Monthly Archives: December 2012

An MBA Christmas Song


Who says MBAs are all stuffy, lack creativity and feeling, and care only about dominating the world of business?  Here is a famous Christmas song by these MBAs.  (Yeah, OK, technically, these are from Nashville’s Montgomery Bell Academy, not Xavier’s Williams College of Business).   But if MBAs could sing, this is what I imagine they would look and sound like.

I’d like to wish all our readers a blessed holiday season, and a prosperous New Year – one with more peace, security, cooperation, mutual understanding and respect – than we experienced in this last one.

Other Resources:

What do MBA’s Want for Christmas?, from Business Because

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Reassessing Resistance to Change


One of the most common misconceptions about change is that people are often unwilling.  I have worked with hundreds of middle managers and executives who express this sentiment.   There has also been a lot written about it – about how our employees fear change, are mistrusting of their bosses, unenthusiastic about having to learn new things – etc.

But there is another possibility to consider.    People aren’t stupid.  They know the world is dynamic and to avoid change can be perilous.  They ARE willing to change, and are in-fact eager for it.   If this could be true, why then do they so often act as if they are hesitant, even uncooperative and resistant?

Resistance to Change does not necessarily reflect opposition. Instead, many people are applying productive energy toward a hidden competing commitment.   So, what can look like resistance is often misinterpreted.

Here is a case in point.

I once served on an internal task force.  The problem was well-defined. The task force was suitably cross-functional. The members understood the task at hand.  There was a reasonable deadline.  We had followed all the requisite steps for setting up and empowering a committee.

As we talked about our problem, the majority of the group came to believe that what was needed was a new IT solution – a software application that would solve various communications issues, reduce processing time and so forth.   But one member of the team couldn’t see it and argued strongly against it.   She was from IT in this case, and as the rest of us became frustrated with her blocking actions, we came to view her as a close-minded, irrational person who was unwilling to see the obvious, and seemed to be opposed to change on principle.

A second member of our committee was drafted to participate, but he too was frustrating for the rest of us.   He never completed his interim assignments, spoke infrequently, and continually steered the discussion toward short-term “band-aid” solutions that would allow us all call it a day, and return to our normal jobs.   His unwillingness to engage was also frustrating since we all said we felt the problem we were assigned to solve was an important one, and yet he was lobbying against all solutions that would require a prolonged execution phase.  It made no sense to the rest of us.  Was he just lazy, did he not care, or was he happier with the status quo?

As both of these committee members seemed like they were “digging in their heels” I could sense the rest of us ALSO became less open-minded, less flexible, and less creative.   The committee dynamics took a dreadful turn for the worse.

After further discussions, our committee remained at an impasse, and we had to bring forward a far less than optimal proposal than the majority wanted.  I wasn’t particularly proud of our work, but it was the “best” we were able to do.

Sometime after the committee was disbanded, I had the chance to sit down one day with the IT committee member outside of work and what I learned was eye-opening to me.    It turns out that she saw the problem the same way we did all along, but before she was assigned to our task force her boss took her aside and said something like “as you sit down to review this problem, I want you to keep in mind how our [IT] staff is already so overburdened with work that we can’t keep up, and that our boss won’t allow us to add resources.   Accepting more obligations without a reasonable ability to deliver just makes us look ineffective to the rest of the organization and hurts us politically.  So no matter what your committee thinks, you MUST NOT allow the conversation to be steered toward a new software solution.”    Ah Hah, I thought.  Now it makes sense.

I had a similar conversation with the other frustrating member of our team, also outside of work.   “I’m not trying to accuse you of anything, I just want to understand.  Can you level with me,” I asked?  It turns out that he too had a story to tell.  Just before our committee assembled, he was given a performance review by his boss, and it wasn’t a positive one.  He was criticized harshly for being behind on several of his assigned projects, and was required to create a “personal improvement plan.”   “I thought he was building a case to fire me,” he told me.   Ah Ha!   Now that also began to make sense.  Every minute he sat in our committee meeting was taking him away from something else that he had to get right.

What can we do?

For the longest time in my life, when I encountered people who did not agree with me when I had been through an honest, thorough, and thoughtful analysis of a problem, I generally concluded they were either ignorant or corrupt!   It never occurred there could be a third explanation.

So this committee experience taught me that

1)       Few people are ignorant or truly corrupt.  (Our starting premise should always be that mostly we all get it, and want to do the right thing.)

2)       In our rush to get our assigned tasks addressed, we often blow right past the kind of personal interaction and understanding that we need to set the right foundation for successful interaction.   Before moving on to brainstorm our problem, we should have taken the time to get to know each other, and to ask what constraints each of us felt we were working under.  If our IT member, for example felt safe enough to have declared at the outset “I don’t think our IT department has the resources to pursue another major software initiative at this time,” we could have either gone to the executive who commissioned our committee and asked for his help, or we could have steered our brainstorming in a different direction.

3)       Investing some time and energy on the people side of the equation – while seemingly slower at first, can result is faster problem solving in the long-run.

4)       If people seem stupid and stubborn, there is often a LOGICAL explanation.  It is worth the effort to dig a little deeper.

I don’t know if you have encountered situations like this, but I still think these four points above are worth keeping in mind.

Other Resources:

The Real Reason People Won’t Change, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey, Harvard Business Review

When People Don’t Understand, Listen Better, by Marianne Powers, Doing the Right Thing

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Hiring Great People – the Googley Way


Most businesses I know have some very talented people who know about the technology, products, operations and services of their businesses.  They are pretty good executing the daily tasks, and know a lot about their industry.

Attracting and keeping top talent is pretty important (and I have shared many posts on this topic in the past).   In fact, it is THE MOST important determinant of corporate success and the only thing that gives you a chance at developing a sustainable competitive advantage which – by the way – is the main goal of any corporate strategy.

If you think about it, every company has access to the same technologies, capital equipment, software products, and business services as does every other company on the planet.   If so, then these cannot be a source of differentiation.   The key is what you do with all these things that make the difference.   How do you apply them, organize them, use them to make better decisions, etc.  It comes down to the creativity, initiative and determination of your workforce that define if you will win or lose in your chosen competitive space.

So, Hiring Great People is not only important (which all of us accepts as true), but is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU DO (and few organizations consistently ACT as if this were true).  One of them, in my view at least is the search engine giant, Google.  Laszlo Bock (chief people officer), in the recorded piece he did for the Wall Street Journal offers a simple and effective summary of how he thinks his company makes hiring a successful strategic activity.

What strikes me is that none of the ideas he describes are revolutionary in themselves (elements have been done by other companies since I was in business school – more than a few years ago.)  What’s different here is the way they put these elements together and the consistency with which they are followed.

What does Google look for in a new hire?

According to Bock, four things:

1)      General Cognitive Ability.  Can you solve problems, and are you reasonably smart?   The company developed its own screening test, the infamous GLAT (for Google Labs Aptitude Test and you can take the test yourself by clicking on the link).   Some people would hate this experience, but there is a certain category of people who actually view these kinds of questions as FUN.  I’m not one of them.  Here is an example:

“Solve this cryptic equation realizing, of course, that the values for M and E could be interchanged.  No string of leading zeros is permitted.

WWWDOT – GOOGLE = DOTCOM”

The Answer: (from the book, The Google Story) It’s simply a matter of finding the correct digits to substitute for the letters.  This can be done by trial and error, but a more Googley way would be to write a simple computer program.   (‘Sounds easy enough, right?)  Sooner or later you might end up with the correct answer:

           777589                                      WWWDOT

–          188103                                        GOOGLE

=         589486                                      DOTCOM

And if you made the M=3, and the E=6, the answer would be 58948.   Whew! How long did that take you?

2)      Emergent Leadership.  This doesn’t relate to the traditional definition – how many people can you manage?   It has to do with your willingness to step up and proactively face problems and challenges.  They want people who can engage others and help focus energy to solve any problem.  And then, when the problem is solved, you are willing to slip back into the background.  To Bock, leadership and followership are flip sides of the same coin.

3)      Culture Fit.   You need to be happy at Google, and it is surely not for everyone (in case the GLAT question didn’t already make that point).   At Google, they are looking for people who are comfortable with a large amount of ambiguity (since the company work environment is somewhat unstructured and moves at a pretty fast pace – as does the technology around which their business operates.)  You need also to be self-driven, passionate about your life and Google’s values, and excited about collaborative achievement.

4)      Role Related Expertise.   Bock says this is “the last and least important” of their criteria.   This relates to whether or not you actually know something about the specific job you are being hired to do.

It is interesting that the company places lowest emphasis on the last point.  My observation is that in many companies, the opposite is true.   In most interviews I am familiar with the conversation tends to focus more on your academic background, demonstrated job skills, where you worked and what you did.   It seems we are too often willing to sacrifice leadership, values, and culture fit for job experience.   Hmmmm . . .

If you have 5 minutes I would urge you to view the entire clip below to hear Mr. Bock describe many other aspects of Google’s HR and people philosophy.

Watch Laszlo Bock describe How Google Decides on Hires

Other Resources:

Targeting soft skills yields hard returns for employers, how Zappo’s culture and hiring practices make a difference, by Lisa V. Gillespie, Employee Benefit News

Move Over Zappos and Google – The New Role Model for an Org That Really Gets Culture Is…, by Jessica Lee, Fistful of Talent

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Enabling the Disabled: Learning to Look for Abilities


Most of us remember the publicity surrounding the London Paralympic Games (which immediately followed the closing ceremonies for the more familiar version).  You might also remember the achievement of Oscar Pistorius  the so-called “blade runner” from South Africa who became the first double amputee to run in a track and field event in the 2012 Olympics.  Enabling the Disabled seems like an idea whose time has come.

And, with many disabled veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, it seems fitting that people with disabilities should be more in the main stream of our consciousness.

Well at one well-known drug store chain, they are making the disabled an important part of their main stream, and the story is worth celebrating.

Walgreens some time ago opened two new concept distribution centers in South Carolina and Connecticut.  As perhaps an experiment, they deliberately set out to fill a third of their open positions with people who were disabled.  (I can imagine some of you are becoming uncomfortable with the thought of this idea—but I urge you to read on.)  Today, one of the centers has 40 percent of its employees who would record a disability on their HR file, and in the other, 50 percent are disabled.

One example is their current head of Human Resources who has cerebral palsy.   Now she earned straight As in college and graduate school, sent out over 300 resumes, and went through 30 interviews, but couldn’t land a single job . . . that is until she applied at Walgreen’s.  According to Randy Lewis (Walgreen ‘s VP of Supply Chain and Logistics – who manages these distribution centers) she is “one of our best HR people.”

Tom Pelletier has epilepsy and could not hold a job reliably – and was often let go because of his seizures.  He now works in the receiving department at Walgreen’s and still has about one seizure per day – but he wears a safety helmet and elbow pads and manages just fine.

Another autistic employee (who was thought to be unemployable)found his very first job at Walgreen’s and  is now described by Mr. Lewis in this way: “In every job that we’ve given him, he performs at a 150 percent standard.”

Paul Mazzoli (another employee in their Connecticut warehouse) has Asperger’s syndrome and was recently removed from a grocery store job as a bagger, since he would frequently speak inappropriately to other workers or customers.   At Walgreen’s, his average picking rate of 93 orders per hour puts him in the category of top performers.

Sure. Good for Walgreen’s – some of the cynical out there might see this as more about publicity and good public relations.   Well Walgreen’s is a business with demanding shareholders (like any other business) and Mr. Lewis can attest to the fact that these distribution centers are the lowest cost, most productive operations the company has ever before experienced.  In fact, in January of 2013, the company plans to launch similar diversity employment initiatives in 8,000 stores across the country.

See for yourself in this clip below.

Perhaps this would never have happened if Randy Lewis did not have a son with autism, where he had to learn to look past his “disability” to see a person.   Once Lewis did that, it seems that many other things became possible

I suppose in some ways we so-called “able-bodied” people are the largest impediment to this kind of innovation.  We are the ones who sometimes stare, or possibly avert our eyes, never make eye contact and certainly not strike up a conversation with someone who was obviously disabled.  We don’t feel comfortable hiring them, and aren’t so comfortable working side by side with them.

I read one article by a psychologist suggesting that we are uncomfortable with the prospect of considering our own vulnerabilities.  Another article I read by a disabled person who wrote about what it was like to talk about his disability with coworkers.   It seemed pretty disconcerting to him just how much his coworkers didn’t want to deal with the conversation.

You have to acknowledge that disability makes their abilities different, and many people have to struggle over the idea of whether that changes their value as people.”  (See Disability Makes People Uncomfortable”).

Whatever the cause of our discomfort – familiarity seems important.   One study had a room with several disabled people in it, and the researchers wanted to see if they could influence how close to them able-bodied people would sit.  One group came in and sat down directly.  A second group was permitted some time to “stare” (sounds a little creepy) at the disabled subjects through one-way glass for a time.   This second group sat substantially closer and was much more likely to strike up a conversation.

We know from best practice research that having eclectic and diverse teams has a lot to do with increasing the level of innovation within organizations.  It seems logical that we should strive to make our work forces more diverse.   While many companies have made progress in diversifying their ranks based on gender, promoting diversity along other dimensions is not yet a challenge we can say America has solved.

Fighting prejudices and stereotypes is needed.  And how wonderful it is that people like Randy Lewis felt a compelling need to try and make a difference.   It is equally noteworthy that Walgreen’s executives sanctioned it.   Now that this effort seems to have transcended from a bold experiment to simply a powerful idea, it will make it that much easier for other organizations to take their next steps.

Gratefully, Walgreen’s is not alone enabling the disabled.   Companies like Boeing, Verizon, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Glaxo-Smith Kline are also doing innovative things in this area.   Let us know what your company is doing.

Other Resources

Ready & Able: Initiatives for Hiring People With Disabilities, by Sharon Kahn

Workforce Diversity — Walgreens and the Obvious Solution, by Kasia Moreno

Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce, Forbes Insights

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Building Innovation Momentum: Little Steps Can Yield Big Results


We just completed four days of Creative Problem Solving(CPS) workshops for about 80 people from across all of Xavier University. They represent 8 different cross-functional teams being asked to develop solutions to some vital problems we face at Xavier that can ONLY be effectively solved with a cross-silo effort.  This is a kind of revolutionary idea for us.

 

Here are some of the ideas our teams are focused on solving:

  • Developing new sources of non-traditional revenue
  • Increasing student retention
  • Improving scholarship efforts among faculty across campus
  • Developing strategic partnerships with external organizations
  • Increasing student engagement
  • Improving learning and teaching across campus

These are important problems that require considerable thought, and they flow from the University’s strategic plan.

In the past, we would have approached these kinds of questions in one of two ways –

1)      Someone at the executive level would launch an initiative (a top-down approach)

2)      We would form a committee to study the problem and make recommendations

I would say that the latter approach has been perhaps more common.   But these kinds of efforts are not always effective to the  point where people dread being asked to serve on a committee – as it is likely to consume precious time, and yield no or few positive outcomes.  Sound familiar?   You know the drill. The committee meets for an hour every other week – assigns “homework” to the committee members and keeps the discussion alive.   The meetings go on for months on end, and in the end the committee makes modest recommendations and it is somewhat unclear who is ultimately responsible for approving and enacting anything.   (At Xavier, we sometimes “trip” over our own organizational design that is highly compartmentalized.  We also sometimes trip over our own culture which is collaborative in nature – which means we value a process where everyone’s voice is heard, but we are perhaps better at listening and talking about it, than we are at deciding and “pulling the trigger” to actually launch it.)

I am sure Xavier is not alone in this pattern of behavior, and I have seen it in quite a number of both public and private sector organizations.

What’s different (and exciting) about our new approach.

What’s happening at Xavier today is pretty remarkable (at least I think so) and borders on revolutionary for us.   Here’s what’s different.

1)      Senior Executive involvement (and interest).  This process began for us with a conversation I had with our Provost (the University equivalent of a COO).  I was telling him about the program offerings XLC was planning in the innovation arena.  He thought it sounded interesting.  We then did a 2.5 day CPS workshop for him and his top 25 executives from across campus.  At the end of that workshop. He and a number of his colleagues saw this as potentially a game changing approach for Xavier, and this led to the creation of our 8 cross functional teams I mentioned earlier.  Since them, either the Provost or the Associate Provost sat through and actively participated in the following workshops we led for the 8 teams.  Participants instantly recognized this as an IMPORTANT activity.

2)      Intense, focused work – rather than protracted committee sessions.  Rather than engage in committee work that spans many months, we decided instead to ask our teams to come together with focused energy for 2 days to try and create some worthy new ideas.   The power of allowing people to disengage from their “day jobs” for two days to wrap their heads around our various focus areas was huge.  Some participants were amazed by the amount of real progress that was made in that short time.  (This helps us make a cultural shift that now suggests that solving wicked problems that are of strategic importance to our institution IS PART OF OUR DAY JOB.)

3)      Who Wants to Own this? An interesting thing happened at the end of the very first CPS workshop.   Over the 2.5 days, we had developed about 200 ideas which we whittled down to about 16 and then we converged around about 8 ideas (project initiatives) that most people felt were solid, and would make a huge difference at Xavier.   Then the Provost stood up to offer his concluding remarks wherein he thanked people for their participation, reminded them as to the importance of the task, and then congratulated them for coming up with some powerful ideas.   Next. He stated that it was not his intent to drive these ideas down from above, but rather asked us “Who wants to own” any of these ideas – to take them forward and be project champions?   We were invited to vote with our feet and walk up to the posters on the side of the room that we would like to work on. Everyone knew then and there – that he was looking to empower anyone who was ready to lead.   In the end, five of these ideas had groups of owners with passion for the ideas that would show in the coming weeks.   I was one of the implementation team members for one initiative, and we worked together to create a clear statement of purpose, a business case, a pro-forma budget, and detailed description of how we imagined it could all work.   The Provost is currently pursuing our funding request.

4)      Be Bold!  Why Wait?  There is always some trepidation at Xavier (and indeed many other organizations that do not have a bias-for-action culture) to launch an initiative before it is fully developed and perfected (and until all possible risks have been mitigated).  This approach may be safer, but also takes more time – something that is precious when the world around you is changing rapidly.  Another way of thinking about it is this:  If you are clear about your goals and purpose, and believe that any idea moves us forward in the right direction, why not go ahead and begin?     You can always improve upon the idea in the future as you gain experience and learn from experimentation, or add other ideas alongside it.     Sometimes many little steps can yield big results.  They build innovation momentum.  At the end of one session, when the participants were asking for some guidance on where they should go next with their initiatives, the Provost announced to the room.   “If you have a good idea that doesn’t need special new funding, or violates established rules there is no reason to delay!  Let’s get started.”  This is another subtle call for culture shift at Xavier – a bias for action.

5)      Effective Process (and facilitation). All of the CPS session we facilitated produced some interesting new ideas. Our participants were fully engaged, willing to let go of some established paradigms, and willing to take the Provost at his word. . . “bold ideas are good”, he said.   Part of the successful results came from the use of a proven process led by globally experienced professionals who guided the activities at every step along the way.   These innovation guides (who teach this method through XLC), were continually changing the planned assignments during each workshop as they observed where each team was, and where people were getting “stuck”.   This expertise was invaluable.

It is not clear where all this will lead for us at Xavier, as only time will tell.   However I have noticed walking around campus that there are visible signs of progress.  The spirit of cross-departmental collaboration has never been stronger (since I came to Xavier).  I came into one conference room in the Williams College of Business to notice a full wall of post-it notes from a past meeting.   (Someone had borrowing one of the ideation techniques they learned during a past workshop.)   We are working together differently, and there are many exciting conversations focusing on what could be.

Other References:

How NYC Schools is Systematizing Innovation, by Len Brzozowski, Xavier Leadership Center

Most Innovative Schools, by Len Brzozowski, Xavier Leadership Center

Overcoming Barriers to Effective Problem Definition, by Dr. Wayne Fisher, XLC Innovation Guide

Creative Productivity & The Creative Theorists – Part 1, by Lisa Canning, Innovating through Artistry

 

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Looking for the Breakthrough Innovation


I just finished a two-day Creative Problem Solving workshop with a group of highly technically proficient people.  The group was engaged and worked very hard not only collecting information and interviewing customers prior to and the again throughout the intense final 2 days.  The team did a great job sharing their field immersion learning points, generating lots of “problems”  to solve, and developing many logical “idea cards” (which define how to solve the most important problems).

Many of the idea cards were specific and addressed unique problems that the group carefully identified.  Some of them were tactical, and addressed various performance shortcomings they learned about from their interviews.  One of the participants came to me in the middle of the session saying “these are all good ideas, but I don’t think I see some ‘breakthrough’ innovations that could allow us to leapfrog our competition.”  This was a reasonable comment.  It made me think about the answer.

Not all Innovation = an iPAD

The Creative Problem Solving Process we use at Xavier Leadership Center guides people through an array of fact-finding activities that help them look at their business through an external lens.  Listening to customers is pretty important, and the issues they raised, whether large or small represent things worth paying attention to.  If the customer is right in their concern, then it is probably worthy of being addressed on its own merit.   As a consequence, some of the ideas generated in a CPS workshop might seem overly tactical.

However, we are also trying to get ourselves to begin thinking about underlying trends or themes that lead us to root cause insights. Perhaps your sales process creates a set of false expectations that later manifested themselves in customer dissatisfaction; or there might be an installation and training solution that needs complete re-thinking.

Building Momentum

A bit later in our workshop, the teams were asked to build a series of one year improvement initiatives based on the idea cards they generated.  One broad theme was about customer service, another was related to installation, and a third theme area related to the sales process.   We asked the teams to select the idea cards they felt were most impactful, and then create a one year action plan.   By this time, we had as a group discussed the topic of game changing ideas compared with others that simply allow you to achieve parity.  After a while, one of the participants came to me and remarked “you know . . . when I first looked at each of the idea cards by themselves, I didn’t think we were looking at breakthroughs.   But when you start to combine several of them together, it is a completely different story!”

Isn’t that often the case?   In fact the entire notion of continuous improvement is about creating momentum though a series of ongoing small innovations with a similar trajectory.  This too can produce sustainable competitive advantage, especially if you can learn to maintain a fast pace to your innovation agenda. Also, taking many small steps has less risk.   This is related to what Jim Collins called the hedgehog concept and the flywheel effect in his book, Good to Great.

Ask Better Questions

Sure building momentum is a powerful competitive approach to consider, but does it lead to a revolutionary idea?  Perhaps not. That requires a change in perspective lead from asking better questions.

Most of us own a DVR at home, right?  So why is it we have one?  Is it because we have a burning desire to record programs?  Or, does this product meet a much deeper need, like helping us gain greater control over our already too hectic lives?

If you are the engineering team at the DVR manufacturing company, your product planning probably focuses on what it takes to make a better DVR.   How much memory should it have?   How many buttons should there be?  What color should the display panel be? And so forth. However, when your focus is too narrow, what you are likely to end up with – at best – is a marginally better DVR.

Alternatively, if you asked the deeper question “what other things would people like to have more control over in their lives – that we might be able to provide?” you open the door to many other possibilities.   You might develop a computer device that didn’t store anything, but controlled other aspects of a consumer’s life. You might even consider a service rather than a product.  Choosing which problem you are trying to solve is HUGE.

The Creative Problem Solving process guided participants to ask many more questions than they might n normally (typically 200-300 or more in a session) in search of new problems to solve.   The game changer problems are probably not the obvious ones you normally talk about.

Gluing Car Doors Together?

My company was in the welding business serving the auto industry.   Welding was and is a challenging process. You press two pieces of steel between a pair of electrodes, apply pressure and pass a controlled current through them to melt and forge the steel together.  The process variables are many (steel dimensional variations, the electrodes wear and get thicker with each weld, power line voltages change, die oils sometimes coat the steel, and so forth).   Maintaining quality as all these things change is sometimes a nightmare.   Everyone in the industry focused their engineers and scientists into understanding and controlling the physics of a 5-7 mm in diameter weld spot.  The question they asked was “How do we make a better welding system?”

Our solution ultimately was to replace the welds completely, using instead, pumped structural ADHESIVES which were cured using an electromagnetic field.  What we developed was stronger, provided less car body panel vibration, resisted corrosion better, required less maintenance, and was cheaper.  This innovation for us was responsible for a 10X growth in sales revenues over about 5-6 years.

The point I am trying to make is that as long as we saw the “problem” as designing a better welding system, all we would ever create was better welders.   The capacity to see this as NOT a welding problem was the first step in imagining the idea of gluing car parts together.

If you are looking for breakthrough innovation, ask more and better questions, and then look for new problems to solve.

The group I was working with this week discussed many technical features and benefits of their current product offering.   Many of them seemed to define the theme “How might we simplify the lives of our customers with the technologies and services we can provide?

That is a pretty good question.

Other resources

Overcoming Barriers to Effective Problem Definition, by Wayne Fisher, Xavier Leadership Center

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