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Manageris Blog
10 December 2012

How to ensure progress in contested projects?

An excerpt from Manageris’ Synopsis No.211b
“Lead projects successfully despite opposition”

Many projects are faced with opposition. How can they then be prevented from getting bogged down? The initial reflex is to focus on trying to convince your opponents. This is a mistake! For example, it may be much more effective to concentrate your efforts on the project's supporters, leading them to convince the undecided and thus creating a force that will sweep any diehard opponents away. In politically sensitive contexts, you need to have a good view of all the players present, including those who don’t express themselves, in order to adopt the most suitable strategy.

How to ensure progress in contested projects?

To learn more :

¬ Lead projects successfully despite opposition (Manageris’ Synopsis No.211b)

¬ published by Chrystel Martin on Strategy , Leadership

¬ key word { Change, Conflict, Crisis, Execution, Management Styles, Trust }

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03 December 2012

Establish a framework for employee expression

An excerpt from Manageris’ Synopsis No.209a
“Leader 2.0”

Whether companies like it or not, a growing number of employees are accustomed to using the Internet to talk about their professional life or share information with customers, who in turn use these media to express their thoughts and feelings about the company and its products. Communicating a charter of good behavior can serve as a useful guide in this domain. The following are a few helpful recommendations in this regard:

Establish a framework for employee expression

To learn more :

¬ Leader 2.0 (Manageris’ Synopsis No.209a)

¬ published by Chrystel Martin on Human Resources , People management

¬ key word { Communication, Culture, Empowerment, Transparency }

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19 November 2012

The best ideas are worthless until they are implemented

The best ideas are worthless until they are implemented

An excerpt from Manageris’ Synopsis No.213a
“From ideas to action”

Companies generate many more ideas than they can implement. Admittedly, a wide variety of ideas must be produced in great number in order to select the best is an integral part of the innovation process. At the same time, the number of good ideas that end up falling between the cracks is astronomical.

In fact, the deployment of new ideas is far from natural in business organizations. When faced with a large number of radically innovative ideas or continuous improvement opportunities, the same phenomena are generally observed:

Efforts are spread too thin

The more ideas there are,the harder it is to implement them. Indeed, each new idea requires a significant expenditure of energy: imagine ways to implement it, convince the various stakeholders, develop a detailed action plan, solve the problems that necessarily arise, get people to abandon old habits... It’s a long, hard road from idea to action. Therefore, putting every single new idea into practice is literally impossible. A classic trap is spreading their efforts too thin by trying to deploy more ideas than they can reasonably handle....at the risk of failing to deploy any successfully.

Motivation tends to dwindle

Even when focus is placed on a single idea, maintaining the same level of motivation over time is difficult. Initial enthusiasm for a good idea tends to erode as small and large problems inevitably arise. This is especially true since initial rapid progress often gives way to slower and less visible advances as the project moves forward. So, the motivation fueling the project tends to peter out over time. Most innovative projects thus cross a plateau, where energy drops to the point of stopping altogether. The easiest and most common escape is to generate new ideas, which will be abandoned in turn when their implementation becomes too laborious.

Operational concerns take priority

Lastly, the biggest obstacle to the deployment of new ideas is the priority given to current operations over innovation projects. Indeed, operational tasks are visibly necessary, with short-term objectives, well-understood risks and rapidly tangible outcomes. Conversely, a great deal of time is often needed before the benefits of innovative projects become visible. Moreover, a delay on an operational task is more likely to be criticized than the failure to launch an innovation that everyone has always done without up to now. So, the temptation is strong to place priority on “urgent” operational matters to the detriment of new projects, no matter how important.

How to deal with these many obstacles?

The observation of the greatest innovators reveals some basic principles which help reduce the number of good ideas that get lost somewhere between their generation and ultimate execution. For example:

Continuously maintain an obsessive focus on action

Remaining continuously—almost obsessively—focused on action is the best way to keep ideas from remaining purely theoretical. The most innovative companies, such as Disney and Apple, for example, are distinguished less for the creative genius of their teams than for their remarkable discipline in terms of execution. Forcing yourself to restate and clarify your ideas systematically until they take the form of concrete projects helps minimize this risk. For example, you could insist that each meeting end with a list of concrete action items, with targeted deadlines. In this way, every idea that is “thrown out there” must necessarily be assessed in order to make a deliberate decision to pursue it,abandon it or set it aside for later study.

Be stringent in screening ideas to deploy

A second essential discipline is to limit the number of ideas selected for concrete execution. This may seem paradoxical when a company is trying to be more innovative. The experts point out, however, that applying this critical prerequisite keeps companies from spreading their efforts too thin and producing few results. A resolutely pragmatic approach is often most effective. Some consider that if a project is the subject of reminders around us - employees, superiors, customers, etc.- this is a sign that it deserves to be pursued.Conversely, if everyone forgets about it, the project is probably not as important as it may have originally seemed. As unconventional as it is, this approach is more effective than rational choice allegedly on the basis of a hypothetical return on investment!

Involve those around you

Many ideas die because they are developed in isolation. Indeed, observation of great inventors shows that they generally interact with numerous diverse groups and individuals. Another benefit from involving others is that the more we publically communicate our commitment to innovate, the more we feel obligated to move the project forward. This creates much of fuel to increase the probability that an idea is born.

 

To learn more :

¬ From ideas to action (Manageris’ Synopsis No.213a)

¬ published by Chrystel Martin on Operational excellence , Innovation, Strategy

¬ key word { Change, Creativity, Empowerment, Execution, Innovation }

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We are pleased to share with you insightful and relevant management content discovered while reviewing international publications on the management of people and organizations.

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Chrystel Martin CEO and editor-in-chief of Manageris.

A publisher of concise reference materials about management, Manageris contributes to the continuous improvement of leadership practices with its original "On-the-job Learning" ® approach.

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