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jerryking : organizational_capacity   7

To Be a Better Leader, Ask Better Questions
May 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Hal Gregersen. Dr. Gregersen is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of “Questions Are the Answer.”

1. Understand what kinds of questions spark creative thinking. The best questions really knock down barriers to creative thinking and channel energy down new, more productive pathways. A question that does has five traits. It reframes the problem. It intrigues the imagination. It invites others’ thinking. It opens up space for different answers. And it’s nonaggressive—not posed to embarrass, humiliate or assert power over the other party. Ask employees: “What are you wrestling with and how can I help?” Ask customers and supply-chain partners: “If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing differently than what you see us doing today?”
2. Create the habit of asking questions. in the early stages of building your questioning capacity, it’s helpful to start by copying other people’s questions. It’s the equivalent of practicing your scales. Once you’ve got the scales down, you can start to improvise..... management thinker Peter Drucker, liked to jump-start strategic thinking by asking: “What changes have recently happened that don’t fit ‘what everyone knows’ ”?

Another example: A leader in a consumer packaged-goods company constantly asks: “What more can we do to delight the customer at the point of purchase? And what more to delight them at the point of consumption?”......builds the habit of thinking in questions, which, in turn, leads to daily inquiry about matters large and small, and an organization that keeps pushing its competitive advantages forward.
3. Fuel that habit by making yourself generate new questions...... generate new and better questions, not to cap your questioning career at the level of playing flawless scales.
4. Respond with the power of the pause. When someone comes to you with a problem, don’t immediately respond with an answer. ........Instead, make it your habit to respond with a question—ideally one that reframes the problem, but at least one that draws out more of your colleague’s thoughts on the matter. ....not talking about the cop-out rejoinder of, “Well, what do YOU think we should do?” Help the person think through how the decision should be made, with questions like: “What are we optimizing for?” “What’s the most important thing we have to achieve with whatever direction we take?” Or: “What makes this decision so hard? What problem felt like this in the past?” You'll be teaching your colleagues the value of pausing to get the question right before rushing to the answer. And nine times out of 10, you’re going to wind up with a better answer than the one you would have blurted out with less deliberation.
5. Brainstorm for questions. Whenever you/ your team finds itself at an impasse, or there is a sense that some insight is eluding you regarding a problem or opportunity, just stop and spend four minutes generating nothing but questions about it--question bursts. Don’t spend a second answering the questions, or explaining why you posed a certain one. As in brainstorming, go for high volume and do no editing in progress. See if you can generate at least 15-20.
6. Reward your questioners. Bosses should reconceive what their primary job is. They aren’t there to come up with today’s best answers, or even just to get their teams to come up with them. Their job is to build their organization’s capacity for constant innovation.
Their enterprise’s future—and their own career trajectory—depends on their resolve to ask better questions.
books  brainstorming  creativity  creative_thinking  follow-up_questions  habits  imagination  innovation  leaders  nonaggressive  organizational_capacity  Peter_Drucker  Philip_Mudd  power_of_the_pause  problem_definition  problem_framing  questions  strategic_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
You Need an Innovation Strategy
JUNE 2015 | HBR | Gary P. Pisano.

Without an innovation strategy, innovation improvement efforts can easily become a grab bag of much-touted best practices: dividing R&D into decentralized autonomous teams, spawning internal entrepreneurial ventures, setting up corporate venture-capital arms, pursuing external alliances, embracing open innovation and crowdsourcing, collaborating with customers, and implementing rapid prototyping, to name just a few. There is nothing wrong with any of those practices per se. The problem is that an organization’s capacity for innovation stems from an innovation system: a coherent set of interdependent processes and structures that dictates how the company searches for novel problems and solutions, synthesizes ideas into a business concept and product designs, and selects which projects get funded. Individual best practices involve trade-offs. And adopting a specific practice generally requires a host of complementary changes to the rest of the organization’s innovation system. A company without an innovation strategy won’t be able to make trade-off decisions and choose all the elements of the innovation system........Long-term investments in research are risky: .....
Rather, a robust innovation strategy should answer the following questions:

** How will innovation create value for potential customers?
**How will the company capture a share of the value its innovations generate?
**What types of innovations will allow the company to create and capture value, and what resources should each type receive?

There are four essential tasks in creating and implementing an innovation strategy. The first is to answer the question “How are we expecting innovation to create value for customers and for our company?” and then explain that to the organization. The second is to create a high-level plan for allocating resources to the different kinds of innovation. Ultimately, where you spend your money, time, and effort is your strategy, regardless of what you say. The third is to manage trade-offs. Because every function will naturally want to serve its own interests, only senior leaders can make the choices that are best for the whole company.

The final challenge facing senior leadership is recognizing that innovation strategies must evolve. Any strategy represents a hypothesis that is tested against the unfolding realities of markets, technologies, regulations, and competitors.
best_practices  Corning  corporate_investors  crowdsourcing  decision_making  HBR  howto  innovation  organizational_capacity  questions  R&D  resource_allocation  strategy  taxonomy  tradeoffs 
april 2016 by jerryking
Organizer of 1963 March on Washington, Rustin, Gets His Due - WSJ.com
August 26, 2013 | WSJ | By MICHAEL M. PHILLIPS
Civil-Rights Leader Rustin Gets His Due 50 Years Later
Organizer of '63 March on Washington Was a Pacifist and Gay Man

WASHINGTON—One of the most momentous passages in American political history began with this mundane bit of advice: Pack peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Mayonnaise can go bad in the August heat.

That tip, one of many in instructional handbooks issued by leaders ahead of the 1963 March on Washington, reflected the organizational chops of Bayard Rustin, whose attention to detail helped ensure that what could have been a public-relations disaster for the civil-rights movement instead turned into a model of successful nonviolent protest.

On Wednesday, the country will mark the 50th anniversary of the march and the "I Have a Dream" speech the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This year, the U.S. also is belatedly recognizing Mr. Rustin, a black activist at a time when blacks were denied basic rights, a pacifist when a nation fighting a world war scorned pacifism and a gay man when being gay meant risking jail and public humiliation.
MLK  African-Americans  Bayard_Rustin  history  anniversaries  civil_rights  pacificism  homosexuality  Washington_D.C.  Quakers  organizational_capacity  detail_oriented  humiliation  bravery  protest_movements 
august 2013 by jerryking
How to Build a Strong Brand in a Weak Economy
February 17, 2009 | ezine articles | by Rachel Y. Daniel is
the CEO of Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research, Inc.
Here are a few inexpensive, yet powerful, methods to produce significant
rewards:
1) Social networking media. 2) Corporate Social Responsibility
Initiatives. 3) Consumer Advisory Boards. Here are three critical
actions to establishing a strong brand in a weak economy: 1) Exude
Integrity. 2) Showcase Organizational Capabilities. 3) Emanate Goodwill.
branding  economic_downturn  integrity  inexpensive  organizational_capacity  goodwill  CSR  social_media  brands  weak_economy 
june 2010 by jerryking
Calculated Leaps of Faith - Associations Now Magazine - Publications and Resources - ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership
October 2006 | ASSOCIATIONS NOW | By: Angela Hickman Brady

An organization's capacity for risk taking may determine whether it
succeeds or fails. Part game of chance, part discipline, the willingness
to shake off the status quo can change your association for the better.
innovation  change  strategy  business  associations  CARP  leaps_of_faith  planning  organizational_capacity  risk-taking 
may 2009 by jerryking

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