Author Archives: Mike Shipulski

Drive Out Fear for innovation to Flow

The primary impediment to innovation is fear, and the prime directive of any innovation system should be to drive out fear. A culture of accountability, implemented poorly, can inject fear and deter innovation. When the team is accountable to deliver on a project but are constrained to a fixed scope, a fixed launch date and resources, they will be afraid. ...

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You Can’t Innovate When …

Your company believes everything should always go as planned. You still have to do your regular job. The project’s completion date is disrespectful of the work content. Your company doesn’t recognize the difference between complex and complicated. The team is not given the tools, training, time and a teacher. You’re asked to generate 500 ideas but you’re afraid no one ...

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Three Rules for Better Decision Making

The primary responsibility of management is to allocate resources in the way that best achieves business objectives. If there are three or four options to allocate resources, which is the best choice? What is the time horizon for the decision? Is it best to hire more people? Why not partner with a contract resource company? Build a new facility or ...

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Four Ways to Run Projects

There are four ways to run projects. One – 80% Right, 100% Done, 100% On Time, 100% On Budget Fix time Fix resources Flex scope and certainty Set a tight timeline and use the people and budget you have. You’ll be done on time, but you must accept a reduced scope (fewer bells and whistles) and less certainty of how ...

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Entrepreneurial Efforts for Innovation Must Fit Your Brand

To meet ever-increasing growth objectives, established companies want to be more entrepreneurial. And the thinking goes like this – launch new products and services to create new markets, do it quickly and do it on a shoestring. Do that Lean Startup thing. Build minimum viable prototypes (MVPs), show them to customers, incorporate their feedback, make new MVPs, show them again, ...

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People Are Always the Hardest Part

The toughest part of all things is the people part. Hold on to being right and all you’ll be is right. Transcend rightness and get ready for greatness. Embrace hubris and there’s no room for truth. Embrace humbleness and everyone can get real. Judge yourself and others will pile on. Praise others and they will align with you. Expect your ...

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A Little Uninterrupted Work Goes a Long Way

If your day doesn’t start with a list of things you want to get done, there’s little chance you’ll get them done. What if you spent thirty minutes to define what you want to get done and then spent an hour getting them done? In ninety minutes you’ll have made a significant dent in the most important work. It doesn’t ...

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Testing Your Business Model

Sometimes we get caught up in the details when we should be working on the foundation. Here’s a rule: If the underlying foundation is not secure, don’t bother working on anything else. If you’re working on a couple new technologies, but the overall business model won’t be profitable, don’t work on the new technologies. Instead, figure out a business model ...

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Make Life Easy for Your Customers

Companies that have products want to improve them year-on-year. This year’s must be better than last year’s. For selfish reasons, we like to improve cost, speed and quality. Cost reduction drops profit directly to the bottom line. Increased speed reduces overhead (less labor per unit) and increases floor space productivity (more through the factory). Improved quality reduces costs. And for ...

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