Recently, we have seen an increase in requests for innovation programs. All of these companies tend to be looking for the “silver bullet”. In a brainstorm as a team, we discussed how important it was to dispel this thought going in. Any solution requires commitment and the belief that we are doing the right thing.
In our discussions, we decided a great ceremonial closing item would be to hand out “silver bullet” key chains – recognizing there are no silver bullets but implementation of the concepts from each person is the real silver bullet. The essence of innovation is that we can do this. We provided participants with a variety of tools and perspectives. Once we shared these tools and the context, it was their job to create an invention. The results of this assignment were astounding. The SVP stated that some of the innovations have real world application. The former Director of Organizational Effectiveness said that we should have the rights to any idea that comes out of this process as there were several ideas that were potentially disruptive changes for their industry! This was accomplished by creating the essence of innovation. This experience was visceral … palpable … alive and engaging….and of course a lot of fun.
During debriefs, I sometimes like to bust out with catchy, easy to remember, but powerful quotes that really bring home a particular point or concept. I find that people may not remember anything else from the day, but the concept and the quote to back it up often seem to make their way into that team’s actual day-to-day lingo! Here are 5:
1.”Slow is smooth, Smooth is fast”. Military in origin, (Special Operations Teams use it to discuss room takedowns.) An excellent phrase to drive home the point that a little planning prior to task execution can be really powerful.
2. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” Attributed to John Wooden- Former UCLA Basketball coach. This quote always gets heads nodding when used to remind self-professed “fire-fighters” and “problem solvers” that a little root-cause analysis might be in order.
3. “The Perfect is the enemy of the good.” Voltaire -(a French philosopher). This one really gets the attention of the perfectionists, risk averse, and “analysis paralysis” types. Especially when discussing why a project didn’t meet a deadline, or has been talked about in meetings, but still hasn’t materialized.
4. “I don’t trust a man who can only spell a word one way.”- Mark Twain. A humorous touch that can really get a group talking about the fact that sometimes the first solution to a problem isn’t necessarily the best solution.
5. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”- Thomas Edison. This one is great when the subject of risk taking, risk aversion or innovation comes up.
These are just a few that I find I often have a use for, I am sure that many of you have plenty of other great quotes or stories that you use in your facilitation. I would love to hear some, ‘share them out’ when you get a chance.
This is a phrase that I use pretty often. I like it. For me, it really sums up what goes on behind the scenes while we are planning and prepping a team development program. Clients are providing more information, the program delivery team is having creative conversations, I read something that changes my perspective on how to best help our clients meet their interpersonal and business goals, and so on. What it means to me is that facilitation is mostly a fluid and non-linear process – but when approached with a clear understanding of what the actual goals are – to develop effective teams that get business results – then we can “feed” our clients the tools that will enable them to make that happen!
In my mind, that’s what this blog is going to be all about – an active, non-linear, sometimes messy kitchen, where we can trade recipes, try out new gadgets, “cook up” ideas to help clients, and brainstorm tasty new approaches to helping teams communicate better, innovate more, make decisions more quickly and get business results. I look forward to hearing from other facilitators, past, current and future clients, business students, and anybody else who is excited (or has an opinion) about team development. Let’s eat!
After some blood, sweat and tears…and lots of edits, we are releasing our new look website with improved areas for clients, prospects, facilitators and anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about OE. A few upgrades include our new flash Home Page (you can click and change the pages at your leisure) where we have added Team Building, Leadership and Skills Training tabs for better navigation. Our Team Building tab includes our new Team Event Packages section and Custom Designed Programs. Here you’ll get a ‘one-stop’ shop selection of programming or a choice of customizing your session.
About OE includes a more comprehensive vision and mission area, OE TV offers some unique videos we’ll continuously update, and Contact OE has been modified for easier communication with us. Our Photo Gallery is more interactive and will have updated pictures regularly. New pop-ups and links pepper the site and will give you additional real time information.
Obviously, we have included a weblog which will be filled with lots of good stuff relating to OE, the industry, programs, cool book reviews and websites and anything else we find interesting. We are big on ‘two-way’ communication and encourage you to give us lots of feedback! We’ll be ironing out the process over the next few months so please excuse any hiccups along the way.
So take a few minutes and go surf around….. and if you get a moment, don’t hesitate to tell us what you think.