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We can say that a business process is a set of structured and interrelated activities that, when well implemented, will achieve an organizational goal.

But processes do not walk alone on any path outlined in a random space and time. Processes are pushed and pulled by people along with their faults and their virtues.

They are above all created by people and for people and require careful management even when they are not run by people.

Business Process Management is a systematic approach that enables the flows of an organization to be more effective and more efficient while ensuring, in an environment of constant change, the adaptability required to achieve some objectives previously established.

These processes should be created or improved with the participation of all parties concerned and involved in the process.

One of the objectives of a business process is to reduce human error and communication failures so the need to promote the focus of all stakeholders on a good performance of their roles is a matter of the utmost importance.

When we talk about performing roles in an organization, we must not forget:

– A role in a business process defines a set of rights and obligations for some people.

– People have different interests according to the position they have in the functional structure of the organization.

– The different actors in the creation of business process have different motivations to engage with the results.

– To keep the focus on excellence performance is a difficult attitude to take on throughout the process.

– People have creative potential but not all are competent in creating value.

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We know that people and their creativity play a key role in business processes as organizations look for high levels of competitiveness through continuous improvement and innovation.

However, often the enthusiasm and impulsiveness of some collaborators may require wisdom in managing creative risks. Being creative is being original and presenting new solutions, which can lead to undesirable consequences for the desired performance of excellence when it comes to business processes.

Maintain control of the process, which is also not losing control of time or losing budgetary control, is only possible if we are aware of the consequences of the creative changes that we intend to implement.

The processes are part of a larger and more complex system within an organization.

The performance of excellent of the organization requires constant attention to the quality of products and services delivered to the customer, which in any way a creative initiative can neglect.

Do not forget that the organizations and the environment where they develop their activity are an inexhaustible source of constraints (financial, technical, procedures, laws, etc.) and that despite being natural engines of creativity must be observed.

In this regard, it is useful to mitigate the creative risks with iterations of process review and at the same time maintain the levels of intrinsic motivation of the employees suitable to obtain results with quality.

Teresa Amabile said, “The intrinsically motivated state is conducive to creativity, whereas the extrinsically motivated state is detrimental.”

So, it is legitimate to think that this way is possible when the understanding of the importance of creativity in the development of processes is a reality, but that we can only live if there is an active flow of information that facilitates good relations and communication between stakeholders.

… ” We can find many examples where enterprises unintentionally reduced or even killed creativity and innovation for the sake of control, performance, and cost reduction. …

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A desired change

To be successful in the future we need to understand that the landscapes are quickly changing and so we have to develop our capabilities to navigate.

The future is an open sea that will oblige us to re-evaluate our skills continuously and quickly rearrange the resources available to develop and update those skills.

The future will be, above all, adaptation and lifelong learning.

Most of us prepared hard for the future we expected, and yet things aren’t working out as we had planned. That’s true if you have been laid off, are a recent college graduate who feels underemployed, or are a manager facing constant upheavals at work, even if you are the boss, because you are wrestling with disruptive technologies and new competitors who seemingly come out of nowhere to upend your industry.”

Even in other age groups to build a future that one day we imagine we can realize, collapses by the strength of the storms of change and uncertainty, and so, more and more, learning is a value of very long duration.

Yesterday in the evening and today during the night and morning, my country was surprised, albeit with some mixing prediction, by very strong winds and intense rain. It were released some alerts and we only talk about the “very bad weather” but about the consequences we only heard after the storm.

Throughout the country people report the effects of the storm, but what most affected here at home was a seemingly “simple thing”:

“The land, where was installed the water motor house, has collapsed and swallowed the house and equipment”.

Moral of this story: we have been preparing for some time now the best conditions to expand the cultivation of tomatoes and peppers at the “Horta do Sol” and we were going to cultivate new land adjacent to the engine house.

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Now we have the unknown (dimension of the damages) and with it the uncertainty!

“‘Prepare, don’t Predict’ means setting your business up to withstand whatever the future can throw at you, for good or bad, to defend against and exploit chance. Prepare, don’t predict means do not just be ready for that which can be expected from what we know, but consider even the happening that is very rare but has very big consequences if it happens. The expected or predictable do not have the same size effects on a business as the unexpected and unpredictable.”

Things that will affect are not yet properly determined but luckily there are some alternatives, as a result of some preparation for the unknown.

We know that there are great principles that guide us to think that the world happens as we are waiting to happen, but we also know that there are factors not controlled that can turn right on a surprise.

We know, or we think we know that the laws of supply and demand work to establish the prices when the time of the harvest will arrive.

We know that if we do not take precautions to the consolidation of water reserves we have exaggerated risks in cultures exploration.

We know that there are laws of probabilities that can indicate to us how likely is the chance of something happening, but did we know to ask questions?

In environments where change is rapid and steady, if we want to learn throughout life, asking questions is the first step to learn and solve problems.

Routine work may one day be performed by very reliable machines and available 24 hours a day and at that time we will be the people of projects.

Will we be competent in the approach to these projects?

Will we know how to deal and lead to change?

If we want to be prepared for the future (uncertain) instead of the forecast (revenue to solve problems) it will be good to start thinking about autonomy, in collaboration, tolerance to ambiguity, empathy, happiness and passion for what we do.

 

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Interdisciplinarity and the combination of possible solutions

Creativity is a fundamental aspect of innovation, but it is not a specific aspect of a project, of a phase or a fashion of the time.

Creativity can be seen as a partner that accompanies us in any moment, activity or mode, either individually or in collaboration.

Creativity is present in the lead or in the management of interdisciplinary teams, through interpretation and assimilation of teamwork results.

Interdisciplinary innovation team’s members integrate in their basic disciplines, creatively, the results of the work of the teams, i.e. they assimilate the return creatively.

Innovation is a concept that occupies a space of its own in the creation and development of business and is without a shadow of a doubt today, the most relevant competitive factor. Innovation is to create value for people through the implementation of new ideas in certain contexts.

We begin by thinking in innovation to arrive to innovative thinking. Many of the traditional innovation methodologies no longer respond to new challenges and new approaches are required by organizations.

Innovative thinking is the thought that goes beyond what we can see. It is the use of imagination leaving what is obvious to the back of our field of vision and looking for what is different and extraordinary.

Often leave behind what is obvious or logically correct is the best way to facilitate our imagination and to do that there’s nothing like working with people from other disciplines or areas of knowledge.

Challenge our normative structure is a step that can be taken in good company.

“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. More precisely when opportunity finding becomes more important than problem solving, which leads to answers that were not apparent or existing before – where designing is related very closely to inventing.

… all disciplines needed during a project to guarantee a successful outcome. – Christiane Drews

Interdisciplinary teams usually have a high level of production and are usually numerous teams, in the implementation phase of ideas, so we need to be attentive to the way in which channel the energy.

There is an advantage in interdisciplinary teams that results from the creation of generalist skills by members of the team, when they have the possibility to discuss third-party interventions in its areas of expertise. It is good to note that despite this power put the hypothesis of the creation of conflicts such does not happen because the consequences are predictable as “threats” are known.

We begin above by highlighting the presence and importance of creativity in all moments of life and environments and processes of innovation and enhance the importance of interdisciplinary teams to this approach. Now let’s look at some of the benefits of this combination!

We know and feel that often one or another discipline considered itself, through their representatives, of prime importance and even leader so that the innovation is a success. These representatives are the so called elites established, supported on status quo, who reject the most valuable result of interdisciplinary teams:

To define unexpected questions!

Define unexpected questions is often identify a problem that does not correspond to what was initially imagined.

The whole environment created by the members of interdisciplinary teams is a source of recognition and almost immediate reward for team members, where to set the right question may represent a resounding success in the search for solutions.

“The most significant benefits from innovative interdisciplinary initiatives are:

 likely to be different from those that were expected

 likely not to be expressible in terms of the discipline that originated the

initiative

 likely to involve new questions, or reformulation of objectives

 likely to be in the form of capacity to respond to future events, not past ones”

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The creation of a group is easy but the construction of a team has merit

In recent weeks I have been present in some meetings with other people interested in work projects linked to innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and other themes.

Some of these people, I did not know, nor real life or social networks, but easily generated a sympathetic and friendly conversation.

It was created a group!

As the points of view were placed on the table, it seemed there was (at least on my part) a mixture of contentment and insecurity. I was glad by dynamic generated but somehow I felt uncomfortable to do what I think was correct!

It was necessary to build a team with leadership!

Inside a silo or a room, sitting in the chair, the leader can expect that participation to appear. But to create a successful team, a leader has to go out and seek to know what the team needs. Gain trust to have collaboration.

Trust and the team are connected between themselves. We cannot presume that trust develops naturally as part of the identity of a team; we must carry confidence and knowing what it represents for each team member.

Build a team where the trust flows deserves some reflection.

If we want greater efficiency and effectiveness, we must ensure that each one do things according to their responsibility and that all can dedicate to their specific functions, more fully instead of promoting the multitasking. The decrease of distractions gives an increase of efficiency and produces results faster.

When thinking about developing a sense of unity we must remember that the higher the trust of each team member in the other, the greater the strength of the team. The unit reinforces the commitment of the team to fulfill its purpose as a group.

If we realize that an element strives to maintain the trust of others, stimulates the motivation of each of the other members of the team for maximum performance, what we should do is to promote this type of attitude.

The ability or capacity to build a structure, clear and transparent, through the trust, depends on:

Open expressive environment – The opportunities of expression of feelings or opinions, must be given continuously, all team members.

An equal distribution of information – The information relevant to the function of the team and about the team, should be issued and received by all team members.

Confidence – we rely on people with whom we can count. We can verify that a good constant performance, efficiency and effectiveness, brings trust.

These were some notes that I’ve gathered and that I think it can help reflect when we face identical situations.

These are not best practices, might be good if we are able to adapt it to the context where we are inserted.

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Optimism – a matter of learning

Learning has a key role in the construction of thought and starts with learning to develop the work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams.

Yesterday in a small workshop were brought to reflect the different environments that were lived with five teams present in Global Service Jam Lisbon and how were notorious the differences in attitude between them to build a model.

To collaborate is not a consequence of a desire. It is not enough to say I want …It takes courage!

Imagine that you can show in your work, empathy, integrative thinking, optimism, will to experiment and collaboration. Surely after living this experience you wouldn’t get out of it.

Most often, how another person feels and what can be thinking is not sufficient to establish a collaborative process.

But to be in line with another person’s inner world leads to a deeper understanding and a great interpersonal skills development and with the help of our “mirror neurons” allow us to play emotions found in others and with this have a sense of shared experience.

What is the extent of empathy?

Collaborate with others involves often have to face opposing thoughts, but it does not mean having to abdicate of our for the benefit of the other or vice versa. Some of the groups of GSJ Lisbon experienced this challenge but eventually realized that collaborate also means integrating in their world views that at first sight not seem reasonable.

Thinking of integrative way, is to face constructively the tension of opposing models, and instead of choosing one over the other, should generate a creative resolution, which contains elements of individual models, but is superior to each. That is, create a new model taking into account numerous variables, users, employees, competitors, capabilities, structures, etc. Integrative thinking form is to consider the problem as a whole. Is not split it and treat the parties.

Integrative thinking is a fundamental competence for interdisciplinary work. The teams in design thinking, design service, on the topic of reflection, do not incorporate just designers or engineers. Meet people, create empathy and observed behaviors and attitudes, is part of a collaborative process and open minded that we cannot achieve without courage.

We rarely speak in courage when it tackles the collaboration! Why is it?

On the basis of collaboration is also creating a culture of courage and that is not only to make people courageous, it is to create conditions in which the courageous people can accomplish their projects.

These are conditions of integrity, trust and tolerance for taking risks. Integrity is the root of trust, which is the fuel for collaboration.

One of the significant differences that made feel between the groups was the desire to experiment, not because some of the elements express unwillingness but because in some of them was the belief that knowledge must be formed in interior states and personal experience. This belief makes collaboration difficult in interdisciplinary teams.

Will it be that the personal experiences are restrictions for sharing?

Courage and optimism are not innate skills. To what extent they contribute to an open mind and collaboration?

If we do not create an atmosphere of open-minded, even individuals more courageous will not succeed. –  Heather Fraser

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