Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Warren Berger Tells How to Ask a ‘Beautiful Question’ - How to Amplify Innovation & Performance

Warren Berger Tells How to Ask a ‘Beautiful Question’ - How to Amplify Innovation & Performance | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger is about the importance of asking thoughtful, ambitious "beautiful questions"—the kind that can bring about change in the world around you.


How do you define a "beautiful question"?
 

Warren Berger:  The term is inspired by this line from the poet E.E. Cummings: "Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question."

The way I define a beautiful question in the book is: "An ambitious, yet actionable, question that can begin to change the way we think about something—and might serve as a catalyst to bring about change."


For example, when someone steps back and asks, Why are we doing things the way we've been doing them the past 20 years—what if we tried a whole new approach? That's a beautiful question.


- See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/08/warren-berger-tells-how-to-ask-a-beautiful-question.html#sthash.Y9LUzjHR.dpuf

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

In the consulting world, it's shared that a good consultant knows how to ask good questions.  This article amplifies performance and innovation by interviewing the author about breakthroughs (the cell phone, the Internet), helpful organizations (The Red Cross, the Olympics) that started with a question.

So the weird, the unusual, the provocative can end up being the beautiful when it comes to a great, powerful question.  ~  Deb 

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3 Creativity Challenges: 30 Circles & Mind, Empathy Maps | HBR Blogs

3 Creativity Challenges: 30 Circles & Mind, Empathy Maps | HBR Blogs | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
Innovation requires practice.


Mindmaps are a powerful way to overcome fear of the blank page, look for patterns, explore a subject, come up with truly innovative ideas, record their evolution so you can trace back in search of new insights, and communicate your thought processes to others.

While lists help you capture the thoughts you already have, mindmaps help to generate wildly new ones. 

[The] 30 Circles exercise is a great warm-up and also highlights the balance between fluency (the speed and quantity of ideas) and flexibility (how different or divergent they are). 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I've heard, and experienced from time to time, that innovation and creativity is something that is not expected or even welcomed in jobs. 

In a previous Scooped post (reposted next to this one), research on creativity indicates...coworkers.... don't even know what a creative idea looks like and that creativity, hailed as a positive change agent, actually makes people squirm.


So, yes, exercises, tools like this matter, maybe a lot.  ~  D

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U-M Human Resource Development's curator insight, November 8, 2013 11:39 AM

Thanks for sharing this Deb! Yes, I agree. Sometimes innovation and creativity seems to "frighten" some people/jobs. Once we all get over the "stagefright" the sooner we can all start growing!

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People are Biased against Creative Ideas, Research Studies Find

People are Biased against Creative Ideas, Research Studies Find | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The next time your great idea at work elicits silence or eye rolls, you might just pity those co-workers.

______________________________
    
"How is it that people say they want creativity but in reality often reject it?"
 

- Jack Goncalo, ILR School assistant professor of organizational behavior 

___________________________________

        

Fresh research (at the time - this is a post from 2011) indicates they don't even know what a creative idea looks like and that creativity, hailed as a positive change agent, actually makes people squirm.

    

"How is it that people say they want creativity but in reality often reject it?" said Jack Goncalo, ILR School assistant professor of organizational behavior and co-author of research to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.

   

The paper reports on two 2010 experiments at the University of Pennsylvania involving more than 200 people.

     

The studies' findings include:

  • Creative ideas are by definition novel, and novelty can trigger feelings of uncertainty that make most people uncomfortable.
  • People dismiss creative ideas in favor of ideas that are purely practical -- tried and true.
  • Objective evidence shoring up the validity of a creative proposal does not motivate people to accept it.
  • Anti-creativity bias is so subtle that people are unaware of it, which can interfere with their ability to recognize a creative idea.



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    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    My original post on this topic migrated away with the shut-down of Posterous as of April 2013.   This is still important research to remember in 2013 >   Creativity can be hard to live with, work with, yet absolutely essential to assist change and innovation.


    "Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."  ~  Ray Bradbury

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    Faster and more creative when solving OTHER people's problems

    Faster and more creative when solving OTHER people's problems | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
    Recent research reveals that people are more capable of mental novelty when thinking on behalf of others than for themselves.

     

    Great piece on enriching the field of view and other perspectives, something we also encourage in executive coaching.  


    ________________________


    ...abstract thinking leads to greater creativity. ...But in our businesses and our lives, we often do the opposite.

    ________________________


    Excerpts:

     

    Over the years, social scientists have found that abstract thinking leads to greater creativity. That means that if we care about innovation we need to be more abstract and therefore more distant. But in our businesses and our lives, we often do the opposite. We intensify our focus rather than widen our view. We draw closer rather than step back.

     

    That's a mistake, Polman and Emich suggest. "That decisions for others are more creative than decisions for the self... should prove of considerable interest to negotiators, managers, product designers, marketers and advertisers, among many others," they write.

     

    Dan Pink's suggestions, excerpted:

      

    • Recruit more independent directors.   Begin with corporate governance. 

    ~ having independent directors on the boards of public companies. 

     

    • Rethink the structure of your firm.

    Perhaps loose alliances of distantly connected people

     

    • Harness the power of peers.

    ....assemble a small group of peers – all from different industries – and gather periodically to exchange ideas and offer solutions from new perspectives.

     

    • Find a problem-swapping partner.

    Find a friend or colleague with whom you can occasionally swap problems...

     

    • Disasssociate yourself.

    Imagine you're doing it for someone else...


    Full article here

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    Dave Snowden Classic: Apollo 13, Creativity is not Innovation, Pressure, starvation & perspective shift is.

    A common mistake in management today is to confuse creativity and innovation.


    Dave's classic video illustrates his 3 principles for innovation:

    Pressure, starvation and perspective shift produces innovation.

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    Creative Disrupters: Working Outside The Business Norm | Fast Company

    Creative Disrupters: Working Outside The Business Norm | Fast Company | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

    Gotta love big company disruptors using positive weapons of creativity, not the Borg, Klingons types, heh.


    This is a great series of posts on  risk takers and creativity in institutions.  For example:


    When Maryam Banikarim was a marketing SVP at NBC Universal, she helped organize a day to celebrate the merger with Comcast.


    "[My bosses] were like, 'We need a gift for employees." But I didn't want to give a meaningless tchotchke.


    So I came up with a purpose line--that NBC Universal is in the idea business--and a new gift to match it."


    All 30,000 employees got Moleskine notebooks that had sketches of great ideas:

    • the back of a napkin note that became SNL, 
    • the cable transponder that became Comcast's business. 

    The letter attached said, 'All great ideas were created by somebody,' and encouraged employees to submit their own.


    "People told me the project wouldn't get approved, that it was way too esoteric. But it was a huge hit."


    ~ MARYAM BANIKARIM > SVP AND CMO, GANNETT

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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.



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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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    The Role of Attention for Creativity

    The Role of Attention for Creativity | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
    The relationship between attention and innovation is complex. As we know, managing your attention well falls within the EI domains of self-awareness and self-regulation.


    But to better understand how attention plays a role in innovation, ....look at the stages of creativity.


    __________________________
        
    If you look at the entire creative cycle, from recognizing the challenge to launching, it draws on every EI domain.

        

    __________________________


    First, ....there is a creative challenge. The research on innovation in business shows there are two approaches: exploitation and exploration.

     

    Leaders need to know when to explore, when to exploit – and how. And that starts with the simple awareness of what you are doing.


    Then there’s taking on a creative challenge. Highly creative people immerse themselves in everything they can learn about that challenge – and range far more widely than most others. That’s because a creative insight means putting together original elements in a fresh, useful way – and you never know where those pieces will come from.


    But once you have the creative insight, you need to put it to use, to make it real.


    If you look at the entire creative cycle, from recognizing the challenge to launching, it draws on every EI domain.


    Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    Creativity is a part of what is important to innovation.  This is a helpful framing of what it takes to focus, both divergent and convergent styles of thinking. ~ D

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    61 Online and Social Media Resources for Motivating People to Create

    61 Online and Social Media Resources for Motivating People to Create | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

    Mike Brown looks at the Adobe “State of Create Study” [which] polled 5,000 people across the US, UK, Germany, France, and Japan regarding their perspectives on creativity across multiple dimensions of society.

       

    The last slide >> “Social media plays a minor role, if any, in motivating people to create.” Across the global study, only 11% of respondents said social media plays a “great deal” of a role in their creative motivation.

        

    "Huh?

       

    "If that’s the case, people around the globe are really missing out on the incredible new opportunities for creative motivation presented by online and social media resources. 


    Via Jim Lerman
    Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

    Creativity, and then, innovation  ~  D

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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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    The world's most creative cities > Does it translate to Innovation?

    The world's most creative cities > Does it translate to Innovation? | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

    Tel Aviv, London, Sydney, Stockholm and Shanghai are booming with talent.


    Because creativity is cultural.  [And so} the Martin Prosperity Institute at U of T’s Rotman School of Management has been studying the complex web of factors that encourage and sustain innovation in regions around the world.


    The institute’s Global Creativity Index, first published in 2004,  measures a nation’s innovation potential, focusing on what it calls the Three Ts: technology, talent and tolerance.


    "The GCI is really trying to help regions understand where they are," explains Kevin Stolarick, research director of the Martin Prosperity Institute. "Even when times are good, you have to worry about what comes next."


    These  five cities —and some of their start-ups—are on the docket for having very bright futures.


    Via Karen Steffensen
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