In this issue:
Poynter Online • November 10, 2008
How to manage by getting out of the way. Here are some common sense suggestions for encouraging collaboration among your staff. Hint—it takes more than just a software platform...
In fact, our author (refreshingly?) never mentions technology in her pithy, upbeat riff on collaboration. She says the four big barriers are distance, dominance, dissonance and discomfort—and then prescribes one simple, universal solution. To find out what it is, watch the video (a painless 1 minute, 36 seconds). ( Dooley)
Harvard Business Publishing • November 5, 2008
New rules for 21st century organizations. Obama's game-changing organizational skills represent a new way of thinking about how we do business—and it all begins with an ideal. As author Umair Haque says, "Yesterday, we built huge corporations to do tiny, incremental things—tomorrow, we must build small organizations that can do tremendously massive things."
The 2008 campaign was a great opportunity for someone to contrast the advantages of innovation, as what could be more predictable and conventional than the strategies of presidential politics? Haque provides a personal and challenging perspective on what it means to apply these innovations to our organizations and ourselves. ( Washburn)
HBS Working Knowledge • November 10, 2008
Putting your patrons to work. Author Jim Heskett shares insights on getting the most out of your volunteers.
Flickr, Wikipedia, You Tube, usability testing. Some business models see user contributions to collaborative information and innovation as free labor—the customers do the work. It's risky for businesses to ignore or abuse such trust. Contributions of content and design are earned by honesty, transparency and authenticity. ( Schaffner)
IdeaConnection • November 17, 2008
The power of lateral thinking. Author Paul Sloane poses brain puzzles intended to stimulate lateral thinking, a way to spark innovation by approaching old problems from a new direction.
This is more than just approaching problems from a different perspective—it's asking larger questions, frequently returning to first principles, finding innovation outside of your own organization, looking beyond current success to see the next challenge and imagining solutions. ( Proffitt)
Information Week • November 8, 2008
Beauty contests and predictive markets. Find out how collective decision-making tools are challenging status quo thinking.
Ever wondered how many good ideas are getting lost because the suggestion box didn't get transitioned to the Web? The intriguing aspect here is how tools that are helping to drive business decisions about innovation and new directions might be adapted to our institutional settings. Smart polling of both staff and user populations and prioritizing their responses could lead to seriously impactful new services. ( Elkington)