From the monthly archives: May 2018

The path to a different thought must be built!

In a world where you can buy a shirt or set a table for dinner with just a few fingers on the screen, without leaving the sofa, managing or creating a business, and not finding a path to innovation involving technology, can be an organizational nightmare.

The ways most services are delivered today involves technology and an in-depth knowledge of end-users and / or consumers.

Today it is not enough to achieve excellent levels of efficiency and quality too occupy a place in the sun in the local economy, much less if we think of internationalization. Innovation is a concept that occupies a unique place in the creation or development of business.

Innovation is undoubtedly the most relevant competitive factor of today or a crucial factor for the survival of an organization. However, it is not always sufficient to have an organizational environment that is stick to incremental innovation and/or continuous improvement.

The world of consumers and users demands not only the satisfaction of their needs, but also their wants and the trends of the environments where they are inserted. But attention, these are orders impregnated with some traps.

In the different waves of cooperation and competition that organizations seek to surf, many managers, instead of developing their own identity and therefore unique, follow the path of “copy paste”, seeking to imitate good practices without the necessary adaptation to the its geography and its culture, but mainly without attention to the culture of its clients.

We must not forget that the context is king!

We must start thinking differently, that is, we have to think in an innovative way.

Learning to observe

We must practice some observational skills and develop a mental structure to address problems. We must really observe and stop to deduce, to induce, to conclude that … without observing.

To understand our organizations, we must carefully observe our ecosystem with its various levels of performance, i.e., individual level, group and organization system. Any of these levels is filled with interactions and input and output of information that deserve our observation. We interact in diverse ways such as employees, suppliers, customers, etc.

Ask questions

If we want to think in an innovative way we need to map this interactivity to make the knowledge and behavior of the elements of an organization manageable and to ask questions is a path that leads us to the creation of value.

Asking questions is also a way to clarify our responses to a problem or challenge that is posed to us.

“Innovation is only possible when challenging the norm and questioning a brief one has been given, becomes inherent to working when trying to find the best possible answer to a problem. – Christiane Drews

Today, we no longer treat information as a set of opinions received from various authorities, each in its discipline, to make a decision because, not being allowed cognitive conflict between these entities, the expected result will not be the most desired. Today it is necessary to create space to connect the points in common and to give place to the creativity. A decision should not result from a summation, but from the combination of the various possible perspectives.

What if…

It is good to think, or at least to try to make it so, that every question we ask can be a working hypothesis, and therefore possibly the starting point for leveraging organizational innovation.

The values ​​of dialogue and openness, also promoted by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, involve communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity as the four key competences for the development of the learning society, unquestionable support to the development of any organization.

The critical thinking also referred to in the World Economic Forum of Jobs where the 10 main competences that are needed for students and workers in the digital and transdisciplinary world of tomorrow are pointed out.

By 2020, these competencies should include ability to solve complex problems, critical thinking, creativity, ability to coordinate with others, negotiation, cognitive flexibility, or emotional intelligence. It is a question of thinking differently, thinking in a more collaborative, creative, and interdisciplinary way, whether in academic research, teaching or with a view to professional integration into jobs of the future that are as yet unknown and to be invented. The trend is toward sound reflexivity on ways of thinking, being and doing, learning to learn with agility throughout one’s life, and solving complex problems in a rapidly changing world and not simply accumulating an endless list of disciplinary knowledge.”

Now let us think differently! Before we buy a startup, let’s try to innovate within our organization. Let us cross the skills and dreams of our organization’s employees and create the opportunity.

 

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Could the commitment to continually improving the performance of organizational processes be a path to excellence?

Perhaps! But we do not have to always choose among the best practices to adapt to our organization.

We can create something new! Doing better may also require an innovative mind and not just an always alert and proactive mind.

In our home, in the kitchen, usually the recipes we use can be delightfully traditional or surprisingly innovative and awesome. It all depends on the form (process), how we combine the elements and the quantities of those elements and on the times,  we dedicate to creation. Even so, sometimes we fail! But we also learn and improve our future action.

Among the models that organizations have at their disposal to embrace in their development is the EFQM Excellence Model. The fundamental concepts of excellence presented in this model can be the elements available and necessary to experience and create our working framework. To know:

– Leading with vision, inspiration and integrity;

– Sustaining outstanding results;

– Adding value for customers;

– Managing with agility;

– Succeeding through the people’s talents;

– Harnessing creativity and innovation;

– Developing organizational capability;

– Creating a sustainable future.

Today we are looking for a reconciliation between process-centered approaches and people-centered approaches to creating new and valuable things through interdisciplinary teams and collaborative methodologies.

Some people have a purpose for converging these two worlds, which can mean a new model created with the relevant points of each of them and where empathy plays a fundamental role.

Without empathizing, none of the above concepts can be truly developed.

To develop organizational capacity, it is necessary to listen to the organization’s employees, understand their wishes and needs, and design their work journey. In this way we are also building sustainable worlds.

To stimulate creativity and create value for customers, it is necessary to understand the needs not only of customers but also the favorable environments for the development of creative flows by the organization’s employees.

To manage with agility, we need to manage the talents and this is only done by wearing their shoes and walking their way.

Managing talent means creating purpose for commitment, recognizing the work of excellence and celebrating success.

It is good not to forget that any talent in an organization needs to develop:

“A posture (our perspective of the world and our role in it), the tools (the models we use to organize our world and our thinking) and the experiences (what built and developed our skills and sensibilities).” – Roger Martin – “The Design of Business”.

However, from the individual level to the group level goes a giant step, often facilitated by the understanding and acceptance of the different experiences and cultures that the teams in an organization incorporate.

Diversity and interdisciplinarity are concepts that appear linked to problem solving frequently and that deserve to be adopted early.

“Thanks to the Medici family and some others like them, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, and architects converged on the city of Florence. There, they met, learned from each other and break down barriers between disciplines and cultures. Together they forged a new world based on new ideas – what became known as the Renaissance. As a result, the city became the epicenter of the creative explosion, one of the most innovative eras in history.”- Frans Johansson, The Medici Effect

On the path to excellence, the success of an organization operating in multicultural environments depends on how leaders can integrate diverse cultures into their own leadership styles.

The evolutionary nature of our society, rich in diversity of cultural experiences, often raises questions about the relationship of people to each other and issues with the physical environments in which they are embedded.

To solve some of the problems that may arise in interrelationships and the integration of people in diverse environments, we must draw these relationships, and this involves paying attention to many different factors.

This diversity, which we see today in most places we know, has been ignored regarding its potential as a source of energy and creativity.

It is therefore important to emphasize that the complementarity that can exist between the members of an organization’s teams is essential for the promotion of ideas, continuous improvement and excellence.

 

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Problems are active and do not sit around waiting for solutions. Problems always cause a greater or lesser impact in a given environment.

How can something be considered a problem when we still cannot identify what is wrong or at least not as well as it should be identified?

We know that problems do not always have adequate solutions available and that unfavorable situations are not necessarily problems to be identified.

In an organization, it is relatively easy to see that people tend to expect others to find problems that they can solve, rather than taking the initiative to look for or anticipate problems.

One of the reasons why people avoid going looking for and finding problems is the ease with which these people can later discard them. They can always say that the problem is not theirs because that particular problem requires an embroidery of another specialty or because it goes beyond the limits of their functions or responsibility.

Does the size of a problem in an organization come from the impact of the solution we are looking for?

If the problem is big does it mean that it affects a large universe of people?

It is good to remember that before we move to the construction of workable solutions in the scope of organizational innovation we must plunge with passion into the problem, identifying all its environment and accurately delimiting all its contours and details.

Finding problems means identifying the characteristics of the problem, including its location and the consequences of its existence. This means that we need to know whether all stakeholders within and outside the organization clearly and accurately understand the problem.

Identifying the root cause of a problem from the data identified by the analysis of qualitative and quantitative information is critical to ensuring that the real cause of the problem is understood. When that happens, we are on the right track.

To find the right path, we must look for problems to identify them and find creative solutions. If our attitude is proactive instead of reactive, we will naturally take the initiative to look for, or anticipate problems, changes, trends and opportunities for improvement and / or innovation.

One of the possible ways of approaching the organization is to ask the employees of the dedicated teams, for an undefined problem, to individually note the specific problems they are facing, and which are related to their initial challenge.

On the other hand, it is easy to recognize that in an organization we recognize employees who are constantly seeing problems everywhere and, despite appearing to be pessimistic behavior, this can be translated into an important and beneficial activity in identifying organizational problems of systems, processes, products or services.

What problems are we going to find?

Different people can be different angles of observation. Each angle can be a different perception and turn into different problems.

In a team it is always good to be able to create problems, to have proactive attitudes and to know how to appreciate different cognitive approaches between team employees or the organization.

When an organization manages to create synergies between problem makers and individuals with other acting preferences, every moment of a creative process benefit.

Defining the problem also requires a combined view of the problem resulting from the various perspectives as well as a long succession of questions about “why” the problem. In looking for the answers to our questions we should avoid all kinds of judgments in the definition of the problem.

It is also time to leave those beautiful forms of deductive reasoning based on past experiences and to make a breakthrough by laying the foundations for building a balance between what is achievable, what is desirable, and what is economically feasible.

Will the solutions we present to customers and users / consumers satisfy the need for a specific job well done?

Trying to know if a solution does not bring you another set of problems is a constant challenge. What are the consequences of our proposal?

Let us try to listen to what has not yet been said because it means anticipation and a place of innovation.

Knowing how to observe is as important as being watched! After all we and they are part of the same world!

 

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