The semi-annually Ajinomoto Leadership Event was planned to take place in the Zoo of Antwerp. Unfortunately, our friend Corona put a stop to that. They had two options: reschedule (again) or go virtual. They chose the latter and asked us to facilitate an innovative and engaging virtual Leadership Event with 'Sustainable Entrepreneurship' as the common theme. Check out how we guided them through the process and what we've learned from it.
Recently we asked our LinkedIn followers how they preferred to start a meeting – by having some small talk first or by getting straight to the point. 79% of the respondents (n = 57) said they prefer to start a meeting with some small talk. In this article, we replace the informal & unstructured small talk with the ritual of 'checking-in'.
That morning at the coffee machine I ran into fellow Beans Serge, Chris and François. Apart from our role as business consultants we also share quite some seniority when it comes to coaching. These coaches actually turned out to be a bit puzzled. And what was supposed to be just a coffee break ended up in a kind of small revolution when it comes to coaching people.
For those over the age of 14, there’s a good chance you’ve worked (or are still working) at an organization that places far too much emphasis on reporting lines. Where they encourage employees to focus on an overly narrow set of tasks until everyone is competing with each other over minor details of how tasks should be done, whose job is more important, and the typical corporate drama. These companies will often even try to implement results-based performance evaluations, wherein each person is judged based on how quickly and effectively they perform their own narrow range of tasks.
Not my quote. It was Peter Drucker’s statement, a long time ago. So business sustainability is not new. However, for decades now most companies only worked on sustainability as a marketing gimmick. For others it was about managing (reputation) risk. Result: focus on only environmental issues or on CSR charity actions. Rather disappointing, wouldn’t you agree?
Organizations operating as standalone entities? It is my sincere conviction they will cease to exist within a decade. We can no longer ignore the increasingly assertive ecosystem in (and from) which we profit. Connecting will need to become both extended and enhanced. And that's where teams come in. Often being the interface with the ecosystem, they play a crucial role. That's why for several years now we have been working intensely with teams regarding connectedness. That's how I got to experience what I would call... the power of the pack.
Think you can innovate by appointing an innovation manager? Or by rolling out an innovation process? Forget it. The organizations that tried, have all since backtracked. And those still intending to approach innovation in the same way, should think twice. What you really need is room for experimentation. Businesses that truly excel in terms of innovation have the courage to fundamentally question things, to try new ideas, to fail, and to learn from it.
So what’s been cooking in our Bean’s kitchen? Innovation surely has! Our recent and most favorite dish on the menu is a self-assessment tool that investigates an individual’s or an organization’s innovative capabilities. Quite an indispensable view when involving an entire organization in the process.
Organizations in pppigboot2016 do recognize that habits (culture) and habitat (structure or design) are both critical components of change, innovation and growth. Want to promote collaboration and drive innovation? Change the culture. Want to recruit top young talent? Change the culture. Want to rebrand? Change the culture. On the flipsize, there’s also a growing preoccupation with design. But there’s a problem. Too few organizations realize that habitat and habits go hand in hand. That’s right. Habitat influences habits and vice versa.
I witnessed it myself some twenty years ago. Megalomaniac-scaled ICT projects endeavoured to find answers to as many issues as possible. In most cases, this approach resulted in an overextended development time.