The Fiscal Cliff – the soundtrack

Fiscal CliffNot so long ago ‘Fiscal Cliff’ was a phrase that featured prominently on many news bulletins. Now you can listen to The Fiscal Cliff.

Creativity colleague Peter Cook, creator of Rock ‘n’ Roll Management and founder of the Academy of Rock has penned a little ditty entitled The Fiscal Cliff. Peter says ” ”Fiscal Cliff is a rock anthem about economics, banking, fake suicide, false Gods, false hopes, repentance, renewal, environmentalism, sustainability sex, drugs and rock’n’roll”. He claims it to be the first song ever to feature the words Quantitative Easing, John Maynard Keynes, Northern Rock etc. in the lyrics.

Click on the image to find out more about the making of the song and buy it from iTunes.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

A Major Breakthrough In Management Science

The Science of Management BureaucracyA major research institution, specialising in the subject of Management Science, has today announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known. This new element has been tentatively named “Administratium.”

Administratium has 1 neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 111 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Administratium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of  Administratium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less than a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places . In fact, Administratium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation causes some morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as “Critical Morass”.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

How (not) To Formulate Company Policy

Do you recognise this style of management within your own organisation? Is this how you create company policy?

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result -all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm!

Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth,then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done around here.

And that, my friends, is how company policy begins.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Learning To Manage Creativity

managing creativityEmbracing Creativity or running a creative thinking session is not unlike running a theatrical performance – it needs both stage management and direction.
Such activities can of course vary widely in scale. You may be working on your own; you may be chatting informally with one or two others; you may be running a classic small-group brainstorming session or even working with large groups. In all cases you must pay attention to the following components.

People – the ‘cast’ of the drama If you have the luxury of choosing people to work with then this may present a dilemma. On the one hand, you want as much diversity as possible, because that is where new insights and connections will come from.

On the other hand, they must work well together, because creative work requires a high level of personal openness and risk taking, and a lot of interaction.

If possible you should:

  • Choose people who have the skills to manage high levels of difference comfortably.
  • Design sessions/meetings so that they are less sensitive to the adverse effects of large interpersonal differences.
  • Facilitate the session in such a way that you ‘manage’ adverse effects as (or before) they emerge.
  • Choose people who can tolerate wide levels of difference
  • Choose people who are compatible temperamentally, but differ widely in their area of expertise

People are less likely to be ‘thrown’ by minor interpersonal clashes if they have a reasonably solid personality, a degree of self-awareness, and a good sense of humour. Avoid big status differences, unless it is very clear that there are excellent, pre-existing, levels of trust between the people involved.

Have fun! Laughter and a light touch can defuse many tensions and manage the expectations of participants so that they know this will be a somewhat ‘special’ event, with unusual people. Remember, it is usually easier for people to feel uninhibited and take risks with a group they will not see again.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin

Creativity, Gardening And Cookery – Envisioning The Future

creativity gardening cookeryProfessor Rosabeth Moss Kanter said “a clear destination is necessary to guide the journey of change. Many change efforts falter because of confusion over exactly where everyone is expected to arrive.”

Of course, we don’t always know what our final destination is. However, answering a series of questions can help us decide where we want to go and provide easy steps for getting there.

  • What problem are we trying to solve?
  • What’s the current situation?
  • What are our ultimate objectives?
  • What needs to change to meet your objectives?
  • What process should we employ?

Stop right there!

Can you see something wrong with this course of action? It is a traditional change process that has been taught on many a management course over the last 2 decades or so. The above was actually billed as ‘envisioning the future’ but in reality it is simply ‘bending the organisation to fit’

So what about the future, how do we envision it, create it and share it? There is a longer article in the pipeline but here is a summary.

The traditional methods imply a big change, going from here to there, a long or tough journey that not everybody feels is worth it. Also the journey is often forced upon us. In the embryonic creative organisation there is no journey, except through time. Instead of steps we are building an environment (think of a children’s den as a metaphor). We think of capability and opportunity and have a feeling about our new environment, but we have no concrete objectives. Because we value capability we visualise what can be done, not what engineering can be done on our organisation to make it fit our ideas for the future.

We are living in a world full of ambiguity here. What are our values, do we have a structure, have our roles changed? The only constant is change – but not as we know it.

And finally what process do we employ? A mixture of cookery and gardening!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedin
My Innovation Handbook is FREE for you!
Simply enter your full name and email address in order to receive a copy of my Innovation Handbook. You will also be subscribed to my monthly newsletter. You can amend or cancel your subscription at any time by clicking on the links in the newsletter.
Thank you for subscribing
If you have signed up in order to get a FREE book or report then you will shortly receive an email giving you the URL of the page for downloading the PDF file. If you do not receive such an email within a few minutes then please get in touch and a copy will be emailed to you directly.
Need a simple guide to Innovation?
Enter your details below to grab a copy of my Innovation Handbook and receive regular news and tips on Business Creativity & Innovation.
Thank you, please check your Inbox
You will shortly receive an email giving you the URL of the page for downloading the PDF file. If you do not receive such an email within a few minutes then please get in touch and a copy will be emailed to you directly.
Need a simple guide to Innovation?
Enter your details below to grab a copy of my Innovation Handbook and receive regular news and tips on Business Creativity & Innovation.
We will safely store your name and email address so that we may send you regular newsletters and occasional details of related products and services. Your details will not be shared with, or sold to other organisations. You can unsubscribe or change your details at any time.
How will we use your information?
Thank you, please check your Inbox
You will shortly receive an email giving you the URL of the page for downloading the PDF file. If you do not receive such an email within a few minutes then please get in touch and a copy will be emailed to you directly.