Articles tagged with: trust


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


Singing together (breathing together) helps unite people

We have long taught people that one way of creating deep connections with others is to breathe at the same rate as the other person is breathing. Singing is a common way that this can be achieved either at church, a football match or listening to your favourite song. Now research conducted in Sweden shows that when people sing togehter, ie breathe together, their heart rate synchronises.


Undercover Boss

Yet another management gimmick!

Undercover Boss

The urge for CEO’s to go “undercover” as employees or work safe officers in order to truly understand what’s happening on the “shop floor” highlights the disconnection between senior management and employees. If anything it goes to prove that a lack of trust exists between and within the management ranks and employees at all levels. What does it say about a company’s culture when the CEO feels he or she has to go “undercover” to understand or learn about what’s happening in the business? Clearly it is says, “I don’t trust you!”  More so it undermines the leadership of first line supervisors and managers.  If CEO’s truly feel they need to go “undercover” then it raises serious questions about how much management is trusted.

Posted in Business Management


Lack of employee trust eroding competitiveness

Lack of employee trust eroding competitiveness

Worker trust and confidence in senior management have fallen over the past two years and, unless reversed, present a major threat to future corporate competitiveness, according to a soon-to-be released survey of nearly 13,000 workers conducted by Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

Posted in Business Management

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