Is Your Team a Team? Four Signals Your Team May be in Peril

Mark proudly told me of his team’s recent accomplishments. “My team just delivered my vision. They finally saw what I was aiming for, and they moved the ball. This is a great team.  You’ll be wowed when you meet them!”  A week later I met the team members, and I was wowed, but not likely in the way Mark imagined. This team was about as much of a team as the U.S. Congress is right now. They were aimed at subverting both Mark’s goals, and each others’. They were an unhappy lot, angry and fed up with each other and unwilling to move forward unless others backed down. A group of people forced to work together, maybe. But this was not a team. Continue reading

Daydreaming – Waste of Time or Incubator for Innovation?

Think of a time when, in a moment of semi-repose, the proverbial light bulb went on.  You weren’t trying to solve a problem; in fact, you weren’t even conscious that you were thinking.  But out of the fuzzy nether world of your mind, something brilliant formed.  Or at least it seemed brilliant, until you applied your rational thinking to it the next day, and found plenty of reasons to reject it. Continue reading

How Do We Get Innovation? Three Ways to Elicit Imagination

‘Innovation’ is the new business buzzword.  Every organization wants it.  It shows up in performance reviews:  “Laura would benefit from becoming more innovative.”  It makes its appearance in mission statements and values espoused by companies.  World leaders in the U.S., China, and Brazil, among others, are staking their countries’ futures on their abilities to generate innovation.  In a clear sign that there’s gold in that word, even universities are riding the wave:  the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business sponsored a task force in 2010 to explore the role business schools can play in fostering innovation.  The foreword to their report summed up the problem with the concept of innovation: “Despite widespread recognition of the critical role of innovation, the concept of innovation is deceptively complex and often misunderstood.” Continue reading

“How Do I Deal With Some Who……..?” Part 2: Handling the ‘Decision Avoidant’ Personality

Last week I introduced my client Lynn’s question about how to deal with difficult personalities, and offered options for working with an assertively manipulative personality. This week we’ll consider the opposite: the person who hides behind any available subterfuge in order to avoid being responsible for a decision.

Lynn described this personality as wanting to always hand the decision back to you, asking ever more complicated questions about how you want her to decide, until you’ve wound up giving the answer.

The Decision Avoidant personality is one that believes being wrong is worse than being inept. This fear may be grounded internally, but it may also get support from your culture. Continue reading