The executive summary: It’s one thing (idea generating skill) to come up with great ideas, it’s another to have the skill and discipline to realize the benefits of a great idea – to implement the idea.
- Project Management: Implement changes on an ongoing basis with teams who plan, manage, budget, track, and successfully complete company projects.
- Leading Teams: Initiate and support your organization's improvement teams.
- Leading Change: Learn and practice more effective ways to think about, and decide about, change and improvements.
- Leading an Innovative Organization: Help for senior leaders who are or will be leading an organization that embraces innovation.
For example, a primary leading change tool is John Kotter’s Eight Steps (title info found below). Leading a change initiative following these steps allows a leader and their supporting teams to avoid the many pitfalls found in more careless change efforts. A good example of taking advantage of “best practice”.
The other implementation skills (thinking skills) have their own sets of questions appropriate to the task at hand. In all cases the questions and tools do not tell participants what to think, but how for a period of time. The questions engage team member thinking to create their own ideas about each ideation situation. Better questions, better ideas. Better ideas, better behavior and results.
My four-part Good Thinking Curriculum is based on a fundamental strategy: improve thinking skills to improve business performance.
Thinking and intelligence are different. Intelligence is innate capability, and thinking is how you use it. As a skill thinking is improvable. What differentiates great and not-so-great companies is how they think, and how they help all their employees learn to think more effectively. If I really want to improve my performance, a really good question is “What’s the best way to think about it?” A short introductory video can be found at How Good Thinking Drives Improvement and Innovation
Many company leaders attempt to accomplish these tasks randomly with a wide range of results. How do you currently exercise these four thinking skills – deliberately or randomly?
There are many good books available to support these topics. My favorite starting points are:
- Project Management: Project Management Memory Jogger: A Pocket Guide for Project Teams, Paula Martin and Karen Tate (Goal/QPC, 1997.)
- Leading Teams: The Team Handbook: Second Edition, Peter Scholtes, Brian Joiner, Barbara Streibel (Joiner Associates, 1996); The Team Handbook: Third Edition, Peter Scholtes, Brian Joiner, Barbara Streibel (Joiner Associates, 2003)
- Leading Change: Leading Change, John P. Kotter, (The Free Press, 1996).
- Leading an Innovative Organization: Innovating the Corporation: Creating Value for Customers and Shareholders, Thomas D. Kuczmarski, Arthur Middlebrooks, Jeffrey Swaddling, (NTC Business Books, 2001).
Many of these topics are included in two of my Good Thinking Series books, Collaborate and Imagine, available on Amazon
Independent trainer and meeting facilitator John Canfield helps clients build high performance business teams. Find out more about he can help your company or organization at www.johncanfield.com and www.goodthinkingseries.com. Call or write 616-283-5588 | firstname.lastname@example.org