Creatividad

Como Consultor de liderazgo, nunca pierdo una oportunidad de preguntarle a ejecutivos de alto nivel qué es lo que ellos consideran crítico para que las personas y organizaciones tengan éxito en el dinámico entorno empresarial de la actualidad. Recientemente me reuní con la vicepresidente ejecutiva de una compañía de la lista Fortune 500 que ha construido muchos equipos nacionales y globales, y que sirve como una líder altamente inspiracional para su organización e industria. Ella me dijo que ser creativo e innovador son los dos factores más importantes para el éxito -no sólo para las compañías, sino para los líderes y sus equipos. La investigación ha validado estos hallazgos.

¿Cómo pueden los líderes liberar el rango completo de pensamiento en sus equipos? He aquí algunas estrategias:

— EVITE QUEDAR ACORRALADO POR EL PROCESO: Si un equipo está bloqueado creativamente, un primer paso es que el líder examine si es que los procesos están afectando el razonamiento. El seguir sistemáticamente las reglas puede apagar las lluvias de ideas, pues algunos podrían dudar de expresar puntos de vista alternativos. Si este es el caso, trate de remover algunas estructuras procedimentales durante las sesiones creativas.
— FACILITE EL ARROJAR ESPAGUETI: La investigación muestra que 80% de las personas consideran que liberar el potencial creativo es clave para el crecimiento económico, pero solo el 25% sienten que están aplicando plenamente su potencial creativo. Trabaje en crear un entorno de seguridad psicológica. Aliente el conflicto y debate saludable y, en lugar de micro-gerenciar, dele a otros las riendas para explorar y asumir riesgos.
— REVELE LOS “PISOS PEGAJOSOS”: Todos poseen las bases para volverse creativos, lo que inicia cuando los miembros del equipo creen en sí mismos como generadores de ideas. Cuando alguien del equipo siente que no es inherentemente innovador, esa creencia puede convertirse rápidamente en lo que llamo un “piso pegajoso”: una suposición auto limitante que puede sabotear el éxito. Parte del rol de un líder consiste en usar la inteligencia emocional para determinar si hay integrantes del equipo que inconscientemente se están reprimiendo. Ayúdelos a ser conscientes del piso pegajoso, y bríndeles entrenamiento y apoyo para expresar ideas innovadoras en el entorno del equipo.
— ALIENTE UNA MENTALIDAD DE CRECIMIENTO – ADEREZADA CON ATENCIÓN PLENA: La mentalidad de crecimiento, un término acuñado por la Dra. Carol Dweck, se refiere a cómo la persona piensa acerca de sus propias habilidades. Las personas con una mentalidad de crecimiento creen que pueden mejorar a través de su propio esfuerzo. Aceptan los contratiempos y no los ven como fracasos. Los líderes deberían instruir a sus empleados para abrazar esta mentalidad, explicándoles cómo la creencia interna de que pueden volverse más creativos los ayuda a desarrollar esas habilidades a lo largo del tiempo, aprendiendo de sus errores y mejorando. Una práctica de atención plena también puede ayudar a amplificar los resultados, pues las investigaciones revelan que la meditación despierta los impulsos creativos. Incrementar la atención plena puede ser tan simple como caminar a mitad del día mientras se enfoca en lo que le rodea, o alejar las distracciones tecnológicas en momentos específicos, para inspirar el pensamiento libre.

La meta de hacer que su equipo piense más allá de la caja es evidente, pero descubrir cómo realmente lograr una mayor innovación grupal no es tan sencillo. Enfóquese para lograrlo del mismo modo en que enfrentaría cualquier otro desafío gerencial: creativamente.

La tecnología augura un cambio disruptivo en los procesos de contratación de los empleados y en la forma de trabajar de las empresas, pero aún prima el factor humano en los equipos de gestión de personal y departamentos de recursos humanos.
Las compañías y, en concreto los equipos de recursos humanos, que buscaran la forma más humana de gestionar a los trabajadores, la manera más eficiente de trabajar y la mayor ventaja competitiva para la empresa.
Digitalización de los procesos mecánicos

Es el turno de que los departamentos de recursos humanos abracen la transformación digital. Las grandes, medianas y pequeñas empresas van a prescindir de los procesos manuales que tanto tiempo quitan a los empleados en sus jornadas. El registro de gastos y facturas, por ejemplo, será cada vez más automático a través de fotografías y aplicaciones móviles que desterrarán el montón de papeles y el picado de datos. Este tipo de procesos permitirán ganar tiempo, evitar pérdidas y dedicar más energía y recursos a tareas de más valor.
Democratización de la tecnología

La evolución de la tecnología y la facilidad para acceder a ella va a permitir a las pymes tener acceso a muchas herramientas que antes les era más difícil. También la gestión del personal y las opciones de flexibilidad y motivación de los empleados se universalizan: independientemente del sector y el tamaño de las compañías, se comienzan a automatizar procesos, flexibilizar horarios, ofrecer otras formas retributivas… todas las empresas van a poder beneficiarse de las innovaciones en el campo de los recursos humanos y tener la posibilidad de acceder a herramientas económicas y sencillas de utilizar.

Mejorar el efecto blurring (efecto difuso)
Una de las cosas de las que se quejan es la conciliación de la vida personal y la laboral. Hay ciertos hábitos asociados al ocio que se pueden instaurar en la rutina laboral y que mejoran la productividad y la motivación de los empleados. Por ejemplo, el disfrute de pedir comida en la pausa del medio día es cada vez más habitual en las oficinas, una práctica que era común mayoritariamente en los momentos de ocio. Las empresas van a introducir pequeños incentivos para adoptar estos hábitos, motivar a los empleados y ayudarles a optimizar sus tiempos.

Universalización del salario flexible
Al igual que la innovación tecnológica está llegando a todas las compañías, independientemente de su tamaño y sector, las opciones de flexibilización de salario se han extendido prácticamente por casi todas las empresas.

En este contexto, serán cada vez más las compañías que ofrezcan a sus trabajadores la posibilidad de decidir sus formas de retribución (elegir una única cuantía bruta u opciones de Ticket Restaurant, transporte, seguros médicos, bonos guardería…), con procesos mucho más automáticos y sencillos, pues es ya una clara preferencia para los empleados y, por tanto, una ventaja competitiva para las empresas a la hora de encontrar y retener talento.

Programas de bienestar en la empresa
Las compañías y sus directivos están asumiendo parte de la responsabilidad del bienestar de su equipo, y se va a apostar por programas y acciones para mejorar los hábitos de los empleados, si no las relaciones interpersonales y el ambiente en la oficina. Ya que con esto se consigue un equipo mas incentivado y productivo.

Los departamentos de recursos humanos tienen que seguir el ritmo a la digitalización y a los nuevos estilos de vida de las personas, y muchas empresas comenzarán a hacerlo ahora, cuando ya tantos departamentos están implementando cambios, para terminar de crear una organización integral. Las entidades serán realmente competitivas cuando consigan optimizar la gestión del personal y ofrecer a su capital humano una mejora en sus condiciones para poder desempeñar su trabajo.

La sociedad se encuentra en un proceso de cambio constante en un mundo cada vez más globalizado y competitivo.

Con este cambio constante, las organizaciones requieren profesionales cada vez más creativos que logren convertir sus ideas en riqueza para la sociedad (productos y servicios innovadores). Por este motivo se da un importante incremento del interés en diferentes organizaciones por el fomento del emprendimiento, por la creación de departamentos de investigación, innovación y desarrollo, que no sólo fortalezcan la creación de nuevas unidades de negocios, sino también el desarrollo de competencias emprendedoras que permitan ser, a los futuros profesionales y personas con compromiso social, responsables con la transformación positiva de los entornos o comunidades donde habitan.

Por esta razón, hoy cada vez más empresas se preocupan por desarrollar en sus empleados la competencia de creatividad e innovación, entendida en el campo de la psicología de las organizaciones como la “capacidad de realizar una búsqueda sistemática de oportunidades y soluciones de problemas a través de maneras diferentes de pensar y de actuar, que suelen materializarse en productos y servicios nuevos que satisfacen las necesidades de un público objetivo”.

Según el periodista y escritor, tres veces ganador del premio Pulitzer, Friedman Thomas:
“Adaptarse en un mundo plano, saber cómo aprender a aprender, será una de las bases más importantes del trabajador, porque la redistribución laboral se hará más deprisa, porque las innovaciones surgirán más rápidamente” [y cuanto más] “se amplían los horizontes del conocimiento y de la tecnología, cuanto más compleja son las tareas que pueden realizar las máquinas, mayor será la demanda de personas que tengan una forma especializada o la capacidad de aprender a aprender, y mejores sueldos se les ofrecerá” (Thomas, F., 2006, p. 254, 255).

Teniendo en cuenta esta realidad, es necesario señalar que la competitividad para una organización se logra, entre otras cosas, poniendo especial atención en el conocimiento que día a día se va generando, tanto por las personas, como por la interacción entre estas, ya que es desde el aprendizaje y desde la gestión del conocimiento donde se empieza a construir una plataforma para tener ventajas competitivas y de diferenciación.

¿Cómo es la estructura de una organización innovadora?

Es por lo anterior que la organización innovadora, por lo tanto, suele basarse en equipos multidisciplinares, donde los departamentos clásicos funcionales se diluyan y pierdan cada vez más poder, en beneficio de la misión global de la empresa y, en todo caso, se conviertan en centros de formación y de provisión de recursos para los diferentes proyectos de innovación.

La creatividad es la otra cara de la innovación. En otras palabras, la creatividad es la capacidad de producir ideas nuevas y únicas y la innovación es la puesta en marcha de esa creatividad, es la introducción de una nueva idea, solución, proceso o producto. La creatividad es la fuerza motriz de la innovación y supone una mirada fresca y renovada de las cosas desde una perspectiva diferente y sin restricciones.
La innovación es un medio privilegiado para alcanzar los objetivos estratégicos, mejorar la competitividad, marcar la diferencia y crear valor.

¿Qué podemos hacer para desarrollar la creatividad e innovación?
1.Fórmate. Desde Estrategia Consulting Group y MIGUEL PLA CONSULTORES impulsamos el desarrollo de estas competencias como lo son: Desarrollar el potencial creativo, Innovar en el modelo de negocio con el Método Canvas e Innovación en la práctica.
2.Coge vacaciones. La rutina es el enemigo de la creatividad. En ocasiones conviene tomarse un tiempo para ausentarse del trabajo. Por lo general viene con varios beneficios para la salud, que incluyen una presión arterial más baja y mejores niveles emocionales. Después de un merecido descanso, tu cuerpo regresará más inspirado y listo para crear.
3. Asistir a conferencias. Las conferencias de la industria son un gran recurso para la inspiración. Es un lugar donde puedes conocer a otros profesionales con ideas afines, escuchar conversaciones interesantes de otros líderes y establecer contactos con otras empresas.
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By : Andrea Miras Ramos

¿Qué es liderazgo? Cada uno de nosotros creemos tener una idea sobre lo que significa ser un buen líder, pero a la hora de definir el concepto, la cosa no está tan clara. Para algunos el liderazgo es motivación, para otros es sinónimo de resultados, para otros, inspiración.

Sea como sea, podemos definir el liderazgo basándonos en unos elementos comunes con los que todos coincidimos. Estas son las 10 maneras de definir el arte de liderar:

1. Visión
Liderar implica tener una visión y compartirla con los demás. Sólo cuando se consigue inspirar a los demás, se logra compartir una meta común hacia la que dirigir los esfuerzos y dedicación de todo el equipo. ¿Cuál es tu visión?

2. Motivación
El líder sabe motivar como nadie, es una de sus principales funciones como gestor de personas. A través de la motivación, el líder canaliza la energía y el potencial profesional de sus compañeros, con el fin de conseguir los objetivos.

3. Servir
El líder está al servicio del equipo, y no al revés. Los miembros del grupo deben contar y sentir el apoyo de su líder, tener al alcance las herramientas necesarias para desempeñar su trabajo de forma adecuada, ver reconocidos sus esfuerzos y saber que hay una persona atenta para corregir los malos hábitos. Todo eso forma parte de un liderazgo que sirve a su equipo, y no al revés.

4. Empatía
Una de las cualidades de un líder que se preste al éxito es precisamente la inteligencia emocional, esa capacidad -a menudo innata- que tienen los líderes para ponerse en el lugar de los demás, comprender sus preocupaciones y dar solución a los problemas. Los líderes conocen los secretos de su negocio y por eso pueden mostrar empatía con los clientes y con los miembros de su equipo: esa empatía consigue inspirar y establecer lazos que conducen al éxito.

5. Creatividad
La definición de liderazgo también tiene que ver con la creatividad. Los buenos líderes son capaces de crear un entorno que anime a todos los miembros de su equipo a desarrollar sus habilidades y su imaginación, de manera que contribuyan con su sello personal al proyecto cómun y la visión de la empresa. Si quieres liderar con éxito, respeta la creatividad de los demás y aprende de la gente que te rodea, seguro que sus ideas suman en lugar de restar.

6. Exigencia
Un buen líder pone el listón muy alto a los suyos, porque quiere lograr los objetivos y sacar lo mejor de su equipo. Solamente un líder exigente logrará grandes resultados. Además de esa exigencia, el líder tiene que saber escuchar, para conocer las necesidades de sus compañeros y poder después ofrecerles el tiempo y los recursos necesarios para que hagan bien su trabajo y, por tanto, cumplan con lo que se les exige.

7. Dirigir
El líder debe estar al frente para dirigir y servir de guía a su equipo durante todo el proceso hasta que se cumple el objetivo marcado. Pero además de esa “avanzadilla”, los líderes también saben cuándo dar un paso atrás para que sea su equipo quien tome la iniciativa, de esta forma logra brindar a su equipo la oportunidad de desarrollarse personal y profesionalmente. La gestión pura se centra en las tareas, el liderazgo auténtico, en las personas.

8. Hacer equipo
El verdadero liderazgo busca trabajar en equipo para alcanzar un objetivo común. La gestión de personas es una de las tareas más difíciles a las que se enfrentan los líderes. Gracias a la actitud positiva imprescindible en los buenos líderes, y a la confianza que éstos depositan en sus compañeros, las personas obtienen mejores resultados. Los líderes con conciencia de equipo saben asumir la responsabilidad cuando algo no va bien, y recompensar al grupo tras un trabajo bien hecho.

9. Asumir riesgos
El líder es el encargado de asumir riesgos que los demás no están dispuestos a asumir. Es quien tiene la confianza suficiente para tomar una decisión, y si se equivoca, el líder debe tener el coraje suficiente para rectificar, asumir su culpa y tomar el camino correcto, sin culpabilizar al equipo. Los buenos líderes saben adelantarse a su tiempo, ven oportunidades donde otros no las ven y saben contagiar la ilusión por su visión para tratar de hacerla realidad.

10. Mejorar
El verdadero liderazgo busca la mejora continua. Los líderes tienen la capacidad de convertir a los individuos de su equipo en estrellas, personas que han mejorado sus capacidades y han logrado desarrollar habilidades gracias a la influencia de su líder.
En resumen, la definición de liderazgo no tiene que ver con la jerarquía ni la posicion de nadie en la empresa, no tiene que ver con imponer opiniones sino con escuchar a los que saben. El liderazgo es la actitud que asumen aquellas personas que buscan algo diferente, que están comprometidas a lograr un objetivo y cuya convicción logran transmitir a los demás a través de la ilusión y el optimismo, para lograr un objetivo común.
Y para ti, ¿qué es liderazgo?

How do I find innovative people for my organization? And how can I become more innovative myself?” These are questions that stump senior executives, who understand that the ability to innovate is the “secret sauce” of business success. Unfortunately, most of us know very little about what makes one person more creative than another. Perhaps for this reason, we stand in awe of visionary entrepreneurs like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, and P&G’s A.G. Lafley. How do these people come up with groundbreaking new ideas? If it were possible to discover the inner workings of the masters’ minds, what could the rest of us learn about how innovation really happens? In searching for answers, we undertook a six-year study to uncover the origins of creative—and often disruptive—business strategies in particularly innovative companies. Our goal was to put innovative entrepreneurs under the microscope, examining when and how they came up with the ideas on which their businesses were built. We especially wanted to examine how they differ from other executives and entrepreneurs: Someone who buys a McDonald’s franchise may be an entrepreneur, but building an Amazon requires different skills altogether. We studied the habits of 25 innovative entrepreneurs and surveyed more than 3,000 executives and 500 individuals who had started innovative companies or invented new products. We were intrigued to learn that at most companies, top executives do not feel personally responsible for coming up with strategic innovations. Rather, they feel responsible for facilitating the innovation process. In stark contrast, senior executives of the most innovative companies—a mere 15% in our study—don’t delegate creative work. They do it themselves. But how do they do it? Our research led us to identify five “discovery skills” that distinguish the most creative executives: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking. We found that innovative entrepreneurs (who are also CEOs) spend 50% more time on these discovery activities than do CEOs with no track record for innovation. Together, these skills make up what we call the innovator’s DNA. And the good news is, if you’re not born with it, you can cultivate it. What Makes Innovators Different? Innovative entrepreneurs have something called creative intelligence, which enables discovery yet differs from other types of intelligence (as suggested by Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences). It is more than the cognitive skill of being right-brained. Innovators engage both sides of the brain as they leverage the five discovery skills to create new ideas. In thinking about how these skills work together, we’ve found it useful to apply the metaphor of DNA. Associating is like the backbone structure of DNA’s double helix; four patterns of action (questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking) wind around this backbone, helping to cultivate new insights. And just as each person’s physical DNA is unique, each individual we studied had a unique innovator’s DNA for generating breakthrough business ideas. Imagine that you have an identical twin, endowed with the same brains and natural talents that you have. You’re both given one week to come up with a creative new business-venture idea. During that week, you come up with ideas alone in your room. In contrast, your twin (1) talks with 10 people—including an engineer, a musician, a stay-at-home dad, and a designer—about the venture, (2) visits three innovative start-ups to observe what they do, (3) samples five “new to the market” products, (4) shows a prototype he’s built to five people, and (5) asks the questions “What if I tried this?” and “Why do you do that?” at least 10 times each day during these networking, observing, and experimenting activities. Who do you bet will come up with the more innovative (and doable) idea? Studies of identical twins separated at birth indicate that our ability to think creatively comes one-third from genetics; but two-thirds of the innovation skill set comes through learning—first understanding a given skill, then practicing it, experimenting, and ultimately gaining confidence in one’s capacity to create. Innovative entrepreneurs in our study acquired and honed their innovation skills precisely this way. Let’s look at the skills in detail. Discovery Skill 1: Associating Associating, or the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields, is central to the innovator’s DNA. Entrepreneur Frans Johansson described this phenomenon as the “Medici effect,” referring to the creative explosion in Florence when the Medici family brought together people from a wide range of disciplines—sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, painters, and architects. As these individuals connected, new ideas blossomed at the intersections of their respective fields, thereby spawning the Renaissance, one of the most inventive eras in history. To grasp how associating works, it is important to understand how the brain operates. The brain doesn’t store information like a dictionary, where you can find the word “theater” under the letter “T.” Instead, it associates the word “theater” with any number of experiences from our lives. Some of these are logical (“West End” or “intermission”), while others may be less obvious (perhaps “anxiety,” from a botched performance in high school). The more diverse our experience and knowledge, the more connections the brain can make. Fresh inputs trigger new associations; for some, these lead to novel ideas. As Steve Jobs has frequently observed, “Creativity is connecting things.” The world’s most innovative companies prosper by capitalizing on the divergent associations of their founders, executives, and employees. For example, Pierre Omidyar launched eBay in 1996 after linking three unconnected dots: (1) a fascination with creating more-efficient markets, after having been shut out from a hot internet company’s IPO in the mid-1990s; (2) his fiancée’s desire to locate hard-to-find collectible Pez dispensers; and (3) the ineffectiveness of local classified ads in locating such items. Likewise, Steve Jobs is able to generate idea after idea because he has spent a lifetime exploring new and unrelated things—the art of calligraphy, meditation practices in an Indian ashram, the fine details of a Mercedes-Benz. Associating is like a mental muscle that can grow stronger by using the other discovery skills. As innovators engage in those behaviors, they build their ability to generate ideas that can be recombined in new ways. The more frequently people in our study attempted to understand, categorize, and store new knowledge, the more easily their brains could naturally and consistently make, store, and recombine associations. Discovery Skill 2: Questioning More than 50 years ago, Peter Drucker described the power of provocative questions. “The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question,” he wrote. Innovators constantly ask questions that challenge common wisdom or, as Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata puts it, “question the unquestionable.” Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, has worked directly with a number of innovative entrepreneurs, including the founders of eBay, PayPal, and Skype. “They get a kick out of screwing up the status quo,” she told us. “They can’t bear it. So they spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about how to change the world. And as they brainstorm, they like to ask: ‘If we did this, what would happen?’” Most of the innovative entrepreneurs we interviewed could remember the specific questions they were asking at the time they had the inspiration for a new venture. Michael Dell, for instance, told us that his idea for founding Dell Computer sprang from his asking why a computer cost five times as much as the sum of its parts. “I would take computers apart…and would observe that $600 worth of parts were sold for $3,000.” In chewing over the question, he hit on his revolutionary business model. Sample of Innovative Entrepreneurs from our Study Read More To question effectively, innovative entrepreneurs do the following: Ask “Why?” and “Why not?” and “What if?” Most managers focus on understanding how to make existing processes—the status quo—work a little better (“How can we improve widget sales in Taiwan?”). Innovative entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are much more likely to challenge assumptions (“If we cut the size or weight of the widget in half, how would that change the value proposition it offers?”). Marc Benioff, the founder of the online sales software provider Salesforce.com, was full of questions after witnessing the emergence of Amazon and eBay, two companies built on services delivered via the internet. “Why are we still loading and upgrading software the way we’ve been doing all this time when we can now do it over the internet?” he wondered. This fundamental question was the genesis of Salesforce.com. Imagine opposites. In his book The Opposable Mind, Roger Martin writes that innovative thinkers have “the capacity to hold two diametrically opposing ideas in their heads.” He explains, “Without panicking or simply settling for one alternative or the other, they’re able to produce a synthesis that is superior to either opposing idea.” Innovative entrepreneurs like to play devil’s advocate. “My learning process has always been about disagreeing with what I’m being told and taking the opposite position, and pushing others to really justify themselves,” Pierre Omidyar told us. “I remember it was very frustrating for the other kids when I would do this.” Asking oneself, or others, to imagine a completely different alternative can lead to truly original insights. Embrace constraints. Most of us impose constraints on our thinking only when forced to deal with real-world limitations, such as resource allocations or technology restrictions. Ironically, great questions actively impose constraints on our thinking and serve as a catalyst for out-of-the-box insights. (In fact, one of Google’s nine innovation principles is “Creativity loves constraint.”) To initiate a creative discussion about growth opportunities, one innovative executive in our study asked this question: “What if we were legally prohibited from selling to our current customers? How would we make money next year?” This led to an insightful exploration of ways the company could find and serve new customers. Another innovative CEO prods his managers to examine sunk-cost constraints by asking, “What if you had not already hired this person, installed this equipment, implemented this process, bought this business, or pursued this strategy? Would you do the same thing you are doing today?” Discovery Skill 3: Observing Discovery-driven executives produce uncommon business ideas by scrutinizing common phenomena, particularly the behavior of potential customers. In observing others, they act like anthropologists and social scientists. Intuit founder Scott Cook hit on the idea for Quicken financial software after two key observations. First he watched his wife’s frustration as she struggled to keep track of their finances. “Often the surprises that lead to new business ideas come from watching other people work and live their normal lives,” Cook explained. “You see something and ask, ‘Why do they do that? That doesn’t make sense.’” Then a buddy got him a sneak peek at the Apple Lisa before it launched. Immediately after leaving Apple headquarters, Cook drove to the nearest restaurant to write down everything he had noticed about the Lisa. His observations prompted insights such as building the graphical user interface to look just like its real-world counterpart (a checkbook, for example), making it easy for people to use it. So Cook set about solving his wife’s problem and grabbed 50% of the market for financial software in the first year. Innovators carefully, intentionally, and consistently look out for small behavioral details—in the activities of customers, suppliers, and other companies—in order to gain insights about new ways of doing things. Ratan Tata got the inspiration that led to the world’s cheapest car by observing the plight of a family of four packed onto a single motorized scooter. After years of product development, Tata Group launched in 2009 the $2,500 Nano using a modular production method that may disrupt the entire automobile distribution system in India. Observers try all sorts of techniques to see the world in a different light. Akio Toyoda regularly practices Toyota’s philosophy of genchi genbutsu—“going to the spot and seeing for yourself.” Frequent direct observation is baked into the Toyota culture. Discovery Skill 4: Experimenting When we think of experiments, we think of scientists in white coats or of great inventors like Thomas Edison. Like scientists, innovative entrepreneurs actively try out new ideas by creating prototypes and launching pilots. (As Edison said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that do not work.”) The world is their laboratory. Unlike observers, who intensely watch the world, experimenters construct interactive experiences and try to provoke unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge. The innovative entrepreneurs we interviewed all engaged in some form of active experimentation, whether it was intellectual exploration (Michael Lazaridis mulling over the theory of relativity in high school), physical tinkering (Jeff Bezos taking apart his crib as a toddler or Steve Jobs disassembling a Sony Walkman), or engagement in new surroundings (Starbucks founder Howard Shultz roaming Italy visiting coffee bars). As executives of innovative enterprises, they make experimentation central to everything they do. Bezos’s online bookstore didn’t stay where it was after its initial success; it morphed into an online discount retailer, selling a full line of products from toys to TVs to home appliances. The electronic reader Kindle is an experiment that is now transforming Amazon from an online retailer to an innovative electronics manufacturer. Bezos sees experimentation as so critical to innovation that he has institutionalized it at Amazon. “I encourage our employees to go down blind alleys and experiment,” Bezos says. “If we can get processes decentralized so that we can do a lot of experiments without it being very costly, we’ll get a lot more innovation.” How Innovators Stack Up Read More Scott Cook, too, stresses the importance of creating a culture that fosters experimentation. “Our culture opens us to allowing lots of failures while harvesting the learning,” he told us. “It’s what separates an innovation culture from a normal corporate culture.” One of the most powerful experiments innovators can engage in is living and working overseas. Our research revealed that the more countries a person has lived in, the more likely he or she is to leverage that experience to deliver innovative products, processes, or businesses. In fact, if managers try out even one international assignment before becoming CEO, their companies deliver stronger financial results than companies run by CEOs without such experience—roughly 7% higher market performance on average, according to research by Gregeren, Mason A. Carpenter, and Gerard W. Sanders. P&G’s A.G. Lafley, for example, spent time as a student studying history in France and running retail operations on U.S. military bases in Japan. He returned to Japan later to head all of P&G’s Asia operations before becoming CEO. His diverse international experience has served him well as the leader of one of the most innovative companies in the world. Discovery Skill 5: Networking Devoting time and energy to finding and testing ideas through a network of diverse individuals gives innovators a radically different perspective. Unlike most executives—who network to access resources, to sell themselves or their companies, or to boost their careers—innovative entrepreneurs go out of their way to meet people with different kinds of ideas and perspectives to extend their own knowledge domains. To this end, they make a conscious effort to visit other countries and meet people from other walks of life. They also attend idea conferences such as Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED), Davos, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Such conferences draw together artists, entrepreneurs, academics, politicians, adventurers, scientists, and thinkers from all over the world, who come to present their newest ideas, passions, and projects. Michael Lazaridis, the founder of Research In Motion, notes that the inspiration for the original BlackBerry occurred at a conference in 1987. A speaker was describing a wireless data system that had been designed for Coke; it allowed vending machines to send a signal when they needed refilling. “That’s when it hit me,” Lazaridis recalls. “I remembered what my teacher said in high school: ‘Don’t get too caught up with computers because the person that puts wireless technology and computers together is going to make a big difference.’” David Neeleman came up with key ideas for JetBlue—such as satellite TV at every seat and at-home reservationists—through networking at conferences and elsewhere. Kent Bowen, the founding scientist of CPS technologies (maker of an innovative ceramic composite), hung the following credo in every office of his start-up: “The insights required to solve many of our most challenging problems come from outside our industry and scientific field. We must aggressively and proudly incorporate into our work findings and advances which were not invented here.” Scientists from CPS have solved numerous complex problems by talking with people in other fields. One expert from Polaroid with in-depth knowledge of film technology knew how to make the ceramic composite stronger. Experts in sperm-freezing technology knew how to prevent ice crystal growth on cells during freezing, a technique that CPS applied to its manufacturing process with stunning success. Put a Ding in the Universe Read More Practice, Practice, Practice As innovators actively engage in the discovery skills, they become defined by them. They grow increasingly confident of their creative abilities. For A.G. Lafley, innovation is the central job of every leader, regardless of the place he or she occupies on the organizational chart. But what if you—like most executives—don’t see yourself or those on your team as particularly innovative? Though innovative thinking may be innate to some, it can also be developed and strengthened through practice. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of rehearsing over and over the behaviors described above, to the point that they become automatic. This requires putting aside time for you and your team to actively cultivate more creative ideas. The most important skill to practice is questioning. Asking “Why” and “Why not” can help turbocharge the other discovery skills. Ask questions that both impose and eliminate constraints; this will help you see a problem or opportunity from a different angle. Try spending 15 to 30 minutes each day writing down 10 new questions that challenge the status quo in your company or industry. “If I had a favorite question to ask, everyone would anticipate it,” Michael Dell told us. “Instead I like to ask things people don’t think I’m going to ask. This is a little cruel, but I kind of delight in coming up with questions that nobody has the answer to quite yet.” To sharpen your own observational skills, watch how certain customers experience a product or service in their natural environment. Spend an entire day carefully observing the “jobs” that customers are trying to get done. Try not to make judgments about what you see: Simply pretend you’re a fly on the wall, and observe as neutrally as possible. Scott Cook advises Intuit’s observers to ask, “What’s different than you expected?” Follow Richard Branson’s example and get in the habit of note taking wherever you go. Or follow Jeff Bezos’s: “I take pictures of really bad innovations,” he told us, “of which there are a number.” To strengthen experimentation, at both the individual and organizational levels, consciously approach work and life with a hypothesis-testing mind-set. Attend seminars or executive education courses on topics outside your area of expertise; take apart a product or process that interests you; read books that purport to identify emerging trends. When you travel, don’t squander the opportunity to learn about different lifestyles and local behavior. Develop new hypotheses from the knowledge you’ve acquired and test them in the search for new products or processes. Find ways to institutionalize frequent, small experiments at all levels of the organization. Openly acknowledging that learning through failure is valuable goes a long way toward building an innovative culture. Try spending 15 to 30 minutes each day writing down questions that challenge the status quo in your company. To improve your networking skills, contact the five most creative people you know and ask them to share what they do to stimulate creative thinking. You might also ask if they’d be willing to act as your creative mentors. We suggest holding regular idea lunches at which you meet a few new people from diverse functions, companies, industries, or countries. Get them to tell you about their innovative ideas and ask for feedback on yours.• • • Innovative entrepreneurship is not a genetic predisposition, it is an active endeavor. Apple’s slogan “Think Different” is inspiring but incomplete. We found that innovators must consistently act different to think different. By understanding, reinforcing, and modeling the innovator’s DNA, companies can find ways to more successfully develop the creative spark in everyone.

Articulos, Creatividad, cultura organizacional, futuro organizacional, innovación, LIDERAZGO, normas en una organización, ORGANIZACION, TRABAJO EN EQUIPO, Uncategorized

ow do I find innovative people for my organization? And how can I become more innovative myself?”

These are questions that stump senior executives, who understand that the ability to innovate is the “secret sauce” of business success. Unfortunately, most of us know very little about what makes one person more creative than another. Perhaps for this reason, we stand in awe of visionary entrepreneurs like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, and P&G’s A.G. Lafley. How do these people come up with groundbreaking new ideas? If it were possible to discover the inner workings of the masters’ minds, what could the rest of us learn about how innovation really happens?

In searching for answers, we undertook a six-year study to uncover the origins of creative—and often disruptive—business strategies in particularly innovative companies. Our goal was to put innovative entrepreneurs under the microscope, examining when and how they came up with the ideas on which their businesses were built. We especially wanted to examine how they differ from other executives and entrepreneurs: Someone who buys a McDonald’s franchise may be an entrepreneur, but building an Amazon requires different skills altogether. We studied the habits of 25 innovative entrepreneurs and surveyed more than 3,000 executives and 500 individuals who had started innovative companies or invented new products.

We were intrigued to learn that at most companies, top executives do not feel personally responsible for coming up with strategic innovations. Rather, they feel responsible for facilitating the innovation process. In stark contrast, senior executives of the most innovative companies—a mere 15% in our study—don’t delegate creative work. They do it themselves.

But how do they do it? Our research led us to identify five “discovery skills” that distinguish the most creative executives: associating, questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking. We found that innovative entrepreneurs (who are also CEOs) spend 50% more time on these discovery activities than do CEOs with no track record for innovation. Together, these skills make up what we call the innovator’s DNA. And the good news is, if you’re not born with it, you can cultivate it.

What Makes Innovators Different?

Innovative entrepreneurs have something called creative intelligence, which enables discovery yet differs from other types of intelligence (as suggested by Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences). It is more than the cognitive skill of being right-brained. Innovators engage both sides of the brain as they leverage the five discovery skills to create new ideas.

In thinking about how these skills work together, we’ve found it useful to apply the metaphor of DNA. Associating is like the backbone structure of DNA’s double helix; four patterns of action (questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking) wind around this backbone, helping to cultivate new insights. And just as each person’s physical DNA is unique, each individual we studied had a unique innovator’s DNA for generating breakthrough business ideas.

Imagine that you have an identical twin, endowed with the same brains and natural talents that you have. You’re both given one week to come up with a creative new business-venture idea. During that week, you come up with ideas alone in your room. In contrast, your twin (1) talks with 10 people—including an engineer, a musician, a stay-at-home dad, and a designer—about the venture, (2) visits three innovative start-ups to observe what they do, (3) samples five “new to the market” products, (4) shows a prototype he’s built to five people, and (5) asks the questions “What if I tried this?” and “Why do you do that?” at least 10 times each day during these networking, observing, and experimenting activities. Who do you bet will come up with the more innovative (and doable) idea?

Studies of identical twins separated at birth indicate that our ability to think creatively comes one-third from genetics; but two-thirds of the innovation skill set comes through learning—first understanding a given skill, then practicing it, experimenting, and ultimately gaining confidence in one’s capacity to create. Innovative entrepreneurs in our study acquired and honed their innovation skills precisely this way.

Let’s look at the skills in detail.

Discovery Skill 1: Associating

Associating, or the ability to successfully connect seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas from different fields, is central to the innovator’s DNA. Entrepreneur Frans Johansson described this phenomenon as the “Medici effect,” referring to the creative explosion in Florence when the Medici family brought together people from a wide range of disciplines—sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, painters, and architects. As these individuals connected, new ideas blossomed at the intersections of their respective fields, thereby spawning the Renaissance, one of the most inventive eras in history.

To grasp how associating works, it is important to understand how the brain operates. The brain doesn’t store information like a dictionary, where you can find the word “theater” under the letter “T.” Instead, it associates the word “theater” with any number of experiences from our lives. Some of these are logical (“West End” or “intermission”), while others may be less obvious (perhaps “anxiety,” from a botched performance in high school). The more diverse our experience and knowledge, the more connections the brain can make. Fresh inputs trigger new associations; for some, these lead to novel ideas. As Steve Jobs has frequently observed, “Creativity is connecting things.”

The world’s most innovative companies prosper by capitalizing on the divergent associations of their founders, executives, and employees. For example, Pierre Omidyar launched eBay in 1996 after linking three unconnected dots: (1) a fascination with creating more-efficient markets, after having been shut out from a hot internet company’s IPO in the mid-1990s; (2) his fiancée’s desire to locate hard-to-find collectible Pez dispensers; and (3) the ineffectiveness of local classified ads in locating such items. Likewise, Steve Jobs is able to generate idea after idea because he has spent a lifetime exploring new and unrelated things—the art of calligraphy, meditation practices in an Indian ashram, the fine details of a Mercedes-Benz.

Associating is like a mental muscle that can grow stronger by using the other discovery skills. As innovators engage in those behaviors, they build their ability to generate ideas that can be recombined in new ways. The more frequently people in our study attempted to understand, categorize, and store new knowledge, the more easily their brains could naturally and consistently make, store, and recombine associations.

Discovery Skill 2: Questioning

More than 50 years ago, Peter Drucker described the power of provocative questions. “The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question,” he wrote. Innovators constantly ask questions that challenge common wisdom or, as Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata puts it, “question the unquestionable.” Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, has worked directly with a number of innovative entrepreneurs, including the founders of eBay, PayPal, and Skype. “They get a kick out of screwing up the status quo,” she told us. “They can’t bear it. So they spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about how to change the world. And as they brainstorm, they like to ask: ‘If we did this, what would happen?’”

Most of the innovative entrepreneurs we interviewed could remember the specific questions they were asking at the time they had the inspiration for a new venture. Michael Dell, for instance, told us that his idea for founding Dell Computer sprang from his asking why a computer cost five times as much as the sum of its parts. “I would take computers apart…and would observe that $600 worth of parts were sold for $3,000.” In chewing over the question, he hit on his revolutionary business model.

To question effectively, innovative entrepreneurs do the following:

Ask “Why?” and “Why not?” and “What if?”

Most managers focus on understanding how to make existing processes—the status quo—work a little better (“How can we improve widget sales in Taiwan?”). Innovative entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are much more likely to challenge assumptions (“If we cut the size or weight of the widget in half, how would that change the value proposition it offers?”). Marc Benioff, the founder of the online sales software provider Salesforce.com, was full of questions after witnessing the emergence of Amazon and eBay, two companies built on services delivered via the internet. “Why are we still loading and upgrading software the way we’ve been doing all this time when we can now do it over the internet?” he wondered. This fundamental question was the genesis of Salesforce.com.

Imagine opposites.

In his book The Opposable Mind, Roger Martin writes that innovative thinkers have “the capacity to hold two diametrically opposing ideas in their heads.” He explains, “Without panicking or simply settling for one alternative or the other, they’re able to produce a synthesis that is superior to either opposing idea.”

Innovative entrepreneurs like to play devil’s advocate. “My learning process has always been about disagreeing with what I’m being told and taking the opposite position, and pushing others to really justify themselves,” Pierre Omidyar told us. “I remember it was very frustrating for the other kids when I would do this.” Asking oneself, or others, to imagine a completely different alternative can lead to truly original insights.

Embrace constraints.

Most of us impose constraints on our thinking only when forced to deal with real-world limitations, such as resource allocations or technology restrictions. Ironically, great questions actively impose constraints on our thinking and serve as a catalyst for out-of-the-box insights. (In fact, one of Google’s nine innovation principles is “Creativity loves constraint.”) To initiate a creative discussion about growth opportunities, one innovative executive in our study asked this question: “What if we were legally prohibited from selling to our current customers? How would we make money next year?” This led to an insightful exploration of ways the company could find and serve new customers. Another innovative CEO prods his managers to examine sunk-cost constraints by asking, “What if you had not already hired this person, installed this equipment, implemented this process, bought this business, or pursued this strategy? Would you do the same thing you are doing today?”

Discovery Skill 3: Observing

Discovery-driven executives produce uncommon business ideas by scrutinizing common phenomena, particularly the behavior of potential customers. In observing others, they act like anthropologists and social scientists.

Intuit founder Scott Cook hit on the idea for Quicken financial software after two key observations. First he watched his wife’s frustration as she struggled to keep track of their finances. “Often the surprises that lead to new business ideas come from watching other people work and live their normal lives,” Cook explained. “You see something and ask, ‘Why do they do that? That doesn’t make sense.’” Then a buddy got him a sneak peek at the Apple Lisa before it launched. Immediately after leaving Apple headquarters, Cook drove to the nearest restaurant to write down everything he had noticed about the Lisa. His observations prompted insights such as building the graphical user interface to look just like its real-world counterpart (a checkbook, for example), making it easy for people to use it. So Cook set about solving his wife’s problem and grabbed 50% of the market for financial software in the first year.

Innovators carefully, intentionally, and consistently look out for small behavioral details—in the activities of customers, suppliers, and other companies—in order to gain insights about new ways of doing things. Ratan Tata got the inspiration that led to the world’s cheapest car by observing the plight of a family of four packed onto a single motorized scooter. After years of product development, Tata Group launched in 2009 the $2,500 Nano using a modular production method that may disrupt the entire automobile distribution system in India. Observers try all sorts of techniques to see the world in a different light. Akio Toyoda regularly practices Toyota’s philosophy of genchi genbutsu—“going to the spot and seeing for yourself.” Frequent direct observation is baked into the Toyota culture.

Discovery Skill 4: Experimenting

When we think of experiments, we think of scientists in white coats or of great inventors like Thomas Edison. Like scientists, innovative entrepreneurs actively try out new ideas by creating prototypes and launching pilots. (As Edison said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that do not work.”) The world is their laboratory. Unlike observers, who intensely watch the world, experimenters construct interactive experiences and try to provoke unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge.

The innovative entrepreneurs we interviewed all engaged in some form of active experimentation, whether it was intellectual exploration (Michael Lazaridis mulling over the theory of relativity in high school), physical tinkering (Jeff Bezos taking apart his crib as a toddler or Steve Jobs disassembling a Sony Walkman), or engagement in new surroundings (Starbucks founder Howard Shultz roaming Italy visiting coffee bars). As executives of innovative enterprises, they make experimentation central to everything they do. Bezos’s online bookstore didn’t stay where it was after its initial success; it morphed into an online discount retailer, selling a full line of products from toys to TVs to home appliances. The electronic reader Kindle is an experiment that is now transforming Amazon from an online retailer to an innovative electronics manufacturer. Bezos sees experimentation as so critical to innovation that he has institutionalized it at Amazon. “I encourage our employees to go down blind alleys and experiment,” Bezos says. “If we can get processes decentralized so that we can do a lot of experiments without it being very costly, we’ll get a lot more innovation.”

Scott Cook, too, stresses the importance of creating a culture that fosters experimentation. “Our culture opens us to allowing lots of failures while harvesting the learning,” he told us. “It’s what separates an innovation culture from a normal corporate culture.”

One of the most powerful experiments innovators can engage in is living and working overseas. Our research revealed that the more countries a person has lived in, the more likely he or she is to leverage that experience to deliver innovative products, processes, or businesses. In fact, if managers try out even one international assignment before becoming CEO, their companies deliver stronger financial results than companies run by CEOs without such experience—roughly 7% higher market performance on average, according to research by Gregeren, Mason A. Carpenter, and Gerard W. Sanders. P&G’s A.G. Lafley, for example, spent time as a student studying history in France and running retail operations on U.S. military bases in Japan. He returned to Japan later to head all of P&G’s Asia operations before becoming CEO. His diverse international experience has served him well as the leader of one of the most innovative companies in the world.

Discovery Skill 5: Networking

Devoting time and energy to finding and testing ideas through a network of diverse individuals gives innovators a radically different perspective. Unlike most executives—who network to access resources, to sell themselves or their companies, or to boost their careers—innovative entrepreneurs go out of their way to meet people with different kinds of ideas and perspectives to extend their own knowledge domains. To this end, they make a conscious effort to visit other countries and meet people from other walks of life.

They also attend idea conferences such as Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED), Davos, and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Such conferences draw together artists, entrepreneurs, academics, politicians, adventurers, scientists, and thinkers from all over the world, who come to present their newest ideas, passions, and projects. Michael Lazaridis, the founder of Research In Motion, notes that the inspiration for the original BlackBerry occurred at a conference in 1987. A speaker was describing a wireless data system that had been designed for Coke; it allowed vending machines to send a signal when they needed refilling. “That’s when it hit me,” Lazaridis recalls. “I remembered what my teacher said in high school: ‘Don’t get too caught up with computers because the person that puts wireless technology and computers together is going to make a big difference.’” David Neeleman came up with key ideas for JetBlue—such as satellite TV at every seat and at-home reservationists—through networking at conferences and elsewhere.

Kent Bowen, the founding scientist of CPS technologies (maker of an innovative ceramic composite), hung the following credo in every office of his start-up: “The insights required to solve many of our most challenging problems come from outside our industry and scientific field. We must aggressively and proudly incorporate into our work findings and advances which were not invented here.” Scientists from CPS have solved numerous complex problems by talking with people in other fields. One expert from Polaroid with in-depth knowledge of film technology knew how to make the ceramic composite stronger. Experts in sperm-freezing technology knew how to prevent ice crystal growth on cells during freezing, a technique that CPS applied to its manufacturing process with stunning success.

Practice, Practice, Practice

As innovators actively engage in the discovery skills, they become defined by them. They grow increasingly confident of their creative abilities. For A.G. Lafley, innovation is the central job of every leader, regardless of the place he or she occupies on the organizational chart. But what if you—like most executives—don’t see yourself or those on your team as particularly innovative?

Though innovative thinking may be innate to some, it can also be developed and strengthened through practice. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of rehearsing over and over the behaviors described above, to the point that they become automatic. This requires putting aside time for you and your team to actively cultivate more creative ideas.

The most important skill to practice is questioning. Asking “Why” and “Why not” can help turbocharge the other discovery skills. Ask questions that both impose and eliminate constraints; this will help you see a problem or opportunity from a different angle. Try spending 15 to 30 minutes each day writing down 10 new questions that challenge the status quo in your company or industry. “If I had a favorite question to ask, everyone would anticipate it,” Michael Dell told us. “Instead I like to ask things people don’t think I’m going to ask. This is a little cruel, but I kind of delight in coming up with questions that nobody has the answer to quite yet.”

To sharpen your own observational skills, watch how certain customers experience a product or service in their natural environment. Spend an entire day carefully observing the “jobs” that customers are trying to get done. Try not to make judgments about what you see: Simply pretend you’re a fly on the wall, and observe as neutrally as possible. Scott Cook advises Intuit’s observers to ask, “What’s different than you expected?” Follow Richard Branson’s example and get in the habit of note taking wherever you go. Or follow Jeff Bezos’s: “I take pictures of really bad innovations,” he told us, “of which there are a number.”

To strengthen experimentation, at both the individual and organizational levels, consciously approach work and life with a hypothesis-testing mind-set. Attend seminars or executive education courses on topics outside your area of expertise; take apart a product or process that interests you; read books that purport to identify emerging trends. When you travel, don’t squander the opportunity to learn about different lifestyles and local behavior. Develop new hypotheses from the knowledge you’ve acquired and test them in the search for new products or processes. Find ways to institutionalize frequent, small experiments at all levels of the organization. Openly acknowledging that learning through failure is valuable goes a long way toward building an innovative culture.

Try spending 15 to 30 minutes each day writing down questions that challenge the status quo in your company.

To improve your networking skills, contact the five most creative people you know and ask them to share what they do to stimulate creative thinking. You might also ask if they’d be willing to act as your creative mentors. We suggest holding regular idea lunches at which you meet a few new people from diverse functions, companies, industries, or countries. Get them to tell you about their innovative ideas and ask for feedback on yours.• • •

Innovative entrepreneurship is not a genetic predisposition, it is an active endeavor. Apple’s slogan “Think Different” is inspiring but incomplete. We found that innovators must consistently act different to think different. By understanding, reinforcing, and modeling the innovator’s DNA, companies can find ways to more successfully develop the creative spark in everyone.

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