“I See You” Management, by Walter McIntyre
Connectivity between human beings is the beginning of synergy. It is written in our genetic code and expresses itself in our drive to connect to others and be part of a group. Since this is how we are wired, it only makes sense that the most effective management styles, as far as us humans are concerned, leverages this aspect of our specie’s corporate psyche.
I would call this “I See You” management. I did not coin this phrase, but since I cannot remember who did, I will use it for this post. The way I see things, “I See You” management is based upon three levels of recognition.
Statistically Estimating Project Timelines by Walter McIntyre
Why is it that projects more often than not come in behind schedule and over budget? This question drives business executives crazy. Why shouldn’t there be an even split between on time project delivery and late project delivery? These are valid questions.
Entrepreneur Life by Walter McIntyre
For the most part, all of us have a robust fear of failure. We are good at counting the cost of trying and failing. We are also pretty much aware of what we don’t want to lose. The result is that we miss opportunities due to not taking the risk of possible failure.
What we are not good at, is evaluating the risk of not trying. We decide to play it safe. Understand, though, you are guaranteed to fail if you don’t try. By playing it safe all the time, you limit your opportunity for success.
Lean Marketing and Product Development by Walter McIntyre
Lean principles apply to any process based operation. I cannot think of any process that does not have non-value added components in it that create the opportunity for waste production. In fact, by definition, a non-value added component in a process is waste.
Managing an Innovation Team by Walter McIntyre
Innovation is as much about failure as it is success. Innovation thrives in a culture that is open to challenging the status quo and allowing employees to make mistakes as new ideas are generated. Organizations that do not tolerate failure simply cannot innovate in a way that we would call successful.
Managing an organization that has an innovative culture can be stressful, as there is bound to be friction as new ideas rub up against established ways of doing things and other employee’s ideas. This friction is good if managed right. This means creating a safe environment for commenting on ideas, introducing ideas and “sharpening the sword” against each other.
It is not enough to just innovate around a tried and true point of reference. To survive and thrive you must be willing create a “new” tried and true point of reference, continuously, and in real time with the market. I can remember when my team first introduced the asTech technology to the collision repair industry. We were traveling to conferences doing demos for so called experts. It was common to hear, “I don’t believe them. It’s just smoke and mirrors”. Most of those folks are not considered experts anymore because we moved the needle on what was possible.
I did some research on team building recently. What I found were lists of qualities that define effective teams. The problem is that these lists are typically filled with descriptions of characteristics that are superficial. I can say, or do, whatever is necessary, when it is necessary, so that I look like a great teammate on a great team.
I believe that building a great team requires great teammates. It is much more personal than a list of qualities. You do not want to build a house on a foundation of sand and you do not want to build a team on a foundation of individuals whose sole focus is on their own personal value propositions.
Much of our frustration with personal development comes from our failure to establish short term goals. This frustration springs from a failure to understand that the learning and development of skills is typically an evolutionary process. Your brain learns by building neural connections over time, by way of practice and integration into your current understandings and skills.
Maybe you want to learn to play a musical instrument. The first day you pick up the instrument, you will not play it like a virtuoso. You correct for this by expecting a certain level of accomplishment for each practice. Meeting this goal gives you a positive view of your efforts. You repeat this cycle over and over again, like climbing a ladder.
Many of the activities and strategies we use to innovate and manage are actually road blocks to creativity and innovation. Certainly, the enforcement of a time line and being cost conscience, are important, but only in respect to their appropriate place in the life cycle of a product or service. When applied to the creative and innovative phases in this life cycle, they are disruptive and cause sub-optimization.
Innovation is a creative process that requires open-mindedness and a safe environment. Creativity and innovation are processes that rely upon failure and the ability to learn from failure. You cannot create or innovate where failure is unacceptable or penalized.