Managing people not cogs in a machine
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How to Be a Creative Problem Solver

How to Be a Creative Problem Solver | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Creative problem solving can be learned, says Mary Ann Gontin. By gathering information, taking time away from a problem to reflect and identifying the right resources, anyone can learn to do it well.
Richard Meyer's insight:

Not everyone can be Steve Jobs or Richard Branson.

Not to worry, says Mary Ann Gontin, managing partner at executive coaching firm OI Partners. “Many people have the misperception that you’re born creative or you’re not,” she says. But creative people aren’t born, they’re made.

“Creativity is mostly a consequence of intending to be creative,” says Gontin. “That’s often a relief to people.”

And creativity doesn’t have to mean painting a great canvas or inventing a new product from scratch. It can mean generating a few good ideas, or simply coming up with ways to improve a current system.

Gontin says that the ability solve problems creatively and collaboratively is a key skill for mid-level managers seeking to move up to the next level within their organizations.

She recommends that individuals and teams use a multi-step process to tackle a problem that needs to be solved. Her process is adapted from the 2012 book “Your Creative Brain,” by Shelley Carson (Gontin has no financial interest in the book).

Start out with a problem: Your boss has asked you to design a new sales strategy, or your staff has complained that the current system for sharing computer files is inefficient.

First, gather information – talk to people in other departments about how they’re handling a similar issue; go online and look for best practices; see what resources exist to help you address the problem.

Then, “enter your inner world,” says Gontin. Get up from your desk, take a walk, gaze out the window for a while. Think about ideas for solving the problem while you’re physically away from the problem and can think more expansively.

Then connect with other stakeholders for a brainstorming session.

If you’re a manager, your role may be less about generating solutions and more about facilitating other people’s brainstorming. “Brainstorming is usually not done correctly” because people are given too little time to think of ideas, says Gontin.

Typically, employees are called into a meeting and are asked to come up with some ideas, which are then written on a whiteboard and dissected. Not everyone can perform in that situation, she says.

Instead, let people know in advance that you’re seeking solutions to a problem and ask them to come in with two or three ideas written down – without their names on the paper. Then gather the ideas and discuss them one at a time. Because this part of the process is anonymous, teams can get away from the judgment and political gamesmanship that can make people self-conscious in these meetings.

Finally, in evaluating the potential solutions, consider what’s realistic given the resources available and the organization’s culture.

“You can’t become so invested in the brilliance of an idea that you shut out the question of whether it’s feasible,” she says.

Following these steps to create positive change in your company, she adds, can demonstrate impressive leadership to the boss, she says, by showing that “you can come up with ideas but you’re also politically in tune enough to know what can work.”

 
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Managing people not cogs in a machine
To succeed managers have to treat employees as people not replaceable parts
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10 Shortsighted Rules That Make Good People Quit | The Huffington Post

10 Shortsighted Rules That Make Good People Quit | The Huffington Post | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
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Stop touting the crazy hours you work. It helps no one.

Stop touting the crazy hours you work. It helps no one. | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
If we measure success by the absurd hours some people work, we're in trouble
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Leaders Can Shape Company Culture Through Their Behaviors

Change starts at the top.
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Anticipatory stress of after-hours email exhausting employees

Anticipatory stress of after-hours email exhausting employees | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
It’s become the norm for many U.S. employees to respond to work emails after business hours. While that may seem like an increase in productivity, in reality, it’s having harmful effects on worker …
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6 Workplace Rules that Drive Everyone Crazy [Infographic] | Daily Infographic

6 Workplace Rules that Drive Everyone Crazy [Infographic] | Daily Infographic | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Rules in the workplace can serve a purpose, but they can also be a major drag and do more harm than good.
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16 Redditors reveal the moment they absolutely knew they had to quit their jobs

16 Redditors reveal the moment they absolutely knew they had to quit their jobs | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Don't take advantage of your good employees.
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Is Your Open Office Making You Sick?

Is Your Open Office Making You Sick? | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Open offices have long been a popular workplace layout, but they have a serious downside during cold season.
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Why posting open positions on LinkedIn won't work - Rich's Management Blog

Why posting open positions on LinkedIn won't work - Rich's Management Blog | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Open positions being posted on LinkedIn, via the feed page, have become routine with the improving job market, but they won’t lead to a highly qualified candidate because mass posting is a waste of time.   LinkedIn allows potential job candidates to brand themselves.  Through a users post we can both tell a little bit about the type …
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Headhunters and CEOs are less valuable than they think - FT.com

Headhunters and CEOs are less valuable than they think - FT.com | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
A scarce product, whose worth is hard to assess and for which buyers will pay enormous, seemingly irrational prices. The market for highly paid chief executives looks a bit like the market for Modiglianis. And, like works of art, executives are
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When a leader is not a manager and other modern myths - FT.com

When a leader is not a manager and other modern myths - FT.com | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
“My job was to make everyone understand that the impossible was possible. That’s the difference between leadership and management,” reads the back cover of Alex Ferguson’s new book, Leading . It’s hard to think of a business idea that has had more
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What if jobs are not the solution but the problem? – James Livingston | Aeon Essays

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?
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Winning Over Future Marketing Leaders

Winning Over Future Marketing Leaders | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Millennials represent the largest share of the labor market, but many feel little loyalty to their employers and have one foot out the door. How can CMOs and other C-level executives—who have invested significant resources in understanding millennials as customers—recruit and retain this age bracket’s top talent as employees?
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How To Win At (Work) Life By Making Your Managers Better

You’ve heard it before: “People leave managers, not companies.” To keep an engaged workforce (aka your biggest competitive advantage), you need to invest in building better managers. Like, yesterday.
Ineffective managers are harmful to business, costing not just your best talent, but money, time, and opportunities. That’s why Google, one of the nation’s leading places to work, compiled data to identify these eight traits of effective managers:
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Annual performance reviews are outdated

Annual performance reviews are outdated | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
SUMMARY: Annual performance reviews are unnecessary and counterproductive in today's workplace. Performance feedback should be an ongoing process between a
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What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2016

What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2016 | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
As hiring continues to increase, job seekers will face stiff competition. Follow these tips to make your resume shine in 2016.
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Why do we work so hard?

Why do we work so hard? | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Maybe it’s because work is satisfying. Maybe it’s because we’re trapped. Or maybe, as Ryan Avent suspects, it’s because of a troubling combination of the two
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Meet Is Murder

Meet Is Murder | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
They’re boring. They’re useless. Everyone hates them. So why can’t we stop having meetings?
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15 Free Online Resources That Will Make You Smarter

15 Free Online Resources That Will Make You Smarter | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
You're just a click away from learning a helpful new business skill.
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Millennial Survey 2016 | Deloitte | Social impact, Innovation

Millennial Survey 2016 | Deloitte | Social impact, Innovation | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Explore Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey, which identifies challenges business leaders face in meeting the expectations of the Millennial generation.
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What We Learned About Management in 2015, in 25 Charts and Graphics

What We Learned About Management in 2015, in 25 Charts and Graphics | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
From leadership and sales to robots and beer.
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Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Sørensen on What Propelled Him to the Top

Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Sørensen on What Propelled Him to the Top | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
And why he doesn’t believe in CEO rankings.
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Your job is literally ‘killing’ you

Your job is literally ‘killing’ you | Managing people not cogs in a machine | Scoop.it
Researchers have determined how many years a stressful job could shave off your life
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