Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Help Your Team To Be Creative

Help Your Team To Be Creative.

Competencies testing and training has proved invaluable in business ever since Harvard psychologist David C. McClelland got the ball
rolling in the 1970s. Invariably, we have learned that murky human performance categories like
sales ability and leadership can be broken down into skill sets that are not only measurable; they
are also trainable. I have pushed the competencies approach into
several new areas over the years, including parenting, stress management , and even love ,
but the area where this approach has had the greatest success has been creativity.

In a study I published in 2008 , for example, eight months after 173 employees of a small city in California were trained in creativity competencies, managers were still receiving 55% more new ideas than they had been receiving before the
training, and city officials attributed $600,000 in new revenues and $3.5 million in innovative revenue reductions specifically to the training. Based on a review of relevant research and theory, my collaborators and I have identified
four core competencies that help individuals express more creativity, sometimes boosting
creative output dramatically:

1. Broadens knowledge and skills: Deliberately acquires knowledge and skills well outside one’s current areas of expertise.

2. Captures new ideas: Preserves novel ideas as they occur, without first judging or editing them.

3. Manages surroundings: Surrounds oneself with diverse and novel physical and social stimuli.

4. Seeks challenges: Seeks challenges and manages failure constructively.

A study I published in 2012 of more than 13,000 people in 47 countries showed that of the four, Capturing New Ideas (#2) has the most impact
on people’s creative output. That’s great news given how easy it is these days to record one’s new ideas on portable devices.

We have also identified eight competencies that help managers elicit creativity in subordinates. In
a recent study with an ethnically-diverse sample of 1,337 managers in 19 countries (mainly the U.S. and Canada), we were able to rank order
the eight managerial competencies according to how well they predicted desirable outcomes in the workplace, such as how much creativity subordinates express, as reported by their managers. The eight competencies—derived from
empirical research, sound theory, and case studies—were as follows:

1. Challenges subordinates: Gives people difficult problems to solve and ambitious goals to reach, while also helping them to manage stress.

2. Encourages broadening: Provides people with training in topic areas well outside their current areas of expertise.

3. Encourages capturing: Encourages people to preserve their new ideas and provides tools that make it easy for them to capture such ideas.

4. Manages teams appropriately: Creates diverse teams with changing memberships and uses shifting, brainstorming, and other
techniques to maximize creative output.

5. Models the core competencies of creative expression: Shows others that you, as a supervisor, practice one or more of the core
competencies of creative expression.

6. Provides adequate and appropriate resources: Provides materials, tools, and time
adequate for subordinates to solve problems or generate new products or methods.

7. Provides a diverse and changing physical and social work environment: Creates a diverse
and interesting physical and social work environment and alters it periodically.

8. Provides positive feedback and recognition: Rewards people for contributing new and valuable ideas.

By far, the most valuable managerial competency proved to be “Provides adequate and appropriate
resources” (#6), which is consistent with a recent recommendation from Art Markman at the University of Texas at Austin: If you want your
people to be more creative, give them more free time to think.

The next most valuable competency was “Provides a diverse and changing environment” (#7). Unfortunately, the study also
showed that managers are generally only so-so at managing creativity; the average score on the test was a disappointing 68%, with managers
consistently scoring high in only two areas: “Provides positive feedback and recognition” (#8) and “Encourages broadening” (#2)—the simplest and most obvious ways to encourage creativity but not the most powerful.

The study also suggested that women are better at managing creativity than men, perhaps
because they are more supportive, more willing to listen, and more likely to give people the space they need to think. Women outscored men by a statistically significant margin in all eight competency areas—an impressive consistency in
the data. So creativity, like leadership, can be broken down
into measurable, trainable competencies, and providing such training pays off both with more
creative output and more money. Sooner or later, we need to drop the shroud of mystery in which we have long cloaked creativity and get on with the serious business of enhancing it. Competencies are the key.

Crowdsourcing ‘Energizes’ Coca- Cola Campaign.

Crowdsourcing ‘Energizes’ Coca-
Cola Campaign.

Content marketing has been around for a long time–it is by no means a “new thing”–but what is new is the way that content is produced and
distributed to consumers.
The idea is that the essence of your brand needs to come through to your target customer in a compelling way because, in today’s digital era,
consumers actively engage in the distribution process to drive the success of content marketing.

This is why content production is the
most important part of a successful content marketing campaign. Without the right content,
consumers will not engage, and your brand will not resonate them.
Coca-Cola is accustomed to consumer-generated content given our huge online communities, but
we had always looked at it as a way to drive engagement, rather than a possible source for brand building or external messaging. That changed with our global campaign for Coca-
Cola’s “Energizing Refreshment” branding. We has been working with various agencies for a year, trying to turn the concept into content, but none seemed to be able to produce the right content to symbolize the concept. That's when we decided
to try to leverage a global crowdsourcing platform for a new take, inviting thousands of members in its community to participate.
After three months, the brief had produced 2,616 entries across 82 countries in the form of videos,
illustrations, photos, videos, and animation.

By far the biggest lesson learned was about the power of crowdsourcing creativity. Our customers see our global brand differently in every market, yet
we need to be able to speak to all of them at a global level when producing content. What better
way to do that than by asking them to show us how they see us?
The results speak for themselves: Six million-plus mentions through social buzz, with several of the
creative ideas achieving the top 10% of all-time best ads in markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines through the Millward Brown Link™
score test. This experience has changed the way Coca-Cola
approaches marketing. Allowing people to have freedom over creative content creates conversations and engagement that we could never commission.

We think it’s fantastic, and we’re very lucky that people care enough about our brand to create and distribute the content
with their names attached. That’s the kind of creativity you never want to shut down.

Giving Teeth To The Lion

Giving Teeth To The Lion

Organizations without guiding values have lost control of their identity and future. Values guide during good times, anchor during
tough times, and create stability during change. One of my leadership blunders was focusing too much on change and not enough on values.
Values make us predictable where it counts. Values explain the way we behave while we do business.

Core values explain:
1. What we care about.
2. How we treat each other.
3. How we treat customers.
4. Organizational identity.

Values without behaviors are lions without teeth.

Values and behaviors:
1. Honor : Everyone knows and celebrates the strengths of their teammates. e.g “Bob is great at…” “Mary is our go-to person when it comes to …”

2. Servant-leadership : We do what’s best for others, even if it’s more difficult for us. “How may I serve you?”

3. Innovation : When someone fails we ask, “What did you learn?”

4. Positive energy: All meetings begin with at least one success story.

5. Initiative. Rather than ask permission, we say, “I intend to…,”

6. Customer service : When we don’t have an advertised product, employees are authorized to substitute products or services to satisfy customers, within an established financial limit.

7. Transparency: Most conversations are open to
everyone. We believe secrets reflect inequities.

8. Employee development : Experienced employees mentor new employees. Successful mentors

9. Respect : We know each other’s aspirations and expect each other to live up to them.

10. Fun : Every week the noisiest office receives free movie passes.

11. Curiosity : Managers ask two questions before making statements.

12. Teamwork : Every team member spends at least one hour a week helping other teammates.

13. Teamwork : After decisions are made we don’t complain, even if we disagreed.

14. Progress : We say, “What’s next,” at the end of conversations.

15. Gratitude: We say, “Thank you,” when projects are completed.
I encourage you to focus more on your values because your values express your future. You will succeed.

Think Positive.

Changing Your Live For Better

Changing Your Live For Better.

I believe this is your season of celebration because your story is about to change. Those who ignored you before will begin to honour you! Let this live changing true life story of Leo Babauta inspire you to success. Enjoy.

Changing your life can seem an incredibly tough and complicated thing, especially if you’ve failed a great number of times (like I did), found it too hard, and resigned yourself to not changing. But I found a way to change.

And I’m not any better than anyone else, not more disciplined, not more motivated. I just learned a few simple principles that changed my life.

I’ve written about them many times, but realized they’re spread out all over the site.

Here is how I changed my life, in a nutshell. The four lines you’re looking for are at the bottom.

How I Started Running

In 2005 I was sedentary, and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make exercise a regular habit. At the end of 2006, not only was I running very regularly, I finished my first marathon. These days I can run a half marathon race at the drop of a hat, have run several marathons.

How did I do it? I started with just 10 minutes of running a day. I focused not on how hard it was, but how much I enjoyed the movement and the outdoors. I increased slowly, until I could run 15 minutes, then 20, and later a couple hours. I was grateful for every run I was able to take.

I got healthier, fitter, slimmer, happier.

How I Started Eating Healthier

In 2005 I was overweight, and addicted to junk food. I ate fast food, chips and cookies, fried meats, anything fatty or sweet or salty … and I had no idea how to change. Today, I am 70 lbs. lighter, I eat almost all whole, real foods (almost nothing processed), I eat a sweet treat now and then but am happier eating healthy food.

How did I change? I started with small changes like drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, cooking at home more and preparing my lunches for work. One at a time. I gradually improved my diet, eventually cleared my fridge and pantry of junk, and stopped going to fast food places. I found healthy foods I really loved. I was grateful for every delicious healthy meal I ate.

I felt better about myself, trimmed down, and feel great every single day.

How I Got Out of Debt

In 2005, I was way over my head in debt — it was so bad, I had creditors calling me, and I would ignore my phone calls. I struggled to make it paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes didn’t even make it — I had to borrow money from friends and family. It was one of the most stressful times of my life. At the end of 2007, I celebrated with my wife Eva when we paid off our last debt and were free!

How did I do it? I started one little change at a time: I started cutting back on expenses a little, saving a little at a time, paying off the little debts and then the bigger debts, found some breathing room, and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I gradually changed my financial habits and got into better shape. I was grateful for every debt paid off, every dollar saved, every inch of breathing room.

I’m debt free and will never go back. It’s the most liberating thing ever.

And On and On

I was planning on writing the same capsules for how I decluttered and simplified my possessesions, how I started focusing and accomplishing more, how I turned my passion into a living, and so on … but the truth is, the story starts to repeat itself.

I used the same principles, over and over. More on that in the nutshell below.

And Then I Gave Up Goals

About two years ago, I started to give up goals. Just as an experiment.

It turns out, I could still accomplish the same kinds of things, but I just didn’t plan it out. Instead, I just followed the same principles (more on those below). They still work, even without goals.

People say I can give up goals because I’ve already accomplished a lot … but the truth is, I can give up goals because I have learned a few things that work, and realized they work with or without goals. And if you follow these things, you can change your life, with or without goals.

The Nutshell Principles

So what are the principles that changed my life, repeatedly?

If you read the brief stories above, you already know:

1. Start very small. 2. Do only one change at a time. 3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results). 4. Be grateful for every step you take.

In programming, this is called an algorithm. It’s a series of steps that you can apply to make any change, no matter what your situation.

I hope it helps you to change for good. Lets hear from you from the comment box below. You will succeed. Hire me to deliver a live changing motivational speech in your next event.

Hope Uchemadu.

Ten Ways Entrepreneurs Kill Their Business

Ten Ways Entrepreneurs Kill Their Business.

Entrepreneurs and their businesses
have a tendency to ambush
themselves when they aren't
looking. This affects how much
revenue they can generate, how
fast their business rises,
and even if they survive after the first few years. If you feel there is a possibility you are getting in your
way to success, review these elements to see if any of
these items might apply.

1. Imagine investing time and money into a product or services, only to find that it isn't selling. Or at
least it doesn't have the results that you expected. Now, I'm talking realistic here, and not some grandiose vision. It's hard to give up something when you have
invested your resources into something, more importantly, you
have spout off to the world (okay, friends and family) that you were
doing it. Gluing yourself to an idea, product, or service that isn't
making any money or enough money to support the business
isn't smart. Ego and pride don't make money. Getting hitched to any one idea, or even two, that isn't
profitable isn't smart. Every product climbs and falls , Ideas are the currency of entrepreneurs, make money with them or let them go.

2. Be proud of being an entrepreneur. for some reason, the title entrepreneur seems to have caught a disease, but that shouldn't be the case. Be proud of being an entrepreneur. when someone asks you, don't mumble, and don't
call it by another name, as if being an entrepreneur was somehow unprofessional. The same applies to
the title of independent professional which is another name for
entrepreneur. Stand tall and proud.
When I ask people at networking events if they're an entrepreneur, they often respond with strange
body language. Some shift their stance uncomfortably, sometimes their hand goes over their mouth and they let out a barely audible,
"yes," and sometimes they even correct me, using some other title.

3. Entrepreneurs can be
naturally excited and optimistic about what they are doing. Don't let
the excitement sound like hype. Because of this people don't trust you. Don't just tell the pros, add the
cons. Let people know, who is the best person for this service -
not everyone, or what circumstances are best for the product. People aren't stupid but if they have to
figure the cons of the product or service, you will most likely
lose the sale.

4. Being in denial of your cash position. Not balancing the checkbook, not knowing what your accounts receivables, payables, or what the break even cost is for a
product or service, isn't smart business. If you don't know
what it is, get a book on the topic or talk to an accountant. Denial creates fear, and fear creates denial. It's
a vicious circle that creates stress and ulcers. Short term projects turn around short term dollars. Long
term projects never turn around short term dollars. Be realistic with all your resources.

5. Accepting weak people. Whether its weak staff, weak clients, weak strategic alliances, or anyone else
in your support realm. If you are attracting weak people, you are
giving weak signals. Change your signals and you will change what you attract. To attract strong
people, you need strong signals.

6. Confusing possibility with reality. One of the main characteristics of an entrepreneur, and this could be one of the reasons people may not like using the name, is their gift to see everything in possibilities, yet spend
money in the world of reality. Money is always reality.

7. Selling or trying too hard to explain what you sell. If you find yourself pushing what you're product
or service does, it is time to change your "success formula." Common
causes are: (1) You are trying to sell to someone who isn't your target, or (2) If you have the right target
and you don't know what you are selling. You can only handle this
in two ways, know what the customers are buying, or know the
benefits of what you are selling. Benefits in the terms customers need to hear and understand, not
what you choose to say.

8. Lack of any or adequate support structures. If it takes a village to raise a child, what do you think it
takes to raise a business. Surely, not a lone ranger. Work with others to help handle your many business and
personal needs. Entrepreneurs need support, even if it's only a feeling.
Arrange to have a support structure for every part of your business. Keep in mind tip number five above for this as well.

9. Over or under delegating. It is so hard for entrepreneurs to begin to delegate. Yet once they do they
seem to swing the pendulum completely to the opposite side
and over delegate. Over delegating is "dumping" on people.
Even paid people, don't like being dumped on. Feeling in
control is a need of most people, entrepreneurs aren't any
different. They look at it as a money or trust issue, when in actuality it's usually a control issue. Delegate
appropriately and with people that think you can trust. Let the trust build over time.

10. Stop giving up so easily. Successful entrepreneurs don't see failure. They see learning lessons.
They pick themselves up, dust themselves off, change and
adjust, and keep moving. Being an entrepreneur, during the
early years of a business -- that is under five years for
most professionals, takes more work than being an employee. Even
if you are a graduate with an MBA in business. Don't include your learning curve time in with the rest of your
time. Everyone has a learning curve of some kind. Share if you enjoy this article.

Hope Uchemadu