Leading at Light Speed is a powerful leadership book by Eric Douglas for businesses, public agencies, and nonprofits revealing the 10 Quantum Leaps to build trust, spark innovation, and create a high-performing organization.
Quantum Leap #6 is all about how to Stimulate the Creative Flow.
With rare exception, teams and work groups should be empowered to develop the plans and strategies for achieving the organization’s strategic focus. After all, they know the local operating conditions. Intense power of top quality with new inventions have been demonstrated by the GE company. In his now famous “workout meetings,” CEO Jack Welch brought hundreds of employees together with their managers and asked them to suggest ways to make the business better. Welch put his managers to the test by saying they had three choices: Accept the employee’s idea on the spot, reject it on the spot (but only if they could justify their decision), or study it for ten days. If, after ten days, the manager still hadn’t approved the innovation, it went into effect automatically.
Welch let workers know at meetings that their new ideas would be highly valued and criticism of inefficiencies they describe will be reviewed and changed with reprisals. Workout meetings became powerful symbols of creative thinking and local invention at GE .
At Broderbund, a California-based software maker, the senior product manger turned over the assignment of creating a new line of educational software to a team of young programmers. One of their first innovations was assembling a user group of eight-year-old girls and boys. Instead of relying on Broderbund’s point and click graphical interface, the team came up with an unconventional scheme that involved moving images and hidden buttons – resulting in a higher level of engagement and interest among younger users and higher levels of attained skills.
Innovation feeds an essential need. Reacting adversley to negativity from our employees is a standard response, however, employees who inspire, are creative and think positiviely are viewed with high regard. This spark is crucial if you’re going to succeed in a world where change is constantly accelerating. But spark without trust can be damaging, leading to useless innovations and even destructive ones. Leaders must know how to inspire trust while at the same time sparking new products, new processes, and new practices.
Take this free work survey to see if your organization practices the 10 Quantum Leaps of high-performing organizations.