Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Understand the Environment of Creativity

The value system of a company can provide the environment for creativity. People can do their best if their work is: ‘Good for the country, employees, customers.’ Or as the Honda mission statement puts it ‘Joy to the employee, joy to the customer and joy to the country’. The typical corporate atmosphere is competitive and ruthless. People rush to satisfy their selfish desires for glory and the limelight. Anyone standing in the way is viewed with anger and hatred. In such an environment, the individual uses 50% of energy protecting his ego and his turf. So much energy is wasted on one-upmanship and putting others down. The ability of the group to function is therefore severely compromised. How much better to work in the nurturing environment? Here a person does not feel the separation between himself and others. He wants others to do as well as himself. He competes only with himself in the search for excellence. He acknowledges the champion in everybody. The person does not develop a single-minded infatuation with his own ideas but accepts the reality that others also can have great ideas. It is important to understand that we can have a win-win environment. In such an environment everyone will be willing to take risks and go through the process of failures. He knows that in an experiment, there are no failures - only feedback.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Create a Sanctuary for ideas

Once a new product idea germinates, it needs time and space for participants to grow and develop that idea. The immediate reaction is to remove all elements that make the product new and different. Most groups will rush to protect familiar aspects of the product. If it is wild idea, there will be a concerted rush to domesticate it and retain its age old and familiar attributes. Fiercely protect the wildness of the idea by enclosing it in a sanctuary. Allow it to roam free in the sanctuary for a few days. Don’t touch it. Remember if everyone loves an idea, it is probably an old one. The Sanctuary is a tool that can be used to protect all germinal ideas. It involves inventing or shaping the future together in a protected environment. It is a radical new approach.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Analysis : the gateway to solutions

During the process of analysis, logical, statistical and mathematical solutions have to be carefully discussed and the optimum one chosen. Some prevalent parameters are: a) Time b) Budget c) Convenience d) Human resources e) Goodwill and impact on staff motivation levels f) Aesthetics g) Saving lives h) Political capital During the process of analysis, apply left-brain thinking – logical, statistical and mathematical. Solutions have to be carefully discussed and the optimum one chosen. The solutions are analyzed against the parameters chosen by the problem owner. Some prevalent parameters are: a) Time b) Budget c) Convenience d) Human resources e) Goodwill and impact on staff motivation levels f) Aesthetics g) Saving lives h) Political capital Different parameters find different levels of priority depending on the situation at hand. Let us consider the example of the budget as a parameter and its priority level in different cases. For a company where liquidity is low, cash flow would be the most important concern. For a company facing a crisis, time may be of the essence and big budgets would be tolerated in view of the emergency situation. While identifying solutions, ensure that there are a wide variety of options to choose from. There is then a greater possibility that the final option chosen ensures optimal results. This systematic process ensures that the option chosen produces the best results. Analysis is the stage just prior to implementation. Therefore, detailed analysis forms the root to strong implementation.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Idea Generation

Idea generation is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to drive innovation. In order to be successful, the idea generation program must be clear and consistent, reaching down to all levels of the organization. However, not following through on an idea generation program dooms it to failure, as can be seen in suggestion boxes that are never opened and exit interviews that are not analyzed. Successful idea generation programs are long-term and transparent. Good ideas are immediately and publicly rewarded. These programs have a greater chance of success when creativity tools are taught in advance.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Identifying and Creating a Problem Bank

Identifying and formulating the problem is the most difficult part of creative problem solving. Very often we state symptoms of the problems and end up wasting scarce resources chasing the illusionary “golden deer of the epics.” Management then becomes so emotionally committed to the wrong path that we can end up moving faster and faster along the wrong road. It is like a man who drills an oil well, in a bad spot. More and more money is spent with no resulting strike. But those involved, refuse to fill up the unproductive well and move on to a new location. They continue throwing good money after bad, because they do not want to admit that a mistake had been made initially. 6M Map for Problem Analysis 6M Plus Minus Interesting Men Materials Machines Methods Markets Money It is important to involve everyone in identifying the real problem. What is a problem for the worker need not seem like a problem for the manager. Problem Bank Create problem banks around initial problem statements. The problem bank should be a constantly growing database of emerging problems, developed by stakeholders. The problem banks should reflect the possibility of improvement and innovation, even in processes that seem to be working perfectly well. Anyone in the organization should be able to work on these problems and solve them. In a good, dynamic organization, there should be at least a few problems, which remain unsolved and need outside help. The time to identify problems is when things are going well. The organization then has the resources and energy to find hidden problems.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Nurturing Creativity

The first step in developing an environment that nurtures creativity is to separate idea generation from analysis. Most business sessions do not yield too many breakthrough ideas because managers are too busy shooting down each other’s ideas. Such meetings produce boring, safe and often useless suggestions. Today is the age of knowledge. Innovation can take companies forward at the speed of thought. The list below outlines the process: • Identifying and Creating a Problem Bank • Idea Generation • Analysis : the gateway to solutions • Implementation: The Final Stage of the Process

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The MindsPower Way

MindsPower process focuses on stimulating fresh thinking in managers and leaders with the goal of bringing new power and perspectives to their organizations. In strategic planning assignments, the client’s own planning team works out the plan, knowing that the important thing about a strategic plan is not the paper it is printed on, but the process it creates within an organization. The process facilitates culture change, whether the transformation is being driven by shifting paradigms in the market or by internal events like mergers or acquisitions. Many companies use the process to create profitable new products and processes, often drawing on MindsPower’s unique research process for tapping the creativity of customers. Product development assignments not only assist with the birth of new ideas, but stay with the company all the way to the market. Companies use the process to create or revitalize quality improvement programs. Another important area of work is corporate transformation, by developing high-performing managers and teams and promoting cross functional teamwork. This often involves mounting an Innovative Teamwork Program, which enables people to invent better ways of working and performing together. MindsPower programs are often tailored to the specific needs of each company.

Empowerment is the result of wholehearted participation

If you learn the secret of positive fields or mindspace, you can improve your Happiness Quotient. You can also get the best out of others. Making members of your team wholehearted participants rather than indifferent spectators, is the key to organizational success. Wholeheartedness is a state of full presence. This state involves complete enjoyment of a task. Participation, with full commitment of body and mind, is irresistible. I become wholehearted when I give all of myself to an interaction or task. These interactions create a field, which allows me to be wholeheartedly present in the moment, without defensiveness. The most fundamental characteristics of a positive field are that it quells anxiety and produces feelings of acceptance and a feeling of being affirmed. It is like walking into a room full of people who love and accept you, unconditionally. It is a feeling of being meaningful and safe – this frees up energy for connecting.