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People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important. And except for those at the tippy top, shareholder value isn’t a meaningful goal that excites and engages them. They want to know that they — and their organizations — are doing something big that matters to other people.”

This is a warning to all those involved with Human Resources, who for a long time have filled their professional life, and not only, with the images of discouragement produced by a culture that always privileged the reward for those who do well what is requested and never rewarded creativity, that is, what could be done.

Human Resources as an integral part of organizations have been looked (and has allowed) as weak elements in the organizational value chain despite the good work of some HR Business Partners.

Many of the people involved in traditional HR departments feel lonely when they are confronted with more agile business environments and with various future alternatives in management and HR development strategies.

This loneliness is occasionally interrupted by initiatives of great boldness and courage as happened recently in Coworklisboa with Employee’s Experience Design Workshop: Innovating in Human Resources – by Busigners.

This workshop underscored the need to create a sustained approach to problem solving rather than adaptations of best practices or models linked to organizational management trends.

Those challenges arise from the search for the satisfaction of hidden needs, not articulated needs or only known but not satisfied needs.

Now HR must assume its true role, which is to lead resources, human resources that feel, have will, are capable, are creative and want to grow. These people are potential internal entrepreneurs and are also a new challenge and a new perspective of management and leadership.

Therefore, Human Resources (HR people) should innovate in the communication processes, in the ways of promoting well-being, in the perspectives and personal growth models of each employee and in different contexts.

In this sense, they should for example:

– Watch, listen and ask questions. Yes! Ask questions!

– Avoid distractions and be completely present when they are with other people.

– Avoid thinking that multitasking is good and that your problem is bigger than others. Empathy with all employees of the organization is crucial as it is the only way to understand the true needs of all employees including leadership and management.

– They should attach meaning to collaboration and connectivity, managing combinations of talents and innovating in recognition and reward plans.

-They must learn to work with constraints. Constraints can be a good source of creativity in solving problems.

– They should be part of the right and left brains of organizations because they are heralds of norms and freedoms, discipline and creativity, success and recovery.

Today’s Human Resources can be the leadership of a process of cultural transformation, which involves reducing the excessive weight of analytical thinking in organizations and balancing it with intuitive and creative thinking.

This is achieved (my interpretation) per Roger Martin in Design of Business:

1 – Selecting, more creative people over analytical.

2 – Not rewarding traditionally and exuberantly those who promote what is trustworthy, but rewarding also those who promote what is valid.

3 – Including in the processes of evaluation criteria that aim at creativity, work with restrictions, empathy, holistic thinking, collaboration and experimentation.

Human Resources should no longer have as fundamental concern to maximize the profitability of what they have today and begin to explore new paths, analyzing the experience of employees to predict the future and to create solutions for tomorrow!

Innovation for HR managers is to create a new dimension of purpose, more inclusive and open to the whole, respecting the magic inherent to each employee.

 

“Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection – (MAGIC)”

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…“A redefined talent program. In the traditional approach to talent development, a company identifies a pool of future leaders, typically by zeroing in on and measuring key traits. Here’s the idea behind it: If you can find people who have these inherent characteristics, you can guide them into leadership roles. But what happens when you assume that everyone has potential, and that talent is neither predetermined nor static? Now what?”…

There are those who have an ability to influence others without having a formal authority, and this is basically a matter of respect from the others and the trust they inspire in others. They are informal leaders who easily emerge as we expand the options of talent development.

But lead what? Who?

A future leader seeks to build and / or rebuild a team in order to overcome challenges, manage change and implement a culture of innovation.

This requires tools and resources that help create great opportunities for team members to share and learn from each other. A team that works together and communicates effectively is a highly valued asset for any organization and interdisciplinary teams are the best option to tackle any threat or to seize the best opportunities.

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For example, a group of specialists from different areas combining skills and resources to provide guidance and information is an interdisciplinary team. A group that does not combine but only contributes with each specialty to the accomplishment of certain objectives, leaving the role of the attribution of meaning to third parties is multidisciplinary and not so effective.

In building a team it is necessary to look for the best ones among the peers and with the skills appropriate to the projects that we want to develop. But to do this, it is necessary to create openness and an environment so that all can manifest their best attributes and that only appear with a climate of betting on growth mindset.

The whole cannot be equal to the sum of the parts and for this we must create innovative processes and methodologies that leverage the energy necessary to transform a dream into a reality. This is the role of a future leader.

In a team based on an approach centered on product and process development, interdisciplinarity leads to a broadening of the roles of its members. Individuals are no longer seen as specialists with strict defined responsibilities, but as generalists with a particular area of expertise.

To think about:

To live successfully as part of a herd, individuals in any herding species have developed a behavioural repertoire designed to reduce tension between individuals and increase cohesion between group members. This bias towards affiliative behaviour rather than aggressive behaviour is crucial if individuals are not going to spend valuable time and energy guarding resources and fighting. To this end, horses are very communicative animals with highly developed social skills and are motivated to cooperate rather than dominate. With its natural environment being open spaces, the horse did not need to develop a complex repertoire of vocal signals, but rather one of visual signals. Many of these may be either very subtle or quite overt for distant signalling or greater effect. Horses are motivated to avoid aggression and, therefore, rather than attack without warning, their signals escalate gradually, from flattening the ears through to lungeing.”

Remember about Leadership…

It’s actually much harder to create an alignment between words, actions, and rewards than it might seem.”

An interdisciplinary team combines skills and knowledge to indicate the path to success and learns along the course it has outlined.

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This text was adapted from a previous text of mine published in 2009 in Cavalinova and aims to recall and correct points of view.

 

To fit the individual potential in the Organization

We are not only the visible portion that we allow other people to see when we want to be part of any project. We also have a hidden part that can bring added value that we all hope to be able, when we collaborate for a common purpose.

So, we need to recognize our most salient aspects and of more value and discover and develop those more hidden or submerged.

How many times, we already thought of how much was desirable to maximize the potential of each one of us in workgroups that yearn to become top teams in organizations, rather than try to follow blindly the functions for which we believe be intended?

The workplace has evolved an interpersonal dynamic that can’t be ignored. The acts of listening, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, and fostering an open and honest work environment all come down to knowing how to build and maintain relationships with people. It’s those relationships that allow people to participate fully in team projects, show appreciation for others, and enlist support for their projects.”

One of the most serious consequences of the lack of attention to skills development, is that over time we get the unpleasant feeling that we were able to realize our dreams and lost opportunities that came up to our front.

What happens is that many of our ideas were great solutions and were wasted because we think that the environment or the moment were not suitable, but after all it was our “conviction” that we were not competent.

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We are routinely recognized for our ability to not raise the eyes of workplace and completely absorbed in making the largest possible number of tasks without errors and eventually felt satisfied with the opportunity to rise to a previously described in a labor agreement career.

To make known the potential there is in us, is to empower our organization with greater competence and this means that we need to innovate and change our attitude to work. We must recognize a purpose in our everyday life.

It is necessary to revolutionize the status of comfort that is offered by organizations and show that:

“For many companies, skills gaps have resulted in delays in product releases, reduced customer satisfaction, loss of revenue and, sometimes, the demise or sale of the business. In a rapidly changing world where talent is increasingly what propels an organization ahead of the competition, organizations are finding that their ability to quickly and effectively develop skills they need is one of their most important competitive differentiators.

Doing nothing is not an option, nor is making only incremental improvements. If companies are to generate a new period of growth, they must adopt new strategies to ensure they have the skills they need to succeed. – Accenture

So that organizations can have a solid approach to the problem of lack of skills, there are three factors that I believe are fundamental to the success of this approach:

1 – The opening to the sharing, in the form of tacit knowledge transmission of the most talented individuals and recognition of underwater skills.

2 – The need for regular exercise of certain powers as a way of refining and eliminating environmental or cultural toxins. Regular exercise helps to raise awareness of the beneficial and harmful factors.

3 – The need to provoke the immersing of collaborators in challenges such as alternative to lack of initiative or curiosity.

The great benefits of organizations, to open its doors to potential employees, integrating it in aligning its strategies, are a high social climate that increases customer satisfaction and productivity in creative and quality terms and to ensure the reconciliation of the individual and organizational needs.

 

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Interdisciplinary teams and behavior

We live in a world in constant evolution and with a significant variation in what are key skills to work in teams and systems.

When organizations want to create work teams, they use, in first place, internal resources and seek to equip their employees with the skills to lead their organizations to success.

The skills and abilities that are required today to employees of organizations include the ability to create networks, ability to evolve with new technologies, multilingual domain, cultural sensitivity, ethical behavior, critical thinking and creative problem-solving ability, among others.

Many times, so that organizations can build representative work teams of a diversity that complements each other through the competences referred, it is necessary to recruit their (future) employees, not exclusively on the basis of analytical criteria, but also selecting people who are more prone to creativity and who have certain sets of relevant knowledge and skills for innovation.

When enabling the diversity of skills and disciplines of its members, organizations build interdisciplinary teams that favor the development of an innovation culture.

There is an advantage in interdisciplinary teams that is worth highlighting, and that results from  the generalist skills of team members , when they have the possibility to discuss third-party interventions in its areas of expertise.

Interdisciplinary teams can be seen as ensembles, which develop environments that:

-Allow opening the new challenges and promotes creative questions.

-Allow us to think about the unthinkable and promotes the perspective of contrast.

-Pave the way for daring, for trusting and favor dialogue.

A culture of innovation is developed in confidence and boldness environments despite often also being constrained environments.

As a result of the relationship developed into interdisciplinary teams, learned behaviors are a fundamental difference that they manifest when we talk about a culture of innovation within organizations.

This culture is lived with passion that is fed with the celebration of ideas of all team members who develop autonomy. There failure is not punished and diversity is maximized.

Let’s see what can be a small example:

“Once people have succeeded at a game-changing innovation, the level of energy in the company elevates. Even people who weren’t directly involved are affected through the social networks. It becomes easier for them to expand their idea of what is feasible. Building this sort of capability often has the rhythm of, say, skilled basketball practice: a group of people who gradually learn seamless teamwork, reading one another’s intentions and learning to complement other team members, ultimately creating their own characteristic, effective, and uncopyable style of successful play” – A. G. Lafley

This could be something called pollination of ideas or the “ability to make connections between seemingly unconnected things” that Scott Anthony referred and which translates into four approaches that successful innovators follow:

– “Questioning: Asking probing questions that impose or remove constraints.

– Networking: Interacting with people from different backgrounds who provide access to new ways of thinking.

– Observing: Watching the world around them for surprising stimuli.

– Experimenting: Consciously complicating their lives by trying new things or going to new places.”

These findings mentioned by Scott Anthony may mean that the interdisciplinary teams, when they live a culture of innovation, are the favorable conditions for the development of an innovative activity.

However we know that action requires energy and innovative interdisciplinary teams, to develop with success their goals, also require fuel that leverage creativity and innovation.

Daniel Pink on Drive suggests that one of the incentives that we can “create” for people is a sense of autonomy, which allows them to dominate their work, and create a sense of purpose.

Rewards and recognition, especially the balance between intrinsic and extrinsic incentives, influence the way the employees of organizations deal with their responsibilities.

The opportunity to be part of a real world, where each one of us, in its area of expertise, can contribute collaboratively for a common result, is something that organizations should seek to create to provide their real and sustainable development.

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This article was originally published at OPENMIND BLOG as

Interdisciplinary teams and innovation: questioning, networking, observing and experimenting

 

Empathy and the conflict

When we think in any innovative activity of an organization, often we refer to such activity reporting the type of products and services they offer or the value achieved with determined sales peak.

But to reach being news the organizations must go a long way, filled with obstacles, uncertainties and typical conflicts of their environment.

It is important to remember that the environment in which an organization works is crucial to establish the best way for it to organize and operate effectively.

Organizations can no longer rely exclusively on their human resources, which are naturally limited and are encouraged to share knowledge through its borders to increase its innovative potential. This means extending their source of external resources, people with experience, knowledge and different cultures.

Customers, suppliers and new partners may be part of the innovation process and should be viewed with empathy, which means respecting its values and make respected the organization values.

Some of the possible consequences of this attitude on the part of organizations may be reflected in a number of internal creations that tends to decrease conveying also a new need to identify the absorption capacity of external proposals.

With this new wave of interactions, extraordinary new capabilities emerge and the rules of the game change.

One can say that now there are no “traditional” teams, homogeneous and closed, and that these were replaced by interdisciplinary teams and open.

There is a new game to play.

And in this game, as in any game, often emerge conflicts. The organizational conflicts are much more complex than a dispute between departments and they are located in specific contexts and varying dimensions.

 

Although organizational conflicts are generally identified as personality and almost always destructive, arise now conflicts of knowledge that despite normally being constructive can produce locks.

Starting from these assumptions, it is with relative ease that we imagine those areas in which such conflicts may arise. Note that we are dealing with an intersection of internal and external factors where the attitudes of empathy facilitate understanding of the different points of view.

The areas of marketing and R & D are areas we may find the most vulnerable to conflict situations. It consists of groups of people, related to their status and principles, which makes it difficult sharing and collaboration. There is an image and a work already developed that hardly can be called into question.

Therefore, it seems to be easy to understand that interactions with customers and suppliers, these with an enhanced role of co-creators, create constraints to data analysts when they are confronted with other variables such as: “what if …?”.

Despite these possible conflicts small and medium-sized enterprises offer some opening, because in their activity does not face the obstacles of large organizations and to appreciate the mechanisms and processes of innovation, we must not forget the contingency and specifically the location of events.

An approach cannot be free culture, either in-game organizations or of populations facing the hypothetical clash of values. Emerging conflicts of cultural issues must be resolved, and this implies a clear understanding of the values concerned and the consequent timing for a reciprocal absorption.

It is at these times, that strong leadership can leverage a new way of thinking internally to be able to absorb external proposals. We cannot perform a collaborative work, keeping the internal structures of thought closed to new ideas from abroad.

A new mindset with an empathetic attitude to face constant new partners is crucial to solve any problems.

 

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Confrontation with the power

 “It’s not that we don’t teach values well, it’s that people come to us with quite good personal values, and we do a fantastic job of destroying them.”A professor at a symposium of HBS.

Although today values occupy a prominent place in people’s mind, in business ethics and behavior of organizations persists some confusion about what these values represent and what role they play in a business relationship with customers or in a leader with his collaborators.

How can those values be achieved either by individuals or by organizations?

We think that the problem is not the consciousness of the people, which is increasingly in tune with the ethical issues, but that is rather how to ensure ethical behavior.

Most of us grew up surrounded by examples and models of well being and wellness with others and those examples will serve as the foundation to what we will be as adults, but in the last stage of our education we are confronted with difficult tests of aptitude of those values.

The pursuit of innovation as a path to sustainability and growth of enterprises can bring some of these clashes between our values and what we do. The problem begins to emerge when guided by certain principles of leadership and management we sublimate what we build.

What is the importance that these values have on innovation?

If in innovation we start with a foundation focused on the individual, therefore on people, we can try to build a platform for organizational behavior, including its values and culture.

The environments where organizations develop are naturally a key point for the analysis and evaluation of these values and to try to assess what role they play in the “health” of organizations.

For example, the leadership of organizations must be attentive to change and the role those younger generations can play in organizations. Future business leaders should take a break when they experience an ethical challenge in order to make decisions more thoughtful.

Or we can think about the social networking environment, which involves any organization, whether it is suited or not for innovation, and that induces a share not only of knowledge desires and expectations leading to co-creation and acceptance of new perspectives of what is right and what is incorrect.

This environment is favorable to the development of innovation, when it becomes aware that there are external ideas as or more valid than the inner ones but also bring with them new values of organization and behavior.

Social networks allow not only the vision of different points of view, individual and organizational, as have a new value – the interactions, or relationships in a dynamic for which we have not had a valuable learning.

Already it is not just an exchange of information. It is trying to realize values when we are receivers and attempting to explain values when we are suppliers.

These interactions require an attitude of openness, empathy and respect, as should happen when we give attention to the information.

Focusing our attention and intention in people easily perceive that value, ethics and principles turns into business value. And it is a value a little more complex, given the nature also complex of interactions. There is a constant connectivity that did not exist in the traditional bilateral relations and this implies the acceptance of plasticity and dynamic nature of relationships.

Seeking to understand a culture of innovation cannot fail to consider that with the connectivity will be born a new culture, richer and thus more able to respond to the needs of people.

The diversity of cultures, geographical differences and new values must be combined and integrated by the players in the innovation process. Value networks are seeking an alignment that can lead to satisfactory results for all touch points.

This is not an easy task, since organizations, partners and consumers do not initially have the same objectives and depart from different reference values. In a world of interactions and connectivity, where innovation is seen as an instrument for the construction of success, where co-creation is an opportunity and with an orientation centered on the needs of consumers, there is a path which interests continue to go.

The real test of a person character is not what they do when faced with adversity, but what they do with power.”

How can we cultivate humility (moral)?