Articles and Reviews
Sustaining Innovation in Teams Print E-mail
Innovation, defined as “the act of introducing something new, useful, and significantly different,” has been a principal theme throughout my professional career as a practitioner, team leader, executive, and, now, consultant and coach. Over the years, I’ve taken up the challenge that innovation poses for organizations.

Why do some teams succeed at innovation and some do not? Why do some teams sustain their innovative capacity year after year, while others succeed once and then fade?

Why do some teams succeed at innovation and some do not? Why do some teams sustain their innovative capacity year after year, while others succeed once and then fade? Why do some managers of teams achieve success through innovation with team after team, year after year, while others succeed just once, and still others, not at all? Is this primarily due to luck? An element of innovation is almost certainly luck, but something more that luck is at work: “Luck is the residue of design."
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You and Your Research Print E-mail

In Dr. Richard Hamming's classic late-career lecture, he attempted to answer the question, "Why do so few scientists make significant contributions, and why are so many forgotten in the long run?"  I was fortunate to be in the audience at the time, and I later was able to locate a transcript of his lecture on the Web.

While the topic is ostensibly achievement in scientific research, I think this lecture is really about clarity of purpose and alignment of practices and priorities toward pursuit of purpose. It's about our choice as to what is most important to each of us, and how we accomplish something "great" for ourselves. To quote Hamming, in life, what is "the difference between those who do and those who might have done?" In the lecture, he starts with his experience in Los Alamos (Feynman, Oppenheimer, Fermi, etc.) but draws most heavily from his decades of experience in the Research area of Bell Laboratories during its glory days. Some of the best insights, I think, come toward the end.

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