Category: Innovation

Why We Need To Learn To Love Project Managers

‘There isn’t a child alive who dreams of being a project manager’ –  so said Scott Berkun. He pointed out that project managers can unintentionally reinforce their work as (let’s be honest) dull – by trying to get everyone to pay attention to spreadsheets, specifications, PowerPoint presentations and status reports, failing to realise these are the ...

How To Kill Innovation In 10 Easy Steps

Many of our organisations, without realising it, act as inhibitors of innovation. Rules and protocols are put in place — often for very good reasons — that preserve the status quo. Over time, organisations develop a set of social norms — ‘the way we do things around here’ designed to protect the business from failure. ...

The Problem With Finding Answers

Don’t Look for a Great Idea. Look for a Good Problem – Greg Satell Yesterday I spent five and half hours in a room with my colleagues Carole and Simon trying to get to the root of a problem. Three colleagues – over 16 hours of valuable time, just thinking. It was worth every minute. ...

We Need To Stop Talking About Change Or Get Comfortable With Failure

Every year businesses will embark on a series of reports , meetings, visioning sessions , training events and communication strategies. In almost every case the goal will be the same: to make fundamental changes to how business is conducted in order to cope with a new, more challenging environment. 70% of these programmes will fail. ...

How To Find And Kill Zombie Projects

According to Clayton Christensen , of the 30,000 new consumer products that are launched each year – 95% fail. Compare this with the public, voluntary and non-profit sectors – where hardly anything fails. The social sector must either be fantastic at launching new initiatives, or there’s a lot of things going on that shouldn’t still be living. ...

Stop Talking, Start Experimenting

Thinking different isn’t enough, you have to act different – Jorge Barba I took a call this week from a person working for another organisation, we’ll call her Bill. Despite having a hugely supportive executive team the problems Bill faces are numerous: Managers are asking why are we working on a new initiative when the ...

Complex Problems Require Rapid Experiments

“Multiple iterations almost always beat a single-minded commitment to building your first idea” – Peter Skillman Most of you will have taken part in the Marshmallow Challenge or a variant of it. It’s the team exercise where you get a load of spaghetti, some tape, a marshmallow, a piece of string, and 18 minutes to ...

Do You Default To Simplicity – Or Complexity?

Although it doesn’t show up explicitly in any personality test, some people seem to be more prone to creating complexity than others. Instead of cutting to the heart of an issue, they tangle it further; rather than narrowing down projects, they allow the scope to keep expanding  –Ron Ashkenas Are you a simplifier or a ...

Know Your Customers, Just Never Ask Them What They Want

We do not really know what our potential users will really respond to, what they will understand or what they’ll hate until we really see them using it –Jonathan Courtney If you are working on any new service change or product there’s one question I guarantee will be asked of you at some point: “What ...

Why We Solve The Wrong Problems

Everywhere I look I see organisations and people investing heavily in new initiatives, transformation, and change programmes.  And in almost every case the goals will never be met. One of the most crucial causes of the failure? The right questions were never asked at the outset. We default to ideas and plans. Too many of which ...