Taking the reins off your star performers

There is tendency for recruiters to bring new talent into a business but then attempt to restrict that talent rather than embrace what was attractive about it in the first place.

It sounds ridiculous, but how often do businesses lose good people over job satisfaction, motivation and development issues? The company, its customers and colleagues are the least frequently cited reasons for leaving.

Conformity is easy.

Better, then to encourage team members that want to be encouraged, that want to push the envelope, that want to raise the bar. Creativity, thinking creatively, innovation and dynamism are the lifeblood of most organisations but company culture too often sucks this from people and leaves them ambivalent because they haven’t received positive feedback on ideas and input previously.

An extreme example above. Love him or hate him, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has created incredible revenues for his company and his shareholders. To such an extent that even customers that would prefer not to fly Ryanair still do because of the way he has managed to keep ticket costs low.

Do you have star performers that you are reining in? Perhaps its time to take the shackles off and see how your business might flourish. Brave companies lead. Conservative ones follow.

Image: FastCompany

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Tips on marketing, innovation and being remarkable

Two great takeaways in this slide set I spotted during this week’s review of the latest uploads to Slideshare, in addition to the great embedded YouTube video functionality half way through.


1. Work on your elevator pitch. Conventional wisdom says you have 30-60 seconds to get across what you do. Maybe if you work in Canary Wharf. The rest of us probably have 10 seconds max.

2. Slides 21+ – first doesn’t win and remarkable beats first every time.

Kudos to Charlie Wollborg

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Disruptive thinking

Three questions to start your week with:

1. How innovative and creative do you think you are? Do you conform to parameters set by your team, manager, company, customers and market?

2. Have you ran the same marketing program for the last few years, with the barest of occasional tweaks, or subtlest of nods to using a new channel to market?

3. Do you sit in meetings and hold your tongue, and then wilt inside when someone else voices your great idea and gets the plaudits?

Sounds like you need to get a bit of disruptive thinking into your life.

Being disruptive isn’t  a bad thing. It means picking the right moment to question a decision, approach, policy, activity or action and critically assessing whether it is rooted in strategy and will deliver against firm and measurable objectives.

There’s  a balance. Too much and you become an obstacle. Too little or never, and you’re a wallflower.

Top firms (like the ubiquitous Apple) cultivate environments that nurture talent by encouraging employees to thrive by thinking outside the box and to conceive truly groundbreaking products and services.

If you’re not getting the opportunity to produce work that is groundbreaking, work that matters, maybe you need to start asking yourself why.

Afterall, and perhaps selfishly, we only get one shot at this thing called life.

Image: Value Networks

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Disruptive innovation

A thoughtful piece penned by @James Trezona on the Management Today website calls for businesses to tear up the rule book and accept that the new economy and new technologies demand a new way of working and a different approach to innovation.

Trezona contends that rather than risking organisational anarchy, disruptive thinking calls for a root and branch review of systems and processes and accepted thinking, in order to breakthrough and come up with something novel. Often this can lead to more creative, more efficient and more effective solutions.

Check out the post at Management Today and have your say.

Image Science Progress