The most valuable consulting lesson I ever received from a client came from being rewritten with neither my knowledge nor input. I'd been asked to run an innovation workshop for Procter & Gamble's R&D group because of a book I had written. While chatting with my managerial host, I noticed a neatly-typed three-page memo about my work attached to the invitation he'd sent to his Winton Hill colleagues. I asked if I could read it. My host had effectively "translated" my book's central insights into "P&G-ese." This went beyond edit or synthesis; he rewrote my words, phrases and recommendations in P&G research community language. While P&G-ese was recognizably a dialect of English, reading this translation was a bracing experience. Ah, so that's how they see it. While I disagreed with some parts, this was a fascinating glimpse into P&G's innovation aspirations.
Making Innovation Happen
A Global Aggregation of Leading Edge Articles on Management Innovation, Creative Leadership, Creativity and Innovation.
This is the official blog of Ralph Kerle, Chairman, the Creative Leadership Forum. The views expressed are his own and do not represent the views of the International or National Advisory Board members. Tweet ______________________________________________________________________________________
Entries in Communication (49)
Social networking is the most significant business development of 2010, topping the resurgence of the U.S. automobile industry. During the year, social networking morphed from a personal communications tool for young people into a new vehicle that business leaders are using to transform communications with their employees and customers, as it shifts from one-way transmission of information to two-way interaction. That's one reason Time magazine just named Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year.
Leading Outside the Lines - How To Synthesise Metrics and Informal Communication - Jon Katzenbach and Zia Khan, s + b
Integrating formal metrics and informal communication can lead to new levels of performance. Ed Carolan knows a lot about making soup. He also is a master at using performance objectives to motivate frontline workers. From early 2007 through 2009, Carolan was the general manager for StockPot, a business group within the Campbell Soup Company that makes fresh refrigerated soup for the food-service industry. (He has since moved on to become senior vice president and general manager for the snacks division of Pepperidge Farm, another Campbell Soup brand.)
A few years back, I started noticing that my MBA students were behaving differently. More and more, they opened the meetings they requested with me by talking about themselves, sometimes at length. I found this odd, especially since the topics they wanted to discuss didn't require me to know a great deal about them. I thought I was witnessing an unhealthy trend, but I didn't know how much weight to give my own observations. I could have been misremembering the past, or just getting more crotchety.
What entrepreneurship and the art of presentation have in common is they are both really about creating meaning. This simple fundamental is often forgotten (or was never learned). In business, we need to make money, of course. This is a given. But the focus and the very reason one goes into the business should not be money. This is not because the pursuit of wealth is ignoble, but it may be a signal that one's focus is misplaced. If acquiring wealth is the primary goal of an entrepreneur, ironically the wealth will rarely materialize.