Who Needs Innovation Training?

Here is a Thursday Thought Experiment built around the question, “Who Needs Innovation Training?” This is about little ideas. Simple little ideas that can add up to big improvements in productivity. Little creative thoughts that flair-up only to be extinguished. When learning a new job, folks typically spend quite a bit of time in the HOW stage. (How do I get this done, Who do I talk to, What needs to happen…) They then move quickly through the WHY stage. (That short amount of time when what you have to do and what makes sense simply doesn’t match up.) And, if they last long enough, end up in the State-of-DO. (Easier to do than to question Why.) The more efficient your training the quicker employees end up in the State-of-DO. Organizationally this encourages a top-down pull innovation process instead of a bottom-up push innovation process.

Parking Meters

Parking meters are a necessity uptown, since without them shoppers would be crowded out by commuters using the nearby train. But there is a fine line between limiting the time one can park to avoid spaces being tied up all day and making parking so expensive shoppers go somewhere else. This neighborhood shopping center is in Chicago where parking meters have become a bit of an issue due to price increases and ‘privatization.’ Now parking is still not very expensive, but it is 4 times more expensive than it was. It is no longer about making parking available for shoppers, but about raising revenue for the city. That makes folks think about shopping elsewhere. That hurts the stores along this street. That moves business out of the city one hour at a time. Small business can often be blindsided by regulations and costs their customers and they have no control … Continue reading

Kind-Of-Massage – A Smiley Face For The Fitness Challenged?

Would a kind-of-massage drive customers to use more of your service? I had just finished writing a post on how Emoticon Thinking (simple, cheep ways to motivate consumer behavior) seemed capable of saving the environment when a friend brought up Body Empowered Fitness – a young company in the Chicago area.  This is not a story about getting gold stars for loosing pounds – although you do get positive, personal feedback for success. This is not a story about social media, web 2.0 and public raving. Nope, more private and, in my mind – more motivating. The folks at Body Empowered Fitness wrap up your work out with a kind-of-massage.  

Procrastination = Creativity | There Is Hope!

“Productive mediocrity requires discipline of an ordinary kind.” Quote from W.A. Pannapacker’s article How To Procrastinate Like Leonardo da Vinci. (UPDATE: subscription now required to get to this article.) Evidently Leonardo never saw a project he couldn’t avoid finishing.  But maybe procrastination is the wrong word for his tendency to ‘solve and move on.’ Do you have any of these frustrating creative folks on your staff?  Been working them over with GTD (Getting Things Done) seminars and yearly reviews that express frustration at implementation but awe over concept? Did the brilliant strategic thinker get so caught up in seemingly unimportant details that all work stopped? Stop trying to change your dreamers.  Create an environment that lets them kick start solutions and then move on – leaving talented managers to wrap up the details.  Use your staff in ways that builds on their strength…and avoids their blind spots. It may be … Continue reading