Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Guilt & advice

It’s not all about getting stuff done. Sometimes it is about simply thinking. Or reading. Or lazing.
Your career shouldn’t make you feel guilty. If a task feels like a chore, that’s ok. But if the entire effort does, then maybe it’s not the right direction for you. Or the right time. Or worth the time.
Advice is meant to help us with things we already want to do. Advice is never about chastising someone. That’s not helping; that’s opining.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Having a mentoring conversation?

Having a mentoring conversation?
Help chunk information and advice to each other:

1. Connect.  
Conversation is 2-way.
• Ask open-ended questions.
• Share stories – they are key to building a relationship.

2. Listen. This is the greatest gift we can offer each other.

3. Inform and explain.
Informing = things they might not know yet. It’s a supportive action, allowing your partner to make their own decision if the new information changes anything.
Explaining means helping understand - providing background and context. You can explain your opinion, your choice or your action. It’s not defensive – it’s the logic behind your decision.

4. Challenge assumptions. Help prepare everyone to answer questions and arguments outside of the circle.

5. Celebrate together. Recognize or acknowledge successes. Find what did work from ideas that didn’t come to fruition.

6. Be accountable. Commit to actions and follow up. This ensures the longevity of your relationship and allows you to put the ideas into action.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What the heck is innovation?

Innovation seems to be the new “it” word. It’s not a new concept. Possibly innovation being in fashion is due to the practice business has of using a word as a solution instead of digging into root causes and desired outcomes.

Like creativity, innovation can be a daily habit or a scary proposition. It is not owned by any one industry, department or function. It is more than a word – it’s a mindset and approach.
An online business dictionary simplifies the term as: “The process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value.”

My issue with that definition is that innovation cannot be broken into a simple checklist and handed off for execution. The definition avoids the behavioural /thinking component that managers, wishing to get to end of job quickly, prefer to dodge.

Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better.”  Doing something differently can be mindset and/or process. As change specialists know, you can’t just change the process and expect things to be magically better.

Innovation, however the discussion starts, can only serve to bring back more critical and wholistic thinking…something many have moaned has been sorely lacking in a subject matter expert culture focused on short-term and silo’d approaches.

Does it fit into your view of your work in 2014?