Change Implementation Techniques for Forming Transitional Team, Creating Alignment, Maximizing Connectedness and Creativity

Section 4 - Some Techniques for Facilitating Ingredient 5 (including Creativity, Imagination, Novelty, Fantasy, Play, Innovation, Brainstorming Simplicity and Entrepreneurship (as Part of Knowledge Management)

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Introduction

"...everybody now is supposed to 'think differently'. Unorthodoxy is the new orthodoxy in a world where the supposedly most different kinds of thinkers - those that have escaped their traditional silos - are branded as the new rock stars. The only convention is to be unconventional and to work for un-companies, join un-clubs or attend un-conferences..."
Andrew Keen, 2015

"...knowledge is power, but it is also wealth. Human progress depends on the dissemination of useful knowledge. Triumph of human ingenuity - from the wheel to the mobile phone - underpin our prosperity and well-being. Knowledge is the ultimate social resource: the better the knowledge upon which a society's decision-making rests, the better its allocation of resources. The deeper society's base, the more creative it solves its problems. the explosion of new technologies offers society new ways to learn. If our future prosperity is to be found on a knowledge economy, we need to be a learning society..."
Elena Douglas, 2015

"...logic and linear (managerialist, if you like) thinking will remain important but alone are no longer enough to succeed in a global economy......organisations need to place more emphasis on right brain functions such as artistic, big picture thinking and the ability to conceptualise..."

Tania de Jong et al, 2010

"...Ideas spring from gaps between today's technology and tomorrow's needs..."

Beth Comstock as quoted by Rachel Botsman, 2012

Creativity is implied imagination. There is a need to use imagination, creativity and innovation beyond profit-making and cost management to open opportunities and new markets. Traditionally, creativity etc has been thought the domain of start-up entrepreneurs, artists, advertising executives and scientists. On the other hand, it should help

"...individual employees and workplace teams to perceive the world in fresh ways, find hidden patterns, make connections between seemingly unrelated things, task important questions and generate solutions. Generating fresh solutions to problems and the ability to create new products, processes or services for a changing market are part of the intellectual capital that gives a company its competitive edge..."

Tania de Jong et al, 2010

Creativity is
"...our ability to generate new ways of viewing the situation, outside the boundaries of standard conventions..."
Robert Marzano as quoted by Roy Kelley, 2014

"...you cannot download passion, imagination, zest and creativity......you have to upload it from reading, travel, study, reflection and human interaction..."
Thomas Friedman as quoted by Roy Kelley, 2014

"...a characteristic of creative people is that they imagine making the impossible possible. That imagining - rejecting what is (for the moment) true - is the way we discover what is new...... and that creativity, at its best, surprises us all..."

Ed Catmull, 2014

· In Pixar's case, they didn't get their successful movie right the first time. In fact, all movies that are now regarded as brilliant were at the start terrible!!!!!

"...We are true believers...... in candid feedback and the iterative process - reworking, reworking and re-working again, until a flawed story finds its through-line or a hollow character finds its soul..."

Ed Catmull, 2014

Creative thinking occurs when gamma waves are produced by the parietal lobe.

· To produce a healthy creative culture, candour is crucial and the following principles need to be observed as starting points and a prompt towards deeper enquiry, not as conclusions.

"...- give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or will come up with something better. If you get the team right, the chances are that they will get the idea right

- if there are people in your organisation who feel that they are not free to suggest ideas, you lose. Do not discount ideas from unexpected sources

- it isn't enough merely to be open to ideas from others. Engaging the collective brainpower of the people you work with is an active, ongoing process. As a manager, you must coax ideas out of your staff and constantly push them to contribute

- there are many valid reasons why people aren't candid with one another in a work environment. Your job is to search for those reasons and then address them

- likewise, if someone disagrees with you, there is a reason. Our first job is to understand the reasoning

- furthermore, if there is a fear in an organisation, there is a reason for it - our job is to (a) to find what's causing it, (b) to understand it, and (c) to root it out

- there is nothing quite as effective, when it comes to shutting down alternative viewpoints, as being convinced you are right

- in general, people are hesitant to say things that might rock the boat. Brains trust meetings, dailies and post-mortems are all efforts to reinforce the idea that it is okay to express yourself. All are mechanisms of self assessment that seek to uncover what's real

- if there is more truth in the hallways than in meetings, you have a problem

- many managers feel that if they are not notified about problems before others are all or if they are surprised in a meeting, then that is a sign of disrespect. Get over it

- careful messaging to downplay problems makes you appear to be lying, deluded, ignorant, or uncaring. Sharing problems is an act of inclusion that makes employees feel invested in the larger enterprise

- the first conclusions we draw from our successes and failures are typically wrong. Measuring the outcomes without evaluating the process is deceiving

- change and uncertainty are part of life. Our job is not to resist them but to build capability to recover when unexpected events occur

- similarly, it is not the manager's job to prevent risk. It is the manager's job to make it safe to take them

- failure isn't a necessary evil. In fact, it isn't evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something you new

- trust doesn't mean that you trust that someone won't screw up - it means you trust them even when they do screw up

- don't wait for things to be perfect before you share them with others. Show early and show often. It'll be pretty when you get there, but it won't be pretty along the way. And that's as it should be

- a company's communication structure should not mirror its organisational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody..."

Ed Catmull, 2014

· There are 2 types of inventions

- breakthrough (something made for the first time and which is generally unpredictable and random)

- incremental (improved variety of something already invented)

To get the breakthroughs, traditional methods are not necessarily the best way to go. For example, in medicine, the use of randomised controlled trials (RCT) and pilot studies are regarded as the gold standard in providing strong evidence in clinical trials on scientific or medical experimental treatment. Yet their effectiveness in testing a novel treatment against what is the current best practice has limited application. The safety of a RCT is not available in huge breakthroughs in the areas people have not visited before. it is claimed (Lara Tingle, 2015) that RCT will help to find whether treatment A or B is better but will not help to find a novel breakthrough. 
Need to develop a tolerance of failure. Failure should be regarded as an essential part of learning; people need to learn to be less risk averse and to shelter risk-taking by developing systems to protect risk-taking
Need to go beyond adaptive learning or incrementalism or fine-tuning in the approach to change
Decision Cycle (OODA) - all organisms undergo a continuous cycle of interaction with their environment, ie

O = Observation
O = Orientation
D = Decision
A = Action
The organisation that moves through the cycle fastest prevails over its competitors. It was developed for the military by Col. John Boyd and teachs to learn to react even faster and to recognise ever-evolving patterns of behaviour. For complex organisation, it reinforces the need for a highly decentralised chain of command, especially if working in an environment of imperfect and often partial knowledge. It encourages adaptation to information changes; people must be comfortable with ambiguity; speed is paramount.
Linked with this are many systems of learning loops in the short, medium and long-term; it favours incremental change

· There are 5 factors that determine whether inventions are accepted

i. whether it provides a tangible economic advantage compared with existing technology

ii. how easily tangible advantages over existing technology can be observed; complexity works against adoption of innovations

iii. compatibility with existing tangible investments, ie vested interests ofd old technology providers will want to protect their positions, such as the coal industry in the global warming context

iv. compatibility with existing social values and beliefs, ie until recently, the general farming community valued production efficiency so highly that ecological farming (soil preservation, etc) was not a priority

v. intangible value, such as social or status as value, such as fashion and design

Need to study the full impact of innovations ‐ positive and negative over the short-, medium-long-terms. There is a need to look beyond the immediate impact of new technologies and understand the indirect consequences (both unanticipated and undesirable), such as electromagnetic pollution from mobile phones and wireless Internet, computer and telecommunications.

There are 14 explanatory factors that determine the speed of acceptance of new technological developments:

i. life expectancy - this enhances the inventor's accumulation of knowledge and increases the chance that the same individual will come up with more inventions

ii. cheaper labour discourages innovation as little incentive to change exists

iii. existence of patents and property law so that the rights of the innovators are protected

iv. encouragement of technical training to increase the skill base

v. financial rewards provided to successful innovators

vi. strong individualism culture which makes it socially acceptable for innovators to earn and keep financial gains

vii. risk-taking behaviour is socially acceptable

viii. focus on the scientific approach to problem solving

ix. minimal focus on traditions

x. religious acceptance of innovation

xi. conflict, such as war

xii. role of government

xiii. climate

xiv. availability of resources

(source: Karl-Erik Sveiby et al, 2006)

Difference between an expert and a creator

. With innovation, one important metric is how many failures are being accumulated. Be careful that if a mistake is made that people don't start building new systems, processes, etc based on the initial false premise can have consequences that stifle innovation. This is the basis for all bureaucracies, ie building processes and systems, etc to reduce the chances of incidents, mistakes, failures, etc happening. Unfortunately this stifles people from trying new things. At the same time you need to learn from your failures - but it is better to succeed!!!!

As an organisation grows, it becomes harder for leaders to articulate and communicate their vision, priorities and values. Also the top leaders have to allow other people to make decisions, ie this means letting go
Challenging mindset

"...1. do something every day that scares you: it's easy to click into neutral if you don't set challenges for yourself
2.  Only work with people you would happily have dinner with: if you work with people you like, trust and respect, no matter how bad things are, most things can be managed
3.  Be as serious as the occasion requires, but no more: it's okay to be an intense person when needed but it doesn't mean you always have to be serious..."
Will Dean of Tough Mudder as quoted by Rachel Botsman, (2016a)

"...An expert is an individual who, after a decade or more of training, has reached the pinnacle of current practice in her chosen domain..aspiring creator needs a generous supply of intelligence(s), skill and discipline..a creator stands out in terms of temperament, personality and stance......perennially dissatisfied with current work, current standards, current questions, current answers.....strikes out in unfamiliar directions and enjoys ‐ or at least accepts ‐ being different from the pack......does not shrink from that unexpected wrinkle......wants to understand it......because they are bold and ambitious ‐ creators fail the most frequently......most dramatically..."

Howard Gardner, 2006a

A creator never gives up trying and never rests on his laurels ‐ it can be addictive.

Characteristics of Innovators

Innovators

Have strong cognitive abilities (including excellent analytical skills)

Focus on important issues and waste little time on peripheral issues (this is important owing to the sheer volume of data and ideas)

Have the ability to think strategically even in highly ambiguous situations

Never the rest on their laurels, ie they are never satisfied with the status quo and are always looking for new ways of doing things, new products and services, etc; they are continually trying to improve

Are good communicators with a lot of social intuition, savvy and tenacity so that they can handle a diverse group of experts from different disciplines

Are persuasive and often charming

Know how to extract information from specific areas of an organisations and then to garner organisational supports

Are tolerant of failures, ie it is regarded as a learning experience.

In summary, there is

"...a certain tension between an innovator's independent mind and his or her social involvement with colleagues, but the ability to seamlessly shift between isolation and a larger group is essential. By definition, an innovator must access resources and recombine ideas in ways that are unfamiliar to the organisation. Doing so means moving beyond conventional boundaries and the safety of existing positions, which can be a learning experience. At the same time, innovators must be able to bring the knowledge that they have gained back to the traditional hierarchies, which can be frustrating......such people have a unique psychological mix because they are able to work equally well in large cross-functional teams and in extreme isolation......true innovators never let pride or former success stand in the way of a better solution, no matter where it originates. And once they receive valuable new information, they are quick to connect it to the whole. Furthermore, because potential innovators have strong emotional intelligence, they always ask for feedback at the end of the assessment process..."

Jeffrey Cohn et al 2009

Innovator can be supported by:

- being allocated a mentor

- being encouraged to foster peer networks which involves innovators being able to tap into a cross-functional group of diverse experts at any time

- placing him or her as innovation hubs in the middle of the organisational chart so that they have easy access to influencers across the organisations

(source: Jeffrey Cohn et al 2009)

We need to create the environment for innovation, ie

"...educate people to be ambitious, creative, risk-takers, passionate about what they do, goal-orientated and open-minded and want to keep learning throughout life..."

John Glynn as quoted by Rachel Lebihan, 2012b

We need look at

- the complexities of initiating, developing, managing and exploiting innovation, etc

- leadership skills for entrepreneurs

- how to create a culture conducive to innovation

- how to embed innovation in the strategic direction of an organisation

- financial skills for entrepreneurs

Characteristics of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs - is there a personality type to describe them?

Using 5 factor model

i) Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous v. secure/confidence)

ii) Extraversion (energetic/precarious v. solitary/reserved)

iii) Openness (inventive/furious v. consistent/cautious)

iv) Conscientiousness (orderly/industrious v. easy-going/careless)

v) Agreeableness (co-operative/empathic v. self-interested/antagonistic)

Entrepreneurs have a particular set of these traits, especially the last three, ie openness, conscientiousness and agreeableness.

"...Innovators have to be open. They have to be able to imagine things that others cannot and be willing to challenge their own pre-conceptions. They also need to be conscientious. An innovator who has brilliant ideas and lacks the discipline and persistence to carry them out is merely a dreamer...... innovators need to be disagreeable. By disagreeable, I don't mean obnoxious or unpleasant...... on agreeableness they tend to be on the far end of the continuum. They are people willing to take social risks - to do things that others might disapprove of. This is not easy. Society frowns on disagreeableness. As human beings we are hardwired to seek approval of those around us. Yet a radical and transformative thought goes nowhere without the willingness to challenge convention..."

Jordan Peterson as quoted by Daniel Kahneman, 2012

As George Bernard Shaw wrote

"...The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man..."

Daniel Kahneman, 2012

 

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