McCaffrey, Tony; Pearson, Jim. Find Innovation Where You Least Expect it. Harvard Business Review December, 2015.
This article identifies the need for everyone in the organization to be able to identify innovative ways to approach solutions. It demonstrates that individuals frequently are limited in their ability to innovative because of cognitive biases related to; functional fixedness – seeing a common object and screening out awareness of features, design fixation – individuals fixated on features of the current design, and goal fixedness – framing a problem narrows people’s thinking. It is important that the barriers to innovative thinking be removed and individuals are able to focus on visualizing innovative thinking. The organization must demonstrate a support for and openness to change the environment so that it is conducive for innovative thinking. The leadership must work to continuously introduce new ways of thinking and collaborating that will drive new ideas and new solutions. Everyone within the organization must be actively challenging the way things are being done and pushing for new and better ways of overcoming the cognitive traps that exist.
This source is credible based on the many years of investigation of how innovative designs can be built by harnessing the power of the commonly overlooked. It demonstrates that in order to differentiate the products and services of the organization leadership must learn how to ensure individuals know how to break down the barriers that face them in order to innovate.
Read Full Article
McAfee, Andrew. Are droids taking our jobs? TED Talks. September 4, 2014.
This TED talk addresses the reality of where technology is going and how it will impact our labor force. It starts off with a discussion on GDP trends related to profits, investment and employment from 1995 to 2011. It then moves into analyzing the future of the gap between labor and jobs and how the gap is increasing. The speaker shares with the audience the term digital knowledge workers and provides multiple examples of where this is happening. The examples include; translation capability, automation in article writing and the dawn of the autonomous car. He concludes that “yes” droids are taking our jobs as we know them to be.
The speaker presents the audience with his view on digital optimism. He brings up the concept of what happened in the industrial revolution and the impact the steam engine had on multiplying the power of human muscle. He relates this impact to the advancement in technology replacing human brain power. The statement was made that economies run on ideas. He discussed how technology can help us do the repetitive thinking so we as humans can work on generating valuable ideas. Innovation is moving toward being open, inclusive, transparent and merit based. In fact, innovation is the most powerful and fundamental work that we can do in the future. We need to lead ourselves and the workforce in this direction to succeed and thrive.
The research was done by Andre McAfee, a principal research scientist at MIT. He focuses on developing studies on how digital technologies are changing business, the economy, and society. He is also the author of the best seller, The Second Machine Age...work progress and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. This research demonstrates that leaders must be able to foster innovative thinking in the organizations that they lead. They must be able to encourage a mentality of constant idea sharing and make innovation open, inclusive, transparent and merit based. Leaders of the future must be able to ingrain the idea sharing mentality into the DNA of the culture of the organization they lead.
Link to full TED Talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMF-Z74C1QE
Game Changer Alignment is defined as “The linkages between the mission, vision, brand value, and the integration of the people, processes and technology to achieve it.” It includes the dynamics and influence that each part has on the other and how this can impact the overall value of the organization.
A millennial’s first few moments each day include the following: wake up, look for phone, can’t find phone, frantically tear all of the covers off of their bed until phone is located, exhales sigh of relief that phone is not lost, and promptly goes back to sleep.
A few hours later that same millennial sits with a room full of friends at a restaurant getting lunch. Instead of talking with each other, they are all staring at their phones. Now many people may argue that they are always staring at their phones in order to feed the need to stay “connected.” But is this focus on virtual connectivity taking a toll on actual face to face social skills?
Fifty years ago the only means of communication between people was letters, home phone, or just plain word of mouth. Nowadays the daily social interactions of someone look much different than it did even twenty years ago. Almost every social interaction can now take place in the virtual world
Studying with a peer, having a business meeting, even dating can now take place in the virtual world.
Even though the virtual world has helped propel out society forward a great amount, it is in fact taking away many of the human socializing instincts from the millennial generation. Many millennials wouldn’t dare go up and introduce themselves to someone without first having a virtual relationship with them. In addition to that, because so much of daily socializing that once took place verbally is taking place virtually with texting and other forms of messaging, many millennials no longer have the verbal skills they need to communicate.
So what can society do as a whole? What kind of action can we take now to ensure that future generations don’t continue this depreciation in social skills? Well for starters companies can stop encouraging optional presence in the workplace and start demanding face to face contact. Parents can encourage actual play dates and not just virtual ones online. The internet has propelled us a long way in the twenty years, but when the time has come that we can live our entire life by sitting in bed with our mobile phone or computer, it’s a sign that we need to put the devices down and head out into the great big world.
Business strategist and founder of IMPACTinsights.