A 2007 McKinsey innovation report, based on a survey of nearly 1400 executives from around the world showed that the executives unanimously agreed (94%) that people and corporate culture were the most important drivers of innovation. In another major study of 759 firms across 17 major economies, “Corporate Culture” was found to be the primary driver of radical innovation (Radical Innovation Across Nations: The Preeminence of Corporate Culture, Journal of Marketing, Jan. 2009). Booz Allen has been surveying the Global 1000 firms and reporting on them since 2005. In their latest report (The Global Innovation 1000, Why Culture is Key, Issue 65, Winter 2011), they concluded:

 

“The elements that make up a truly innovative company are many: a focused innovation strategy, a winning overall business strategy, deep customer insight, great talent, and the right set of capabilities to achieve successful execution. More important than any of the individual elements, however, is the role played by corporate culture — the organization’s self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing — in tying them all together.”

 

Unfortunately, enterprise culture is a slippery concept. Scholars define it as the bundle of attitudes, experiences, values, norms, assumptions and beliefs embraced by managers and employees; these, in turn, guide behavior. Regrettably, these elements of the definition of culture are equally slippery, with the result that any executive who wants to create a culture of innovation will have no way to measure the current culture; and without measurement, he or she will find it difficult, if not impossible, to identify a clear point at which to intervene and create positive change.

 

Recognizing this problem, in this book, I offer a model for capturing an innovative culture. I scoured the fields of organizational dynamics, leadership, behavioral science, corporate entrepreneurship and innovation to find theoretical frameworks and models that described organizational culture and culture of innovation. Specifically, I looked for instruments and assessment tools that were actionable; a primary need for all executives hoping to bring about change. In doing so, I found extensive research and models from academia, consulting firms and enterprises themselves, spanning over 30 years.

Innovation at Work

The Culture of Innovation

Hope you all had a great summer (in the northern hemisphere) and peaceful winter down below! Can’t believe that it is already October!

Before I took off for summer, I was hoping to finish off a task I had started in March – summarizing and giving you snippets from my recent book in Spanish. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Anyway, for first time readers, the book is titled (translated from Spanish), “Innovation 2.0: Why do we forget about the people when we talk about innovation? A practical way to create a culture of innovation.” Available from: (U.S. Amazon website, Spain Amazon website, Profit Editorial website, In e-book format from todoebook.com).

To help first time readers navigate and regular readers recall what we have covered thus far, I will quickly summarize my previous 5 blogs.

 March 2012 blog: My New Book

Ver la entrada original 1.474 palabras más

Anuncios

Reasons Your Top Employee Isn’t Happy | inc.com


Inc.com - The Daily Resource for EntrepreneursNot sure why your top performer is unhappy? Check out what the most brilliant (yet difficult) employees hate about company culture.

1. Inconsistent / Frequently Changing Priorities

Why It’s a Problem: Nothing irritates a top performer more than ditch-to-ditch or fad-based management.

How to Spot It: Employees hunkering down every time a new initiative is introduced–glazing over at strategy meetings.

What to Do About It: Set a short-, medium-, and long-term strategy and stick to each for a reasonable period without being distracted by the newest new thing.

2. Condoning Mediocrity

Why It’s a Problem: The No. 1 reason high performers leave organizations in which they are otherwise happy is because of the tolerance of mediocrity.

How to Spot It: Disdain and distance between top performers and others who are not pulling their weight. Dissatisfaction with rewards (compensation, bonuses, awards, etc.) given to others.

What to Do About It: Set high goals for the entire organization and build in both rewards (for success) and consequences (for failure). Apply both consistently and fairly.

3. Round Peg / Square Hole Syndrome Leer más “Reasons Your Top Employee Isn’t Happy | inc.com”

Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com


http://business.time.com

Rachel came to us with strong work ethic, experience creating organizational hierarchies, an understanding of what it takes to be operationally excellent, and perhaps most importantly, a devotion to our company’s cause: promoting client needs in a collaborative team-oriented environment.Keep Your Best Employee

I put her in a role that made the most sense to me-that is, the job that took the bulk of my time. I was the project manager on almost every project for our customers, but in order to grow the company, I realized I needed to focus on higher-level goals, and not the day-to-day grind. I had intentionally hired someone who had a different skill set, someone who’d be good at nurturing employees by implementing human resource structure (which I’m not). Isn’t that what the experts tell you to do? But I made a critical mistake. I gave her a job that fit my personality, not hers.

She was miserable. She hated the job. The project manager role was external facing and required being heavy-handed with our clients to keep projects on task and within scope.  While Rachel is great at getting employees to tow the line, she struggled with this requirement when it came to our clients.

My instinct told me she was exactly the type of employee User Insight needed to be successful based on her background, professionalism, experience, and approach to the job, but I also knew she was on the way out if things didn’t change, and change quickly.So, in the lobby of a hotel during a business trip, Rachel and I sat down over a stale cup of coffee to discuss how we might carve out a job that would entice her to stay at User Insight.

This is how I did it:   Leer más “Keep Your Best Employees: 5 Steps | business.time.com”

When Your Influence Is Ineffective | HBR Blog Network

Because a style’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness is completely situational, it’s tricky to recognize when a style you are using isn’t working. Since the same argument or presentation can be “heard” differently by different people, recognizing when a style is ineffective requires enough interpersonal insight to accurately judge how your appeal is being perceived.

In order to gain agility between styles — and make sure that you’re using each effectively — take a moment to consider situations where specific influencing styles are ineffective. We’ve provided a breakdown for each of the five styles below:

Rationalizing: Rationalizing can be ineffective when it makes others feel overwhelmed, that their perspectives are not being heard, or that the influencer values data more than their feelings. This can happen when the influencer repeats the same factual argument, ignores value-based solutions, or fails to consider the emotions or feelings of others. These behaviors can be perceived as competitive or self-serving, and may generate a competitive response.

Asserting: Asserting generally won’t work when people feel pressured — especially when asserting statements start to feel like aggressive, heavy-handed, or unreasonable demands. This can lead to resistance or resentment accompanied by passive aggressive or negative behavior, which can result in compliance when the influencer really needs commitment. In other words, people may say they are in agreement with the influencer, but when the time comes for action, they may not behave the way the influencer had in mind. The asserting style is especially ineffective when one is influencing up or there is need for collaboration.

Negotiating: Negotiating is being used ineffectively when people become confused about the influencer’s key position. This can happen when the influencer negotiates too much, loses sight of the bigger picture, or gives up something that is seemingly critical to his or her long-term strategic interest. When an influencer gives in to the demands or needs of other stakeholders to avoid conflict, it may communicate that the influencer is less concerned about an issue than they really are. When one is in an inferior position or there is nothing to exchange, the negotiating style is especially questionable.

Inspiring: Inspiring isn’t working when people feel misled, especially when there is a lack of trust at the start. This can happen when people are influenced toward a common ground only to discover there is none; others may assume that the influencer has a hidden agenda or an overall lack of transparency. All of this erodes trust, causes suspicion, and costs the influencer future credibility.

Bridging: Bridging is ineffective when the influencer uses what he or she knows about the stakeholders’ interests during the influencing process to the extent that they feel manipulated. Instead of connecting people to one’s position, the influencer may be making them suspicious about his or her motives. This can happen when there is too little common ground or open conflict at the outset. The influencer may be perceived as self-serving or insincere about the interests of other stakeholders. More so, when bridging includes a push for collaboration when the prerequisites or time doesn’t allow it, this can lead to distrust in the organization.

It’s clear that unless we take the time to learn enough about the different influencing styles and take notice of the situations around us, we run the risk of damaging our personal effectiveness in the short term and harming our organization in the long run.

Can you tell when the influencing style you are using is ineffective? How are you going to improve your influencing abilities?


http://blogs.hbr.org

Chris Musselwhite and Tammie Plouffe

In today’s highly matrixed workplace, your ability to influence others can be the key to your professional success. In a previous blog post, we asked questions and provided links to influencing style assessment tools — all in the effort to demonstrate why learning about influencing styles, including identifying our own primary style, is critical to personal effectiveness. The bottom line: Since we naturally default to the one (sometimes two) styles that work best at influencing us, our influencing ability and our effectiveness to influence others will remain limited until we develop influencing style agility, achieving the ability to use any style comfortably.

Once we have identified our style and learned about the others, the next step is learning how to recognize when a style is being used ineffectively. As some readers of our previous blog wisely commented, everyone has used all of the influencing styles at one time or another. This underscores the fact that no style is inherently bad. In fact, any influencing style can be used effectively as long as the influencer fully considers the situation — the people involved, what’s at stake for everyone, and the organizational culture in which everyone is operating.

But influence becomes ineffective when individuals become so focused on the desired outcome that they fail to fully consider the situation. While the influencer may still gain the short-term desired outcome, he or she can do long-term damage to personal effectiveness and the organization, as it creates an atmosphere of distrust where people stop listening, and the potential for innovation or progress is diminished. Leer más “When Your Influence Is Ineffective | HBR Blog Network”

What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?

A Quick Guide to Starting Your Own Corporate Blog

If the above blogs have inspired you to start your own corporate blog (or revamp your existing one), the tips below will get you going in the right direction.
Why Are You Blogging?

All the blogs featured above have clear-cut reasons for blogging, and the content they publish reflects that. There are a few different reasons businesses might blog, and some businesses blog for more than one reason. Figure out why you’re blogging so it can guide your decisions from here on out.
Set Goals

Before you get started, think about what you want to accomplish by blogging. Simply saying you want to blog because everyone else in your industry is doing it isn’t a good enough reason. You need to want something from your blogging efforts. Take a few minutes to write down your blogging goals, and then keep them in mind as your blog grows and evolves.
Blog Management

You’ll need someone to manage the technical end of things, as well as your content. If you don’t have designated IT people for managing your website, going with a hosted blogging service will save you a lot of headaches.

On the content end of things, it’s a good idea to designate one person as “editor“. That person should be responsible for making sure there’s content ready as scheduled, and that it’s been proofread and optimized for search engines. This can be one of your bloggers or someone else in the company.

It’s important to decide on the kinds of posts you’ll publish, and who’s responsible for writing posts. Have more than one person updating your blog, especially if you want to publish on a daily basis. Spreading the workload out lessens the chance that your bloggers will get burned out. You’ll also want to create some kind of guiding document for your bloggers, so they know what is and isn’t acceptable to post.


A winning corporate blog can bring new traffic to your website and added attention to your company. According to one study, businesses that blog get an average of 55% more traffic on their websites than those who don’t. It adds value to new and existing customers, and can make you stand out from your competitors. But how, exactly, does a business go about creating a blog that their customers will actually read?

Zappos.com CEO and COO Blog

zappos ceo coo blog
Zappos.com, the giant online shoe and apparel retailer, has a number of blogs. Some focus on their products and general company news, but one in particular stands out: the shared blog of their CEO and COO.

What sets this blog apart is the transparency it offers to Zappos.com customers. Internal emails, memos, and other corporate news are all shared. The fact that internal emails are copied in their entirety and shared with the general public is something a lot of corporations would scoff at. But it’s all about building trust. Zappos, for instance, recently posted an extensive internal email that marked the 1-year anniversary of their deal with Amazon, and included the original email they sent out when the deal with Amazon was announced.

If the public sees you as honest and straightforward, then they’re more likely to do business with you. It’s that simple.

Zappos.com also has another blog that’s noteworthy: Zappos Insights. It’s hosted on a separate domain, and includes tons of information about the way they do business and their corporate culture. They also offer information on outstanding company culture at other businesses. They have regular features on things like books they’re reading and fun posts like the Zappos Family Music Video. It’s aimed at other entrepreneurs and businesses, and has tons of valuable insider information on how to build a corporate culture as outstanding as what Zappos has.

The Takeaway

Transparency builds trust. If you want your customers to view your company as honest and straightforward, don’t be afraid to share internal documents and be as open as possible about what your company is doing. Having that information come from a higher-up within the company lends more credibility and gives it extra impact.

The Facebook Blog

the facebook blog
The Facebook Blog is clearly targeted at existing users. And when you have an active user base of more than 500 million people, it’s important to keep communication not just open, but streamlined. The blog serves as a perfect, unintrusive platform for keeping users updated on new features and important information.

The Facebook Blog is another great example of how having multiple employees posting can result in better, higher-quality content and a more consistent posting schedule. Included in the people who blog is Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. Having your CEO or other high-level executives blog when something important is being announced gives it more credibility in the eyes of customers.

The Takeaway

The Facebook Blog can teach us two things. First, when you have to communicate with huge numbers of people, a blog can be a great way to do so. Second, having a huge blogging team that includes employees from throughout your organization makes your blog much more engaging for users. Your CEO should be blogging, but so should your interns.

Lulu

lulu blog
Lulu takes a different approach to their blog. Rather than just promoting their company and their services, they offer valuable information to their customers and prospects related to self-publishing, the industry they serve. Sure, they also talk about their own products and services, and how to get the most from them, but it’s always with the customer in mind. You won’t find any regurgitated corporate press releases here.

When your customers are do-it-yourselfers or a similar demographic, providing information that empowers them to do what they do better, you become their go-to point for knowledge. When they have a question about something, they view you as an authority on the subject and turn to your blog for advice.

The Takeaway

Think about what your customers are doing, and how you can help them do it better. That should include not only how you can help them directly, but also how they can help themselves or get help from others who do things your business doesn’t. If you put the needs of your customers first, they’re more likely to respect your company and turn to you when they need something. Leer más “What Can You Learn from 7 Awesome Corporate Blogs?”

The Manager as Idea Coach

The root of the word “manager” comes from the same root as the words “manipulate” or “maneuver”, meaning to “adapt or change something to suit one’s purpose”. Although these words may carry a pejorative meaning for some of us, there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Indeed, into each life a little manipulation and maneuvering must fall. For example, if the door to your office gets stuck, a handyman might need to manipulate it to get it working again. If there is a log jam at the elevator, you might decide to maneuver around the crowd and take the stairs. No problem there.

However, there is another kind of manipulation and maneuvering that is a problem – when managers use their position to bend subordinates to their will. While short-term gains may result, in the end the heart is taken out of people. Your staff may become good soldiers, but they will lose something far more important in the process – their ability to think for themselves. General George Patton said it best, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” [Más…]

Unfortunately, ingenuity in many American corporations has gone the way of the hula-hoop. But intellectual capital is the name of the game these days – and it is the enlightened manager’s duty to learn how to play. Only those companies will succeed whose people are empowered to think for themselves and respond creatively to the myriad of changes going on all around them. Simply put, managers must make the shift from manipulators to manifesters. They must learn how to coach their people into increasingly higher states of creative thinking and creative doing. They must realize that the root of their organization’s problem is not the economy, not management, not cycle time or outsourcing, but their own inability to tap into the power of their workforce’s innate creativity.

Where does empowerment start? First, by recognizing what power is: “the ability to do or act”. And second, by realizing that all power begins with an idea. Clearly, one’s ability to “do or act” depends on there being something worth doing or acting upon. What is an idea? Where does it come from? And how can a manager increase the chances of a good one showing up?


by Mitchell Ditkoff
//ideachampions.com

The root of the word “manager” comes from the same root as the words “manipulate” or “maneuver”, meaning to “adapt or change something to suit one’s purpose”. Although these words may carry a pejorative meaning for some of us, there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Indeed, into each life a little manipulation and maneuvering must fall. For example, if the door to your office gets stuck, a handyman might need to manipulate it to get it working again. If there is a log jam at the elevator, you might decide to maneuver around the crowd and take the stairs. No problem there.

However, there is another kind of manipulation and maneuvering that is a problem – when managers use their position to bend subordinates to their will. While short-term gains may result, in the end the heart is taken out of people. Your staff may become good soldiers, but they will lose something far more important in the process – their ability to think for themselves. General George Patton said it best, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Leer más “The Manager as Idea Coach”

Companies Need All The Innovation They Can Get

by Sheldon Laube | Innovation Office, PwC

In a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Why Companies Need Less Innovation“ Pat Lencioni makes the case that companies should not be asking employees to be innovators. He goes as far as to say that leaders should not even be open to more ideas from their employees and that only a few people really need to innovative. He suggests that rank and file employees should not try to innovate but simply “do their jobs and satisfy customers in the most effective and charismatic way possible, but within the bounds of sound business principles.”

Lencioni has a far too limiting view of innovation. Let’s start with the definition of innovation itself. While this is widely debated, I always fall back to the simple dictionary definition:

Something new or different introduced


by Sheldon Laube | Innovation Office, PwC

In a recent Bloomberg article entitled “Why Companies Need Less Innovation“   Pat Lencioni makes the case that companies should not be asking employees to be innovators.  He goes as far as to say that leaders should not even be open to more ideas from their employees and that only a few people really need to innovative.  He suggests that rank and file employees should not try to innovate but simply “do their jobs and satisfy customers in the most effective and charismatic way possible, but within the bounds of sound business principles.”

Lencioni has a far too limiting view of innovation.  Let’s start with the definition of innovation itself.  While this is widely debated, I always fall back to the simple dictionary definition:

Something new or different introduced Leer más “Companies Need All The Innovation They Can Get”