Innovation and Talent Management


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Consultant and author Jerry Manas shares his slide deck on innovation and talent management. Visit Jerry's website at

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Innovation and Talent Management

  1. 1. Innovation and Talent Management Jerry Manas [email_address]
  2. 2. Innovation <ul><li>A New Idea or Design Put To Good Use </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why Innovate? Hint: Ask Apple, 3M, Microsoft, GE, Sony, Dell, IBM, Google, P&G, Nokia, Virgin, Samsung, Wal-Mart, Toyota, EBay, Intel, Amazon, IDEO, Starbucks, and BMW Business Week Top 20 Innovative Companies (2005 poll of 940 senior executives by Boston Consulting Group)
  4. 5. Innovation <ul><li>What’s the greatest innovation of all time? </li></ul>
  5. 6. Example <ul><li>Otto Frederick Rohwedder, Iowa Inventor </li></ul><ul><li>1912 – Invented Bread Slicer </li></ul><ul><li>Bakers said it was useless, since the bread would go stale. </li></ul>For most people: End of Story
  6. 7. But not for Rohwedder <ul><li>For 13 years, searched for ways to hold the pieces together – including hat pins </li></ul><ul><li>In 1927, assisted by Frank Bench of the Chillicothe Baking Company, created the Rohwedder Bread Slicer , which sliced and wrapped loaves of bread (the wrapper kept the bread fresh). </li></ul><ul><li>The Chillicothe Baking Company in Missouri was the first to sell sliced bread on July 7, 1928. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1930, the first commercial machines were used in the US and UK (under the Wonderbread brand) </li></ul><ul><li>By 1933, over 80% of bread sold was pre-sliced. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Lessons <ul><li>Saw a need to eliminate a manual task rather than improve it . </li></ul><ul><li>Built many prototypes. </li></ul><ul><li>Tried different ideas to address gaps. </li></ul><ul><li>Didn’t give up. Persevered for years. </li></ul><ul><li>Found a complimentary partner. </li></ul>Result: Transformed an industry and the consumer lifestyle
  8. 9. How to Innovate <ul><li>Recognize the need to innovate </li></ul><ul><li>Commit to a culture of innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Field the right team </li></ul><ul><li>Create an environment for innovation </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>“ If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Henry Ford </li></ul>Source: Tom Kelly, The Ten Faces of Innovation Customer satisfaction surveys have their limits.
  10. 11. First, What Business Are You In? <ul><li>Ray Kroc, McDonalds: Real Estate and Service </li></ul><ul><li>Harley Davidson: A lifestyle company </li></ul><ul><li>Cold Stone Creamery: Customer experience </li></ul>Build a Cult!
  11. 12. Innovate for Competitive Advantage <ul><li>“ It’s fine to do something 15% better until someone else does it 100% different” </li></ul>Source: Harry Beckwith, Selling the Invisible
  12. 13. Build a Brand <ul><li>Heinz, Dominos, Morton differentiate themselves with their brand. </li></ul><ul><li>What do companies like Starbucks and Cold Stone Creamery stand for? What is their identity? </li></ul>
  13. 14. The Starbucks Approach <ul><li>Lead with principles and values </li></ul><ul><li>Treat all employees with equal respect (but celebrate the individual) </li></ul><ul><li>Equal benefits to all employees </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace training </li></ul><ul><li>Employee satisfaction leads to greater bonding with customers, more ideas from committed employees, lower costs, greater productivity. </li></ul>Source: Howard Schultz (CEO Starbucks), Pour Your Heart Into It
  14. 15. The Starbucks Approach – cont’d <ul><li>Sell a lifestyle: the customer experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment to the community </li></ul><ul><li>Values start from the top </li></ul><ul><li>Will yourself to success – through determination and belief. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on employee engagement, values, and long-term growth over appeasing shareholders in the short term. </li></ul>Source: Howard Schultz (CEO Starbucks), Pour Your Heart Into It
  15. 16. What do you stand for?
  16. 17. What ingredients are needed for innovation?
  17. 18. The Ten Faces of Innovation <ul><li>Learning Personas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anthropologist (observes human behavior) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimenter (enlightened trial and error) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-Pollinator (T-Shaped People – brings together lessons from broad interests) </li></ul></ul>Source: Tom Kelley of IDEO, The Ten Faces of Innovation
  18. 19. The Ten Faces of Innovation <ul><li>Organizing Personas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hurdler (breaks the rules) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborator (brings people together) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Director (assembles the right people and sets the theme) </li></ul></ul>Source: Tom Kelley of IDEO, The Ten Faces of Innovation
  19. 20. The Ten Faces of Innovation <ul><li>Building Personas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience Architect (designs the customer experience – the WOW factor) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set Designer (creates a fun working environment) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caregiver (anticipates customer needs and builds relationships) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Storyteller (builds internal morale and external awareness through compelling stories and legends) </li></ul></ul>Source: Tom Kelley of IDEO, The Ten Faces of Innovation
  20. 21. Innovation and Technology <ul><li>Is technology a commodity? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Wal-Mart or Dell. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Ken Kizer . </li></ul>
  21. 22. The Veteran’s Health Administration <ul><li>Ken Kizer transformed the VHA from a collection of poorly run hospitals mired in government bureaucracy to a model of effective healthcare. </li></ul><ul><li>He did it by embracing technology and by defining what the VHA stood for: Healthcare, not hospitals . </li></ul>
  22. 23. The VHA Transformation <ul><li>Establish a virtual, integrated network of hubs (VISNs or Veterans Integrated Service Networks) </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitals report into VISNs. </li></ul><ul><li>Insure community focus (national reach, local presence, standardized quality) </li></ul><ul><li>VISNs handle planning, logistics and budgeting for their area (decentralized decision-making) </li></ul>
  23. 24. The VHA Transformation <ul><li>VISNs take a “whole product” approach with partnership agreements, alliances, and consortia </li></ul><ul><li>Create electronic patient records, which every doctor or nurse could access from anywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>Automate drug-filling via robotics </li></ul><ul><li>Washington HQ now responsible for support, principles, consulting, information services, and change leadership </li></ul>
  24. 25. The VHA Transformation <ul><li>Key themes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the customer (service standards) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage economies of scale (bulk purchases, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce forms, approvals (especially for small purchases and minor decisions), bureaucracy </li></ul></ul>
  25. 26. Innovation vs. Best Practices <ul><li>“ Best practices” allow you to aspire to the level of the current leaders, but no higher. Instead, reinvent. </li></ul>
  26. 27. “ When Jacques Nasser was CEO at Ford, he ‘benchmarked.’ And I applauded. Why? His ‘benchmark’ was Dell! That is, a company outside his rather screwed-up industry. Likewise, the U.S. Marine Corps is benchmarking its supply-chain activities against… Wal-Mart. Hooray!” - Tom Peters, The Essentials Series: Talent
  27. 28. Talent Management <ul><li>The Strengths Revolution </li></ul>
  28. 29. Talent Management <ul><li>“… effective executives do not start out by looking at weaknesses. You cannot build performance on weaknesses. You can build only on strengths. Make weaknesses irrelevant.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Peter Drucker </li></ul>
  29. 30. Talent Management <ul><li>“ It became clear to me that, to understand Peter Drucker’s philosophy of management, you need to know his philosophy of education… Honor individual differences . Take people as they are . Don’t attempt to change or manipulate them to be like or to be somebody else.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Warren Bennis </li></ul>
  30. 31. Talent Management <ul><li>“ Discover what you don’t like doing, and stop doing it.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Marcus Buckingham, The One Thing You Need to Know </li></ul>
  31. 32. Talent Management <ul><li>“ Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Albert Einstein </li></ul>
  32. 33. Avoid the Peter Principle <ul><li>The Peter Principle (Laurence J. Peter): In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his or her level of incompetence. </li></ul><ul><li>*Instead, build growth paths of prestige within the same role (think sports heroes) </li></ul>* Adapted from Marcus Buckingham, First Break All the Rules
  33. 34. Never arbitrarily promote someone to management based on performance or seniority. It takes the right strengths.
  34. 35. “ In an orchestra, you don’t automatically promote a great violinist to conductor. In football, most coaches were mediocre players at best. Only in business do we make the mistake of promoting the best performer to manager.” - Tom Peters
  35. 36. Building a Talented Team <ul><li>Build your team based on people’s inherent strengths. Manage around their weaknesses. </li></ul>
  36. 37. Building a Talented Team – cont’d <ul><li>“ Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Robert Heinlein </li></ul>
  37. 38. Building a Talented Team – cont’d <ul><li>You can teach skills and knowledge, not strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>Hire for attitude and strengths. Train the skills. </li></ul>
  38. 39. Create an environment where people can exercise and build on their existing strengths.
  39. 40. <ul><li>“ Nobody ever grew taller by being measured.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Phillip Gammage </li></ul>Source: Dennis Littky, The Big Picture: Education is Everyone’s Business
  40. 41. Food for Thought <ul><li>Should we expect one person to be an excellent strategist and tactician? </li></ul><ul><li>A leader, manager, and administrator? </li></ul><ul><li>A generalist? </li></ul>
  41. 42. What about when people don’t perform well?
  42. 43. Examine the causes… Immediately
  43. 44. Fixing Performance Problems <ul><li>11 Causes of Poor Performance ( in order )* </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People don’t know what they’re supposed to do. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They don’t know why they should do it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They don’t know how to do it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They think the prescribed methods won’t work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They think other things are higher priority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They think they’re doing just fine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-performance is rewarded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good performance feels like punishment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are obstacles out of their control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are no positive consequences for good performance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are no negative consequences for poor performance </li></ul></ul>Adapted from Fixing Performance Problems , by Bud Bilanich (The Common Sense Guy –
  44. 45. “ Flex Your Knees Bill.” - Sam Jones’s “pep talk” to Bill Russell at the free throw line during the 1968 NBA Eastern Division Championship (Celtics vs. 76ers) Often, a gentle reminder is all that’s needed.
  45. 46. Another Reason for Poor Performance: The person is in the wrong role . <ul><li>The role of a great manager is to*: </li></ul><ul><li>Select the right people (based on their true talents) </li></ul><ul><li>Set expectations/outcomes (results, principles, priorities) aligned with organizational goals </li></ul><ul><li>Motivate people (focus on strengths, praise, recognition) - one person at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Develop people (build on existing strengths, help them find the right fit) </li></ul>* Adapted from Marcus Buckingham, First Break All the Rules
  46. 47. When All Else Fails, You Have Three Choices… <ul><li>Devise a support system, process, or tool </li></ul><ul><li>Find complimentary partners </li></ul><ul><li>Find them another role or remove them from the team </li></ul>* Adapted from Marcus Buckingham, First Break All the Rules
  47. 48. Talent Retention <ul><li>Lessons from Gallup studies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profitability is directly linked to employee satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The employee’s direct manager impacts satisfaction more so than corporate culture or perks. </li></ul></ul>We can conclude: Middle management culture impacts profitability.
  48. 49. Specifically, Employees Need: <ul><li>Clear expectations </li></ul><ul><li>The right tools to do the job right </li></ul><ul><li>An opportunity to do what they do best </li></ul><ul><li>Praise and recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in them as a person </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in their development </li></ul><ul><li>Their ideas and opinions to count </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in the mission </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in their teammates </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to learn and grow </li></ul>Adapted from Marcus Buckingham’s First Break All the Rules
  49. 50. Does this impact profits? Sure does.
  50. 51. Employee Satisfaction Leads to Customer Retention Schlesinger and Heskett (1991) – Virtuous Circle
  51. 52. Customer Retention Leads to Profits <ul><li>A 5% improvement in customer retention can lead to 25%-85% improvement in profits in terms of NPV. ( Reichheld and Sasser – 1990 ) </li></ul>
  52. 53. Why? <ul><li>Cost of acquisition occurs at the beginning of the relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>Long term customers are less inclined to switch and are less price-sensitive. </li></ul><ul><li>They are more likely to purchase other products. </li></ul><ul><li>They are less expensive to service; they know the ropes. </li></ul><ul><li>This makes employees happier, which boosts customer satisfaction. </li></ul>Source: Buchanan and Gilles (1990)
  53. 54. <ul><li>“ Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Albert Einstein </li></ul>But Remember…
  54. 55. Are your employees motivated? Is your team ready to go the next level of performance?
  55. 56. For More Information <ul><li>jmanas </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>