Thursday, July 08, 2010

Innovation – wrestling with Jelly

For those people who have yet to get to grips with using Creativity and Innovation to gain greater success in business here are a few things worth thinking about. For those of you that have, then you should look at these issues and feel proud that you have overcome them!

"Few great men would have got past personnel."  Paul Goodman

How true! Whether you think about one off characters such as Richard Branson and James Dyson or gangs of people that work for Google or Apple it is highly unlikely that your recruitment procedures would result in you recruiting these people. HR departments can get so fixated on employment law that they do not act to recruit and retain the best human capital for your business.

"Since we live in age of innovation, a practical education must prepare a man for work that does not yet exist and cannot yet be clearly defined."  Peter Drucker

Yet another issue to grapple with. We can have a stab at what the future holds (futures is a brilliant use for alternative thinking) but even without this, we do know the sorts of skills that our workers must have and the types of behaviours that they should exhibit. Our workforces should be matched to these criteria and be able to learn readily and tolerate a degree of ambiguity. But if things cannot be cast in stone, where does this leave unions and other representative bodies that might be resistant to change?

"The leaders say: "Let's be more innovative." The staff says: "Bravo. When do we start?" The mid-level managers say: "Wait a minute, let's think about that. What about… and …? Have you REALLY thought it through? Does this mean I have to change?""  Claude Legrand

This is where you will find either the greatest resistance or the greatest assistance. Sometimes layers of middle management are inserted for no good reason. They are dead wood and must be removed, but they can occupy a very important position. Whether your information tends to flow bottom up, top down or side to side this is where data, information and knowledge smash into each other and connections are made.

"People buy more weight loss books/diets (tools) than all other books, yet people are fatter than ever. Why? Most diets do not address the psychological reasons (mindset) for eating. The same holds true for innovation."  Stephen Shapiro

True again. Why do you or your business actually wish to innovate? Is it because it is the latest craze down at the Chamber of Commerce or are there good reasons for it such as flexibility sustainability, improved motivation etc. Are your aspirations as a management team aligned with those of your employees (and perhaps middle managers)?

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