Creating Creativity – what you can do (part 2)

3 years ago 0 0 810

In part one of this series, we explored the elements of individuals and teams that limit creativity and innovation. In the second part of the series, we will explore what organisations can do about it.  By creating a culture of innovation, designing your thinking and taking true innovative leadership in your organisation, you can move beyond the things which impede creativity, and really create something special. Create the culture for innovation For innovation and design to be a reality in an organisation, it has to move from being a peripheral activity to a culturally accepted process, central to the business. This means the culture has to be accepting of the time and effort that creativity can take, and reward ‘exploration’ rather than outcomes. Peter Murphy, design instructor in Melbourne suggests that creativity is a difficult process, and to be truly innovative, they must “roll their sleeves up, say goodbye to

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Creating creativity- overcoming the corporate blocks to innovation

3 years ago 0 0 1265

In a two part series, Phil Owens explores the concept of creativity in organisations.  In part one, Phil looks at what makes innovation and creativity difficult, and in part two proposes some new ways to approach creativity to make it a core part of your differentiation and success strategy. Creating creativity:  Part 1 – what gets in the way? Why do organisations struggle with creativity? How often do you attend meetings that have lofty ambitions to reach agreement, but simply fail?  How many ‘innovation’ or ‘creativity’ sessions have you been a part of, only to walk out with the same ideas that always seem to come up? Creativity is such a vital asset for business.  Peter Murphy, design instructor in Melbourne points out “Apple is a classic example – they put design at the centre of their business rather than the periphery.   As you build an organisational culture around creativity,

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Organising behaviour – learning from Zappos shift to holacracy

3 years ago 0 0 1382

We create structure and process in a business for only one purpose – to organise behaviour so as to create efficient and effective ways of getting things done. With Zappo’s in the news for instituting a ‘holacracy’ model of organisation, it raises some interesting questions about how we can – and should – organise behaviour. How well does it work when you tell someone with depression to “Be Happy”? The paradox implied in the instruction “Be spontaneous” should be clear – how is spontaneity spontaneous if you have ordered it? This has never been better demonstrated in the corporate world than is currently happening at Zappos: “You will become a holacracy”! Forcing the organisation to become self-organising has an ironic paradox buried at its heart. However, as the organisation pursues this idealised structure, it will provide a fascinating case study over time. With it reported that one in seven employees

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Great leaders ask great questions

3 years ago 0 0 1126

Too often we look to leaders and managers to ‘tell’ the staff what to do, or how to do it. This is a habit of management and leadership left over from the ‘command and control’ model of management that we left behind last century. It assumes that all of the knowledge resides in the leader or manager, and ignores what the staff member knows. It also fails to account for the collaborative potential of what may be discovered or created during a quality conversation. If we believe that individuals can bring motivation, intellect, experience and innovation to the business, then rather than simply ‘telling’ them what to do we may engage them in appropriate conversations on the topic. This allows the leader to realise the inherent potential of the person or people they are leading, and enhance overall performance. The best way to encourage such quality conversations is for the

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Empowered leadership through storytelling

4 years ago 0 0 1215

A core attribute of outstanding leadership is the ability to tell stories.  Stories are the human currency of social connection, and empower engagement, change and personal development, all which are key aspects of being a great leader. I remember once I was working in a highly technical field.  A bright young ‘up and comer’ returned from presenting to the executive board, looking deflated and dejected. ‘Not only did I not get the project approved’, he said, ‘ they nit picked every detail.’  I asked him to take me through the presentation- maybe I could help him? After the first minute or so it was clear that his 106 slides of data for a 20 minute presentation was probably not the way to go, so I gently stopped him, and said: “It reminds me of a time when I had to ask the executive board for 50 Million Euros capex in

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Sabotage strategies that derail success

4 years ago 0 0 823

Are your strategic choices setting you up for success? One of the core principles of leadership is to ensure that strategies are put into action to assist people in creating high value actions which can help the organisation deliver upon its goals.  However, too often we fall into the trap of pursuing strategies which do not lead us to success, but instead lead us away from it.  You may be using ‘sabotage strategies’ – without even realising it. What is a ‘strategy’ anyway? Strategy is often defined as “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim”.  However, to understand the true value of strategies, we need to start with an understanding of what an individual’s ‘long term or overall aim’ actually is. Strategy which is purely based around an organisation’s purpose or mission allows the organisation to move forward, driving high performance in its areas of

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Rule 1 For Great Leadership: Don’t buy into the myths

4 years ago 0 0 2084

I was driving my son to a music lesson, and I asked him an interesting question (we always have interesting conversations in the car!).  The question was “When someone says they are a leader, what assumptions do you automatically make?”.  Whilst it is easy to talk about leadership, we rarely look at the assumptions that we make when discussing leadership and how to be a great leader. For example, if you follow any discussion on social media or listen to a presentation at any conference on ‘leadership’, then often the unspoken assumptions about leaders and leadership are trotted out –  and never questioned.   This simply strengthens the myth.  The current political landscape is a clear example of how the ‘myths’ of leadership are simply accepted without question – and can get the leaders, and those they lead, into trouble. The myths of leadership can get in the way of creating

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The 8 things which will create a perfect storm in your business

4 years ago 0 0 1438

So you have done the company survey, or listened by the coffee machine.  It seems like the jungle drums are beating, and the natives are restless.  The executive team gets together and asks themselves “How did we get like this?”, and wonder at the emerging signs that the culture and engagement strategies have failed. What organisations often find is that the company is not living its stated values, the staff are hardly engaged and the culture has devolved to something just more civil than a cage fight.  And you wondered where your performance had gone? Does this sound familiar?  Too often issues with engagement and culture are identified after these problems are having a real impact on the business and its results.  So many organisations find themselves in trouble and wonder both how they got there, and how to get themselves out. Unfortunately, many organisations find themselves in the perfect

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Leading tribes: Leadership secrets you need to know

4 years ago 0 0 1507

How do you ‘define’ yourself?  If you were to list five things that describe you, what would they be? It is human nature to want to be in tribes, and to define ourselves by the tribes that we belong to, the ones we aspire to, and the ones that we want to distance ourselves from. “I would not dream of belonging to a club that is willing to have me as a member” [Goucho Marx] Knowing the social psychology of how we behave in tribes can help us really understand aspects of our culture, behaviour and even how we can be better leaders.  It can help us understand what drives extremism, group think, innovation and fads.  We all belong to many tribes and this act of belonging can influence us in powerful ways. Understanding human tribal behaviour is critical for businesses to understand their customers, for leaders to understand their

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Releasing the people potential

4 years ago 0 0 715

I was working with a senior international business leader recently and his sense was that we are almost on another ‘tipping point’ in business – he keeps hiring great people, but most of his efforts to create synergies and really get the best of his people seem to fail.  He sees that we should be able to turn great people into great teams and drive great results, but for some reason we just can’t get there.  He envisions a new ‘world’ where people can get on and really unleash their potential to drive performance. He was expressing that there must be a ‘better way’ to lead people, and to get results.  He was also expressing a ‘frustration’ that the way forward was not apparent to him, and that everything he did just  didn’t seem to change anything. From what I experience in so many organisations, I can see what he

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