Conquest of paradise
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Emission télé présentée à la Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation d’avril 2004 à juin 2010
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Conquest of paradise
My strength is in me…
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. This wonderful quote of Leon C. Megginson is still so relevant in this fast changing world. That’s why it’s important for you to be innovative at work. Developing and launching innovative ideas, concepts, prototypes and business models is essential and very difficult at the same time. My personal mission the last 10 years has been to improve the effectiveness of the front end of innovation, trying to make it less complex to master. Based on my experience I have several tips for you to be a more effective innovator at work.
Focus on a BHAG or problem. To be effective in an organization you have to bring to the table ideas that solve a problem or fulfill a dream fitting the expectations of your top management, otherwise nothing happens. From the old English proverb “necessity is the mother of Invention” we learn that change starts with urgency. So focus on a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) or relevant problem.
Get the right mindset. People within your organization will only change their attitude if they get new insights themselves. So, you have to create a situation where they discover themselves what’s happening out there: how markets, customers, competitors and technology are changing. Talking to customers with changing needs, discovering new upcoming competitors, exploring new technologies will ‘open up your mindset’.
Identify customer frictions. Innovation is difficult because potential users of your new products or services must change their behaviour. Why should they buy your innovation? That’s the question! You have to give them a very good reason why! Effective innovation provides simple solutions for a relevant problem or dream of your target group. That’s why you should be looking first for relevant problems or dreams of your target group and then generate a new simple solution. You can identify customer frictions by reaching out to customers using personal visits, meeting them in focus groups, search in social media or using crowdsourcing.
Break the Pattern. Once the mindset is open for change and you identified customer frictions you should be looking for disruptive ways to really innovate the present product portfolio. Stimulate provocative thinking. What would we do if we were a new start-up company? What would we do if we had unlimited access to money and resources? Or if we had on the other hand no access to money or resources at all? What would Google do? What would we do if the law would forbid our present products/services? Be sure to defer your judgment and to elaborate on the ideas instead of killing them right away.“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” [Albert Einstein].
Test your solution. Once you’ve developed an innovative idea or prototype the question remains: is this a great idea or not? In your organization are a lot of persons resisting change. They will say no to anything. In my role as marketer in the food industry I learned to make use of the voice of the customer to get internal support. So test your ideas and prototypes in an early stage at customers. Tweak your solutions based on customer feedback and use their enthusiast testimonials to get internal support.
Transform your idea into business. You might present your idea in a very original way: playing a movie, writing one huge post-it, and even by doing a flash mob. Although your management might have asked you to bring them revolutionary new ideas, present them something better: the next logical step with realistic potential for growth in a mini new business case. This is a clear, pragmatic, commercial, professional and financial plan for a new initiative; more of a ‘preview’ of the full business case you might make in a later phase.
Show them how it’s feasible. Be sure to think outside the box on one hand and to present your idea inside the box on the other. I see in practice CEO’s and Innovation directors choose the ideas they can relate to and they can imagine to be produced (with some investments). So show them how it’s feasible. And present partners to co-develop it with. Then your concept has a higher chance of becoming reality. And that’s in the end what it’s all about.
Do it together. The wise lesson I learned is you can invent on your own, but in an organization you can never innovate alone! You need an awful lot of colleagues and bosses to get your vision transformed into a new product or service and get it out there on the market. That’s why I like to advise you to promote ‘We-nnovation instead of I-nnovation.
Wishing you lots of success with your innovation projects. Remember: you can be more innovative at work indeed!
Whenever a meeting threatened to lapse into malaise, the president of a company would suddenly launch into a critique of someone at the table who could take it (usually the marketing director, who was his best friend). Then he would swiftly move on, having riveted the attention of everyone in the room. That tactic invariably revived the group’s failing focus with keen interest. He was herding those in attendance from boredom to engagement.
Displays of a leader’s displeasure make use of emotional contagion. If artfully calibrated, even a burst of pique can stir followers enough to capture their attention and motivate them. Many effective leaders sense that – like compliments – well-titrated doses of irritation can energize. The measure of how well calibrated a message of displeasure might be is whether it moves people toward their performance peak or plummets them past the tipping point into the zone where distress corrodes performance.
Not all emotional partners are equal. A power dynamic operates in emotional contagion, determining which person’s brain will more forcefully draw the other into its emotional orbit. Mirror neurons are leadership tools: Emotions flow with special strength from the more socially dominant person to the less.
One reason is that people in any group naturally pay more attention to and place more significance on what the most powerful person in that group says and does. That amplifies the force of whatever emotional message the leader may be sending, making her emotions particularly contagious. As I heard the head of a small organization say rather ruefully, “When my mind is full of anger, other people catch it like the flu.”
This emotional potency was tested when fifty-six heads of simulated work teams were themselves moved into a good or bad mood, and their subsequent emotional impact on the groups they led was assessed. Team members with upbeat leaders reported that they coordinated their work better, getting more done with less effort. On the other hand, the teams with grumpy bosses were thrown out of synch, making them inefficient. Worse, their panicked efforts to please the leader led to bad decisions and poorly chosen strategies.
While a boss’s artfully couched displeasure can be an effective goad, fuming is self-defeating as a leadership tactic. When leaders habitually use displays of bad moods to motivate, more work may seem to get done – but it will not necessarily be better work. And relentlessly foul moods corrode the emotional climate, sabotaging the brain’s ability to work at its best.
In this sense, leadership boils down to a series of social exchanges in which the leader can drive the other person’s emotions into a better or worse state. In high-quality exchanges, the team member feels the leader’s attention and empathy, support, and positivity. In low-quality interactions, he feels isolated and threatened.
Another powerful reason for leaders to be mindful of what they say to employees: people recall negative interactions with a boss with more intensity, in more detail, and more often than they do positive ones. The ease with which demotivation can be spread by a boss makes it all the more imperative for him to act in ways that make the emotions left behind uplifting ones.
Callousness from a boss not only heightens the risk of losing good people, it torpedoes cognitive efficiency. A socially intelligent leader helps people contain and recover from their emotional distress. If only from a business perspective, a leader would do well to react with empathy rather than indifference – and to act on it.
"The distinguishing competencies – the ones that set star leaders apart from mediocre – are:
Strategic Orientation – being able to think analytically and come up with a strategy.
Market insight – understanding the market and the business.
Results Orientation – the drive to achieve results through constant improvement as assessed by sound metrics.
Customer Impact – passion for pleasing customers and clients.
Collaboration and influence – working well with others, including influencing those not in one’s line of command.
Organizational Development – developing strengths for the company by recruiting, retaining, and developing future leaders.
Team Leadership – Building winning groups.
Transformation Leadership – leading the way toward new goals”
Be original…just be…be you
You were born an original do not copy others…
Bonheur…partage le et il te reviendra
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