Psychology

Having Hard Times? Well What’s Your Survival Guide?

I was looking through some ‘sage’ advice from McKinsey on managing in a crisis, in really hard times, and one really got me thinking, so I thought I’d share this. “Use the hard times to concentrate on and strengthen your competitive advantage. If you are confused about this concept, hard times will clarify it. Competitive advantage has two branches, both ...

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The Three C's of Innovation

During the monthly sales meeting, Arnold, a new Business Development Executive and something of a gadget freak suggested: “you know those hand-held devices the delivery people at UPS use to confirm receipt of your parcel? Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a device like that so we could take clients’ orders immediately and send them to production people? It ...

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Change Your Work

You are you, and work is work, but work must fit you, not the other way around. Yet we hose it up most of the time. Most of the time it’s: “improve your weaknesses” or “close your gaps”. Make no mistake, this is code for “change yourself so you fit our work.” I say we flip it on its head; ...

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Do you have an innovation edge?

One of my favorite quotes is by George Bernard Shaw. The quote concerns itself with progress: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself, therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” The problem with this formulation is that few people enjoy being unreasonable, and many of those that ...

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Becoming an Expert in Disaster Recovery

Or, How I Earned My Ph.D in Disaster Recovery over 7 Years If you’ve ever been to a live show of a famous act, say U2, it seems like they do everything perfectly and effortlessly. It turns out that even bands like U2 make mistakes. They just know how to cover them really well so that you don’t know you’re ...

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Who inspires you?

Are you inspired by people like you, or people better than you? We all look to others for inspiration. For ideas to emulate. To improve our personal and professional performance. But we go about that differently. Some of us look to those who are already well ahead of us. We look up, so to speak, at their performance and level ...

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Freeing Creativity

New research highlights that while many workplaces encourage creative thinking, organizational behavior often kills a creative idea before it gets a chance to fly. Jack Goncalo, a member of the research team from University of Pennsylvania asked: “How is it that people say they want creativity but in reality often reject it?” Jack et al’s research paper found that creative ...

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What Impedes Innovation?

Five Glitches Sabotaging Your Plan What company, division or team isn’t striving for some combination of better, faster, cheaper in order to compete? A recent Korn/Ferry survey found that 84% of executives believe that innovation is very important to future success. No big surprise – everyone in the business and non-profit worlds seem to be talking innovation as mission critical. ...

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Earning Respect for Innovation

Like Rodney Dangerfield’s character, innovators often get very little respect. Even noted innovation consultants, like yours truly, have learned to weather a questioning glance when we admit that we work to promote innovation. Usually, that’s followed up with a question that can best be paraphrased as: “That’s a real job?” Yes, Dorothy, innovation is a real job, an often thankless, ...

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Forcing People to Innovate

Taking Away Degrees of Freedom to Rekindle the Innovative Spirit “Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Plato My son came back from a trip during which he broke a guitar string that he could not replace. He was actually delighted with the experience, having had to invent a different way of playing the instrument, and discovering new harmonies. With ...

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