The Talent Development team at a major engineering firm needed to create a coherent innovation curriculum across all levels of leadership in the organization. The result was the design and development of learning objectives and curriculum across five talent pools with common themes and core messages on driving organizational innovation by focusing on individuals, climate, operations and strategy.
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By Russ Schoen
“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.”
– Dave Barry, “Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”
What is one of the most common barriers to innovation?
During most innovation workshops that I facilitate, at some point I’ll ask the group, what are the barriers to innovating here?
One of the most common answers given is “we don’t have enough time to innovate.”
When I follow up with the question, well what is one of most unproductive uses of your time in this organization? The most common answer is – yup, You guessed it. Meetings.
Think about your own work life for a moment. Think about the last five meetings you attended at work. Would you say they were engaging? productive? A good use of your time and your fellow colleagues’ time?
Chances are, you answered that at least one in three of those meetings was a complete waste of your time. If so, don’t fret you are not alone.
Did you know?
In surveys conducted — in the US alone - where approximately 11,000,000 meetings are held every week as many as 25–50% of those meetings are characterized by those attending them as a waste of time.*
Not only that. Here’s one more bit of bad meeting news. An MIT Sloan Management study showed that the more time employees spend in unproductive meetings, the more dissatisfied they are with their work and more likely they are to quit their jobs. Ouch.
So if you really want to free up some time to innovate, one of the best ways to do so is to clear out some space to innovate. And one of the quickest ways to do that is a meeting audit!
What is a Meeting Audit and how do I conduct one?
The purpose of a meeting audit is to identify meetings that you can stop holding (or attending) or that you can shorten which will free up time. A deliberate meeting audit takes about 30 minutes with a team and many teams find that they can cut about 20% of the total meetings they hold or attend on a monthly basis.
To conduct a meeting audit, gather your team (and you can do this alone if you work independently)
Now you may be thinking, there is no way that we can stop holding that monthly x meeting! People will flip. It’s too important. Well one suggestion is not to kill the meeting all together – take a break from holding or attending meeting for a month and see if people really miss it. If they do, you can always reinstate it (and hopefully make some changes to make it more productive). If its not missed it, then you can officially kill it!
Time to Innovate: Next Step
So if you want to innovate and you think you don’t have enough time, why not conduct a meeting audit? You’ll deliberately clear out some much needed space and time from your schedule and overcome one of the most frequently cited barriers to innovation!
|See full post and discussion||Posted: 8 months ago|
By Stavros Michailidis
A short while ago, we conducted an informal survey of business leaders to explore how they perceived creativity, innovation and problem solving. We found that:
Considering these common perceptions, let us look at a simple framework for turning problem solving into innovation utilizing a little bit of creativity.
Traditional problem solving has 4 phases or steps.
The above steps tend to work perfectly for many problems, especially the ones that don’t require a very innovative solution. However, if you need to work on a problem that would benefit from a little creativity and imagination, try capitalizing on the four opportunities for innovation (one for each problem solving step).
Reframe the Problem
Instead of simply clarifying the situation, find new ways to interpret the issue. Seek unique perspectives from those who don’t embrace the common understanding of the problem.
Originate New Ideas
Stop looking for the right answer and start looking for lots of interesting options. Think about it - If you find the most obvious and straightforward answer you are pretty much guaranteed to get the most common results. If you are really after innovation you must look for a different type of solution.
Enhance the Plan
Two companies can pursue essentially the same idea, with vastly different approaches (…think Encarta vs. Wikipedia). Innovation isn’t just about what we’re doing, it’s also about how we do things. New approaches generate new types of results and new opportunities.
Improvise During Implementation
Planning is a valuable process, but we must remain open to change as we execute the plan. Along the way we will face unforeseen obstacles and gain new insights. Remain flexible and adaptive during implementation. Be open to stumbling upon new value by continuously learning from the implementation processes’ successes and failures.
Using some tried and tested tools and techniques individuals and groups can capitalize on these four opportunities for innovation.
Use the comments to tell us about your success innovating around the 4 opportunities or which opportunity most interests you and we’ll share the respective tools you need to get creative.
|See full post and discussion||Posted: 9 months ago|