Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Interesting Links (May 2008)

Inside Innovation

If you are interested in driving Innovation in the workplace - this recent feature by Business Week should not be missed


Fortune: The Best Advice I Ever Got

Fortune magazine asked 19 people for the best advice that most influenced their lives. Here are several excepts from that feature:

General David Petraeus: Commanding general, multinational force – Iraq The bottom line is that seriously bright folks thought very differently about important issues, and the debates on various topics were wonderful. All in all, in fact, the experience was invaluable. It may sound trite, but experiencing that not everyone saw the world at all remotely the same was good preparation for many of the experiences I've had since then.

Indra Nooyi: Chairman and CEO, Pepsico Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don't get defensive. You don't scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, "Maybe they are saying something to me that I'm not hearing." So "assume positive intent" has been a huge piece of advice for me.

Sam Palmisano: Chairman and CEO, IBM I've noticed that some of the most effective leaders don't make themselves the center of attention. They are respectful. They listen. This is an appealing personal quality, but it's also an effective leadership attribute. Their selflessness makes the people around them comfortable. People open up, speak up, contribute. They give those leaders their very best.

[credit to Leadership Now for this synopsis]


Creativity is not just for artists

Leadership Now also presents a thought provoking article on creativity & innovation

"The challenge organizations face is to not only to utilize the creative capacities of their people, but to develop them as well."

The author outlines six ways organizations are trying to develop creative capacities in their people:

  • Analogy and Metaphor - not only useful for visualization, but also for problem-solving: if we can resolve an analogous situation or issue, we can perhaps then solve the particular challenge we are facing.
  • Perception - the ability to see patterns where others are unable to do so
  • Simplicity - the most creative solution could be the most simple
  • Adversity - dealing with obstacles through innovative thinking
  • Technical Mastery - using the proper tools, techniques, and methods
  • Persistence - New ideas, new art, new discoveries and inventions that often defy traditional concepts or aesthetics and are not readily accepted. But creativity demands that the innovator persist in the face of such obstacles.

He asserts, “Creativity is the ultimate intellectual property. The time has arrived for creative people to take their places as leaders of society in professions other than the arts. The specific talent in people with a creative intelligence is the asset most needed by today’s emerging global creative economy: the expression of ideas through design and storytelling.”


Magnetic Attraction - the potential of Talent & the Corporate Brand

The following summary report provides a wealth of information on Talent Management !


Also related to Managing Talent - the following blog from Harvard (Tammy Erickson) provides thought provoking insights into '10 Reasons Gen Xers Are Unhappy at Work'

"I’m worried about Generation X and corporations. As far as I can tell, these two have a tentative relationship at best – and are likely headed for some rocky times ahead.

Corporations really need Gen X – folks in their 30’s to early 40’s, who should begin to serve as our primary corporate leaders over the next couple years. But I fear many current corporate executives are taking this small and therefore precious group for granted"


Eight business technology trends to watch

From the McKinsey Quarterly (published April 2008)

Technology alone is rarely the key to unlocking economic value: companies create real wealth when they combine technology with new ways of doing business. Through our work and research, we have identified eight technology-enabled trends that will help shape businesses and the economy in coming years. These trends fall within three broad areas of business activity: managing relationships, managing capital and assets, and leveraging information in new ways.

Managing relationships
1. Distributing cocreation
2. Using consumers as innovators
3. Tapping into a world of talent
4. Extracting more value from interactions
Managing capital and assets
5. Expanding the frontiers of automation
6. Unbundling production from delivery
Leveraging information in new ways
7. Putting more science into management
8. Making businesses from information

Also from the McKinsey Quarterly (May 2008) is this article on the 7-S framework (familiar to most MBA alumni !).

When McKinsey introduced the 7-S framework, in the late 1970s, it was a watershed in thinking about organizations. The framework maps seven interrelated factors that influence an organization's ability to change to change--shared values, skills, staff, strategy, structure, style, and systems--and shows how these forces interact. Emphasizing coordination more strongly than the traditional structural view of organizations did, 7-S suggests that they can make significant progress in any of their parts only if they progress in the others. In an interactive exhibit, longtime McKinsey director Lowell Bryan explains how its elements have evolved over the years