All posts filed under: Leading Change

Innovation is Iterative

The insight-discovery process, which extends beyond a company’s boundaries to include insight-generating partnerships, is the lifeblood of innovation. We won’t belabor the matter here, though, because it’s already the subject of countless articles and books. One thing we can add is that discovery is iterative, and the active use of prototypes can help companies continue to learn as they develop, test, validate, and refine their innovations. Moreover, we firmly believe that without a fully developed innovation system encompassing the other elements described in this article, large organizations probably won’t innovate successfully, no matter how effective their insight-generation process is. – 8 Essentials of Innovation 

4 Questions to Replace Performance Evaluations

Now, at the end of every project, or once a quarter if employees have long-term assignments, managers would answer four simple questions — and only four. The first two are answered on a five-point scale, from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree;” the second two have yes or no options: 1. Given what I know of this person’s performance, and if it were my money, I would award this person the highest possible compensation increase and bonus.  2. Given what I know of this person’s performance, I would always want him or her on my team. 3. This person is at risk for low performance. 4. This person is ready for promotion today. via Washington Post  HT @undercurrent

Crossing Into the Postnormal

“We’re no longer living in the old economy, based on industrial-era principles. That’s over. We’ve crossed into the Postnormal, and most leaders are either unaware of that transition, or are seeing only disconnected parts of it.”–Stowe Boyd Digital and social media create a new infrastructure to build relationships, create products and services, and share resources in a fundamentally different way than before. There is literally a gaping chasm between the industrial mindset and the digital/social one. “The most critical attributes of leaders today will not look like those we associate with leadership of even a few years ago. The patience to let things develop, the ability to operate in ambiguity. And lastly, the courage to try things that make you uncomfortable.”–Stowe Boyd How does a leader know for certain that they have crossed into the postnormal? When they understand at a heart level that power and control are an illusion, and spend the majority of their time facilitating connections, identifying emerging trends, and co-creating the direction of their department or organization with employees, customers, and …

Why Technology Rarely Seems to Solve Problems

Tim O’Reilly, Lessons from the Industrial Internet Digital media, mobile devices and cloud technology are tools that completely change an existing systems function. Adding any of these onto an existing strategy without considering the fundamental changes they bring may bring little to no improvement. Cloud technology moves the power of information from the organization to the employee and customer. Information can now be accessed from a variety of places (smartphone, tablet, laptop) at any time. Moving information to the cloud without improving access to end-users and customers will save money, but not improve the customer experience or information sharing among employees. When deploying digital solutions it’s imperative for all decision makers to understand what systems level changes they cause as well as what cultural changes must occur for the benefits to be realized.

Trends for Non-Profit Leaders to Consider When Leading Change

From Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog: Crowdsourced Philanthropy: Check out Givkwik to see an emerging version of this at work.   Digital Action Campaigns: By “liking” an organization on Facebook you unlock a donation. See John Haydon’s post on 4 Types of Cause Marketing.    Issue Awareness Campaigns: UNICEF recently ran a campaign on their Facebook page to raise awareness for their cause by tagging people who deserved a medal for their efforts. Tweet

Data Only Becomes Powerful in Decision Making When…

Decision makers use it to change the current distribution of the resources on hand. Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer wrote 9 Principles of Innovation, naming ‘Data Is Apolitical’ as one of them. “Some companies think of design as an art. We think of design as a science. It doesn’t matter who is the favorite or how much you like this aesthetic versus that aesthetic. It all comes down to data.”–Mayer The “We” she mentions cannot be the same hypothetical “We” that most organizations have–as in “we believe we are only truly innovative ____ today.” She means the key decision makers who set the organizational culture. Important to leading with data is avoiding using “vanity metrics” to drive decisions. “Numbers that give the illusion of progress but often mask the true relationship between cause and effect.”–source The first step in leveraging data is to find a current project that is being driven by political opinions, conduct research to determine the amount of resources being invested into the project, as well as it’s current outcomes. Demonstrating the …

Leading Change Today Starts with Empathy

Social media continues to get noisier, but within that noise are individual voices and collective passions that your organization can listen to and optimize around in order to maximize effectiveness. Leading change today does not start with shouting loudly. When the voices and audiences were few, shouting worked. Now that the voices are many and audience members can have more “Klout” than the speaker,  an organization will thrive by it’s ability to relate as a kindred spirit rather than a commander in chief. Effective organizations are using social media to listen before they send a Tweet. They friend and follow only the people that share their interests. They share, comment and reply as much as they promote. Tweet

What Channel Do THEY Tune Into?

The people you want to reach do not want to work hard to find you. Generation C assumes that if you do not show up you must not be important to them. The easiest way to organize your digital communications is by what makes most sense to you–this is often why some organizations have five different Facebook Pages for the same or variances of the same audience. Although the audience might organize around organizational lines when they give money or volunteer, they do not prefer to consume and interact with your organization in that same manner. It’s fatiguing and confusing for those outside of your organization to follow more than one account on Facebook and Twitter. Outside of your organization the amount of fans or followers plus the consistency and breadth of content matter more than the department from which that account is managed. Before you create another online account to match a sub-department of your larger organization consider whether those whom you are seeking to influence would see a significant difference between that account …