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Innovation is critical for securing competitive advantage and achieving business success. Yet, for many organisations it remains elusive. This book adopts a unique approach to innovation by focussing on how teams may deliver innovations capable of transforming their company's performance. The book starts with the dynamics of innovation and explores the creative processes. It moves onto examine how teams can collaborate to create innovative team values and also shows how a company can organise and lead innovative teams. Finally, including many exercises, the book shows how to design innovative team programmes and measure performance.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Introduction

Building Innovative Teams
Abstract
This book is based on my experiences of working within, and hands-on building of, innovative teams over the past 20 years. It also draws on the knowledge of executives, consultants and scholars, who have helped me develop and lead high performance innovative teams over those years. It gleans from the successes and indeed the deficiencies in real-world innovation programmes in some of the most competitive environments imaginable.
Chris Harris

The Dynamics of Innovation

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. The Unique Nature of Innovation

Abstract
Innovation is a competitive necessity today. Yet this competitive must-do is unlike any business activity I have come to know. It is an enigmatic endeavour that few have mastered. And those who claim to be masters of the dynamics of innovation secretly tell that they are still subject to the same peculiarities of innovation as any novice. Innovation can be, and often is, a cruel venture. It can put out the flame of a budding business in an instant, it can send a giant corporation reeling down the stock market and off the chart (permanently) and of course it can cause confusion and utter distress in already overburdened public services. For it is easier for an innovation to flounder, than to fall off a log. And believe me, my colleagues and I have the wounds to prove it.
Chris Harris

Chapter 2. The Unique Nature of Innovative Teams

Abstract
As with innovation itself, innovative teams also have a unique nature, in that they are a skilled, creative group of people who need to make an uncertain activity certain and successful – the challenge of challenges. This chapter outlines how and why innovative teams are necessary to reduce inherent uncertainty, accelerate learning and in turn produce successful innovation.
Chris Harris

The Dynamics of Building Innovative Teams

Frontmatter

Chapter 3. The Brain, Learnt Behaviours and Human Interaction

Abstract
All conflict begins and ends in thinking. From global level corporate disputes to hostility within a local group, thought is at the heart of all discord. Yet human thinking is perhaps the most complex process of all. Civilisation has for millennia endeavoured to tie down the fundamental mechanics and processes of human intelligence in the disciplines of psychology, neurology and philosophy. And for at least the last century and a half these cognitive sciences have burgeoned into a body of applied knowledge that we can use to enhance the processes of team building, and indeed the very processes of team thinking itself.
Chris Harris

Chapter 4. Creativity and Innovative Teams

Abstract
The vital essence of invention is creativity. Yet creative people and teamwork are potentially uneasy bedfellows. By their very nature, creative people are different – different in their expectations, temperaments, even their beliefs and values. And it is these very distinctions in disposition that can lead to difficulties in team performance development. This chapter looks at the many obstacles and points of discussion here, and reveals insights into how it is possible to have the best of both worlds: creativity and teamwork.
Chris Harris

Chapter 5. Developing an Innovative Team’s Whole Mind

Abstract
Questions: Why do people tend to become hostile when confronted with difficult situations in formal meetings? Why are conversations by the coffee machine so much more open, creative and fruitful? Why don’t the copy department sort out their differences with editorial, and just talk? Why don’t the Republicans agree with the Democrats? The answers to these agitating questions have a common thread.
Chris Harris

Chapter 6. Collaborative Learning Beyond Knowledge

Abstract
Systems innovations are not only the combined end result of many distinct minds and ideas, but the result of learning beyond what is already known. In fact, I would go so far as to say that true innovation only occurs when learning exceeds current knowledge. Therefore learning beyond knowledge is at the heart of all innovation.
Chris Harris

Chapter 7. Innovative Team Values

Abstract
When is a team not a team? Too many corporate and/or public initiatives are wrapped up in the language of teams. After all, it is de rigueur to do things in teams – is it not? But just because executives use the language of teamwork, it does not mean that a true high performance team actually exists. Much of the corporate jargon I hear about teamwork, and many of the initiatives I witness, is little more than rhetoric.
Chris Harris

Chapter 8. The Need for High Performance Goals and Metrics

Abstract
High performance teams and successful innovation are often the product of a virtuous circle. That is, successful innovation can be the result of high performance teamwork, and high performance teamwork can be the result of successful innovation. And one of the most significant contributions to achieving such a fortifying loop is in the design and measurement of high performance goals.
Chris Harris

Chapter 9. Organising Innovative Teams

Abstract
As we have already seen, complexity in innovation is up – way up. And this kind of complexity creates an ever-higher mountain for organisations – both commercial and public institutions – to climb in delivering ever-more sophisticated technologies, processes, policies and end products and services; and, in turn, those markets, industries and communities in which they are to be used and managed. This is known as the ‘wall of complexity’.
Chris Harris

Chapter 10. Innovative Team Leadership

Abstract
The goal of any innovative team leader is to achieve something quite different – obviously. But it means more than that; it means not only doing things differently, but also leading differently. After all, how can one expect a team to deliver rule-breaking, industry-transforming systems innovation if it is led in the same old way as a conventional organisation? How can a team deal with uncertainty, risk and chance, if the leader is merely worried about resources, time, budgets and specifications?
Chris Harris

Innovative Team-building Performance

Frontmatter

Chapter 11. Designing and Executing a Team-building Programme

Abstract
A team is not a real high performance innovative team until and unless it can produce a constant and reliable stream of innovation. And this is perhaps the most challenging endeavour of all today. As Machiavelli recognised almost 500 years ago, there is no more exhausting challenge than to bring about a new order of things. Innovation is the most difficult and complex issue that any organisation can take on. As a consequence, the faster a team can rise towards a high performance position, the more value-creating and sustainable that organisation is going to be.
Chris Harris

Chapter 12. Profiling and Selecting Team Members

Abstract
This final chapter closes the loop for building innovative teams. It describes the types of individual needed within a team to bring a systems innovation to market, or indeed into the public sector.
Chris Harris

Appendices

Frontmatter

Appendix A

Team-building Exercises
Abstract
On the following pages there are 31 self-contained, step-by-step exercises that describe various hands-on tools and techniques that go towards building innovative teams. Each exercise can be carried out in its own right, or as part of a full-blown team-building programme described in Chapter 11.
Chris Harris

Appendix B

Team-building Knowledge Performance Development Questionnaire
Abstract
This questionnaire lists the key strategies and tools that each team member needs to grasp in order to be an effective and innovative team player. Each strategy and tool has been taken from each chapter in Part II and the teambuilding exercise templates in Appendix A. It is a self-assessment questionnaire that each member needs to complete as part of team performance monitoring described in Chapter 11.
Chris Harris

Appendix C

Team Behavioural Performance Development Questionnaire
Abstract
This questionnaire lists the key behavioural issues – based on the seven Cs in Chapter 2 – that a team must exhibit to achieve high performance. The questionnaire is best completed on both an individual and team basis. First, the individual rating will orientate the individual on their own performance against the team’s performance. Second, the team performance rating can be set against each individual’s rating. This gives a balanced insight into where to improve on both an individual and team level.
Chris Harris

Appendix D

Team Operational Performance Development Questionnaire
Abstract
This questionnaire lists the key operational factors that a team must accomplish in order to be a high performance innovative team. Each operational parameter has been taken from the chapters in Part II.
Chris Harris

Appendix E

Team Strategic Output Performance Questionnaire
Abstract
This questionnaire lists the key factors a team must meet to achieve high performance strategic outputs in terms of actual innovation. It should be filled out by all members of the team on a regular basis, as this will continually recalibrate and focus effort.
Chris Harris

Appendix F

Personality Profiling Questionnaire and Charts
Abstract
This questionnaire and its associated charts are designed to indicate the type of personality profile a potential team member exhibits and serve as an aid when selecting members for a specific project team.
Chris Harris

Appendix G

Aggregate Performance Development Equation
Abstract
This last appendix integrates the results from the innovative team performance development questionnaires in Appendices B, C, D, and E into one simple equation that gives a bottom-line number for how well each innovative team is progressing through its development.
Chris Harris

Backmatter

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