Overdoing It: When Continuous Improvement Stifles Innovation

Overdoing It: When Continuous Improvement Stifles Innovation by Laura Stack #productivity #strategy

"The culture, behaviors, processes, measurements, rewards, and tolerance for failure needed to drive operational excellence are fundamentally different from those needed to create innovation, which requires an emphasis on exploration and invention." -- Ed Hess and Jeanne Liedtka, authors of The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, System and Processes. My recent blog about continuous improvement, "Maximizing ROI: Continuous Improvement as a Core Value," seems to have struck a chord with some readers. In my first tip, I suggested that you take care to deploy continuous improvement (CI) gradually, because in certain circumstances formats it can stifle innovation when applied too vigorously. A couple readers asked for more information on how two positives added together can equal a … [Read more...]

Maximizing ROI: Continuous Improvement as a Core Value

Maximizing ROI: Continuous Improvement as a Core Value by Laura Stack #productivity

“If you’re any good at all, you know you can be better.” -- Lindsay Buckingham, British musician. Good enough is good enough, right? Perhaps that’s true for cleaning your house or writing an email, but as a leader, you know that can be a dangerous attitude. Complacency kills companies, much more quickly and thoroughly than ever before. You and your team must always strive to get better at what you do, because as Oliver Cromwell put it, "He who stops being better stops being good." If Cromwell's name rings a bell, that's because he was a master at bettering himself. He rose from relative obscurity in his 40s to become one of the chief politicians of early 17th century England. He participated in the English Civil War as a member of the Parliamentarians or "Roundheads," rising to a key … [Read more...]

Crack That Whip! The Importance of Self-Discipline

Crack That Whip! The Importance of Self-Discipline by Laura Stack #productivity

Do you complete your workplace tasks within the promised timeframes? Or do deadlines ever slip past you, even as you curse your own stupidity? When that happens, it’s hard to focus on anything productive, because a dark cloud hangs over your head, and guilt sucks the energy right out of you. If you ever think, "Maybe I shouldn't be doing this right now," you're probably right. How much time could you save by tightening your self-control? If you arrived at work and didn't stop for coffee, didn't talk to a friend, didn't fall into the email trap for 90 minutes, where could you use the extra time? Instead of wasting your day, start cracking the whip of self-discipline. Several areas to think about include procrastination, tardiness, and perfectionism. Um, Can We Talk About This L … [Read more...]