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Posts Tagged ‘Innovation’

Visual Learning, Part Four: Mapping


Visual business solutions are applicable to a number of critical applications across the enterprise. These include strategy implementation, board governance, process improvement, risk management, audit and internal controls, leadership development, organizational transformation and project management. Regardless of the specific application, there are four crucial elements required to build a relevant and useful business map.

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Visual Learning, Part Three: Paradox


In commenting on modern society, 20th century author, G.K. Chesterton, wrote, “It isn’t that they can’t see the solution.  It is that they can’t see the problem.”  This paradox also inhibits organizational innovation and problem-solving.

However, visual business solutions enable leaders and employees to overcome this paradox by providing a quicker and greater understanding of complex business functions, processes and problems, better grasp of cross-organizational connections and dependencies, increased individual accountability and team collaboration.  The tools also provide stronger prioritization, more concise and relevant communication (which is now readily remembered), faster and more effective planning and execution efforts, more reliable decisions, and reduced waste.

Bottom line, visual business solutions convert complexity and ambiguity into clarity and action.

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Visual Learning, Part Two: Clarity


Visual business solutions are dynamic maps, which enable leaders and employees to clearly see their current situation and create a shared picture of their desired state.  By using visual solutions, the ability to analyze and improve the direction of an organization or department, and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness, is accelerated.  Business mapping is the process of creating these pictures and can be applied to numerous areas across the enterprise, including strategy development and implementation, board governance, process improvement, risk management, audit and internal controls, leadership development, organizational transformation and project management.

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Visual Learning, Part One: Learning


Visual communications has long been a catalyst to human development.  Before possessing written and spoken languages, early humans used pictures to communicate complex concepts.  For example, thousands of years ago cultures with very few words, taught the vital skill of hunting to young boys by pointing to an image of their intended prey that had been carved or painted on a cave wall.

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Draw Within The Lines Or Else


The education factory prepared us to comply with the norms of the factory world where we will gain and sustain employment – a place where we are permitted to lightly and politely stretch the boundaries of the system. We are taught to draw within the lines because that is the proper way to do things. Most of us are not taught how to develop our creative and competitive energy.  And, we are certainly not shown how we can put that energy and capability to work inside a complex human system. And so we walk away from what is possible and we settle for less.  After all, that’s the message we are being sent and to resist it can be to one’s peril.

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Where Ideas Go To Die


The collision between a less-than-half-baked idea and a busy boss creates a guaranteed deadend.  After a few of those collisions and it’s not hard to understand why employees disengage. Why bother when your boss is your latest brilliant ideas as a bother.

That said, ideas are the lifeblood of improvement. Companies that will survive and prosper understand that the responsibility to fix problems and improve processes must belong to the people who do the work. Everyone needs the skill to solve process problems.

Effective companies use a common approach to problem solving (such as a 7-Step Method), an approach everyone in the organization understands well. The method not only develops the skills to think through ideas, but it also transfers the skills, knowledge and authority to see the solution through to success.

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Your Employees Have Bad Ideas


Experienced managers show doubt in their faces when they hear it said that employees have good ideas. Often, the suggestions for improvement workers offer their bosses are not well reasoned or fully developed—and some are just plain stupid.  Employees are just not that smart.

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