Tag Archive: solving

Common Sense

  • “We always did it this way!”

Storey and Salaman found that:

“[…] there is a tension between existing organisational strengths and innovation. […] In some cases, senior managers […] made a virtue out of the ways in which established structures limited innovation and argued that such control was necessary and desirable. In these cases, if innovation was to be tolerated and even encouraged, this was only so within the parameters of existing assumptions, structures and systems.”

(Storey and Salaman, 2005, p. 219)

Cultures consist of complex webs of interrelated factors. People may not see the need for change. This was described as the resilience of existing cultures (Hendry and Hope, 1994).

  • “We never did it this way!”

Many established organisations find it difficult to innovate. Some of the reasons for this are

“[… ] structural and cultural inertia, internal politics, complacency, fear of cannibalising existing products, fear of destroying existing competencies, satisfaction with the status quo, and a general lack of incentive to abandon a certain present (which is profitable) for an uncertain future.”

(Markides, 2002, pp. 246–7)

Hendry and Hope (1994) found that mismatches between individual and organisational values hinder organisational change. If individuals are to accept change, they need to trust their organisation and the behaviour of their managers.

  • “No one has done this before!”

Storey and Salaman sought to understand why managers have resisted innovation:

“The answer appears to be that they hold deep, emotionally-based attitudes which inure them to the intellectual arguments. These managers regard themselves as guardians of the integrity and traditions of the organisations. They explained their stance on innovation as justified by the need to curtail the ‘risks’ of innovation. It was, they said, underpinned by the need to ensure that valuable resources were not ‘squandered’ on ‘self-indulgent’ initiatives. Far from seeing this attitude as a negative, they converted it into a claimed strength.”

(Storey and Salaman, 2005, pp. 157–8)

Hendry and Hope (1994) found that contradictions in the desired culture can represent strong barriers to change and innovation. Change may represent management’s quest for control, yet what they proclaim is autonomy and innovation.

Working With Others

Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning cycle and Pedlar et al. (2001) are a little weak when it comes to working with others: relationships with others can affect our learning and actions. Ever had a teacher you disliked? Did you learn much in the discipline taught? It is a reason why only after school my journey in physics came beyond Newtons’ mechanical universe…

Judi Marshall (2001) wrote about reflective learning from another perspective. She defines “inner and outer arcs of attention”:

Inner arcs of attention:

  • our assumptions
  • our patterns of activity
  • our response to others
  • the language we use
  • the way we make sense of what is going on

Outer arcs of attention:

  • what is going on around us
  • how we are affecting it
  • how we are maintaining or changing a situation
  • how we can test our assumptions
  • how other people  are making sense of what is going on (the same events/situation)

These arcs can be a means to question our assumptions and ready-made opinions. Marshall recommends that we attend to these arcs with curiosity and playfulness, to try something different.

The Creative Brief

Anyone in advertising or marketing will be familiar with the Creative Brief; it is an industry standard. I see this run to two or three pages. The copy going to the creative team (copywriter and art director) was meant to be kept to a single page of A4.
Didn’t Churchill when he was First Lord of the Admiralty send away a lengthy document wanting it back as a single page? A recent British Foreign Minister used to be known by some of his civil servants as A4! This is because he required all his briefing notes from them – even on the most complicated aspects of foreign policy – to be summarised to find one A4 sized sheet of paper. I like to quote Jonathan Swift who apologised for writing someone a lengthy letter as he hadn’t the time to write a short one. Like this ‘stream of consciousness’, it pays to edit, to think through and prioritise thoughts.

Dave Pelzer: A Child Called ‘It’, and his Tips on Sticking to Your Plans

Life Lessons from Dave Pelzer
I like this book for its simplicity; it is also very short. Five or six ideas are enough to keep in your head at any one time; I’m going to meditate over the following, put them in a prayer, remind myself each day what I want to achieve.

1. Be resilient
2. Learn to fly
3. No one is perfect
4. Let go of your past
5. Deal with everyday problems
6. Rest your mind
7. Let go, let rip daily
8. Purge your soul
9. If you have been subjected to negative surroundings, use them to make you strive for something better
10. Limit your response to negative settings and, if necessary, make a clean break
11. Overcome your guilt. Make amends and move on
12. Don’t give yourself away in the vain hope of appeasing others
13. To help yourself, be yourself
14. Never go to bed upset
15. Resolve matters before they envelop you. Compromise
16. Hate no one. It is like a cancer
17. Forgiveness cleanses
18. When life is not fair, it’s the getting up that counts
19. How badly do you want it?
20. What have you accomplished?
21. Know what you want and determine to make it happen
22. What is truly important to you?
23. Attempt the so-called ‘impossible’ until it becomes an everyday part of your life
24. Don’t give your best away
25. Go the distance
26. Be happy
27. A consistent, positive attitude makes a world of difference
28. There may not be a tomorrow to count on, so live the best life that you can today
29. Start saying positive, rather than negative things abut yourself (and everyone around you)
30. Focus. If you have no goal or the self-belief that you can accomplish them, you will end up going nowhere
31. Deflect negativity
33. Every day see the brighter side of things

This is not about some sort of positive thinking, it is about what you want and do in your life. Keep up the good work.

[Official site: http://www.davepelzer.com/]