Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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5 Ways to Bring Creativity Back to Your Culture

5 Ways to Bring Creativity Back to Your Culture | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
All too often, entrepreneurs build companies that stifle the very creativity they need. Here's how to get that creative spark back.


Excerpted:  Four changes (of five) you can make today to bring creativity back to your culture.

       

Offer Unlimited Vacation

Offering unlimited vacation won't make people skip work every Friday or leave people hanging at deadlines. Instead, it will give them control to choose when they decide to work and when they don't. Although this may seem trivial, being able to choose means everything in a creative culture.

   

Ditch the Meetings

The worst part about meetings is that they're incredibly easy to add. Even if you make an agenda, the number will only go up as you grow in size. As a result, little creative thinking will get done during the day.

    

Nix Department Goals

Department goals often help managers more than employees. Generally, you'll end up wasting valuable hours setting new goals and then even more time asking why you didn't hit them.
 

Worse still, each department relies on resources they don't control and departments they're not a part of to reach their goals. This can result in teams signing up for work they were unaware of, which can lead to arguments about whose goals are more important.

      

Give Plenty of Feedback

...A lot of companies make feedback a formal process, waiting until the end of the month, quarter, or year to share how they actually feel.


Creative cultures thrive on timely, spontaneous feedback. Whether it's good or bad, feedback helps teams raise their own expectations. It's the fuel you need to ignite a creative culture. And who doesn't want one of those?

     

Read more here.



Related tools & posts by Deb:

     

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I left off his "Let Employees Work Remotely" not because I don't believe it helps, it's just that it has been challenged because of the need to interact with others, examine blind spots, and building a culture does involve a certain amount of showing up.

~  Deb 

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Big Companies Need Small Companies in their Open Innovation Ecosystems

Big Companies Need Small Companies in their Open Innovation Ecosystems | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Matching to Innovate:  Small companies often are at the leading edge of breakthrough or disruptive innovation, and need the resources the larger company can provide.

 

This rings so true.  The magic is in the matching the small with the big, so both will benefit.

 

Excerpted:  Breakthrough innovation – that is, innovation with potential to be a real game changer – can be exceedingly hard to achieve in a large, bureaucratic organization where people work in silos, have their own turf to protect and are wedded to the status quo.


Small companies can take risks that large companies can’t afford to take because the bigger entities have to protect and defend their established core business operations.  (DN:  I have als0 been reading and curating examples of larger companies cannibalizing their core operations to fund new ventures & innovations, so the examples are out there, especially in the fringes of big company ventures.)

 

The price of failure for the small, agile start-up is significantly less than that of a large corporation. At this level people tend to embrace risk, while the larger companies may have cultures that don’t support risk taking at all.


Smaller companies are often closer to the markets they serve than large corporations are to their markets. As a result, small companies can be effective in helping large companies obtain a better grasp of changing needs within a market and better insights into innovations that might meet those needs. Smaller companies may also have developed ties with sub-markets that corporations have not been able to reach. This again offers more opportunities for innovation.


Via Peter Verschuere
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Tinkering and Technological Imagination, Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab

Tinkering and Technological Imagination, Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Which companies create space for the adult level of tinkering?


"If we want more young people to choose a profession in one of the group of crucial fields known as STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — we ought to start cultivating these interests and skills early.  But the way to do so may not be the kind of highly structured and directed instruction that we usually associate with these subjects." ~ Time: In Praise of Tinkering.

 

A helpful video on tinkering is here, by Mitch Resnick, Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab.   Mitch is interviewed by Howard Rheingold, a cyberculture pioneer, social media innovator, and author of "Smart Mobs." In this video, he discusses the role of "making, tinkering, remixing" in next-generation learning and education.

 

Mitch develops new technologies and activities to engage people (especially children) in creative learning experiences. He is on the conference committee for the 2012 Digital Media & Learning Conference in San Francisco, Calif., Mar. 1-3.

 

 


Via Karen Steffensen
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Improvisation May Be the Key to Successfully Managing Change, MIT

Improvisation May Be the Key to Successfully Managing Change, MIT | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Key attributes for almost any organization, and SO CHALLENGING to implement: agility , flexibility, improvisation – a company’s ability to quickly change is crucial to its long-term success."


 MIT's Leadership Center weighs in via an article by professor Wanda J. Orlikowski that equates a successful company to an orchestra.   Yes, I've heard this before.  Benjamin Zander is quite compelling in his leadership videos on this very note, pun intended.


_______________________________


...to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment.
_______________________________


What is helpful in the article is yet another example of "letting go" as in, "sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead."  Well now, MIT, yes.  And Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much.  Releasing "some control" as quoted below, is the magic sauce, in my opinion, and adding in some feedback and perspective, on lessons learned, is a part of it.


_______________________________


"sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead."


Yes, Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much. 


_______________________________


It is always, helpful, however to review suggestions for how to create and sustain an agile, flexible, improvisational culture.  


Here are Orlikowski's tips for creating such an organization, excerpted:


  • Plan to improvise - sometimes you can anticipate change, and if you can do that, you should plan to address that change in a flexible way
  • Adapt when you cannot foresee – as business rules are changing, adapt and test on a smaller, departmental scale before making company-wide changes
  • Create a learning environment – encourage communication between your employees in different locations and departments, push everyone to learn from each other
  • Encourage flexibility – to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment
  • Improvise today for success tomorrow – create a culture of experimentation and improvisation even when you’re not experiencing extreme change in practice for when you do need to change



A companion article and video to this one is how Asst. Professor Steve Leybourne, Boston University experiences improv connected with the finance industry, creating a model and citing risk, reward in managers who surreptitiously improvise.   In his video, you'll see evidence of the "let go of micromanaging" and still how it is tentative in corporate culture.  It seems we have a long way to go to let go, but writing about those who research it is a start.  


  • Source:  http://www.scoop.it/t/innovation-institutions-will-it-blend/p/1715217458/moving-beyond-surreptitious-manager-improv-risk-reward-emerging-best-practice-in-your-org-steve-leybourne


What is your experience with creating a culture that is agile , flexible, and especially improvisational?



Photo credit:   ePi.Longo  Article source:  Chief Executive Magazine

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Tina Brown and Björk, Sisters of Innovation - Get ready for the True Digital Natives.

Tina Brown and Björk, Sisters of Innovation - Get ready for the True Digital Natives. | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Björk and Tina Brown have many differences but one common problem: They are watching the boat beneath them sink. Innovation is a strong option out of a death spiral."


The helpful piece by Mr. McCracken mirrors the blend of the real and virtual as Bob Johansen, futurist, covered so well in the middle keynote of the ACMP 2012 conference I attended in Las Vegas this past week.  (The Association of Change Management Professionals.)


Seeing babies interact with the iPad, then attempt to interact with magazines in the same way (it's broken), was one of the most compelling of Johansen's keynote elements and points about the real digital natives (less than 16 years of age.)  


  • I want to try the same experiment with babies near me, and expect the same result.


Bob Johansen's book is a compelling read, on the iPad it will be, for me.  Bob spoke on the topic:  Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Age


Excerpted from Grant McCracken's post today:


Björk and Tina Brown have many differences but one common problem: They are watching the boat beneath them sink. Their print and music industries are being disintermediated by the digital revolution. They are struggling to respond to the blue-ocean and white-space and black-swan disruption that besets us all.


Brown and Björk had enough altitude to glide to career's end.  [Their] experiments may not save them (or us). But they've given us cultural innovations of some interest. And daring.


Björk's Biophilia isn't just an album. It's an app. We open it to discover a jewel-like universe, a 3D model of galaxies in space. As we spin these, we discover hot spots. And when we investigate them, music begins to play. The music of the spheres has come unto the iPad.


Björk and Brown are forcing their way out of old models into promising new ground. 


Harvard Business Review blog author: Grant McCracken is a research affiliate at MIT and the author of Chief Culture Officer. His most recent book, Culturematic, is forthcoming this May from Harvard Business Review Press.


Photo credit: Bjork, by Vivi Gondek via Flickr

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