a kind of Magic
Food for Thought
Creativity and Innovation in Teams
Abuse of internet prevention not dection
a kind of magic
business really changed in the last 20 years? The easy
answer is yes and no. The customer is still there, but
his expectations have grown. To quote the famous Queen
song 'its a kind of magic' the customer 'wants it all'
as they have always done but they also 'want it now!'
Speed of response has had to alter considerably along
with the quality.
to the business, where have all the characters gone?
Every company in the land will remember certain people
from long gone days. The tyrant MD, the penny pinching
finance manager, the 'off the wall' marketing manager,
the shop steward, old Joe who never followed a pattern
in his 40 years with the company but his work was precise
and showed real skill. They have been replaced by 'corporate
man / woman', clones who follow the process, who work
long hours, who produce report after report, who will
give their energy to your business until a better offer
The sociability has diminished, time is the enemy and
this does not allow for social chit-chat. Remember the
days when everyone went to the pub on Friday lunch?
Remember when you had time to enjoy the company of your
work colleagues? Has it hindered communication? We may
be missing a vital link. We replace this sociability
with organised team events to try to get people to work
together, to break down barriers, to communicate more,
perhaps they are the only way of providing the space
and time for such interaction. Managers are getting
younger, but have you considered that because a lot
of the experience has left that they are simply repeating
the same mistakes again? Is progress really as fast
as it could be? Ideas will come up and those who have
been around a while will recognise it as the same one
as a few years ago but called something else. We should
also consider the equation of experience and enthusiasm.
Imagine that they are both a constant factor, enthusiasm
alone is not enough and experience without enthusiasm
is insufficient as well. We should strive to create
the balance. Where has all this left the issue of effectiveness
of organisations? Has it improved over time, remained
the same or deteriorated? We may have cut cost, cut
lead times, cut numbers of employees etc but to measure
true effectiveness we need to look in a more holistic
back to the original question, has business changed?
Yes it has, as expectation and society have changed
so business has responded willingly or not. Have we
lost something along the way? That is a matter for you
months ago, I took on two Cocker Spaniel puppies. They
were 13 months old so I thought they were already trained
to a certain degree. Little did I realise what a shock
to my life they would be. I had lost the freedom to
do as I pleased, every trip out had to be planned either
to leave them or to take them. I have shouted at them
and made them neurotic thinking I was teaching them
how to behave. Then I read a book about 'dog listening'
and this, together with reflecting on all the work I
did in education and industry, where I tried to get
the best out of people made me realise that it did not
involve shouting and creating an unhappy environment.
It involved planning and listening and involving people.
So I have changed my style and what a change in the
dogs, they are more relaxed, obedient and happier dogs.
We live and learn.
and inovation in teams
these days of increasing competition, it is becoming
more and more difficult to differentiate your company
and its product or service. This is where making space
to allow creativity and innovation to develop becomes
vital not only to expand but to survive.
Let us define creativity as the development of new ideas,
and innovation as the implementation and application
of those ideas. Research seems to suggest that creativity
is most effective as an individual activity whereas
innovation tends to be accomplished by teams more readily.
What are the implications of this for business? If creativity
is to flourish then the climate has to be right.
to think and develop ideas has to be given, plus the
supportive framework that allows ideas to be aired without
criticism and cynicism. Trust therefore within the team
has to be high, and the leader's role is to engender
such an atmosphere. Consideration also has to be given
to the level of autonomy given and the scope and importance
of the task undertaken. The leader must be optimistic,
inspiring, empowering, open to discussion, allow interaction
amongst the team and protect the team sometimes from
people whose narrower vision could damage the climate
need to have a diversity of knowledge and skills to
enable high innovation.
must manage conflict in a constructive way so that the
team can work together. So as a business, create the
climate and clear objectives, let the team decide how
to manage the issue and then provide feedback on the
outcomes of the work.
of internet prevention not dection
until your system has been abused is not the way to
tackle this issue. Establishing a policy which sets
out Internet access at work is crucial and it will help
employees to understand the company position and avoid
tackling the matter retrospectively. It should be in
writing, clearly communicated to employees and specify
the following points:
What is permitted use of e-mail and internet.
What are prohibited uses.
Acceptable on line behaviour.
Unauthorised access areas.
Privacy rules in relation to other users.
Privacy rules in relation to the employer's right
Consequences of breaching the rules.
are all essential to comply with the Regulation of Investigative
Powers Act 2000. If you put this in place you will offer
the best protection you can against abuse and have the
mechanism to deal with it if it does happen.