Tag Archives: planning

Chance to Help Make Futurism and Foresight Accessible

I’ve been hard at work building all kinds of tools to help innovation, change, transformation and design thinking practitioners be more successful in their jobs.

The number of human-centered tools in the Change Planning Toolkit v13 from the initial fifty (50) to more than SEVENTY.

I also introduced lots of inexpensive tools like the:

  1. $9.99 – Problem Finding Canvas
  2. FREE – Innovation Maturity Assessment
  3. FREE – Visual Project Charter™
  4. FREE – Experiment Canvas™
  5. FREE – ACMP Standard for Change Management® Visualization

And the core of the forthcoming Human-Centered Innovation Toolkit is well underway.

But I’ve also been exploring the very obtuse realm of futurism and foresight and pondering how to make it more accessible to us ordinary humans, and I think I’ve done it!

Chance to Help Make Futurism Accessible

I’ve created a set of TEN (10) simple but powerful foresight and futurism tools to power my FutureHacking™ methodology.

To spread them farther and faster I’m looking to partner with a forward-thinking organization to bring them to market.

  • Does your organization view itself as leading its customers into the future?
  • Are you looking for an amazing marketing opportunity?
  • One that would empower thousands of innovation and strategy professionals to do their own foresight and futurism work?

If so, then contact me here and we’ll build a launch plan together that connects your brand to a powerful new FutureHacking™ movement!

Benefits to you will include, but will not be limited to:

  1. Joint promotion of your brand via my site, social media, email newsletters, etc.
  2. Presence of your logo as a sponsor on the tools and educational assets
  3. Access to the tools for your employees
  4. Other ideas you suggest!

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Change the World – Step One

Change the World - Step OneDo you want to change the world?

Even just one tiny corner of your own world?

Change often feels overwhelming, scary even, and frequently we don’t know where to begin.

Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire focused on helping organizations identify and remove barriers to innovation, and has also served as a great innovation primer for innovation practitioners all over the world.

As people choose and commit to going down the innovation path in a measured way, one of the first things they discover is that many things will have to change inside the organization and in how the entity engages with others outside the organization for their new product or service ideas to successfully walk the transitional path from insight to idea to experiment to implementation project to market offering and market success.

Because of this, my next book and most of my future articles here on Innovation Excellence in the run up to the release of my Change Planning Toolkit™ will be focused on helping people build a strong foundation for achieving successful organizational change. This series of articles will culminate with the launch of a new book from Palgrave Macmillan in January 2016 on the best practices and next practices of organizational change and an introduction to my Change Planning Toolkit™.

So, if we’re hoping to change the world, our world, whether that is with a big W or a little one, where should we begin?

Let’s begin by painting a background for the landscape of organizational change.

Four Keys to Successful Change

Above you’ll see a visualization of the Four Keys to Successful Change. Leave one out and eventually your change effort, no matter how big or small, will eventually fail. If you’re setting setting out to change the world, even a small corner of it, then you’ll want to be sure to consider each of the four keys and make sure that you proceed in a measured way that takes each into account.

Let’s look at each briefly in turn before we look at each area in more detail in future posts, and eventually in the book in January 2016.

The Four Keys to Successful Change

1. Change Planning

Change Planning is the first key to successful organizational change, and it focuses on drawing out the key issues of the necessary change and puts some structure and timeline around them. You will find you have a better experience and a more successful outcome if you use a more visual, collaborative method using something like the Change Planning Toolkit™ I will be releasing soon to help you create the necessary change plans, goals, metrics, etc.

2. Change Leadership

Change Leadership is the second key to successful organizational change, and is important because good change leadership provides the sponsorship, support and oversight necessary for the change activities to receive the visibility, care, and attention they need to overcome inertia and maintain momentum throughout the process of transformation.

3. Change Management

Change Management represents the third key to successful organizational change, and it is probably the one most people think of when they think about organizational change because it focuses on managing the change activities necessary to achieve the change objectives. The term itself has some challenges however as the term also refers to the management of code changes during the software development process and its relationship with project management is confused. We will dig more into the relationship between project management and change management in a future article.

4. Change Maintenance

Change Maintenance represents the fourth and probably most neglected key to successful organizational change. Many change leaders lose interest after the major launch milestones are achieved, and this is a real risk to sustained success of the change effort. During the change maintenance phase is when you measure the outcomes of the planned change activities and reinforce the change, to make sure the change effort has met the change objectives and when you ensure that the behavior change becomes a permanent one. Neglect this phase and people often slip back into their old, well worn patterns of behavior.

Conclusion

This is the first article in a series to help make changing the world seem a little less overwhelming, a little less scary. I hope you have found the article and the framework a useful first building block as we work together to build a strong foundation for successful organizational change. To be alerted when the Change Planning Toolkit™ becomes available, please be sure and click the link below to join the mailing list, and stay tuned for the next article in this series!

Sign up for updates on the Change Planning Toolkit™ (Charting Change Insiders)

Image credit: Youthventure.org


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Your Chance to Help Change Change

Your Chance to Help Change ChangeMy first book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire was designed to help organizations identify and remove barriers to innovation, but readers also found it to be a great primer on how to take a structured, sustainable approach to innovation, and as a result the book has found its way into university courses and libraries around the world.

I’ve been thinking over the last few years about where I could provide the most value in a follow-up book, and it came to me that innovation is really all about change and that where most organizations fail to achieve innovation is in successfully making all of the changes necessary to transform their inventions into innovations. At the same time, the world has changed, the pace of change is accelerating and organizations are struggling to cope with the speed of changes required of them, including the digital transformation they need to make.

So, my next book, this time for Palgrave Macmillan, will focus on highlighting the best practices and next practices of organizational change. And where does any successful change effort begin?

With good planning. But it is really hard for most people to successfully plan a change effort, because it is hard to visualize everything that needs to be considered and everything that needs to be done to affect the changes necessary to support an innovation, a digital transformation effort, a merger integration, or any other kind of needed organizational change.

But my Change Planning Toolkit™ and my new book (January 2016) are being designed to help you get everyone literally all on the same page for change. Both the book and my collaborative, visual Change Planning Toolkit™ are nearly complete. But before they are, I’d like to engage you, the intelligent, insightful Innovation Change Management community to help contribute your wisdom and experience to the book.

I’m looking for a few change management tips and quotes attributable to you (not someone else) to include in the book along with the other best practices and next practices of organizational change that I’ve collected and the introduction to my Change Planning Toolkit™ that I’m preparing.

It’s super simple to contribute. Just fill out the form, and the best contributions will make it into the book or into a series of articles that I’ll publish here and on a new site focused on organizational change that I’m about ready to launch.

I look forward to seeing your great organizational change quotes and tips!

UPDATE: The book is now out! Grab a copy here:


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Planning to Spread

We’ve all seen the viral videos that seemingly come out of nowhere to garner millions of views on YouTube, videos like this one where five people play one guitar singing Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”, which as of this date has garnered more than 163 million video views:

And if you add up all of the other postings of this same video, the total number of video views goes much, much higher.

Now, surely Gotye’s version of the song couldn’t have possibly garnered more views than this viral sensation that Walk Off the Earth’s cover created, could it?

Um, actually it did. To date Gotye’s official video has captured nearly 600 million video views, or nearly FIVE TIMES as many video views. So, it hasn’t turned out all bad for Gotye.

Now you might ask yourself, how could the huge success of the Walk Off the Earth viral campaign be trumped by traditional marketing if viral marketing is supposed to be the silver bullet?

Well, the truth is that whether you pursue traditional marketing and advertising or supposedly “viral” marketing activities, the goals are the same:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

And it is within that first bullet point, that you find the viral component that any marketing activity or any evangelism activity (for innovation, for change, etc.) should always contain – spreadability.

Now, WordPress doesn’t seem to think that spreadability is a word, but let’s assume for a moment that it is and focus on the fact that most of the time, one of your goals in business (and your personal life) is spreadability. Ultimately, in many cases, success is determined by whether or not you can get your idea to spread.

This is true whether we are talking about an IT project, a Six Sigma continuous improvement effort, a change initiative, a Lean event, a marketing campaign, or a project commercializing an invention into a potential innovation.

So, can anyone guarantee that an idea or marketing campaign will spread?

The short answer is no.

Sorry, I wish I had better news for you, but the fact is that nobody can guarantee that your idea or your marketing campaign will go viral. Why?

You’re dealing with humans living in a complicated world. We’re not all built the same and the same person can have different reactions to the same stimulus (driven by mood and context among other things). This can result in a perfectly spreadable idea or message being stopped dead in its tracks, depriving you of all of the potential downstream sharing that you might have been hoping for or counting on.

Sorry, you can’t guarantee spreadability, despite what opportunistic marketing consultants claiming to know the magic formula might tell you.

Spreading ChangeBut, an idea can be built to spread.

And I’d like to share with you a simple framework, for free, that you can download and spread far and wide.

Click here to download the “Planning to Spread” starter worksheet as a PDF.

It’s based on the same priniciples as mind mapping and it will help you start either with a particular node in mind (someone you’d like to reach and influence) and work backwards, identifying both how to evolve your idea to best influence that particular node, and how you might be able to reach them (at the same time). Or you can work from the idea outwards. Focusing primarily on the WHO and the WHY as you move outward.

The key questions to consider as you are “Planning to Spread” your idea are the following:

  1. What is your idea or message? (Does it resonate with my target audience?)
  2. Who are you trying to reach?
  3. How will you reach them?
    • When will they be most receptive to the message or idea?
    • Where will they be most receptive to the message or idea?
  4. Why will they engage? (What value will they get?)
  5. Why will they share? (What value will they derive?)
  6. How will they share?

Working your way thoughtfully through these questions will increase the chances that your idea or message will spread, but they won’t guarantee it. Going through the process however will help you refine your idea or message, help you think through the mechanics of how you might encourage and increase engagement, and may even help you uncover flaws in your idea or message that you missed (and give you a chance to fix them).

Planning to Spread WorksheetHappy spreading!
(and please let me know in the comments below any things I might have missed)

So what am I trying to spread?

Well, in the run up to my second book (this time focusing on the best practices and next practices of organizational change), soon I will be releasing a new collaborative, visual change planning toolkit to help organizations work smarter by planning their change initiatives (and projects) in a less overwhelming, more human way that will help get everyone literally on the same page.

This is the idea that I will be spreading and there are many ways that you can benefit.

One way is by becoming a case study volunteer. I’m looking to select a handful of companies to teach how to use the toolkit for free and feature their experience in my next book on the best practices and next practices of organizational change. If you would like to get a jump on the competition by increasing your speed of change (and your ability to work smarter), register your interest here.

But there are several other ways you can benefit, and all of them can be found here (including upcoming chances for consultants to train on the methodology and boost their revenue and success as they work with their clients around the world to deliver positive change). I’ll be focusing on teaching and tools, not consulting.

What message or idea are you trying to spread?


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Three Actions to Become More Innovative

Three Actions to Become More Innovative‘What are three specific actions that a non-innovative company can take to become more innovative?’

Sometimes I think that people out there talking about innovation try and make crafting a good innovation process sound harder than it is and the work of making innovation happen sound easier than it really is. Whether this is self-serving behavior to try and drive people to buy their books or consulting services, I’m not sure, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s not.

Instead let’s see if we can simplify some of what we know into three specific actions that a non-innovative company can take to become more innovative:

1. Make a Commitment

  • Many organizations say they want to be more innovative, but few are willing to make the commitment. Leaders may talk about it once or twice, and then expect others in the organization to commit themselves to innovation. Talking about innovation is much easier than committing to the changes and risks required for successful innovation. Organizations that succeed at becoming more innovative commit the financial resources to discrete innovation projects, they commit to the human resources flexibility necessary to staff them, and they commit the communications resources necessary to ensure that everyone knows the innovation journey the organization is committed to.

2. Collect and Connect:

  • Innovation is ultimately all about data. Organizations seeking to improve their ability to innovate, must get better at collecting and connecting the dots. This means improving their ability to transform data about the organization’s customers into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into insight. The ability to transform data all the way through to insight is key because new and novel insights drive an organization’s ability to identify those ideas with the potential to deliver more value to their target market than any other existing alternative. Improving this transformation capability is not just about data though, but about people, and if your organization really wants to become more innovative it has get better at connecting people at the same time (both online and in the real world). Creating connections between people and data is a powerful input to innovation.

3. Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail:

  • Most organizations do a great job of planning how to succeed, but many organizations don’t make a plan for how to fail. People like to talk about failing fast, failing cheap, and failing smart. The first two are self-explanatory, but what does that failing smart look like?
  • In part this means taking educated risks, but even doing that you are still going to have failures, and so you must ask yourself:
    • What did we learn?
    • What can we use later?
    • What do we do now?

Doing these three things won’t guarantee that you will come up with a whole collection of new innovations, but it will help make your organization more innovative. There is a difference, and if you’re not clear on what it is, then let me direct your attention back to the first paragraph. 😉

Build a Common Language of Innovation

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