong initial impression – you are tempted to hire them straight... Read More--

How to Transfer Knowledge

What happens when someone experienced leaves your office?  They may have many years of technical, market or customer expertise.  How is their accumulated knowledge and know-how captured and transferred to their successor?  In most organisations the process is haphazard.  The leaver spends a couple of half-days with someone who will take over from them and they write down a list of key points. ... Read More--

Five Requirements for a Successful Meeting

Some meetings serve simply to disseminate information. One person gives a presentation, usually in Powerpoint, and others listen and absorb some of the content. In its method this meeting is really an extension of a school class or university lecture. We will not dwell on this. Other meetings serve as discussions which are intended to lead to a decision. These are often badly run and fail because they... Read More--

How to Broadcast and Reward Innovation Success

When you have a successful innovation be sure to broadcast the fact. Track the source of the original idea that led to the innovation.  It may have come from a brainstorm, a suggestion scheme item, an idea event or some other source and the originator may have been an individual or a team. In any event, if the contributor is agreeable, make a big fuss. Draw up a story about the innovation and place... Read More--

How to Hire Creative People – Great Questions for Interviewers to Ask

How can you change a corporate culture which is comfortable, complacent and risk averse into one which is dynamic, entrepreneurial and innovative? One key action is to stop hiring comfortable, complacent risk avoiders and to start hiring dynamic, entrepreneurial innovators. The trouble is that managers tend to hire people who are like them and who will ‘fit in’ with the team. And the people who... Read More--

Seven Mistakes that Managers Make when Hiring People

Selecting a new employee is one of the most important decisions that a manager has to make – yet it is often approached in a casual manner. If you are recruiting someone for your team then be sure to avoid these common errors: 1. No clear job description. What are the essential duties of the position? What are the essential skills and experiences that the candidate must have? Write these down first... Read More--

Should you separate Extroverts from Introverts at Work?

I facilitate workshops on lateral thinking, creativity and innovation. At a recent session I was asked whether I had ever tried separating extroverts from introverts in a brainstorm. I had to admit that I had never done this and the idea at first seemed strange.  After all, diversity is one of the key elements for success in brainstorming – so why split people into their personality type? The... Read More--

Corporate Social Responsibility – is it a good thing?

  It is fashionable for large businesses to put significant resources into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. They dedicate staff and money to worthwhile causes. They tell stakeholders and applicants how responsible and caring they are. They can boast about their worthy projects.  It all makes for good PR. Maybe businesses should focus on what they are good at and stay out of dabbling... Read More--