I was fortunate enough to join Tamara Kleinberg of GoToLaunchStreet, a TED speaker and entrepreneur recently for an interview for her Launchstreet podcast. From building and running multi-million dollar businesses, advising Fortune 500 companies like Disney, Procter and Gamble and RICOH on fostering innovative ideas and people, Tamara’s life is about breaking through the status quo for game-changing results, and that’s what her keynotes, online programs and assessments can do for you. Obviously we’re kindred spirits so check out the lively conversation we had on her podcast!
Listen now to this episode on Inside LaunchStreet:
According to The Plastic Pollution Coalition (January 3, 2017) – “It’s National Drinking Straw Day! Each day, more than 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded in the U.S. alone. Plastic straws consistently make the top ten list of items found, according to Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup data. In the last three years, plastic straws have climbed the list to the Number 5 spot.”
In response to this growing problem, in January California made it illegal to give customers plastic straws unless they expressly request one.
Another way some restaurants have tried to to fix this problem has been to replace plastic straws with paper straws.
Or then there is the tasty fix to the problem, the cookie straw.
But there is another way to approach problem solving, and that is to design out the problem instead of trying to fix it.
Recently a barista at Starbucks accidentally gave me a lid on my water cup that I wasn’t expecting.
I had heard that Starbucks was planning to reduce their use of the iconic green plastic straw, but I kind of assumed that meant they were shifting to paper straws like some other quick serve restaurants, but that is not what they have in mind at all.
Instead of focusing on the straw they instead chose to focus on the lid and design it in a way that a straw isn’t even necessary.
So, next time you’re wrestling with a problem and trying to solve it, look at it in a slightly different way just for fun, try asking yourself how you could design the product, service, or experience (or all three) in order to design out the problem.
You may or may not get to a more viable, desirable, and feasible solution than trying to fix the problem.
But, looking at the problem from a range of different perspectives is always worth the effort.
With a new Top Gun movie coming out soon, I thought this might be an appropriate share.
It used to be in the early days of military aviation that a pilot’s head only served as some level of protection during a crash or a battle. Then with the introduction of radio communications an additional function was added to allow the pilot to communicate with the ground and then eventually with other pilots. The arrival of jet airplanes necessitated the integration of breathing capabilities via a facemask attached to the helmet.
Things remained relatively unchanged for many years until miniaturization and advancing computer science and display technologies made it possible to introduce heads up displays for pilots, first into the cockpit and then into the visor of the pilot, allowing pilots to see key flight data in their field of vision without having to find the relevant instrument on their instrumentation panel.
But pilots still had to look out all of their different windows and event turn the airplane in order to see what was going on around the aircraft.
The latest helmet for pilots of the F35 changes all of that now however. Designers have challenged this orthodoxy that a pilot has to look out the window or turn the airplane to see what is going on outside the airplane AND the orthodoxy that a pilot must put on night vision goggles to see what is going on at night by creating a helmet that uses sensors on the outside of the airplane and feed the visual data to the pilot in their new $400,000 helmet for the F35 that allows them to see in every direction just by looking around, day or night. The pilot can now effectively see right through the walls and floor of the airplane with this helmet.
This helmet challenges orthodoxies, but it also leverages two other lenses from Rowan Gibson’s Four Lenses of Innovation to achieve the solution – harnessing trends (sensors, etc.), and understanding needs.
Despite Lockheed Martin holding the primary contract for the F35 Lightning, the helmet will be manufactured primarily in Israel by Elbit Systems with some final assembly work done by Rockwell Collins in the United States.
Estonia is known for pushing the boundaries as it tries to establish itself as a haven for innovation, and out of Estonia comes the latest in a string of interesting electric car projects. This one is super sexy for those of us that think that cars have gotten BORING. Check out the video to see what I mean.
Below you’ll find a second video that digs a little deeper into the project and provides more of an editorial.
But before you check it out you might want to investigate a bit more about what Estonia is trying to do to make itself an innovation powerhouse.
Is the design so sexy that you’ll want to lick it? I’ll leave that for you to decide, but I do like the idea of a removable battery. I’m surprised this is the first electric car that I’ve seen that touts this as a feature. I always assumed that the gas pumps at service stations would be replaced by racks of batteries eventually, but that has yet to happen and it is kind of hard for such a transition to start taking place if none of the electric car manufacturers are making cars with removable batteries. Whether or not it was necessary to go to the extreme of making the removable battery look like a nostalgic leather suitcase I’m not quite sure, but it does keep the experience consistent.
This is a crowdfunding project so if it excites you, check out their investment page.
Innovation can come from a number of different potential sources of inspiration and insight. The most typical source of course is understanding customer needs. This is the source for the whole design thinking movement, but there are still a number of other potential sources of inspiration and insight for potential innovations. But, in this case we will be examining a potential innovation building not only on an unmet customer need, but one that iterates on previous attempts by a company to address the same unmet customer need – the desire to have a pizza delivered when you’re not at home.
In the world of pizza delivery, the process has always had at its core, a street address, because the context for both the pizza ordering system and the delivery driver was linked to the world of the street map. But sometimes customers want to enjoy a hot delivered pizza in a place that doesn’t have a street address and companies like Domino’s Pizza had no way to address this scenario. The street address had become an orthodoxy.
By understanding this unmet customer need and challenging this orthodoxy, Domino’s arrived at the concept of the pizza door on a beach in the Netherlands back as early as 2009 (if not earlier). The phone number for the local Domino’s Pizza was on the door and after the order was placed the Domino’s Pizza delivery person would bring the pizza(s) to the door and ring the doorbell to let the customer know when they have arrived.
A creative solution to the unmet customer need, an interesting invention to challenge the street address orthodoxy, but definitely NOT an innovation as it can’t scale to replace the street address centric approach to pizza delivery.
But, Domino’s Pizza hasn’t given up iterating on this unmet customer need and recently launched their latest approach to solving it which they call Domino’s Hotspots.
The concept is simple:
Stop defining delivery locations by street addresses, and instead define them by GPS coordinates.
As soon as you stop limiting potential delivery locations to places with street addresses and instead view it through a mobile-centric lens (including GPS coordinates and location-based services) then you can start mapping popular locations without street addresses to GPS coordinates that both customers and delivery drivers can use to get pizzas to customers, while also sending customers text updates of both the progress of the order and the pizza’s ultimate arrival at the chosen location.
It’s all driven out of the Domino’s Pizza mobile app, which also makes it a great way to create customer loyalty, to gather customer behavior data, and to drive repeat business.
I was recently interviewed for the Change and Innovation Online Summit! As a featured guest I’m able to share FREE passes to the Summit.
Whether you are a leader who is experiencing change in your organization, an HR professional who is dealing with change, or someone looking to reinvent how you show up everyday, you may benefit from conversations with some of the brightest thinkers in Change and Innovation around the world.
The Summit provides tools, strategies and concepts on how to best lead change and navigate the future of work. Whether you’re leading a Fortune 500 organization or looking to reinvent yourself, this Summit is packed with insights and practices to promote innovative ideas and successfully implement change.
Other speakers include:
Tim Creasey of ProSci
… and several other great speakers!
Click the link below for your FREE Pass and be sure to catch my session:
The business world is showing an increasing interest in the people side of change, and there is a very real reason for this…
Companies are spending an increasing amount of their budget on technology and working to transform their operations to be more digital in order to provide a better experience for customers, employees, partners and suppliers while simultaneously creating a more efficient and effective business.
Everyone knows that a lot of technology projects fail to achieve their intended objectives, timings, and budgets. This fact and the increasing investment levels are causing more executives to look for ways to de-risk these technology investments in digitizing the business.
That’s why we’re seeing an uptick in the hiring and certification of change management professionals, which is great, but companies are still thinking about the relationship between project management and change management backwards.
In most cases change management is brought to bear as an afterthought, a bolt on to project management when the reverse should be true. Managing a change is a bigger endeavor than managing a project, and in fact you could say that because every project changes something, that every project is a change initiative.
It is thinking about managing projects in this way that I sat down to begin managing a new project several years ago and like many project managers, I found myself sitting at my computer by myself starting at an empty Microsoft Word template for a project charter knowing the uphill battle I’m going to face trying to route this document around via email and succeeding at both getting any responses at all and at getting meaningful input and a diversity of perspectives to make my project charter a really strong document that anyone will actually look at after week two of the project. I also found myself thinking that there has to be a better to plan and execute change initiatives and projects.
And sure people like pull ADKAR (a modified version of AIDA from the marketing world) and the ACMP Standard for Change Management (see the visualization I created above and download it for free here) and John Kotter’s change leadership approach, but they all fall short of making the planning and execution of change initiatives and projects a more visual and collaborative process, so I found myself starting to create new tools to help people (intended to link up with the PMBOK and ACMP Standard for Change Management).
These tools started to collect until they formed a comprehensive and new visual, collaborative approach to planning and executing change initiatives, and yes projects. This collection of tools became known as the Change Planning Toolkit™ and was first introduced in my latest book Charting Change which pairs nicely with my first book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire. Both are designed to pack more insights into each chapter than most books contain in the entirety of their pages. Two of the most important frameworks introduced in the book are the Five Keys to Successful Change:
And the Architecting the Organization for Change framework:
Both frameworks are designed to help people challenge the way they think about organizational change. They are designed to help people think about more than change management and to think differently about how organizations are transformed and how change management and project management relate to each other.
To help people begin their participation in changing change I’ve made ten free tools available for download from the 50+ tools in the Change Planning Toolkit™, and people who buy a copy of Charting Change get access to 26 of the 50+ tools (including the Visual Project Charter™ and the Change Planning Canvas™). The book does a great job of helping to explain the philosophy behind the toolkit and how to get started with the tools, but people who purchase access to all 50+ tools (including tools to help people think through their Digital Transformation) also get a QuickStart Guide to explain each tool.
But if we are going to truly work together to change how change is planned and executed I thought it would make sense to give people a more in depth sneak preview into what’s inside the toolkit and so I’ve created the following Introduction to the Change Planning Toolkit™ webinar recording:
I encourage you to reflect upon your own experiences planning and executing both projects and change initiatives and what you’ve found lacking in the tools you call upon from ProSci, PMI, ACMP or others and then check out the book and the webinar and then let me know if there are any tools that you feel are still missing – and if it makes sense, I’ll create them!
My goal in creating all of these tools for you after all is to help you beat the 70% change failure rate, so let’s work together at changing change so our organizations are capable with more capably transforming themselves as the environment changes around them.
You can let me know if there are any change tools that you still need (or if you’d like me to come show you and your team personally how to use them) via the contact form.
When it comes to business, many people would say it is outcomes that truly matter, especially investors on wall street. Investors don’t care what kind of software you’re running or what your stack looks like, or how you do what you do, as long as you deliver the financial outcomes they are looking for in order to earn a return on their investment.
Doctors also focus on outcomes and insurance companies are becoming obsessed with them, forcing doctors and customers into Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). In healthcare, the outcomes obsession is called Outcomes-Based Management or Outcomes-Based Healthcare. In education, the outcomes obsession has led to an obsession with standardized testing and a practice called Outcomes-Based Education (OBE).
And in the innovation space, Tony Ulwick and Strategyn created Outcomes-Driven Innovation (ODI). In the innovation space this approach can be very beneficial as it helps companies move away from asking questions like “What can this technology do?” to questions that create better outcomes and more value, questions like “What is the customer trying to do?” or “What is the job to be done (JTBD)?”
Whether it is healthcare, education, business, or innovation, a focus on outcomes can be very helpful, but in these contexts we are looking at managing to a certain set of outcomes, or improving a certain set of outcomes, at a fixed point in time.
In the area of organizational change however, the focus often is not on outcomes, but on behaviors. Far too much of the literature and practice focuses on behavior change, which could also be described as “what people do.” And this focus on behaviors instead of aligning thoughts, feelings, behaviors and outcomes is part of why up to 70% of change efforts fail.
Too many people are jumping in head first and not approaching organizational change holistically, having the tough conversations around not only around how behaviors (doing) need to change but also how the how the outcomes need to change, along with how people’s thoughts and feelings need to change.
And when it comes to organizational change, we are not trying to achieve a certain set of outcomes or optimize a certain set of outcomes, but instead to ascertain what the relevant outcomes are in the current state and what we want them to become in the future state.
To help change leaders work though these incredibly necessary conversations and to help change managers achieve alignment within the organization around how all four components need to change (outcomes, thinking, feeling, doing) as part of a planned and coordinated effort, I have created the Outcome-Driven Change (ODC) Framework and worksheet to add to the Change Planning Toolkit™ v7 for existing subscribers and new subscribers alike.
Thinking, feeling, doing…
People have been linking these terms together since at least 1895 when E.W. Scripture released an interesting book titled Thinking, Feeling, Doing on how scientists conduct research affecting these three parts of our humanity. Many people have added to the conversation since then speaking about how we are of three minds (Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions below), which are the:
Of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering)
Relating to, arising from, or influencing feelings or emotions
An inclination (such as an instinct, a drive, a wish, or a craving) to act purposefully
Not coincidentally, these match up with the three domains of learning, defined as early as 1956 by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom.
Others like to ascribe these three elements of humanity into Mind, Body, and Soul.
The key thing to remember from all of this discussion is that we are speaking about three very distinct things:
IT IS possible, and happens with surprising frequency, that all three are not in agreement when you are dealing with human beings. Which the obvious truth of course is that in any change effort, or project for that matter, you are. People are fully capable of thinking one thing, feeling another, and end up doing something totally incongruent with either OR both whatever they are thinking and feeling. Confused yet?
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said:
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
This is one reason why change of any kind, organizational or personal, is so hard. Because, in order to be successful you must achieve alignment between all three elements of human reaction to the change in order to achieve the outcomes you seek.
Hopefully I’ve captured all of this in this single image of the Outcome-Driven Change Framework and this single quote from it:
“When what people do aligns with what they think and feel, then and only then, will you achieve the outcomes you’re looking for.”
In the Change Planning Toolkit™ v7 paying subscribers will find 11″x17″versions of this framework and the Outcome-Driven Change™ Worksheet to help your change planning team guide the conversations with change leaders that will help you surface the outcomes you’re currently achieving and what people in the organization are thinking, feeling, and doing to create the current outcomes and what members of the organization will need to think, feel, and do in order to achieve the new set of outcomes that you determine are necessary for the change to be successful.
This is just a taste of the kinds of frameworks, worksheets, and other tools you will find in the Change Planning Toolkit™ that I introduced in my latest book Charting Change along with a lot of great case studies and other next practices shared by some of the leading minds in the areas of organizational change and innovation.
So what are you waiting for?
Get started using the Outcome-Driven Change Framework to spark dialogue among your change planning and leadership teams
I’m planning on recording a webinar in the next couple of days titled An Introduction to the Change Planning Toolkit™ and before I do I would throw out an open call for questions:
What have you always been curious about when it comes to organizational change?
Where do you get stuck when it comes to achieving successful organizational change, adoption, or project completion?
What do you think should be in the Change Planning Toolkit™?
What have you always been curious about when it comes to the Change Planning Toolkit™ and how it helps you beat the 70% change failure rate?
What have you always been curious about when it comes to digital transformation?
So, let me know what questions you have related to any of these five questions by Midnight (PDT) on Monday, April 9, 2018 in Seattle, WA (GMT -8:00) and I will do my best to answer them when I record the webinar.
And also co-founded the world's most popular innovation web site:
"I help organizations increase their organizational agility and accelerate their speed of innovation and organizational change.
If you're looking to create a culture of continuous change, tackle some of your innovation barriers, train your employees to be more innovative change agents, or to build a more profitable, more social business -- let's talk."