Are Australian’s too risk averse to be innovative?

In an editorial for the SMH Josie Gibson addresses the questions — just how innovative are Australian businesses, how innovative are they prepared to be or is the default state to go second and sit comfortably while others test the waters first?

What is increasingly clear is that the terms ‘‘innovation’’ and ‘‘employee engagement’’ are inherently linked. Innovation is, at its core, a leadership responsibility, and therein lies the real opportunity. Harness people’s natural curiosity and capabilities and the race is half won.

Sick and tired of absenteeism

Every so often an article appears in the newspaper citing the cost to business of dodgy sick days. What should be more concerning than the cost of sick days (apparently each one costs business $385, but isn’t this the cost of business?) is lost productivity, low employee morale and lower customer satisfaction when staff are unhappy when at work.

The Inside Story: 5 Secrets To Pixar’s Success | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

2. Defend Your Opinion, Then “Hit Play Quickly.”

The production process at Pixar is a lengthy one, with many groups participating and weighing in at various stages. A critical point in the process is called the Notes Session. It’s when several key individuals, such as the director and head writer, sit down to watch the full movie. They then capture changes that need to be made on notes and hand them back to the team (hence the name Notes Session).

In defense of (well facilitated) brainstorming

In the previous post on this blog I pointed to an article which amongst other things was critical of brainstorming as an idea generation technique. This article was from the NY Times. It seems groupwork, derided by the moniker groupthink is under fire on other fronts with another article in the New Yorker.  this came to my attention via Bob Sutton, a Professor of Management who wrote a response.“Why the Sharp Distinction Between “Individual” and “Group” Brainstorming is False in Real Teams”.

The Rise of the New Groupthink

We have all heard the phrase “design by commitee” and we all know that it means a compromised process and result. Yet there is no critique of work environments and practices that result in this group think. We think design by commitee happens in meetings attended by bosses. Could it be that it is happening in every open plan office and brainstorming workshop? 

This is the belief of Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. She published “The Rise of the New Groupthink” in the NYTimes.com

Some highlights from the article to encourage your further reading: