Great article in Fast Company on how to manage distractions. Not that YOU ever get distracted, of course. Wait... I just got a text from my cousin... I'll..um...er... finish this blog post later...
If you are looking for simple ways to leverage the power of storytelling in the workplace, this will be a good use of your time. Upbeat. Authentic. And entertaining, too. "He that tells the stories, rules the world." - Hopi Indian Saying
After 28 years of being an "innovation provocateur" for hundreds of forward thinking organizations around the world, one thing has become very clear to me: most people with BIG IDEAS usually end up derailed somewhere along the way.
Simply put, they lose steam, lose heart, and lose their way. The result? No result.
This is why I have launched "Being a Creator on Planet Earth" -- a new Facebook group designed to help aspiring innovators, from every walk of life, manifest their big, bold, beautiful ideas. The content? Inspired quotes by creative icons, innovation-sparking articles, mind-opening videos, stories, best practices, and a sprinkling of tips, tools, and techniques. Juicy. Engaging. Fun.
Three minutes a day is all it takes. Sometimes, less than 60 seconds.
Since 1987, I have been facilitating a wide variety of high octave business meetings for just about every industry on planet earth. These meetings have been variably referred to as leadership development programs, creative thinking trainings, innovation workshops, team building off sites, brainstorming sessions, strategic planning pow wows, senior team retreats, annual conferences, and business simulations.
Along the way, as you might imagine, I've developed quite a repertoire of approaches, methods, processes, tools, techniques, and skills to help me get the job done. All of them have worked if delivered in the right way at the right time.
But when push comes to shove (as it often does), the single most effective meeting facilitation ability I've discovered is the most mysterious one of all: presence. Yes, presence, -- the ability to be totally in the moment, no matter what the collective mood, mindset, or drama is of the people in the room.
Here's everything you wanted to know about how to foster a culture of innovation in your organization -- a 56-minute VOICE AMERICA radio interview with Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the writer of this blog. OK. maybe it's not everything you wanted to know, but at least it's trending in that direction. (Please forgive me for using the word "trending". I don't like that word. It just kind of slipped out).
The main thing? Click the link above and listen to the interview. Good food for thought -- something you might want to forward to you manager or other senior leaders in your company -- especially if they are claiming some interest in the "innovation thing."
To borrow a phrase from the radically changing world of healthcare -- the essence of organizational culture change can be boiled down to three words: "Physician heal thyself"-- as in companies restoring optimum health to their enterprise from the inside out.
While many patients, anxious about their well-being, simply want the doctor to tell them what to do, that is, ultimately, a prescription for failure. Sustainable change only happens when people take full responsibility for their own condition.
Being told to "take two aspirins and see me in the morning" by someone with a framed medical school degree above their desk may be comforting in the short-term, but it completely misses the point. It's a paradigm whose time has come and gone.
The long and disappointing history of "change initiatives" bears this out. The data is there. 70% of them fail. And the main reason why 70% of them fail is because most organizations who enter into the culture change process rely too much on outside "experts" who, invariably treat their "patients" as someone incapable or unwilling to heal themselves.
These two Lean Six Sigma practitioners walk into a bar. Wait... no... I mean three Lean Six Sigma practitioners walk into a bar. The first is wearing pink tights. The second is mumbling something about a fishbone diagram. The third is just back from a 10-day vacation in Croatia. Now that I have your attention, click here for a rousing 60-minute webinar on the the relationship between storytelling, innovation, and Lean Six Sigma. The interviewer? The fabulous Elisabeth Swan, Managing Partner of GoLeanSixSigma. The interviewee? Mitch Ditkoff, President of Idea Champions and author of Storytelling at Work. Enjoy!
Here's pretty much everything you need to know about being a good leader -- whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the Director of a 5-person non-profit. Ready?
Connect: If you want to lead people, you will need to begin by connecting with them, as in develop some kind of trusting relationship. No one is going to follow a leader they haven't bonded with. You may get compliance. You may even get cooperation. But you won't get commitment. What can you do to more powerfully connect with the people you are working with?
Enable: The key to being a successful leader is finding a way to empower the people who have been attracted to your project. If people are intrinsically motivated and have room to move, they will create magic. If not, they will merely go through the motions. How can you enable the people you are working with to be self-starting and inspired to give their best?
Listen You might be the leader, but that does not mean that you know everything. Indeed, you will need to learn a lot if you expect to succeed in your leadership role. The simplest way to learn is to listen. Identify the people who know something you don't and listen to them. And, even if you think you know more than others, listen anyway. If people are going to give their best, they need to know that someone is listening. And that someone is you. What can you do, this week, to become a better listener?
Respect: No matter what role anyone in your organization or volunteer group is playing, they are a human being first. And human beings have a gigantic need to be respected. Not just for what they do, but for who they are... and how they feel... and what ideas they are bringing to the table. In what ways can you express your respect for the people you are leading? Cue Aretha Franklin.
One of our leadership trainings
Our Innovation Reality Check service
If you google the phrase definitions of creativity, guess how many definitions show up? 135 million! That's right, 135 million. And so, if you are looking for THE definition, give up now. You won't find it. It doesn't exist. What does exist is mucho people's attempts to define creativity -- definitions, by the way, that are influenced by their particular world view, expertise, profession, assumptions, mindset, nationality, and language skills.
That being said, it is still a useful exercise to zero in on a definition that floats your boat -- especially if you are charged with the responsibility of helping your team, department, organization, or own lone-wolf self become more creative.
Towards that end, what follows are 16 definitions I have curated on your behalf. Some are culled from the work of people whose names you will recognize. Some are from complete unknowns. It doesn't matter in the least. What matters is your willingness to think more deeply than usual about this fascinating topic and that you find (or create) a working definition for yourself to get the party started. Ready?