Reorganized, delayered and downsized – goodbye trust.

So who has not faced one of those moments when it is announced that there is a reorganization about to take place. It often has the habit of freezing what you are doing; you begin to put things on hold, waiting to understand what this latest reorganization has in store for you. The questions build up in your mind, it starts to block you. Creativity begins to be lost. Certainty suddenly gets replaced by growing degrees of uncertainty, as rumours begin to feed rumours.

Management have simply stopped innovation in its tracks, until they unfreeze it with the new organization, as long as it makes sense. If it is clear and logical then its effect is not as disruptional as it might have been initially feared, innovation can return quickly. If not and when it is badly described, planned for, executed then its a different story. Equally when reorganizations are allowed to extend over those sometimes intractable time periods, dreamed up to ease the pain, you can say goodbye to innovation for weeks, months, even years. You actually might even never get your ‘innovation mojo’ back again.

We suffer continuously from the effects of reorganizations, of new policies, of redefining a business that suddenly wakes up to a reality most within the organization spotted ages ago. It gets even tougher when it has a delayering or downsizing effect. Then innovation simply goes into the deep freezer.

Structured changes when they come ‘out of the blue’ or talked about in whispered conversations for months totally weaken the underlying structure of one of essential tenets of innovation, that of trust. Continue reading

Placing Design into the Innovation Equation

Let me be clear, this is not my blog entry I really wish it was. It is the relevant part of a blog written by Sarah Stein Greenberg (http://ideas.economist.com/blog/design-mind) that just seemed to hit one of those ‘buttons’ that sum something up so well, and in this case, I think the best compliment is to just share it. I’ve put in what I feel are appropriate headings for ease of reading only.

It is about the power of design and interaction to make something new happen fast.

Tackling messy problems

“A pressing question for more established economies… is how to foster more entrepreneurship and innovation despite greater stability and predictability. One method that companies and individuals are adopting is design thinking—the approach of scaling or “group-sizing” the way that solo designers have always worked to enable to cross-functional teams tackle messy problems that don’t fit neatly into any one person’s job description or academic discipline.

Design thinking is one way to simulate some of the extremely dynamic conditions of an emerging economy and foster entrepreneurship in the US.

Forcing direct contact with users

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