Thursday, October 14, 2010

ThinkInnovation - The Newsletter, Issue 3

When we talk about innovation, we usually think about an innovative product, service, process, or strategy. Rarely do we think about life; the way we lead our life. In the third edition of ThinkInnovation, we will explore the concept of facilitation and coaching in innovating our lives, and their implications on the types of lives we could create of ourselves and for the people around us……

'Think outside the box' is one of those management jargons that has been wildly circulated and widely used in many learning communities in the world.

But what does it really mean? What is the 'box' mentioned in the phrase? We have included an 'outside' in the maxim, how does the inside looks like? Since we know we need to 'think' to get out, then what kind of thinking should we use to do that?

After years of teaching others how to think creatively, I find the best way to answer these questions is through learning and using the creative tools to experience what thinking outside the box really means.

Assumption Reversal Method, which ideas are triggered from assumptions that are reversed from those currently ruling the situation, is an excellent ideation technique that enables us to obtain such enlightenment.......
Read more >

The facilitation of learning is very different. In this instance, the source of wisdom is with you. You are recognised to have the capacity to enrich and enlarge the body of collective knowledge within your group. The role of the facilitator is to provide you his skills of unlocking this wealth of individual experience, knowledge and insights, and transforming them into a collective one. He does this by reading the interactions and motivating you into exchanging your thoughts with each other, and helping you reach a consensus over what you want to do with your collective learning and insights.

To effectively accomplish these, the facilitator needs to know how the brain creates insights, understand the science behind the enrichment and enlargement of collective wisdom, and be aware of the predictable behavioural responses in group interactions. I call this aspect of facilitation the ‘Psyche of Facilitation’...............
Read more >

Quiet Leadership
Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work
David Rock

ISBN 978-0-06-083591-0

You want your team to crack the challenge it is currently working on and you think you know what it should be doing. You had expected the team to come up with some breakthroughs after the meeting but a week later you found that the members are still not making any headway. You are beginning to feel very frustrated with each member of your team and wondering if you should be the one working around the problem instead.

Sound familiar?

One of the hardest challenges in managing performance is changing the way people think.

Supported by the latest research in the functions of the brain, Quiet Leadership provides a brain-based approach that helps you improve your own performance and those of your colleagues'.

Quiet leaders are masters in bringing out the best performance in others. They improve the quality of thinking amongst people without telling any of them what they should do. Quiet Leadership gives you the clarity that comes from using and mastering powerful insights that make us perform and succeed at the highest level.........
Watch this Video >

Organisations may use a number of interventions to improve the performance of individuals. These may include teaching, training, facilitation, mentoring, and counselling. Coaching is one of such interventions but its principles, approaches and techniques are distinctively more self-directed. People are meaning making machines and tend to be derailed in their performance, In this 2-day programme, you will uncover the key elements of coaching for innovation...... Read more >

Our career may be progressing smoothly with our goals largely achieved and our future career prospects remain bright. However, it is not guaranteed that we are forever successful at our workplace and in our work life. We could be hit by a snag that slows us down or even halt our advancement entirely.

Sometimes, we are aware of these when we saw our peers progressing ahead of us but often we do not know the way out of the situation. At other times, we only know we are unhappy and stressed by events that we feel we have no control over but yet we are never able to pinpoint accurately the source behind these.

When you are afflicted by these experiences, it means your career may have been derailed and you need to know how to put it back on track............ Read more and post a comment >

The Career Derailment Wheel is an instrument that helps you uncover the status of your career in your organisation and suggests the parts in your life that may need further attention.
This profile highlights the drivers that may help explain the challenges you may be facing with the growth and development of your career. This could be used as a early warning device informing you of your propensity for derailment.
Each driver is coded to provide you with a colour indicator of the likelihood of you being derailed in your career and the drivers behind this propensity. It could also used to highlight the prevailing reasons for the slowing down or halting in your career progression.
So, what the health of your career?
Here is a self-assessment instrument which may help you uncover the health of your career…………… Download and complete this >

The third edition of ThinkInnovation is created and
produced by
Anthony Mok on 14 Oct 2010.
Copyright 2010. Anthony Mok. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ThinkInnovation - The Newsletter, Issue 2

In the second edition of ThinkInnovation, we will explore the concept of ‘Real’ and ‘Fake’ work, and their implications on the types of innovation we create for our organisation and society……

A typical brainstorming session, one where participants are asked to think and write down ideas that may be considered as solutions for a given challenge, does not usually generate breakthrough ideas. While the session produces a good volume of ideas, the ratio between usual ideas and creative ideas leans towards those that are already largely known. This empirical observation points to the limits of typical brainstorming sessions in generating unique ideas.

Why do we face such dynamics? This is because most brainstorming sessions are organised as idea dumping rather than idea creation sessions. By idea dumping, participants are encouraged to recall and release ideas that they already had. This is far from doing idea creation. While we cannot discount the value of these ‘already had’ ideas, they are still nothing more than old ideas.
To generate real ideas in brainstorming sessions, we need techniques that force us to think outside the box and Visual Connection is an ideation technique, which ideas are triggered from words associated with images………
Read more >

A few years back, on a wet and cold December afternoon, someone asked me a question, "Anthony, is asking the participants how they feel about the facilitator or trainer, delivery of the course content, ambience of the training venue, and quality of the refreshments a good way in helping me determine whether I should continue running a programme with a particular vendor?"

“Yes”, I said without hesitation. "After all, is this not how the industry reports the 'Return of Investment' of the workshops, training courses and developmental programmes it conducts for its clients?"

A month later, I was not so sure. I think there is another way to do this - a way where we could look beyond the 'impression management' and focus on real training outcomes and results. Less about blaming the trainers or facilitators for a failed performance and more about looking at the failure holistically and examining the role the organisation has to play in enabling transference of learning back at the workplace…………
Read more >

Recently, I have delivered a 3-day Strategic Planning Workshop, using the principles of 'Real Work', to a group of managers from a large public sector organisation.

This is an interesting workshop. It shows that we work very hard to produce results without realising that the outcomes that we are producing have nothing to do with moving the organisation one step closer to its vision.

Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson, the authors for ‘Why People Are Working Harder than Ever but Accomplishing Less, and How to Fix the Problem’, called this kind of activities 'Fake Work' because it is not aligned to any of the key strategic thrusts of the organisation and it contributes nothing towards the organisation’s long term goals. We are busy to show that we are productive. We are busy so that no one accuses us of skiving. We are busy so that management thinks we are worth the money it pays us. We are busy because we are busy. This is a business that wastes energy, time and money.

'Real Work' is activities that create an impact in securing the future of the organisation. Most of us could easily distinguish the theoretical differences between the two kinds of work. However, few of us know how to do 'Real Work' and stay away from 'Fake Work'.

Find out more about 'Fake Work' and what it means to be doing 'Real Work'.............. Watch this >

It is not natural that teams will succeed. They need to be really set up for success. Balanced Dynamics InnovationTM is a proven approach that has helped organisations increase their propensity in getting innovative solutions from their innovation teams. The approach addresses the challenges of bringing the right capabilities and capacities into the team and at the same time overcoming the difficulties of keeping the team members, with very diverse backgrounds, long enough to bring their innovative solutions to the market.

At the end of the workshop, you will be able to:

  • Gain important insights into your team’s current work preferences and dynamics. We all display different preferences at work. Some of us prefer to think while others prefer to do. Our work preference affects the way our team mates perceive us and impact the ways we contribute to our teams. So, what is your work preference? Do this quiz and find uncover your 'Work Preference Profile' at work
  • Uncover the key missing skills that affect your team’s resilience. The ‘Linking Skills Profile may reveal what is missing in your skill set……….Do this Quiz >
  • Leverage on the capabilities of your team to identify opportunities for innovation
  • Use your Challenge Statements to visually connecting to your ideas
  • Reach a consensus over the ideas that are most suitable for the Challenge
  • Win by identifying the Force Fields that may derail your innovative project

When we do improvements to a product, service or any other things, we are making an attempt to increase or reduce something related to it. This could be an increase in terms of the product or service's performance or its consistency in delivering its desired outcomes or the value the creation process brings to the consumers. Improvement could also come in the form of a decrease in the externalities the product or service brings to the environment or society, or a reduction in the complexities of moving it through its value chain or in lowering of prices the consumers have to bear for these products and services.

There will be costs in bringing about these benefits and the organisation will continue commit to doing improvement up to the point where the costs of the improvement equals to the benefits derived from it. This means that there are real diminishing returns in all kinds of continuous improvement.

However, what is the driver for this and what could we do given this reality? To appreciating these, we have to first understand the natural laws that govern the technologies that create……
Read more and post a comment >

By extending the concepts of 'Fake Work' to the other aspects of our lives, we should begin to notice that there are all kinds of work that we have busily manufactured around us that are utterly meaningless and useless.

We may have worked towards a professional qualification because we were sold to the idea that it will increase our chances of receiving a promotion and better renumerations without knowing how the knowledge and skills gained from the programme is going to significantly enhance our overall potential for employability in the long run. We may have being hopping from one life coach to another to look for guidance to transform our lives without realising that we are borned whole and complete, and are capable doing great things. We may have worked very hard to complete a project within the given budget and deadline only to find that it could not exponentíally position the organisation in the market better than it was before. These work are all fake. Our efforts contribute nothing to our own well-being and that of our society, organisation, and economy.
We may be seen to be innovating even though in our heart we know that we are just dressing up our products and services with improvements to pass them off as innovations no matter how seriously important a real innovation meant to the life and death of your organisation.

So, have you being faking work in your efforts to innovate?

Here is a self-assessment instrument which may help you find out if you have been 'Faking’ your work for innovation……………................................ Download and complete this >

The second edition of ThinkInnovation is created and produced by Anthony Mok on 16 Jan 2010.
Copyright 2010. Anthony Mok. All Rights Reserved.

Preview - ThinkInnovation - The Newsletter, Issue 2

The 2nd Edition of ThinkInnovation - The Newsletter will be launched in Feb 2010....

In this edition, we will explore the concept of ‘Real’ and ‘Fake’ work, and their implications on the types of innovation we create for our society.

This preview was written on 2 Mar 2010.
Copyright 2010. Anthony Mok. All Rights Reserved.

ThinkInnovation - The Newsletter, Issue 1

The first edition of ThinkInnovation - The Newsletter can be found in this link.

ThinkInnovation, The People Behind Your Breakthroughs - The Newsletter

ThinkInnovation, The Newsletter, is the official newsletter for ThinkInnovation, The People Behind Your Breakthroughs.

The purpose of this newsletter is to present the thoughts behind ThinkInnovation, and its efforts to create a better tomorrow for individuals and organisations.

Here is a company brief of ThinkInnovation, The People Behind Your Breakthroughs.

Name:  Thinkinnovation, The People Behind Your Breakthroughs

Short Description: ThinkInnovation, The People Behind Your Breakthroughs

Description: The idea behind ThinkInnovation was mooted in 2002 when the founder created the MINDEF Innovation and Transformation Office to apply creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship as technologies to change and transform the 60,000 personnel in the Ministry of Defence (Singapore) and the Singapore Armed Forces into thinking soldiers and defence executive officers. Subsequently, ThinkInnovation was founded in 2009 to bring these breakthroughs to the rest of the world.

Mission:  Create sustainable individual and organisation breakthroughs by building personal creative competencies and enterprise-wide entrepreneurial capabilities.

Founder:  Anthony Mok

Awards: DAG Excellence Award (Innovation), awarded by Mr Lim Hup Seng, Deputy Secretary (Administration), Ministry of Defence, 2002

Products:  The ThinkInnovation Breakthrough System is the anchor of ThinkInnovation, which guides individuals and enterprises in building sustainable breakthroughs.

Please contact ThinkInnovation for a conversation about the ThinkInnovation Breakthrough System.

Phone:  +65 97645381


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This blog was 1st created on 2 Mar 2010, and update on 18 Jan 2013.
Copyright 2010 - 2013. Anthony Mok & ThinkInnovation. All Rights Reserved.