Sunday, February 25, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Guy lists ten mistakes that add friction to the user adoption process, that highlights a lack of customer orientation. We've all been there before. Check it out. ...
... "... compilation of silly and stupid ways companies are hindering adoption of their products and services. ... " ...
Via Guy Kawasaki's How to Change the World Blog: The Top Ten Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Cavaliers push limit of paperless, digital customer experience for ticketing in sports events. Of course, some resistance is inevitable. ...
... "While some major league baseball teams have introduced electronic ticketing, the Cavaliers have taken it a step further, providing a completely paperless transaction. " ...
Via Yahoo! News: E-ticketing
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The other day, I posted a blog about the traffic anarchy experiment going on in Europe, where seven cities eliminated all traffic signs and the result was a reduction in accidents. My point was that if we focus on accountability and results, people will surprise us.
Well, Best Buy has taken that a step further. In the latest Business Week magazine, the feature story highlights Best Buy's daring new Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) program. As part of the program, they have eliminated all work schedules in their participating areas and have practically eliminated meetings.
If someone wants to come in at 10:00am, fine. If they go to a movie in the afternoon, no problem. The key isn't how many hours they work, or even where they work (most workers are virtual most of the time). It's how well they achieve results.
Sound like chaos? Sound like people will just slack off? Well, once again the results say it all. For the divisions testing this method, voluntary turnover dropped dramatically (-90% for the Dot.Com division, -52% for the Logistics Division, and -75% for the Sourcing Division).
Sure, the turnover rate went down, but what about productivity? That too was greatly improved. The average rise in productivity for the participating divisions was +35% since the ROWE system was introduced in 2005.
Of course, what's important to making this work is to have the right metrics (i.e. customer retention, reduction in turnover, etc.). Many business mistakes happen because the wrong incentives are in place, leading workers to strive to meet a goal that sacrifices quality or is not in the best interest of the company as a whole.
The bottom line is that evidence is growing that we are better served by focusing on results over rules and policies wherever possible, something I've been saying for years. Now I'm glad to see some tangible evidence from those brave enough to try it.
Here's the Business Week article. Be sure to check the sidebar article about how to kill meetings!
Smashing The Clock
Monday, November 27, 2006
I recently re-read Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind. I noticed now that it's out on paperback, the subtitle changed from "Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age" to "Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future."
The latter is probably more accessible and gets to the heart of the book. The premise is that with more technical jobs being eliminated due to automation and offshore outsourcing, we're left clinging to the one thing that computers and offshore resources can't replace---the soft skills. It's not that offshore people don't have the capacity to do this, it's just not effective from a remote location.
The books specifically outlines Six Senses that are now required to compete in today's market (I'd add that these were always needed for effectiveness, but now it's a necessity for career survival). The Six Senses we need to build are:
1) Not just function, but DESIGN (the WOW factor)
2) Not just argument, but STORY (i.e. we need to be storytellers to make a good case)
3) Not just focus, but SYMPHONY (i.e. synthesis of complex relationships vs. heads-down analysis)
4) Not just logic, but EMPATHY (incidentally, the key trait in Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence)
5) Not just seriousness, buy PLAY (fun leads to employee satisfaction, which leads to customer satisfaction and profits. Therefore, Fun=$ !)
6) Not just accumulation, but MEANING
FACT (not from the book, but relevant nonetheless): Per a recent management forum of 70 business schools, many of them are requiring less quantitative courses and more leadership courses. Also, a number of organizations are now recruiting design students instead of MBAs.
The key is that the logical, sequential left-brain stuff is still necessary, but we need to compliment it with the more contextual and feeling right-brain skills. With communication being 90% of a project manager's job, I'd say this directly applies to project managers as well.
Below is a link to Pink's book on Amazon...
Amazon.com: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future: Books: Daniel Pink
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Aspect launches interesting campaign that reemphasizes a focus on the customer experience at the call center, where strong opinions are formed about companies that rely on that channel for sales or service. With today's technology, the power has shifted to the consumer. ...
... "Independent research demonstrates that each unhappy customer will tell 13 to 15 people about their bad experience with a company – far more people than they will tell of a good experience. When factoring in the power and reach of the Internet, one bad experience could have a significant impact on a company's brand, and ultimately, the bottom line. Aspect Software has coined this age of the activist consumer that uses emerging web technologies -- blogs, chat rooms, and wikis -- to air both their praises and their grievances about their experiences with corporate brands, Power Shift 2.0. " ...
Via Aspect Software: Aspect Software Unveils Global Campaign to Address Phenomenon of Power Shift 2.0 ...
Saturday, August 19, 2006
And so we continue our series on project management tips from Albert Einstein. Here's another...
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."
This sums up perfectly the problem with most projects today. They focus on "success" without fully defining what success means. Project managers and PMOs track schedule and budget metrics. Then, at the end of the project, some capture customer satisfaction, almost as an afterthought.
What really needs to happen is to insure value to the customer, and this usually goes way beyond being on time and on budget. We spoke about the need for clear goals. Surely that's part of it. We also need to deliver in small, frequent iterations to provide the quickest value and get more immediate customer feedback.
Customer satisfaction should be measured and tagged as an index throughout the life of a project, just as Earned Value uses indices to track cost and schedule performance. This allows course correction to be made in areas such as goal clarification, communication, and other areas needed to provide good value.
And when the product has been delivered, be sure that the customer can maximize the benefits of the product through proper training, tips & techniques, next steps, or any other items that will help them get the value expected.
These are the very items I've attempted to address with my Service-Oriented Project Management (SOPM) framework, with its four phases of Understand, Prepare, Iterate, and Transform (UP-IT).
More Einstein tips coming soon...
Labels: course, customer, customer-service, earned-value, einstein, it-project, performance, preparation, project-cost, project-manager, project-manager-tips, project-schedule, satisfaction, service-orientation, small-project, sopm, training, value, value-management
Sunday, July 30, 2006
There's an excellent article by Betsy Morris in the current issue of Fortune Magazine about how the Jack Welch way of winning is---dare we say---a thing of the past.
How is this relevant to the project management field? Well, for one, it means recognizing the winds of change in the industry, and how projects are selected, promoted, and managed. Above all, this impacts program and portfolio management. Particularly, note four trends in management thinking:
Let's take Welch's old rule of being number 1 or 2 in your market (or else fixing, selling, or closing the business). The new rule is to find a niche and create something new. The article uses CocaCola as an example of a company that was basking in their glory as number 1, but eventually realized (although it took a while) that energy drinks and bottled water were about to pass them. As the article points out, energy drinks "are now expected to outearn every other category of soft drink within three years." Parhaps marketing guru Harry Beckwith said it best in Selling the Invisible when he said that it's fine to do something 10% better until someone else comes along and does it 110% different.
Welch started a whole movement of focus on the shareholder, which led many organizations to ignore the future amid pressure to appease shareholders and "make the numbers." Now, organizations realize that the customer is king. The article references several companies that have made this realization, and the trend is heading in that direction. After all, statistics show that even a minor improvement in customer retention leads to a major increase in profitability. The days of short-term thinking may be finally coming to an end.
Reinvention vs. Incremental Change:
Since it seemed Jack Welch could do no wrong, everyone imitated whatever Jack did---and Six Sigma was no exception. The problem is that, according to the article, of the 58 large companies that announced Six Sigma programs, 91% have trailed the S&P 500 since. As the article points out, that's mostly because Six Sigma is intended to "fix an existing process," whereas innovative companies that developed new and unique products (or reinvented their business) took the lead.
Stop Ranking Your Players; Inspire Passion:
Once of Welch's most controversial systems was to constantly rank his employees and regularly weed out the "C" players. But companies have had difficulty getting productivity and innovation out of "increasingly disenfranchised employees." In the article, Christopher Bartlett of Harvard Business School put it best:
"People don't come to work to be No. 1 or No. 2 or to get a 20% net return on assets. They want a sense of purpose. They come to work to get meaning from their lives."Side editorial: For the "enlightened" approach of finding the hidden strength in everyone (something Peter Drucker always suggested), read Marcus Buckingham's Now Discover Your Strengths (or any of his books for that matter). Or read Dennis Littky's The Big Picture: Education is Everyone's Business. I assure you, you'll never be the same.
Meanwhile, I highly recommend the article (the link is below) for those looking for the latest trends in management thinking, and who want to remain one step ahead.
From a project management perspective, the handwriting is clearly on the wall. The traditional "execute to a set of deliverables" approach won't cut it. Today's project manager needs to be thinking about things like innovation, customer focus, business transformation, business acumen, change leadership, and team passion. Those focused on merely schedule, budget, and scope will soon be dinosaurs.
Fortune: The new rules - Jul. 11, 2006
Labels: business-acumen, business-process, change-management, customer, customer-service, improvement, innovation, it-project, leadership, passion, people, portfolio-managment, program-management, project-manager, project-schedule, project-teams, service-orientation, six-sigma
Agile network sustains mission with election of new board members. I like the relentless focus on value and all of the core principles. Worth a quick check. It's valuable to anchor back to principles periodically. ...
... "Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN) New Officers and Board Members: The Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN), a partner non-profit organization focused on making people great project leaders by focusing on value, teams, context, customers, individuals and uncertainty also named several new officers to its roster. APLN was founded in 2004 by individuals active in writing about, practicing and evangelizing the movement toward fast, flexible, customer value-driven approaches to leading projects of many types. Although the organization is separate from the Agile Alliance, the group's aim is to work closely with the Agile Alliance to help them become better Project Leaders. " ...
Via Yahoo Finance: Agile Alliance and The Agile Project Leadership Network Announce New Board Members and Officers for 2006-2007 ...
Monday, July 24, 2006
I've read two pieces of information lately that couldn't be more different, and yet they both got me thinking about the benefits of what I call a "distributed PMO."
First, as I mentioned last week, I had read about Ken Kizer's magnificent transformation of the formerly abysmal Veteran's Health Administration (a poorly run group of hospitals mired in government hierarchy and bureaucracy). He established an network of regional "hubs" (what he called Virtual Integrated Services Networks, or VISNs - pronounced "visions"). Each VISN was itself a network of partnerships, associations, alliances, hospitals, etc. that worked together for the good of the customer.
The VISNs had the benefits of standardized quality with local presence. Decision-making was moved from Washington HQ to the VISNs, who were closer to the action than Washington HQ could ever be.
The role of headquarters became one of support, guiding principles, consulting advise, information services, and change leadership. Headquarters drives behaviors that benefit the overall structure.
Forms and approvals were reduced to a bare minimum. A relentless focus on the customer/patient (one of my battle cries, as most of you know) now guides all decisions and research.
If this isn't a good model for a PMO, I don't know what is. If project managers and functional experts (each who rely on one another for success) operated in various "regions" and/or functions (close to the action), and the PMO's role were to provide (and I repeat from above) support, guiding principles, consulting advise, information services, and change leadership, more PMOs would become a valued and integrated part of their organization.
And if the focus were on reducing forms and bureaucracy, helping project teams be successful, and improving the customer experience (as opposed to an internal focus on merely schedule and budget metrics), PMOs might find themselves more popular as well.
Incidentally, this also happens to mirror the Toyota organizational model.
The idea of a distributed, integrated network isn't unique to business. It even happens in nature (here's where the strange part comes in). I was reading about a giant sea creature, larger than a blue whale, called a Giant Siphonophore (Praya sp.). The creature (yes, this is true, folks) runs 130 feet long and is actually made up of many other life forms, each having its own specialized role that works to service the whole entity, yet is unable to exist on its own. In other words, the Giant Siphonophore is a "colonial life form." As I read this, I was again reminded of the concept of a virtual, yet integrated network.
Yes, I actually make these odd connections, but ideas can come from anywhere. By the way, the creature can be seen in the IMAX film, The Living Sea (available on DVD). Here's more info on the colonial nature of the Giant Siphonophore and it mutually dependent parts. Food for thought.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Marc Puich discusses the opportunity for information technology in the biopharmaceutical industry, advocating a simplified enterprise application architecture and a gradual, disciplined approach to operations excellence. I especially like his thoughts on customer focus and feel this spirit should be reflected in the principles of the service-oriented project management methodology that we are developing. SOPM should be customer-centric and its critical path should focus on the essential deliverables for customer success. ...
... "Begin with the customer. Developing an IT strategy should begin with an external focus. This process requires taking a critical look at what functionality is truly necessary to support your customer, versus what would be nice to have. The goal of a system is not to remove people from a process, but to provide the customers with what they need. " ...
Via BioPharm International: Operations Excellence: Perfecting IT Management System Selection for Biopharmaceutical Organizations - Proper application of an IT system can be a critical component to driving efficiency and reducing waste ...
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Service Oriented Project Management (SOPM) is taking shape as a methodology that fills the gaps in traditional project management, namely a RELENTLESS customer focus and the all-important analysis and benefits evaluation after the project has "completed."
As I fine tune the model, I'll post the iterations here, as a methodology in progress.
The four high-level steps in SOPM are as follows:
1) UNDERSTAND ... Develop an understanding of the problem being addressed, the goals, constraints, the internal environment, the external market, benchmarks, the people and subject matter involved, potential solutions, risks, benefits/justification, and any other knowledge necessary for success. Most of all, understand the customer.
2) ENABLE ... After helping the customer obtain approvals, prepare the project organization (resources, roles & responsibilities), operating principles, the infrastructure and tools needed to run the project, organizational alignment, preliminary training needed, communication, and anything else needed for a smooth road ahead.
3) ITERATE... Plan, design, build, test and pilot the solution before attempting a full scale implementation. Implement in phases to achieve quick wins, earlier benefits, and greater customer satisfaction. Consider iterative prototypes during the design phase. Don't forget additional training needed.
4) EVALUATE... After each project phase and at the end of the project, evaluate and document lessons learned, customer satisfaction, and benefits achieved (vs expected). This includes evaluating how the customer can achieve maximum results with the product of the project, and laying the groundwork for their continued success.
By using an UNDERSTAND, ENABLE, ITERATE, and EVALUATE process, with COMMUNICATE as an overarching activity that extends across all four steps, we adopt a much more holistic and customer-centered approach to project management.
A few key points... Customer satisfaction should be measured at milestones throughout the project, not just at the end. It's as important as monitoring cost and schedule (i.e. Earned Value performance).
Imagine seeing an S-Curve showing Planned Value, Earned Value, Actual Cost, and Customer Satisfaction. Maybe your project is on schedule and on budget, but the customer isn't satisfied with the results (or with the project communication, or a whole host of other issues).
A narrow focus on cost and schedule takes too much of an inward view. Besides, measuring customer satisfaction throughout a project allows for corrective action instead of managing in the rear view mirror.
More to come.
NOTE: I have since revised this model. See my updated entry.
Labels: action, alignment, business-results, customer, customer-service, earned-value, knowledge-management, methodology, people, performance, plan, preparation, principles, project-cost, project-plan, project-roles, project-schedule, results, risk-management, satisfaction, service-orientation, sopm, tools, training, value, value-management
Sunday, April 30, 2006
With all this talk about Business Process Reengineering (BPR), and the latest industry focus on innovation, I've been piecing together a model that brings together the best of BPR, Innovation, and Project Management (and even borrows elements of ITIL). I call it Service Oriented Project Management or SOPM. I believe the term has been used, but not in this context, and not as a formal model. I think it's important enough that it needs to be formalized.
There are some that view these three disciplines as separate, or even mutually-exclusive, but they're not. In fact, to be successful, these disciplines need each other. It should go without saying that BPR needs innovation in order to break new ground (resulting in dramatic and radical change, as opposed to incremental change). And project management skills are needed to keep a team on track and manage risk.
Certainly, there are situations where incremental change is quite appropriate, and, for these cases, process "improvement" disciplines such as Six Sigma and TQM are fine. But especially when radical change is needed, we need a superstructure of good project management to lead all phases of a BPR initiative, from the as-is state exploration, through the to-be state development and validation, and to the actual implementation of the initiative.
Likewise, project management in general needs the strong customer focus that BPR brings (usually sorely lacking in most projects). Almost any project can benefit from a BPR-type approach of getting to the root of the customer's problem first-hand, and bringing about dramatic results through innovative thinking. This also takes project management beyond the realm of simple "execution and control".
Using a BPR lifecycle, innovative thinking, and an overall project management approach, we get a holistic methodology that uses the best of each. And, if this is driven by overarching principles from all three disciplines, we can boost our chances of success exponentially.
And finally, there's the customer. EVERYTHING in all of these disciplines must have a relentless focus on the customer. With any initiative, the glue that holds all of this together is a service owner--- someone who understands the customer's needs (and their business) and owns the initiative from cradle to grave (just like an ideal order fulfillment process should be, according to Michael Hammer, the inventor of BPR). Whether or not this should be the project manager is a whole subject in itself, but it should be someone.
If the project manager does assume this role, then they had better have a strong customer and business focus, and be relieved of any project administration duties that aren't adding value to the customer (which can be assigned to a project accountant). In many companies, the project managers may not have the right skills for this role, but that's not to say that shouldn't change.
More to come, as I flesh out and develop the model. Meanwhile, I'm open to your thoughts on this.
Labels: business-process, business-results, change-management, customer, customer-service, improvement, innovation, it-project, itil, lifecycles, methodology, principles, project-manager, project-teams, results, service-orientation, six-sigma, sopm, value, value-management
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Sun CEO Scott McNealy challenges industry leaders to rethink traditional business models built on the global network economy, where transparency, community, and collaboration drive innovation into The Participation Age. ...
... "Sun believes the world is entering a new era - the Participation Age - where dramatically lowered barriers to entry, plummeting device prices, and near-universal connectivity are driving a new round of network participation. From blogs to Java, SMS messages to Web services, participants are forming communities to drive change, create new businesses, new social services and new discoveries. This growth in the network economy is fueled by sharing and collaboration among communities interconnected by technology and driven by purpose. Sun also believes that sharing and collaboration in the Participation Age will stimulate innovation to help all participants from across the world grow and prosper. " ...
Collaboration and Openness in the Participation Age: Via Sun Microsystems: Thought Leaders Prove Sharing Builds Economies at Sun Microsystems' Participation Age Event: Sun CEO Scott McNealy Pushes Industry to Rethink Business for 21st Century, Focus on Collaboration and Community ...
Addtional references on the intersection of transparency, collaboration, community, and innovation:
Via SAP: SAP Leads Industry Collaboration in Support of Enterprise Services: "For the first time, a community process in which collaborative business process innovation can flourish in an open and transparent forum will become the standard by which all enterprise services development is measured. The Enterprise Services Community Process is the only industry-driven method for defining enterprise services and is poised to become the preferred method for the SAP customer and partner ecosystem to achieve business process innovation through the use of enterprise services. "
Via The Future of Work Weblog: Distributed Work and Network Building Tools: "As work becomes ever-more-highly distributed, an individual's responsibility for maintaining his or her network of connections, both inside and outside his or her company, is increasing. Team members might be located in different geographic locations and timezones. They may only have come together for a short-term project or they might not even be members of the same company. ... "
Via Business Week: This Way To The Future: "Ultimately, innovation is about continually pushing back the boundaries of what is possible. The true genius of capitalism is that it provides economic incentives for sustained innovation. "
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Years ago, I read a wonderful saying by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of The Little Prince. He said, "Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction."
That saying stuck with me for some reason, and I was reminded of it again recently as I began to read an absolutely energizing book called Creating We, by Judith Glaser. The book carries the same basic intent as Saint-Exupery, except on an organizational level.
The basic premise is that in order to break through the typical silo thinking and toxic, fear-driven, autocratic environments that drive so many organizations today, one needs to get the players to focus externally on the customer, instead of internally at---or against---each other. Just take a look at this list from the book on why organizations fail:
- Lack of shared focus, shared purpose, and/or shared vision
- Lack of enterprise-wide communication
- Lack of organizational ambition and a strategic approach to getting there
- Lack of respect for others within the organization
- Failure to tap resources and inner talent, creativity, and responsibility
- Failure to break down the walls ("silos") between divisions
- Lack of team cohesion and failure to develop team agreements, rules of engagement, and decision-making processes.
- Failure to focus outside and see the customer
- Lack of hope and spirit; a punishing environment
Glaser, whose executive consulting company, Benchmark Communications Inc., has helped many of their A-list clients transform their culture from I-centric organizations to we-centric organizations, offers many compelling case studies and practical advice in the book. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to break down the silos in their organization.
For project managers, it's especially useful, as projects often require facilitating conflicting stakeholders and departments to some sort of agreement. Compounding the problem is that these people are often at higher levels in the organization. To address this, the book offers ways to facilitate we-thinking that are useful from any level in an organization, although ideally it should be driven from the top. For that matter, why not buy a copy for your senior executives (and no, I don't get commission).
Friday, January 27, 2006
Tom Peters blogged recently about Ford, Pixar and the new wave of innovation sweeping companies. Although he had a softer spot for what Pixar is doing, the main point was that innovation is the new world order. Operational excellence is out, as is short-term thinking and reactionary cost-cutting. Even GE is now all about innovation.
Just look at these enlightening statements in a recent announcement from Ford CEO, Bill Ford, announcing their renewed focus on innnovation...
Ford Motor Company stands for a far-sighted commitment to growth. We stand for a renewed focus on the customer. We stand for boundless innovation in every aspect of our business...
Here is what we will not stand for: incremental change, avoiding risk, thinking short-term, blocking innovation, tying our people's hands, defending procedures that don't make sense, and selling what we have instead of what the customer wants. In short, we will not stand for business as usual.
Going forward, our employee evaluations will include a section on innovation. We’re also going to design compensation plans that reward new thinking. And we’re going to create a way for employees to appeal a decision, even if they have an idea and the boss says no.
These are inspiring words. Don't be surprised to see this approach make its way into the project management field. Instead of taking a project charter and "executing well," enlightened project managers will encourage opportunity assessments, get their teams and management excited about new ideas and concepts (assuming they're not squashed), and attempt to try new methods.
We've been posting recently about Agile Scrum Project Management. That's just one example of something that's new and different, but will most likely not gain ground in traditional, conservative organizations.
Here's more from Bill Ford's presentation...
Innovation Acceleration: Innovation-Driven Vision: Ford Motor Company
Thursday, December 08, 2005
PMI has drilled it into our heads for years about the perils of gold-plating, and how we need to focus on just meeting requirements, yada yada yada.
Yet, when I think back to the most exciting work that I had done (years ago), it was when I had met with a client (a customer service specialist) to look into a simple request to develop a few reports. She needed this so she could have more information readily available to solve customers' problems. I watched this person work for a while and felt immediate pain at what she had to go through to resolve customer problems and take orders over the phone.
She had to make a zillion phone calls and run back and forth to the plant flooor to see the status of an order, most of the time calling the customer back hours or days later. I went back to my team, and we decided it would be just as easy to give her an online "dashboard" right from her primary order inquiry screen (this was before dashboards were popular).
From there, she could see inventory allocation, and at what point material would be in stock to complete the finished products for the order, as well as other related info. She could track the customer's products from order through manufacturing. This saved her daily walks to the plant floor. Not only that, she could now address her customers' problems while they were on the phone!
Upon seeing the impact this made, we then asked if she'd also like to be able to look up shipping information, delivery tracking, and accounts receivable as well, and of course she was overjoyed. The system revolutionized customer service for this company.
One might call this gold-plating, but I call it excitement. We were excited about making a huge difference in the ability of the client to solve problems, and the client was excited to offer this benefit to her customers. Of course, I first watched the client in action so I could easily tell what was needed, so this was still a pragmatic approach.
As long as innovations have a practical use, then it's not really gold-plating. It's gold.
In our relentless pursuit of "meeting requirements" and "attaining better efficiency", let's not forget that passion and excitement can energize teams and customers, and often leads to further innovations. Above all, it leads to action and movement! Ironically, this critical mass can increase throughput even better than traditional efficiency and scheduling methods. Bottom Line: We need to bring passion and creativity back into the workforce!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Creativity fuels the innovation engine. How can we increase creativity to accelerate innovation? What are leadership principles necessary to drive growth through the creative organization? Here are some great insights ... Marc Babej provides excellent summary of Peter Georgescu, Young & Rubicam, on sustainable innovation from the Fortune Innovation Forum. Peter emphasizes three points on innovation: Embrace creativity, emphasize human values, and support active involvement in investing in future generations through education. Creativity is seen as a core enterprise competency that requires a special type of leadership to cultivate and sustain. ...
Via Being Reasonable: Peter Georgescu on Sustaining Innovation ...
... "First, embrace creativity as the most vital enterprise resource. The only leverageable asset on a company's balance sheet. Creativity is the cure for lack of differentiation, and in turn it begets profits. It's an inexhasutible resource, but also fragile. Creative output requires a new type of leader, one who refuses to manipulate or manage through fear. " ...
David Tanner, Tanner & Associates, Inc., discusses harnessing and increasing the creative capability in a research and development environment. These techniques should apply to most innovation scenarios. ...
Via Winston Brill: Creativity and Innovation in R&D ...
... "It's vital to set aside quality time specifically for people to learn the techniques of creative thinking. This first step satisfies an essential criterion for cultural shift - that is, it gives status to the effort. What resources can you use to focus on this subject? In-house seminars, books and articles on creativity, and outside creativity experts. " ...
Ben Simonton expands on the leadership techniques necessary to increasing the enterprise creativity competency ...
Via Corante: What Drives Innovation?. IdeaFlow: Discussion about innovation and creativity -- new products, strategy, open innovation, commercialization of technologies, patents, idea generation, customer input in the NPD process, more.
... "The brain controls creativity, innovation, productivity, motivation and commitment. I will attempt to explain a superior leadership strategy which turns on brains to the maximum extent and thus greatly enhances innovation. ... A superior leadership strategy inspires people to do more, dream more and learn more. We all know that people are our most important asset and that the best ones are self-motivated self-starters. Unfortunately, only 5% or so are naturally that way. A superior leadership strategy is capable of making the vast majority of employees self-motivated self-starters who are highly committed and highly productive, up to 300% more so than if poorly motivated. So what is this strategy? " ...
Labels: accelerate, balance, capability, competency, creative-thinking, creativity, culture, customer, customer-service, differentiation, growth, innovation, it-strategy, people, principles, service-orientation, sustain, sustainability
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
For some reason, despite numerous case studies indicating the astonishing results of those who have implemented Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), organizations are still resisting it. Perhaps they're not ready for speed, and are still stuck in their lumbering bureacracy. Perhaps they don't believe that psychology can play a role in getting people to focus on throughput. Perhaps they're so focused on cost-cutting and cost-monitoring, that they don't realize that improving throughput can give them the cost results they're chasing.
Or perhaps they don't realize that traditional waterfall approaches and bureacratic methodologies could be standing in the way of throughput and thus value (after all, time is money).
An organization either follows a throughput model or a cost model, and never the twain shall meet. The statistics are all in favor of the throughput model. For information on how Critical Chain Project Management can improve throughput and deliver true customer value, see this report from the Cutter Consortium. Be sure to click on the PDF link at the top for best readibility.
Critical Chain Project Management: Coming to a Radar Screen Near You!