No matter how well trained people are, few can sustain their best performance on their own. That’s where coaching comes in. I’ve been a surgeon for eight years. For the past couple of them, my performance in the operating room has reached a plateau. I’d like to think it’s a good thing—I’ve arrived at my professional peak. But mainly it seems as if I’ve just stopped getting better.
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 practice (6)
I think Sawyer leaves are crucial component out of this discussion - practice. Nevertheless, a recommended read. I’ve often cited the research of Professor Anders Ericsson, showing that world-class expertise only emerges after you invest 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice.” Ericsson’s research is consistent with a well-known finding of creativity research: “The ten year rule,” the observation that major creative contributions generally don’t happen until a person has been working in an area for at least ten years. (If you do the math, ten years comes out to about 10,000 hours.) Ericsson studied a wide range of expertise–chess players, musicians, and others. In one of his more famous studies, he analyzed how many total hours violin students at a top music conservatory had rehearsed over their lifetimes. The number of hours rehearsed correlated highly with ratings by conservatory faculty.
Take a long look at the Mona Lisa. How do you see her? As blobs of paint or as a woman with an enigmatic smile? Now explain how you came to see those blobs of paint as a smile. For your second mission, think back to learning to form sentences. Your parents never told you "verb in the middle" (if you're English) or "verb at the end" (if you're German) but still you picked it up. And, more remarkable, once you did, have you any idea how come this sentence breaks the rules but read it you still can? These abilities demonstrate what's known as "tacit knowledge" - something as big and taken for granted as "air", "thought", or "language". Take away tacit knowledge and the human world disappears. Without it, what we think of as knowledge, the "stuff" contained in our books and intellectual artefacts, would make no sense and be no more than noise. The big question is whether, or how far, this tacit knowledge can be made explicit.
Teresa M. Amabile's research centers on how the work environment can influence the motivation, creativity, and performance of individuals and teams. A recent study focused on the influence of team leaders on these factors. Professor Amabile and New Business publisher Mike Roberts recently discussed her research. New Business: Teresa, tell us about the general context of your research. Teresa Amabile: With all the focus entrepreneurs and business executives place on strategy, they can lose sight of the people "in the trenches" who actually have to implement the strategy—the knowledge workers who are carrying out the work of the organization. In my research we look at how entrepreneurs and executives can think about the day-by-day management of those people in the trenches,