Author: Srinivasulu Ragala

The Value of an Organization’s Purpose

The famous organizational consultant and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, has brought to the attention of the world, the power of ‘why’. He stated that every successful organization and action is born out of this power of ‘why’. He has used the example of the high sales of Apple’s iPod to demonstrate that the power of why connects with the consumers and they associate themselves with the organization.

The ‘why’ here is the purpose and the mission of the organization. An organizational mission is a purpose statement and a rough plan inclusive of the organization’s values, strategies, and objectives. Every organization has a mission whether it is formally written or not.

An organizational mission is a guide for the major decisions taken within the organization as the mission includes the goal that the organization aims to achieve. Generally, the mission of the organization is one which was brewed from the mind of the founders of that organization. The mission is, therefore, a mirror image of the mission and the purpose of the founder; but this can evolve over time as the organization takes its own identity.

Shapes the culture of an organization and provides a basis for bonding and a better understanding of the organization. The newly added human capital to an organization can be easily trained by keeping the ‘why’ of the organization in mind. The employees also direct their behavior on their own as they continue to understand the organizational purpose and connect it with their individual purpose.

It is rather beneficial for every organization to formulate an organizational mission. There are many advantages to adding a formal mission in the organizational culture. As the purpose of an organization is imbibed within the employees, they are more likely to work happily and efficiently towards the same.

The mission statements also work as a guide and help leaders and managers to take actions accordingly. If all the employees are aware of the objectives of an organization and the ethical fulfillment of those objectives, then the organization has a higher probability of reaching its goals in a rather shorter time period. The mission and the goals stated in the mission are vital to boost positive behavior and reinforcement of goal-oriented behavior.

The mission statement of the organization should be concise, realistic and impactful. It is critical to formulate an accurate and clear statement; an ambiguous mission statement can lead to diversions from the goal of the organization. An ideal statement is known to include three major components – the target audience, the product/ service provided by the organization and the USP of the organization. It is important that a statement is objective and is not over the clouds, filled with fancy and unnecessary words. An unrealistic mission statement can lead to a wasteful utilization of the resources of an organization.

The business magnate Richard Branson has also stressed the value of an organizational mission towards directing the organization and pushing it towards the realms of success and progress. Hence, it is advisable for organizations to identify their mission and work towards formulating an encouraging and guiding mission statement.

Filed under: Executive CoachingTagged with: ,

The Importance of Facilitation Skills

Organizations today, are in need of people with great facilitation skills because without them, they risk reaching a stagnation point. That is not likely to be the most favorable outcome for anyone involved, and it is here that facilitation skills prove their worth. It is surprisingly easy to fall into the trap where organizations ignore the need for an effective facilitation and therefore fail to consider all the possibilities. This can be extremely damaging to organizations that have the potential to develop a rich culture without any challenges or fear of the repercussions.

Without effective facilitation skills, one will find it hard to find creativity within the group. This is because these key skills help team members understand how to present a presentation appropriately to the needs of their audience and how to communicate a message in an appeasing manner.

Benefits of Facilitation Skills to the Organization:-

Having effective working relationships with people at work can be tricky to manage. Effective group facilitation requires certain abilities to manage the interaction of challenging conversations. These abilities help a great deal to the organization as a whole.

  • There is more productivity. Having a facilitator with good facilitation skills guide the process provides focus and a sense of deliberateness to the conversation.
  • Saves time. By investing in a facilitator, you will actually spend less time in both meetings and doing damage control outside the meeting.
  • Having better outcomes. The facilitator ensures that all opinions are heard and that there is no process loss. A good facilitator aims for a collaborative harmony, which the decision has been thoroughly discussed and everyone is willing to support and live with it.
  • Increased commitment from the team. A facilitator should believe that the answer lies within the collective intelligence of the team with which the probability of successful completion increases dramatically.
  • Having less stress. Facilitators focus on the process the employees do not have to. One can fully engage in the content of the discussion knowing that the facilitator is familiar to all aspects of the team process.
  • Ability to create better relationships. At the end of the day, people not only wants to feel good about the outcomes achieved but also feel good about the people they worked with.  Facilitators with their facilitation skills are great at managing the team dynamics to ensure a collaborative and supportive environment.

Benefits of Good Facilitation to the Employees:-

1. Clear communication of the strategy in the direction of the organization 

To ensure that an employee’s career goals are in sync with the company’s goals, the organization needs to be open about its strategy and future directions from the very beginning. Employees cannot be in charge of their career and make good career decisions if they do not understand where their organization is going.

2. Learning about new opportunities within the organization 

Most employees find it easier to leave their present organization to gain better and new experiences and build their portfolio of skills than to take a new role within the same organization. Senior management can assist in changing this behavior by promoting and facilitating internal transfers. Moving to different functions can help build a girth of knowledge of the organization that will help individuals build good leadership skills.

3. Proactively managing opportunities for high potential employees 

Most people learn through their experiences, so getting access to development opportunities is the key to keep the employees engaged. However, more often than not, access to good opportunities is mostly dependent on being in the right place at the right time or hearing about the opportunity before others. While considering our most valuable employees, it is important to be determined in their development and to plan for key experiences that will help to develop the facilitation skills they need to become good leaders.

4. Help employees customize their career 

Employees who are the most able to attract different phases in their lives which allows them to ramp up or ramp down during different events going on in their personal and professional lives.

5. Clear articulation of expectations at different levels 

Employees often get frustrated when they do not know how to get ahead in work or how to develop themselves for the future. By being clear about their performance expectations for the future, employees will be able to more accurately self-assess if they have what it takes to move ahead in their organization. Sometimes employees may have an inaccurate perception of their ability to succeed in the organization, and having clear expectations will help managers with the same situation.

Facilitation can take a lot of mental effort, meaning that it can be difficult to think about and contribute content at the same time while facilitating. Neutrality is also very important. As an effective facilitator, one must know when to take a leadership role, and when to be neutral and sit back. The key is to be proficient in the given role and guide the proceedings effectively and to remain focused on the group process rather than specific opinions. Facilitation is an important role to take on and facilitation skills are greatly rewarding.

Filed under: Workshop FacilitationTagged with: ,

What it takes to be a Leader?

We all approach leadership from a unique standpoint – a combination of our own psychological make-up, intelligence training, and experience. Life has taught each one of us what it means to be a leader, and we probably caught our first glimpse of it as children. As we watched our parents, teachers, and coaches, we started to build our own concepts of being a leader, and with every new experience, that concept became more complex. In these experiences, we not only made notes of exemplary leadership styles but also noted things we wouldn’t do if we were in charge.

So, in a way, before any of us took on our first leadership roles, we started to think what it means to be a leader. And yet, as evidence by the conversation we had with seasoned leaders, few of us are prepared to lead. It is obvious that leadership is more of learning by doing act than anything still we have plethora of books stating latest and greatest ways to lead.

With all this information out there, why do so many leaders feel ill-prepared? In our conversation with a leader, he gave us his take on the institutional systems that typically funnel promising people into leadership roles. It is straightforward, if you perform your job well and show some hustle, eventually, you’ll move up the ranks. This is where it got a bit complicated for the leader as they keep on doing exactly what they’d be doing – and now direct reports must do leader’s earlier work and they now require the leader to inspire them and motivate them. Well, nobody taught the leader how to do that. Now, our leader had done all the traditional things that people do to prepare for leadership. They’d been to business school, for example, but still, they are caught off guard by the unique demands placed upon them as a leader. And, in this day-to-day task of it all, there is a requirement for some time for conscious reflection on the style of leadership.

Being a leader requires them to make difficult decisions like – being forced to choose amongst competing demands but what truly messes things up is the fact that people are the integral part of meeting the goals. Leaders often need to align their people with complex goals, deal with resistance, and try to gain a common ground from people with diverse interests.

In order to grow as a leader, you’ll need to focus your Leadership Skills in new directions, and this may be mentally and physically taxing for you. While you may get your first leadership position due to your positive working attitude or for your outgoing personality, you may want to develop your analytical side to be more successful in your next position. Well it goes without saying, “with great powers comes great responsibility”, a leader must strive to increase their competencies. This means, for example, you may want to balance the art of analyzing situations along with rallying the troops when the synergy is lagging.

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Executive Business Development Training

Who is a Business Development Executive?

A business development executive is someone who looks at business development from a strategic perspective. A business development executive is responsible for acquiring new customers, maintaining relationships with existing customers, build sales pipeline, leverage marketing for acquiring new clients, pitch new products/services, plan sales strategy in existing and new markets. Business development executives are crucial for organizations that want to venture into new markets and offerings.

Why do Business Development Executive Need Training?

Being critical to the business growth and success of the organization, we must ensure that business development executives have the right set of skills, talent and knowledge. While certain traits are inherent to an individual, others can be developed and honed through training. Business development executives also need to continuously update their market knowledge and understand business trends with the help of training interventions.

What are the Critical Skills for a Business Development Executive?

Some of the critical skills that you need and that a Business Development Executive Training must cover:

  1. Business Acumen:- The foremost skill that any business development executive must have is Business Acumen. Business acumen is the ability to understand the market and business environment, react to the changing market with agility, anticipate and plan for risks and respond to business situations in a swift and effective manner. A key element of business acumen is the ability to anticipate future trends and risks and respond to them in a planned manner.
  2. Strategic Thinking:-  Strategic Thinking is a set of different competencies that enable a business development executive to plan the sales strategy of an organization using innovation, strategic planning, anticipating future trends, risk taking and operational planning. Effective strategic thinking will result in an overall business strategy that has a greater chance of success.
  3. Communication Skills:- While communication sounds very basic, but at the core of every successful business development executive is their ability to communicate effectively. While basic communication skills like written and oral communication and presentation skills, are a hygiene factor at this stage, what business development executives need are tactical communication skills that will help them in building and maintaining relationships. This would involve learning communication strategies that deal with rapport building, advocacy and inquiry skills, objection handling and managing critical conversations.
  4. Negotiation Skills:- This is perhaps the most important skill a business development executive need. The ability to convince others, listen to their opinions, understand various negotiation strategies that result in long-term gains for the organization are critical skills that a business development executive need.
  5. Project Management:-  We generally associate project management with operations managers, however every client relationship and sales deal are a project and to do this successfully a business development manager should have project management skills. This includes managing the sales team by effective goal setting, time management and risk management. In the long run a business development manager should also look for process improvements in the sales process and this requires project management skills like six sigma, CIP (continual improvement process) etc.

For any business development executive to be successful, they need to acquire these skills through training. But just acquiring these skills is not enough, one must continuously update these skills since the changing market trends bring new perspectives to these skills.

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Finesse Performance Coaching

Finesse coaching is a collaborative relationship between an individual and the coach that empowers the individual to strengthen their aura. This benefits the individual in both their professional and personal lives and is especially pertinent to senior members of organizations, leaders and independent professionals. Finesse coaching involves focusing on all aspects that can help grow the self-esteem, confidence, behavior and personality of the individual in the positive direction.  It includes a wide array of topics from etiquette, grooming, personality development to everyday behavior. It ensures that the person’s aura is felt in the way they look, talk, act and walk.

In a more organizational context, finesse coaching can fine-tune the way we engage in specific activities. It can help individuals learn how to gracefully enter and exit a conversation, diffuse negativity, solve conflicts peacefully and with subtlety, read others’ intentions, find common ground in a group of diverse people, and enlist the support of other in any matter with rationale. It helps people build quality relationships that are mutually beneficial

Making improvements in these areas helps the individual navigate social relationships with ease, an aspect of life that most people struggle with for decades. Social relationships are of prime importance to leaders and high-level professional since they are complex, delicate and influence the stakes of the success of businesses.

Finesse coaching reiterates the importance of networking and networking without immediate motives, to schedule and spend time with people from diverse backgrounds and exchange information while engaging in activities. Engaging in activities together builds relationships faster and builds a memory of positive experience.

The coaching process allows an individual to engage in activities to test out the skills they want to build. Finesse coaching allows a person to expand their social horizons by empowering them to notice and test people’s intentions, remember their preferences and even take note of the ties they may want to be left to themselves.

To be able to read the context and align with the behavior of others seamlessly while also engaging in the conversation by adding powerful and valued points, is an ability that is highly sought after. Keeping emotions in check and negativity at bay can help an individual utilize their time for productive activities rather than the automatic coping mechanisms that we tend to exhibit if the negative emotions are not addressed.

The coping mechanisms may be in the form of frustration, anger or even avoidance which lead to the reduction in the capacity for information intake. Finesse coaching also teaches individuals how to deal with social failure. Sometimes in social situations rejections are inevitable and what is most important is how the rejection is handled. A quick recovery and a graceful response will always build social reputation and relationships.

Finesse coaching is relevant to most people as face value is of prime importance in today’s business world. It is more important to those who need to strike others as important, confident and a leader. Investing in finesse coaching improves the quality of impact and the footprint that a person leaves wherever they go.

Filed under: Coaching

All about Performance Coaching

Performance coaching is a collaborative relationship between the coach and the individual that facilitates the development and the action planning of the individual that is a part of an organization. It does not involve the coach sharing their experiences or even sharing advice. It is a process that involves discussion and decisions on the focus of the coaching relationship and provides a supportive but challenging environment that empowers the individual’s growth that ultimately contributes to the growth of the organization.

Performance coaching requires the coach themselves to follow a few guidelines to ensure the success of the process and maximize the employee’s potential. While they follow ethical standards, they must also be honest in their feedback and communicate constructive criticism instead of pandering to high level officials in the organization. Most people that engage in this process need a push to work on their self-esteem and make the best use of their knowledge and potential. A performance coach must recognize this need and ensure that they incorporate self-esteem as one of the goals in the coaching process.

Organizations tend to assume that training and development is sufficient for talent development. This approach mainly covers technical competencies and expected behaviours. Including Performance coaching would enable the employee to develop personalized plans with the coach, eliminate redundant activities and focus on their strengths, weakness and work on how best to use or change them to benefit business goals.

This process innately includes weaving together the organizational goals and the team goals with the individual’s goals. Performance coaching involves the coach assessing the individual, setting realistic and mutually agreed-upon goals, providing continuous feedback and reinforcing positive behaviours. Hiring managers who are certified in performance coaching or even investing in getting managers certified in performance coaching would be highly beneficial to organizations. They have the ability to tell, discipline and direct when required but also to ask, discuss, empower and develop when they see potential.

Performance coaching is proven to bring out potential in all levels of employees in an organization and, understanding how emotions and relationships affect thought and behaviour at the workplace is an effective way of enhancing performance, but it is not solely about improving performance. Performance coaching gives the employees a say in the approach to tasks they engage in hence are more inclined to take ownership of tasks and feel more committed to the organization.

This shift has a significant impact on employee-level roadblocks like stress, burnout and absenteeism that organizations face constantly in today’s fast paced business world. Performance coaching is especially beneficial during large shifts at the organizational level like mergers and acquisitions. These processes re-establish strategies and working methods and are aimed at growth. Performance coaching would be a pertinent addition to the change management strategy that ensures the rise in the quality of performance in the organization.

In conclusion, performance coaching addresses the gap that organizations neglect while raising performance standards and projecting increased profits and growth. It enables employees and managers and gives them a strong strategy to follow. This ultimately aids the organization in consistent growth and progress.

Filed under: Coaching

Leadership Coaching for Organizational Performance

Leadership Coaching is a process that aims to help leaders meet the organizational needs. It is a personalised, collaborative relationship between the coach and the leader. A leader may be anyone from a team leader, supervisor, project manager to a business owner or a director. It includes anyone that is leading a group of people in an organization.

The process of leadership coaching, although intended to benefit organizational goals, helps personal growth of the leaders as well. It improves their interpersonal relationships, job satisfaction, happiness quotient and work-life balance. It is very important to differentiate between coaching and other processes like mentoring, technical training, counselling and training. The aims and approaches of these processes differ largely from Leadership Coaching.

As mentioned earlier Leadership coaching is a partnership between the leader and that coach where both parties agree upon the destination they want to reach and establish a plan with a timeline detailing how they would approach the process. The ideal outcome would be a sustained behavioural change in the leader that is beneficial to their personal life and most importantly their professional life.

There are two forms of Leadership Coaching, one being developmental coaching and the other being coaching to manage problems or risks. Developmental coaching is a foresight that improves leadership practice in an organization like emotional intelligence and work-life balance whereas coaching to manage problems or risks addresses the factors like stress that threaten the efficient functioning of the organization. A pertinent method of leadership coaching in today’s fast paced world of business is to incorporate both forms of coaching while making sure to first coach to manage problems and then move on to developmental coaching.

Process of Leadership Coaching

The process of Leadership Coaching must always follow some base principles. It must establish an environment that is safe but also challenging for the leader. The coach must facilitate the leader’s growth through effective collaboration. They must also guide the leader to practice self-awareness by monitoring events and how they affect the leader and the team.

The coach must encourage the leader to draw on past experiences in the workplace and treat them as learning experiences and make note of how they could improve on the previous practices. The most important principle is for the coach to always follow the practices that are in line with the recommendations given to the leader.

The sustained behavioural change in the leader that is brought about by Leadership Coaching results in many benefits to the organization as well as the leader’s personal growth. The leaders identify the areas where their communication can be improved and, also improve the quality of interactions with a diverse workforce. The leader can identify their strengths and weaknesses and are empowered to work on their weakness and best utilize their strengths.

This change leads to a significant improvement in performance. The leader gains new perspective through the coach and learn how to analyse the underlying problems of a situation and work towards the solutions more easily. Leadership coaching reduces narrow-minded thinking in the leaders and benefits innovative and free thinking.

Investing in Leadership Coaching leads to multiple benefits to the organization. It also adds value to the leaders’ personal growth and hence results in higher levels of satisfaction and commitment towards the organization. The skills that a leader learns through the coaching process can trickle down onto the lower levels of leadership in the organization and transform the organizational culture.

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Correlation Between HR and Business Strategy

Business strategy and HR strategy can be better communicated by understanding the two terms. A business strategy is best described as a competitive moves and action that a business uses in order to attract the appropriate customers, improving performance, and achieve the organizational goals that have been previously established.

It provides an outline on how the businesses should be executed to reach the desired goals of the organization. HR strategy or human resource strategy is a long-term plan that is created to meet the objectives created by the human resource department and human capital management and development in the organization. HR strategy is one of the outputs of the strategic management in the field of human resource management.

Specifically, proper HR strategy is said to have on impact on the business strategy. In today’s world, it has been observed that the human resources department have a more concrete, strategic role in companies, and this reflect that HR strategy affects the bottom line. HR strategy can be a part of complete business strategy which says that business strategy and HR strategy play a significant role while devising one and another.

In the real world, the distinction between Business strategy and HR strategy is said to be a very thin line. However, a successful business owner understands the significance of this difference and understands that there is a strong connection between the two. Human Executive leadership teams confers with human resources experts which is included in the human resource strategy and this aids in improvising the complementary goals for human resource and the whole business. As you can see, this is what is aimed to be achieved through business strategy and human resource strategy.

The recruitment and selection process carried out the human resource department amounts to ensuring that a productive workforce is created. Ensuring the maintenance of workforce that facilitates high levels of job satisfaction and job security converts into a workforce assisting in achieving the business goals.

Currently, it can be stated that HR technologies have become an integrated engine in terms of advancing the broader requirements of the business, supporting more than just the basic transactions, and advancing the HR and business agenda for the purpose of a better future. The progress of the performance management, recruitment, and selection includes Human Resources Information System (HRIS) as an integral part of such progress. HRIS also plays a significant role in the rejection of candidates, their promotions and postings, etc.

Business strategy and HR strategy rests upon the interaction among executive leadership. IT is said that one of the best ways to cultivate a healthy relationship between HR and C-level executives is by demonstrating the ROI (Return on Investment) in human resource activities and practices. By cultivating such a healthy relationship, the HR strategy will complement the business strategy to work towards achieving the business goals.

Thereby, this helps us understand business strategy and HR strategy as the integration of HR strategy with business strategy, business productivity, and their interdependencies and the way their relationship influences the organization.  

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Best Practices for Defining Organization Values

Organization define the core pillars of their identity and principle which affect the way their business is conducted through company values. Each company have individualised set of core values which support the vision and decision-making processes within the organization. These core values have a significant role and are essential and guiding force as the company grows.

This is the reason why a lot money has been spent on researching the best practices for defining company values and there are two main observations that are emphasised as important:

    1. The guidelines can only be helpful to some point as each company have their own story when it comes to defining company values. Thereby, there is no right way to do it.
    2. It does not entail just defining company values but also ensuring these values are in practice throughout the organization.

It is said that great company culture begins by ensuring that the company values are great. In order to ensure that the company values are great the process of defining company values should be appropriate. One of the most important point to remember is that the process of defining company values should be ideally be independent for each company and this is elaborated further in the upcoming paragraphs.

Process of Defining Organization Values

It should be carried out as early as possible. This should be done as it would act as a framework when the company is going through the process of recruitment. It is also important during the decision-making processes. While defining company values, they should be polarized in nature so that it will attract the right kind of employee for the role and weed out those who will not fit in. It is often believed that the process of defining company values should take place while the company is in its initial stages of development.

While defining company values, it has been proposed that they use bottom-up and top-down approaches.

For the bottom-up approach, a team was to identify the best exemplars co-workers of the organization and describe the key attributes of that employee. The attributes were then put on a white board and then grouped it into similar categories which gave about ten groups. Then the list is shortened by keeping in mind the core values of the company. Further, this debate was used to start naming and ranking the groups. Now the top-down approach is to be implemented and this is where they are important. While defining company values, they should also be provided by the senior management. However, there might be some issues while a disagreement arises on a value chosen collectively.

These two approached create the first draft of the company values. These company values are reviewed and challenged each quarter and read aloud during the meeting each week, create interview questions based on the company values and further incorporate them into activities to ensure they are completely understood and practice the company values.

It has been found that this generation is too big in number to ignore. The millennials at 83.1 million surpasses baby boomers in 2014 census itself and are said to represent one quarter of the U.S. population. Millennials do give significant importance to company values and in the role of customer and employee, millennials favour companies whose values align with the millennial’s personal values. This makes company values an important part of driving sales and attracting top talent.

A study found that an average of $7,600 pay cut would’ve been accepted by millennials for a healthier work-life balance, better company culture, career development and a meaningful job which are factors that improve overall quality of life. Defining company values that are strong and solid ensures direction and builds a reputation. It sets the tone for company’s interaction with customers while marketing its products and making important decisions. If company values are taken seriously, it will help in developing a strong brand identity and a cohesive business plan.

Filed under: Executive CoachingTagged with: , ,

Innovation Management at Workplace

Innovation management includes a set of tools that allow leaders and employees to work together with a common understanding of procedures and goals. It enables the organization to react to external or internal opportunities, and use its creativity to bring in new ideas, practices or products. It is a blend of the management of Innovation processes, and change management. It includes workers or users at every level in contributing creatively to a company’s product or service development and marketing.

The life of products or services is getting shorter because of rising competition and quicker launching, forcing organizations to reduce their time to bring the product to the market. Innovation managers must reduce the development time, without compromising on the quality or meeting the demands of the market.

Unskilled –

One who is unskilled in innovation management-

  • Is not a good evaluator of what’s creative?
  • Misinterpret the marketplace for innovation.
  • Is unable to choose from among creative ideas which one would work the best.
  • May not be willing to accept the creative suggestions of others.
  • May be caught up in his/her comfort zone of tasks and ways of doing them.
  • Is not inventive; unable to figure out creativity or the process of innovation.
  • May finish too soon with solutions and decisions.
  • May be a perfectionist escaping risk and afraid of failures and mistakes.
  • May not use experiments to learn and amend and may obstruct the innovations of others.

Skilled –

  • Is capable of bringing the creative ideas of others to market.
  • Has good ability to decide which creative ideas and proposals will work.
  • Is capable of managing the creative process of other.
  • Can facilitate effective analyzing.
  • Can design how probable ideas may work in the marketplace.

Overused Skill –

  • May move toward the new and deny the old.
  • May favor creative people and underestimate those less creative.
  • May overextend oneself in front of others in thinking and planning.

Some Causes –

  • Fail to understand the market.
  • Can’t interpret creativity.
  • Are afraid of mistakes.
  • Get it right the first time.
  • Perfectionist.
  • Too comfortable.

The Map –

Innovation management involves three skills. The first is a total awareness of the marketplace for your products and services. This means being well- informed of what sells and why. What more do the customers want? What characteristics would be most attractive to them? And what do those want who are not your clients, and they don’t find in your products? The second is being able to choose from among many available creative ideas for new products and services, those which are likely to succeed in the marketplace. The third skill is taking the raw idea and managing its growth into a successful product in the marketplace.

Some Remedies –

1. Managing Innovation Means understanding Your Market –

What have your customers done in the past? Which new products were a success, and which failed? What do the customers buy today? What more do they want and are willing to pay for? For those who did not buy your product or service, what was lacking? What do your competitors have that you don’t? What are the known future trends that will affect you? Talk to the planners in your organization for their long-term forecasts. Talk to your important customers. Try to find out their needs.

2. Managing the Creative Process –

You need raw creative ideas for innovation management. There is no need to be the cause for the creative ideas, you need to understand the process. Creative thought processes do not follow the proper rules of logic where one uses cause and effect to prove or solve something. The rules of creative thought lie not in using existing approaches but in changing them, which means shifting from one concept or way of looking at things to another. It involves challenging the present state of affairs and bringing forth ideas without judging them initially. Looking for the most unlikely and unimaginable. The creative process requires liberty and an open and relaxed environment. The creative process can’t be timed. Setting a goal and a time schedule to be creative will most likely freeze creativity.

3. Managing Creative People –

Creative people have special talents, but some problems come along with them. Sometimes creative people have to be protected from the normal processes and approaches of the organization. They need time to think and study the problems deeply, talk with others, look for similarities in other organizations and in areas completely outside the field. They usually think in opposite cases when faced with a problem and reverse the problems. They think in different way. They ask what the most improbable thing is it could be, what the problem is not, what’s missing from the problem, or what the reflection of the problem is. Creative people can be playful and frequently come up with new ideas. Most creative people are not detail oriented, and to manage them, you have to give them space.

4. Getting Creativity from A Group –

Sometimes the creative idea comes from a group, not individuals. When working on a new idea for a product or service, let them come up with several questions. Often, we tend to think too quickly of solutions. In problem-solving sessions, solutions exceed questions. Asking more questions helps people to think carefully about the problem and come to more and different solutions. Have the group take a current product you are not satisfied with and see if a different arrangement would help. Try different tests and trials to find something that will work. Have the group think beyond reach.

5. The Special Case of Line Extensions –

Very few innovations are pure discoveries. They are changes on a theme, borrowed ideas from other areas, or putting old ideas together in innovative ways. Awareness and free flow of ideas increase the chance of new connection. Many innovations are errors. Creative ideas may be closer by than you think.

6. Selecting the Idea –

Creativity depends on freedom early, but structure later. Once the unit comes up with its best idea of what to do, subject it to all the logical experiments and criticism any other option is treated to. Experimenting on creative ideas is no different than any other problem-solving or evaluation process. The only difference is in how the ideas emerge.

7. Develop a Thoughtful Attitude Toward Failure/ Criticism –

Several innovations fail, many new products fail, most change efforts also fail, anything worth doing takes repeated attempts, anything could always have been done better. To increase learning, build in immediate feedback angles. Look for something that is prevalent in each failure and that is never present when there is a success. There will be many errors and failures in innovation. Initially, you may not find a solution. This leads to safe, less than innovative solutions. Many problem- solving studies show that the proceeding trials help in coming up with the best solution.

8. Moving an Idea Through the Organization –

Once an idea has been chosen, you need to manage it through to the marketplace. Designing processes to get the task done most efficiently and effectively is a known science. Consult a book, go to a workshop or ask for guidance from the organizational effectiveness group in your company or engage a consultant. Have the teamwork with you to design the best way to move further. Teams work better when they are a part of how things will be done.

9. Dealing with the Politics –

Sometimes creative ideas are stray until everyone believe they are going to work. In the beginning of turning the ideas into products, resources may be limited. You will also have to deal with many units outside your team to get it done. In most organizations, the best path to move forward is usually not a straight line. There is a formal organization where the path may look straight and then there is the informal organization where all paths are irregular. Since organizations are filled with people, they become all the more complex. The key to being successful in innovation management through complex organizations is to find your way through the irregular paths in the least amount of time while making the minimum noise.

10. Study Innovation Outside Your Field –

Explore and study new products you buy and use. Find out the process that was applied to create it. See how innovation happens from the inside. Write down few things from your research that you can mirror in your ow behavior.Innovation management requires exceedingly different practices. Each idea listed below for fostering innovation is from a different business leader and lays stress on flexible mindset in managing employees –

  • Define the problem and then find a solution – what resources are needed, who are the team members, how to inspire
  • them as well as measuring and rewarding success.
  • Re-organize often; restructuring encourages the employee to rethink, set high goals and remove barriers.
  • Take risks and learn from setbacks; make sure that people are not afraid of downfalls.
  • Engage people with diverse skills and talents; this helps in challenging situations.
  • Motivate employees to spend time on innovative ideas; give them space to do things and create a positive environment.
  • Combine patience and passion.
  • Remove negativity and hire people who are smarter than you.
  • Create an environment that removes internal competition.
  • Coincide business objectives with ideals.

Innovation management has become a formula for growth for most companies. It can drive revenues and profits to new heights. Doing better requires organizations to come out of their comfort zone. Innovation begins with someone being clever enough to sense a new need and then to improve or create new methods and sources to meet that need. Innovation management can be integrated throughout the organization with proper direction and leadership, clear focus, enough resources and competent execution. It involves getting people and the organization empowered to think differently, to be able to take risks, change and challenge conventional practices, processes and the way the business is approached and then to act.

Filed under: Innovation