Friday, 31 July 2009

Training and new media

There was a great edition of In Business last night on how Training Departments are using social media and user generated content.

Check it out:

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Free Book Offer

We at The Innovation Beehive loved Chip and Dan Heath's book "Made to Stick". It explains how to get real traction for ideas in a business.

They will be publishing a new book - Switch- next year and they are offering free copies in advance.

Sign up here:

Monday, 20 July 2009

6 lessons from the Moon Landing

We love to get stimulus from everywhere - even the Moon

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New jobs for the HR Department

We loved this little piece by Alain de Botton - anyone else been told by a partner, when they are sorting out an argument "don't go all HR on me!"?

Everyone hates the HR department. This is the cavern from which your P45 is sent, where your assessments are stored and where orders are sent out to ship you off on a group exercise to a salmon-coloured conference centre near Staines, where you will hold hands with your boss and sing inspirational songs.

And yet to rebel against the HR department is to misunderstand one's era and the deeper currents of history.

Never before have so many thousands of ambitious human beings been asked to work together in such close confinement.

And so never before has there been such a need to determine how people could possibly sit together day after day in narrow plywood cubicles without screaming or murdering one another.

HR departments have had to study from scratch how we can munch our sandwiches so close to our colleagues without venting the gamut of our destructive passions.

There is something almost utopian in HR departments' grander ideas: a 24-hour anti-bullying hotline or a 360-degree career assessment.

These are the tools of an advanced civilisation taking politics to the next level. Contrived as the strategies instituted by HR people might seem, it is in fact their very artificiality that guarantees their success, for the laboured tone of away-day seminars allows workers manfully to protest that they have nothing whatsoever to learn from submitting to such disciplines.

Then, like guests at a house party who mock their host's suggestion of a round of Pictionary, they may be surprised to find themselves, as the game gets under way, able thereby to channel hostilities.

Home used to be associated with kindness and sympathy - and the workplace with cruelty and oppression. But there are times, on a Friday evening at 9pm, when my wife and I have said unkind things to one another, and when I have longed for someone from HR to walk in and suggest a group exercise.

Alain de Botton's latest book is The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Hamish Hamilton, £18.99).

Saturday, 11 July 2009

IDEO's guide to Human Centred Design

IDEO have just published a series of free guides to how they run Innovation Projects - they call it the Human Centered Design Toolkit. An absolute must for anyone serious about driving Innovation:

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how to quit your job

If you are thinking of leaving your job, take a moment out to consider what Sarah Palin did.

We loved this piece in Harvard Business Review:

When former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin announced on Friday that she's resigning as governor of Alaska, I was all ears. Not only am I a political junkie, but since I quit my job last fall I've also become something of a student of unexpected resignations (I talk with a lot of quitters these days).

Beyond the basic publicity blunders Palin made (e.g., her spokesperson was on vacation in New York while the announcement was delivered in Alaska), the governor's departing speech was rife with errors of judgment. Every quitter, famous or not, can learn from her mistakes, particularly if you're resigning from a position of leadership.

  1. Palin made blaming others a centerpiece of her announcement. Justified as her claims of unfair treatment — especially by the media — might be, better to save them for a forthcoming book rather than air them at a moment when classiness would earn a lot more respect. Whining doesn't make for a very mellifluous swan song.

  2. She gave in to the temptation to grandstand. Palin asserted, over and over, the nobleness of her decision to resign right away rather than have Alaskans endure a lame duck governorship. Had there been deference and humility in the assertion, she might have carried it off. Instead, she cast it as the greatest of gifts from a selfless leader to her people. People don't have the stomach for grandeur when you're bailing out on them. (See my previous post, "How to Quit Your Job with Style.")

  3. Palin paid little mind to her successor. As a viewer, I hardly knew that Alaska's lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, was standing next to Palin during her announcement. She barely referenced Parnell's readiness for the job and the continuity he'll bring. Sure, he got to speak after Palin, but offering extensive, reassuring remarks about him would have gone a long way to comfort Alaska's citizens.

  4. She was neither transparent nor coherent. For a public figure, complete transparency about every dimension of a decision to resign is not always possible. But what you do share should be clear. The parts of Palin's speech that focused on her reasons for leaving were so illogically structured and delivered that the central explanation remained elusive. A resignation is about as important a time as any to meticulously prepare your remarks, no matter how high or low your office.
Sarah Palin undoubtedly occupies a peculiar, even a unique, space in American life — one that few of us can ever imagine for ourselves. Nonetheless, the lessons to be learned from her resignation are many, beyond those just outlined. What lessons do you take from her announcement?

If you want to the link -

Leading Change Podcast

For the HR Community, the Recession has meant massive change management issues, as organisations are forced to adapt in focus and size to respond to the fluctuations in the world economy.

The CIPD Podcast on Change Management gives some great advice on how to manage change with real examples from industry (including Gate Gourmet, Xerox and NHS).

Part One looks at understanding the need for change

Part Two offers practical advice on how to implement change

Vision Quest

One of the things MOK is most proud of is a piece of work he did with Rachel Botsman around Vision for VisionQuest - formally the Scojo foundation. They provide affordable glasses for people in the developing world so they can move out of poverty.

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