Articles tagged with: competitiveness

Aug21

Building Smarter Teams - Thomas Malone

Building Smarter Teams - Thomas Malone

Very interesting article on the latest research into group intelligence.......
"We had expected that the group intelligence would correlate with the average or maximum intelligence of individual group members. But we were surprised to find that the correlation was not very strong. In other words, just having a bunch of smart people in a group doesn't necessarily make a smart group"

 

Posted in Project Management

Nov12

Creating a safe space for innovation

Understanding how your measures affect employee behaviour

Clayton M. Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. In the business consulting field he is a “rock star.” He is the author of best selling business books and consults on the subject to many global companies.

In his book “The Innovator’s DNA” Christensen prescribes what it takes to be more innovative and to be successful at innovation. Perhaps it is stating the obvious (as far as I am concerned but then again I do understand a little about human behaviour being a psychologist), but one of the keys to success is to create a space for innovation to occur.  What that means is that employees should be able to experiment and trial new ideas without fear of negative consequences if things don’t work out.

“Establishing an Innovation is everyone’s job philosophy requires creating a safe space for others to take on the status quo. Researchers call this psychological safety, in which team members willingly express opinions, take risks, run experiments, and acknowledge mistakes without punishment”.

Another key is to give people time to innovate, obvious once again since how will you be able to experiment with out the time to do so? But when you hear, as I did, employees told to increase their utilization rate to 95% (utilization rate is the percentage of billable time) the only time they have left is the time for toilet and lunch breaks. There is no space for innovation.

Many years ago I consulted to an organization that was serious about innovation. The senior management team created a budget code so that employees could allocate hours to innovation and reduced the utilisation rate down to 80% so that employees could allocate 20% of their work hours towards innovation.  The result was that innovation happened.

The Innovator’s DNA provides a great resource for anyone wanting to create an environment for innovation to flourish, but in order to do so stumbling blocks like the requirement for high utilization rates must be dealt with first.

Posted in Innovation

Apr17

You Can't Shrink Your Way To Greatness

You Can't Shrink Your Way To Greatness

Unfortunately troubled economic times seem to bring a narrow-minded response from many businesses. Common initiatives appear to be driven by short-termism and the need to be seen to be doing something rather than really adapting to the challenges of the new economic environment.

Initially the response is often denial, hoping that a recovery will come along and that things can get back to normal. When the realisation sets in that an early recovery is not forthcoming then it is agreed that something must be done and as it has now been left late, then that something must be radical.   Usually this means cost cutting and cost cutting means that heads must roll.

Posted in Business Management

Nov19

Lean Management Tip

The easiest and quickest improvement you will ever make.

Lean Management Tip

One of the principles of Lean Management is the removal of waste. Waste can be defined as any activity or output that is non value adding; to the company, to the customer, to the process.

An easy and simple way to get started is to ask of any activity (and perhaps the person employed to do such an activity!) is “Would a reasonable customer pay for it?”
If the answer is yes, then all efforts should be directed into performing the activity as efficiently and effectively as possible.


If no then there are 2 alternatives. If you believe that the activity must happen then you have a value perception problem with the customer and you need to enlighten them as to why it is a value adding activity and more importantly the benefits it will bring them.


The second alternative is that you have identified waste in the form of doing something a customer does not want, fixing up an error, doing something twice or simply waiting. Stop doing the activity, identify and fix the things that caused the error or the delay.  Simply ceasing and desisting non value adding activities is the easiest process improvement you will ever do.

Aug31

Team Development

The often overlooked ingredient for success

Team Development

Many of you will be familair with the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing model of team development. But do you know it's origins and how to utilise it?

Dr Bruce Tuckman published his Forming Storming Norming Performing model in 1965 while doing research work for the United States Navy where he and other social psychologists were studying small group behaviour. As well as investigating actual groups he also conducted a meta anlysis of literature in the area of group development.

Posted in Business Management

Jul06

Managing Know How

Fix the processes before you try managing by objectives

Managing Know How

When Rudy is not changing the world of business for the better, he is busy changing the world of junior football for the better. Rudy is the president of “the most progressive junior football club in Australia”; I know the club is, because he told me!  Seriously Rudy is not given to hyperbole and relies on measurable data to support his claim. Over 600 boys and girls have directly benefitted from the dedication and commitment he has shown over the past three years.

Posted in Change Management

May25

Middle Managers - key to success for knowledge based industries

Middle Manager Competence is Key to Success

Middle Managers - key to success for knowledge based industries

team management

Research conducted by Wharton Business School management professor Ethan Mollick suggests that middle managers are the key productivity enhancing variable especially for knowledge-based companies.

“The often overlooked and sometimes-maligned middle managers matter. They are not interchangeable parts in an organization,” Mollick says.

Posted in Business Management

[12  >>