Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Another Kind of Job Transfer

Get the Customer to Do More Online check-in for flights is a great innovation. Instead of standing in line at the check-in desk I can select my seat and print my boarding card at the computer on my desk (or on my smart phone). For me, the passenger, online check-in offers time saving, control and convenience. For the airline it ...

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Does your Structure help or hinder Innovation?

The traditional top-down structure in organizations can be a powerful inhibitor to innovation. It is a reflection of a command and control style of leadership where orders are issued at the top and followed by the ranks. People lower down the organization who have great ideas can feel inhibited about promoting them. They feel it is disrespectful to challenge the ...

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Streamline Your Innovation Approval Process

Try this exercise. Draw a flow chart diagram of your organization’s approval process for innovations. Pick an example for a theoretical new idea. Suppose it is a good idea to improve customers’ satisfaction that would involve significant spending and the co-operation of several departments. What levels of approval and authority would it need to see the light of day? Who ...

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Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing on the Rise

Imagine that you are planning a big surprise party. You want it to be entertaining, spectacular, memorable and different. You could plan and project manage every element of the party yourself: the theme, venue, music, food, drink, entertainment, games, diversions etc. Or you could involve a number of people to help you with their ideas and their skills. One person ...

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Escaping Groupthink

How can you break out of the group-think that affects most large organizations? How can you escape from the corporate frameworks that shape discussions and ideas? Philips is moving from a high-volume electronics manufacturer to a design-led, lifestyle technology company. It needs help to get there so it set up a ‘simplicity board’. Philips reckoned it needed a fresh perspective ...

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Stay Agile and Win

Many leaders of small firms focus on making their business work efficiently and on delivering high-quality customer service. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these objectives. They are both essential aims. However, if they lead to rigidity and the exclusion of variation then they can undermine the key advantage that small businesses have over large businesses – agility. If you ...

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The GPS of Leadership

If you want to be a better leader then take a look at the satellite navigation system, or GPS, in your car (Sat Nav for my UK readers). Here is what it can teach: The GPS stays focused on the destination. Regardless of blocked roads, obstacles, traffic and diversions it continues to focus on finding a way of reaching the ...

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What is your Blackpool Tower?

If you can identify your unique selling point, you’re in a position to stamp your place on the map and even make inroads into enemy territory. If you don’t have anything that differentiates you from others you’re in trouble. For the Brits among you, imagine that I showed you photographs of the scenery at Brighton, Bognor Regis and Bournemouth and ...

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The Easiest Way to Crush Creativity

The easiest way to crush creativity is to find fault with new ideas which colleagues and subordinates bring forward. The more clever and more experienced you are, the easier it is to shoot holes in any proposal You can show your superior intelligence and highly honed management analysis skills by pointing out all the flaws in their proposals. All the ...

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Inexorable Rise of Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing

Imagine that you are planning a big surprise party. You want it to be entertaining, spectacular, memorable and different. You could plan and project manage every element of the party yourself: the theme, venue, music, food, drink, entertainment, games, diversions etc. Or you could involve a number of people to help you with their ideas and their skills. One person ...

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