Monday, July 27, 2009

Change at the Beach

Leave it to Jamie Notter to evoke deep thinking and longing for vacation at the same time. Check out his reflective vacation poem on change. I think it's great.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There's always more than one way

I first learned about Systems Theory at college through The Social Psychology of Organizations. Since then, I've been a big fan of systems thinking, and always look for opportunities to introduce its concepts to others -- including my four year old daughter, Francesca. And it seems that she's really getting a good grasp of at least one of the concepts! On the way into work this morning, when 29 Ways came on from the Marc Cohn CD, I said to Frannie that it was a song about all of the ways the man could get to his girlfriend's house. "Daddy", Frannie replied, "It's about equifinality."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You're invited to a retirement party!

Despair.com is having a retirement sale. Apparently, sometimes sarcasm and humor DOES get old. There's some pretty funny stuff there, including a notepad memo cube with inspiration for your favorite consultant. There are a couple of shirts that would come in handy too, but wouldn't fit the attire expectations for the applicable events. (Although I could wear the Blog Shirt just about anywhere!)

I can see humor in most of the items, but was also surprised to think about the wisdom on one poster which reads: Change: When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can turn into deadly projectiles . There is a thread of truth and useful piece of advice here: With sufficient force and momentum, small and seemingly trivial things can seriously injure or impede change. While you will likely have to be willing to let many things flow beyond your control in a change environment, I think the challenge is to seek to identify those building forces and their relationship to those seemingly small elements. Look especially to what your colleagues and stakeholders bring up. What you may have thought was trivial may be viewed very differently from their perspective.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Is your organization able to adapt and evolve repeatedly and rapidly?

Another great post today from Stephen Shapiro on How To Create a Culture of Innovation. Here are three take away quotes from Stephen's post:

1) The first step in creating a culture of innovation is to surface, identify, and codify challenges

2) Every challenge has multiple potential solutions.... Your success is often based on your ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. The next step is to strengthen and select the best ideas, combining them into a comprehensive solution.

3) The final attribute of a culture of innovation is the ability to take all of the selected solutions and turn them into programs/projects so that they can be converted from ideas into reality. During implementation, it is critical that you keep track of the value proposition for each project, having the courage to change direction, or, in some cases, killing ideas altogether.