Preparation Will Save You Thousands of Dollars
George Moskoff, in a talk for Soco Nexus’ on Wednesday, December 5th, stressed the importance of carefully thinking through your mobile app idea and documenting how you want it to work. It’s critical, he says, to making sure you “hit the mark” and have your App stand out among the more than 1,000,000+ Apps (475,000 are for iPad) in the iTunes App Store.
The Value of Whimsy
I came across this graphic that was somebody’s idea of something that could be funny. And, indeed, it is.
If I ask the question, “What motivates us?,” using the information from the graphic, I would have to say: “It depends.”
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the noted Harvard Business School professor, speaks about the steps that are needed to “turn a culture of decline into one of success.” A bigger task than most realize, she simply says “…you have to restore employees’ confidence in the system.”
|She Looks Harmless|
“Learned helplessness” is the term that psychologists use to talk about school-aged childrens’ resignation. In that context, the internal dialogue is something like…”I’m stupid…I can’t do this…” It is the opposite of their other term: “Self efficacy.”
In the workpalce, the learned helplessness addresses the sentiment that sounds something like: “We can’t do this….we tried this before…we’re stuck and…that’s the way it’s going to stay….” It’s more than the feeling of an underdog because an underdog thinks s/he can move up, win a few.
“….as communication and the willingness to face problems openly deteriorate, infighting and finger pointing increase. Employees in different unit lose respect for one another and…for themselves. Groups start withholding information from one another. They look to maximize their own results but not to contribute to the performance of the organization as a whole.”
So, turnarounds in any organiztion, says Kanter, are special situations. And, of course, they require special skills. The first “cornerstone of confidence” is accountability. It comes from open dialogue and mutual respect. Quite a contrast to the “finger pointing” and provides the opportunity for people to step out and re-commit to the promises they previously made.
One Hunch Needs to “Bump Into” Another Hunch To Form an Idea: Artistry In Progress
The New Year will be upon us: in a mystical way, many of us feel like it is a “clean slate,” a tabula rasa on which we can write our new lives: The World Of 2014.
I like this concept. I like it so much that I would advocate for a monthly “clean slate” where we could, symbolically, “start fresh.” This concept meshes with my burgeoning view that we are all engaged in the arts; we must all create, innovate — whether in business or in the arts — or we languish. Wasting away, mental or creatively, has never been one of my options and I think we would be fooling ourselves if we thought otherwise: we are engines of creativity, innovation.
With that premise of continual invention, this might be a good time to visit “where good ideas come from.” Steven Johnson, in his four (4) minute YouTube Video, provides some insights (from his studies on the subject) on how an environment that promotes the fanciful, new inklings can be helped along.
His most profound finding is that, often, we each have a piece of a great idea. Through the bumping of one hunch into another hunch, a good idea is formed. Rarely, he finds, is it just a one person event.
Going back in history, he cites the early English coffee houses of the 1650’s that created a place where ideas could brew, marinate. Johnson calls it “The Liquid Network;” the stimulants of coffee and tea were quite radical to the previous consumption of large amounts of alcohol in the form of beer (breakfast), wine (lunch) and more spirits for dinner.
What the www. (World Wide Web) now provides is the kind of connectivity, for example, that allows for more bumping, more collisions of hunches, notions. (We don’t give it enough credit.)
So, what would it take to create an ecosystem in your organization that mimics the alacrity of “The Liquid Network?” Some ingredients Johnson thinks need to be present: fluidity; information spillover; diverse views, and; different fields of expertise.
In short: chaos. Why not give it a try in 2014?
Policies Are Biggest Impediment to Throughput, Effectiveness
Are you interested in boosting performance, efficiency, throughput? It might be time to revisit the lessons from Goldratt’s “Theory of Constraints” and look at your organization’s rules, procedures, methods.
The simple conclusion from the book: policies, not necessarily bad ones, get in the way. Not machines. Not bad, unthinking people. What’s the solution? Think systemically.
|The 1984 Parable|
Policies, in my view, are often designed to deal with the exceptions…the customer who wants to ship to multiple locations with one billing address, let’s say. So, we create a new policy to deal with the previous ineffective one. (Look at what much of what comes out of Congress, too.)
In my experience with client organizations, I’ve seen policies — aimed at dealing with 10% of the employees, customers, whomever — take up 90% of the intellectual energy of the business, whether it’s a non- or for-profit organization. There’s no energy or motivation left to really figure out how we leapfrog from where we are right now.
This kind of stance — to develop solutions for the exceptions — could have negative systemic impacts: many of your best folks could get the wrong message.
That message might be seen as: “let’s spend a good part of our time and energy on insuring this mistake doesn’t happen again….oh, by the way, we didn’t really get damaged from that mistake…it was just a violation of another policy…” In the process, the 97% of the work that’s going well can be ignored, forgotten. More unintended consequences. Think whole-istically.
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: Theory of Constraints. Multiple coordination and parataxis the grahame, hemingway, and biblical examples all use multiple coordination, linking clauses by coordinating conjunctionsin these cases, as in most, by using the word and