culture

Innovation is Not Supposed to be Fun

innovation isn't supposed to be fun

Gary Pisano, a Harvard Business School Professor, wrote an excellent article in HBR last year on the hard realities of what innovative company cultures actually look like, which I highly recommend every aspiring innovator to read. The bottom line? The inspiring and comfortable attributes, such as freedom, low hierarchy, and tolerance for failure that are associated with innovative company cultures are universally appreciated, accepted, ...

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Strategic and Systemic Alignment – why they really matter

In my early days at Compass Learning, I designed and delivered a wide range of top team strategic alignment and development programs. Where the focus was on enabling and empowering team members to metaphorically “sing from the same song sheet” – by agreeing to and articulating a common purpose, clarifying roles and goals and driving mutual accountability. Also, by establishing, ...

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3 Reasons Why Your Brainstorms Suck

Brainstorms are important and an easy way to get everybody together to collaborate, discuss, debate, and ultimately, innovate. But sometimes, you come out of them feeling as if you didn’t get the ideas that you needed, or that the same ideas were being rehashed, or that it was a complete waste of time. So, why do your brainstorms suck, and ...

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The Push Pull of Innovation

Do you remember playing tug-of-war as a kid? It was a game of two teams holding on to either side of a rope, and each team had to try to pull the other over a line down the middle. When it comes to change and innovation, that’s exactly what happens individually, in our teams, and in our organizations – it’s ...

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Leading the Charge to Disrupt Your Industry

Richard Jupe, Vice President, Innovative Product Development, Altria: Richard got to the point, fast: Altria’s strategy: reduce risk and expanding choice. “We have a Duel Engine. We are changing our culture with this model, he says.” “Since 1955 our company has been on the Fortune 500. We were Philip Morris. Now we have owned and sold Kraft, Miller. We are ...

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Fairness, Trust, and Innovation Culture

As noted in previous articles (You don’t have an Innovation Problem, You Have a Trust Problem! Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), trust is the foundation for a culture of innovation, and a culture of innovation is the foundation for innovation and the financial results from it. In this article, I will address one of the foundational components of trust: ...

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Don’t Hire For Culture Fit

You’ve probably heard the advice: “Don’t hire for skills, hire for culture fit.” The idea is that if someone is a good fit for your company culture, you can train them on the skills they need. But the reverse isn’t always true. No matter how much training you give them, you can’t really change someone’s personality. Thus, began a series ...

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Secrets of a Successful Serial Intrapreneur- Paul Campbell: Chief Innovation Officer, W.L. Gore & Associates

A Keynote presentation from the Back End of Innovation Conference The first slide gave away the four secrets in brief form: Ideation Deconstruct Incubate Scale up Paul began his talk with a metaphor, the new SalesForce building—a new type of structure that is unprecedented in earthquake zones because it was so safe. He claims companies need to re-think their current ...

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More Heart. Less Head. Making Feedback Matter.

The best insights are often stumbled upon. Like happiness, such insights are just naturally-occurring by-products of being curious. Curiosity and courage, coupled with humility, are the root soft skills of successful innovators. You need to be open and vulnerable to excel. In that spirit, professional feedback and performance reviews could be more human and humanizing. Here’s my stumble. Background: I was ...

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