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When to Upgrade Your Innovation

Based on my experience, the simpler the innovation, the bigger the improvement (the KIS concept – keep it simple). In the true spirit of innovating, we look for something better. However, innovation is killed by the mind-set of, “if it is not broke, don’t fix it.” So, how do you drive innovation and not just change for change’s sake?

Ripples in the Work Environment

Just as a stone hitting the water causes ripples, strategic decisions cause ripples in an organizational culture. I thought about that Monday night as my husband audibly gasped when Alabama brought in a true freshman quarterback to start the half. Really? The starting...

Risky business can be a risk.

In business, risk assessments help teams ensure that the right focus is being applied and sufficient actions taken to protect the business operations. First, the potential risks have to be identified. The simplest approach is to think of potential risks by functional area, like supply chain, IT, or facilities. Once the team has identified all the potential risks to that functional area, the next step is ranking them.

Three building blocks of sustaining culture change

Thinking of actions is the easy part. I would be willing to bet we’ve all been in blue sky brainstorming sessions where the team white boards a really creative approach to solving a problem. But when that very idea is put to work it causes an unintended consequence which no one saw coming.

Integrity as a state of being…

Integrity, according to Webster, is the quality of being honest and fair. While not many words, they are words of great depth. Integrity is a state of being, driving motivation of behaviors. Being honest and fair is made up of lots of small actions, many perceptions, and consistency.

Working “diagonally” in your organization

There are many business articles on building networks in business. Mostly regarding networking with “like” professionals who aren’t necessarily folks within your organization. Would it be heresy for me to encourage you to also build a network within your company? And while you’re at it, may I also propose that your internal network may be more important?

The gray middle ground of a business slogan

What actions, as leaders, are we taking day-to-day to support the words we say and the slogans we use? Before creating the next great slogan, ask yourself, what “Safety First” looks like in your culture. From correct posture at the computer to wearing your hearing protection on the floor. Walk your office. Walk your floor. What is your goal? How does the slogan support the actual work?

Are your “headlights” on?

You need to find metrics that that both confirm you are improving and that you have a clear path forward. So if you find yourself on a dark road on a stormy night, you won’t scare your passenger by asking, “Are my headlights on?” Be proactive. Find your metrics.

I can’t get no satisfaction

It is easy to appreciate work and efforts when the team is doing great. When metrics are green, when times are good, saying thanks is easy. But what about when the team works a 24-hour shift and still misses the delivery due to circumstances beyond their control? What about when your team has done everything right and still “loses”? As a leader, do you still recognize the sacrifice?

The two-sided coin of Innovation and Continuous Improvement

Innovation and continuous improvement are closely linked, though different. I tend to view them as two sides of the same coin. Encouraging both ensures your team or your company, is in a better competitive position.

So what are some of the main differences?