29th maj, 2012

Managing innovation

In the last few months I have been managing a number of innovative projects set out to change the nature of the company I work for. No project is completed without changes or stones along the road, but I have discovered some similarities in the stones across the projects.
Wanting change
One of the major stones to be removed is to make people want to change the current way of doing things. This has something to do with the focus of the crew you have working on innovation and their mindset. If you have a crew focused on delivering your product to your customers tomorrow, and tell them to focus on creating something for the future, your project will suffer.  This requires buy in and therefore communication.
Taking responsibility
Normally I’m a nice guy, who expects people to finish tasks without being ordered to do so. I find that the nice guy has to be spiced up with a bit of responsibility and deadlines. Transferring responsibility for an assignment to a project member is critical to obtain progress. People tend to be more focused if they know that it is their responsibility to finish an assignment to meet the deadline. Project management for dummies, I know – but still.

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