WHY is this a key question? WHY is this a key question?
Because innovators need time: time to think and imagine and observe and experiment and test and incubate and develop and brainstorm and adapt and adjust and dream and wonder and learn from mistakes and build prototypes and try again and enroll support and everything else essential to going beyond the status quo to create something new that will provide value in the marketplace.
But time has become a rare commodity these days… especially in business.
You need look no further than the word business itself to understand why time has become such a rare commodity.
Business Busyness Its not enough to be busy. Ants are busy. What are we busy about? – H.D. Thoreau
FACE IT. Most of us are simply too busy – doing the basics of our jobs – to be truly creative from 9 to 5. This absence of time makes us slaves to the past. We do what we already know because we dont have time to conjure up anything else.
And the paradox? Even enlightened business leaders and managers who extol the virtues of innovation rarely provide the time for aspiring innovators within their organizations to immerse in the process necessary for original ideas to morph into bottom-line realities.
And we, unknowingly, make it difficult for people to innovate by putting them in a box that we draw with four simple lines: 1. Top Lines 2. Bottom lines 3. Deadlines 4. Timelines
Somehow, aspiring innovators are expected to find the time… to shoehorn their new ideas into existing schedules (ha!) … to juggle…. to finagle…and create breakthroughs on their own time.
Its tough to do when you feel like your hands are tied.
SURE, there are always those rare committed individuals who can innovate on the side. But they are the exception to the rule.
The Bottom Line? If you want to create a culture of innovation you must find a way to free people up to have more time to develop their ideas. Otherwise, its all just theory. Pep talks. Hype. Smoke & mirrors.
Dear Manager: In what ways can you help me free up some time or redistribute my work load so I have more time to develop the brilliant ideas youve been asking for?
If you are a manager who cares about innovation you will need to take the time to: 1. Redistribute work loads 2. Simplify existing processes 3. Eliminate unnecessary work 4. Coach and mentor 5. Provide timely resources
If you dont, you are setting people up for a fall. If you dont, you are setting people up for a fall.
But it doesnt have to be that way. There IS something you can do to help your people find the time to innovate. Its a process called I - SQUARED* *Winner of the 2002 Acronym of the Year award.
(By the way, did you know that a recent study revealed that engineers spend more than 75% of their time at work involved in non-engineering tasks? i.e. going to meetings, administration, paperwork etc.) DATA
SO... Are you willing to spend 10 minutes learning (and practicing) a simple technique to help you and your people find more time to innovate?
I mmerse S implify Q uicken U nderstand A lign R eorganize E liminate D elegate An insight- sparking checklist for people who want more time to innovate
Heres how it works: 1. Unplug your phone 2. Close your door, open your mind 3. Answer the question on the bottom of the following eight slides 4. Write your ideas down 5. Pick one this week and DO IT!
You can do I-Squared for yourself... OR you can sit down with each of your direct reports or friends and go through the process with them. OR you can print out these next few slides and ask your team to complete the process on their own... READY?
I mmerse What can you do to create more time to immerse in your most creative project?
S implify What can you can do to simplify a too complicated process at work?
Q uicken What overly sluggish process at work can be quickened with a little brainstorming this week?
U nderstand What research do you need to do in order to increase your understanding about your most exciting new idea?
A lign What collaborator or resource do you need to align more closely with? A lign
R eorganize What project or process do you need to reorganize in order to get better results? R eorganize
E liminate What time-wasting procedures or paperwork can you eliminate?
D elegate What do you need to delegate? To whom? By when?
A Reminder When you are feeling overly crunched about your work load, do the ISQUARED shuffle and ask yourself how you can: Immerse Simplify Quicken Understand Align Reorganize Eliminate Delegate
You will never find the time for anything. You must make the time.
If you want a really fast way to learn more about Idea Champions Innovation Assurance series (of which I-SQUARED is one), call 845-679-1066.
Oh, one more thing. You know whats really funny? When you retire, guess what youre likely to get as a going away gift? Oh, one more thing. You know whats really funny?funny? When you retire, guess what youre likely to get as a going away gift?