A Diversity Journey

A Diversity Journey

COLLABORATE OR DIE?!

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Tue, January 08, 2019 11:01:32

Er du god til å samarbeide? De fleste av oss klarer fint å koordinere gjennomføring av oppgaver, sparring og lignende. Men er du god til å samskape? Hva er egentlig forskjellen mellom samarbeid og faktisk å skape noe sammen?


HVA BETYR Å SKAPE SAMMEN? HVA ER COLLABORATION?

Den første assosiasjon de fleste av oss har når vi hører «collaboration» er samarbeid - jobbe sammen. «Collaboration» kan også bety å samarbeide med fienden. Det som regel betyr at en, i skjul, gir verdifullt bidrag til den andre parten på bekostning av parten man er en del av.

Det er forskjellige grader av «collaboration». Det kan være å delta, å bidra, å samarbeide eller å samskape.

Hvis du deltar eller bidrar tar ikke du ansvar for slutt resultatet.

Å samarbeide betyr å ta ansvar for å løse noe sammen.

Å samskape betyr å forplikte seg til å skape noe nytt sammen, noe som har verdi.

«Jazz jam session» - er kanskje en av de beste eksempler på samskaping. Alle deltagere har samme ferdighetsnivå på ulike instrumenter og de improviserer fritt innenfor jazz regler. «Jamming» oftest brukes for å utvikle ny musikk. Samtidig er det underholdende og inspirerende.

«Collaboration» ofte oppstår naturlig i nødssituasjoner, på grunn av lite ressurser eller stor risiko. Derfor er det stadig flere bedrifter som tar i bruk «collaborative leadership» som samarbeidsform, først og fremst for å kunne agere raskere. Utviklingen skjer eksponentiell, en fart vi ikke er i stand til å begripe. Og ingen kan lengre få til noe som helst alene. De som får til å skape sammen vil være med å forme fremtiden.

Collaboration eller samskaping på arbeidsplassen handler om kontinuerlig læring sammen med andre. Når vi tenker, løser problemstillinger, utforsker og utvikler, må vi finne fram til svarene sammen ved å bygge på hverandres kompetanse og kreativitet.

Man sier at «rommet er smartere enn den smarteste person i rommet», men dette gjelder bare hvis vi får til «collaboration».


HVA MÅ TIL FOR AT ET TEAM SKAL FÅ TIL Å SKAPE SAMMEN:

1. trygghet: bli kjent «på ordentlig» - det er menneskelig å være skeptisk til en man ikke kjenner

2. forpliktelse: innsats og engasjement er et krav – alle som er med skal gjøre sitt beste

3. mangfold: ulike perspektiver er nødvendighet – vi klarer ikke å tenke nytt uten å bli utfordret


Kort sagt, samskaping er en kultur for å lære sammen. Brennende lærelyst og ønske om kontinuerlig forbedring må komplementeres med forståelsen om at egen kompetanse øker ved å engasjere seg og bidra selv når man ikke ser direkte relevans. Det handler både om holdning og ferdigheter. Det handler om å trene adferd gjennom strukturert arbeidsprosess og bevisst ledelse.

Øvelse gjør mester!


OSLO/Amela Koluder




















ARE YOU FUTURE-PROOF?

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Mon, April 02, 2018 19:43:31

Financial Time reporter John Gapper, wrote an article about Norway’s innovation ability, in October 2016: “The trouble is that Norway is too comfortable. It takes crisis to get most people to change their way radically. Now, Norway has more official think-tanks and innovation incubators than entrepreneurship and disruption. Norway is consensus-driven society that feels comfortable with reform that has been carefully discussed and agreed. Norwegians like the idea of creativity, but fear disruption.”

He has point or two. But is innovation about always disrupting? I do not think so. Innovation is about creating value. I believe that it is enough to be future-proof!

In general, the term "future-proof" refers to the ability of something to continue to be of value into the distant future. Very few things are truly future proof. But, it should not stop us from trying.

I have learned that having enough resources is a competitive advantage both in life and business. But I have also experienced that having too much resources available, reduces your competitiveness. Comfort leads to complacency and complacency is the cause of stagnation!


The real choice is between staying in comfort dams of complacency and stagnation or keep swimming in capricious river of continuous, fresh challenges!

If you choose comfort, I envy you. Sometimes, I wish I could. But I cannot. Because, I fear stagnation. I fear loss of competitiveness. Most of all, I fear losing opportunities to improve, to learn, to create.


SIMPLIFY & JUST DO IT

Whenever you feel too comfortable, you should create discomfort – “put a small stone in your shoe” – as Bosnian proverb recommends.

Create a challenge and solve it. And when doing so, focus on simplifying and acting, instead of overthinking. Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned!

Four steps to simplify and act:

1. Define a challenge.
I want to move abroad, but I speak only one language!

2. Understand the problem.
It will take much more time and effort to establish abroad, if I don’t speak the language.

3. Think of possible solutions.
A. I can learn the language before I go.
B. I can find a job where I can speak language I know.
C. I can go abroad and focus on learning the language for a year.

4. Act, test and repeat.
Get information available on internet. Apply for language course or job. Visit the country and explore further.


Being future-proof means being ready for whatever might come by stimulating flexibility and adaptability, fortifying and diversifying your competence.

Being future-proof means embracing discomfort as blessing. Spending time with those who inspire you by challenging you, and make you develop.

Being future-proof means indulging passionately in creating value while sharing your knowledge and experience. It makes you learn. It makes you grow.



… and we don’t have to disrupt!


OSLO/Amela Koluder





TRUST – a BIG thought and a funny little FEELING

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Sun, February 11, 2018 16:09:56

Trust is a feeling with the switch – either I trust you or I do not. Trust can also be a choice. We tend to trust more those who share our values, have same background or same passion.

Trust is powerful and fragile at the same time. When you open yourself up emotionally to someone, there’s always a chance they’ll take advantage of your vulnerability.

So why bother then?

Because, new ideas, new thoughts, new learnings won’t come without passionate or even emotional exchange of opinions and perspectives. Because, intelligence and skills cannot reach their full potential in comfort zone. Because, being mostly comfortable and never taking risks make us inferior, reducing our ability to create and compete.

When there’s no trust, everyone spends their energy protecting their own backs. It’s a drain on everyone, and robs energy from giving your best where you have your best to give.

When you know that somebody has your back, you can go out on a limb. You can stretch more. You can reach for the sky.

Definition: trust is both and emotional and logical act. We feel trust as companionship, friendship, love, agreement, relaxation, comfort. Trust increases subjective well-being because it enhances the quality of your interpersonal relationships. Trust is also integral to the idea of social influence. It is easier to influence or persuade someone who is trusting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust_(emotion)


TRUST and BUSINESS OF CREATING VALUE

Sooner or later, companies discover that they are in the people business. Trust than becomes the most valuable commodity within all relationships, both within the company and outside, with clients, customers, suppliers, the entire social network.

When your customers trust you, they are more likely to buy from you. When you have their trust, you can boost the value for both of you. Trust comes as a commitment to quality and excellence, over time.

As usual, everything starts from within and therefore the priority of leadership should always be to create the culture of trust encouraging collaboration, ambition and impact.

So, how can we build a collaborative team that trusts each other to speak their mind and take risks?

1. Be personal and patient - share your life stories, identify your personal contributions, spend time on your behavioral preferences and personality styles, build shared experiences and spend time together

2. Don’t fear conflict, face it – thrive with good intentions and give feedback

3. Trust each other – put effort and produce high-quality work

4. Show your vulnerabilities- weaknesses, skill deficiencies, interpersonal shortcomings, mistakes and help each other

5. Park your egos - focus on ambitions, improvement and collaboration over competition with each other and being right


We are born vulnerable, and as babies, we are completely dependent. As children we trust, and learn sooner or later that trust can be betrayed. We learn how to protect ourselves by questioning other’s intentions. As adults, we tend to characterize those who trust too much as naïve, even less smart.

Fortunately, trust is also a matter of choice. You can choose who to trust and indulge with your vulnerability.


OSLO/Amela Koluder


KREATVITET + STRUKTUR = SANT

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Mon, February 05, 2018 19:15:54

Kreativitet og struktur klarer seg ikke uten hverandre. Kreativitet uten strukturen er kaos og struktur uten kreativitet er livløs.

Men kjærlighetsforholdet mellom struktur og kreativitet er ikke en dans på roser. Kreativitet vil være fri og prøver å bli kvitt struktur, systemer og prosesser. Struktur, på sin side, vil ha fremdrift, og prøver å fokusere, anvende og drifte kreativitetens lidenskap.

Mellom struktur og kreativitet oppstår det naturlig spenningen, en slags søt musikk som driver innovasjon.

Norsk lederstil aspirer mot harmoni og trivsel og legger vekt på oppløsning av spenninger og konflikter. Men det er noen organisatoriske spenninger vi ikke bør forsøke å løse. Det er for eksempel nødvendig med krigføring mellom utforskning og kunnskapsbygging i praksis og dens implementerer gjennom prosessen. Når du utforsker skal du være nysgjerrig og søkende og i gjennomføringen skal kunnskapen anvendes raskt og målrettet. Isolert kan spenningen mellom disse kreftene være ødeleggende, men når spenningen fokuseres på å løse konkrete oppgaver, blomstrer nytenking og verdiskapning

Denne balansen er selvfølgelig ikke lett å oppnå. Prosessen legger vekt på den hierarkiske, kontrollsiden av organisasjonen - strukturen som gjør ting gjort. Mens det utforskende mindset intuitivt bryter regler og utfordrer hierarki. Nøkkelen ligger i balansen mellom rammer og autonomi.


Kreativitet kveles av rigiditet, mens det får vind under vingene når rammene er stramme og tydelige. Autonomi innenfor rammene gir fart, mens styring skaper motstand. Tydelig ambisjon er motiverende, mens generelle mål er irrelevante.

Frustrasjon er en undervurdert kraft og er helt nødvendig for å skape ny verdi, så lenge alle har samme mål og «konflikten» handler om å løse oppgaven på en best mulig måte.



RASKT AGERENDE TEAM

Små team med høy kompetanse og stor grad av frihet er, som regel, mest verdiskapende når de:
· Deler kunnskap
· Tar kollektivt ansvar
· Har en effektiv flyt mellom autonomi og samskaping


Alle må kunne spille hele spillet, mens hver enkel bør ha sin ekspertiseområdet. Slike tette, nyskapende, agile team kan fostre fram best praksis, også i store selskaper.

De beste teamene er de som klarer å opprettholde fremdrift, favoriserer verken kreativitet eller struktur, har respekt for både praksis og prosess, og evner å gjøre begge deler samtidig.



Amela Koluder/OSLO







Creative leadership - an emerging philosophy in action

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Thu, November 16, 2017 19:13:57

Do we need management?
I believe that the whole idea of managing people is obsolete. People are perfectly able to manage themselves. What we all need is great leadership.

Management is about controlling people and motivating them to do tasks in a “right” way. Leadership is about inspiring and releasing potential of everyone to do the right things in their own way within defined constrains and clear goal.

Creative leadership is an emerging philosophy in action. It is about creating an environment that promotes innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.

Creative leadership embraces change, courage, collaboration and creativity. It encourages sharing, generosity, purpose and pragmatism. It creates value in action; from critical analysis, experimentation, bold decisions, calculated risk taking, agility and hard work. The main purpose is the triple bottom line: planet, people, profit.


Leadership Theories from the past

Leadership theories have been around since storytelling was created. Let’s mention some of them:

· “The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself” - Plato’s dialogue on leadership in Republic
· “It is better to be feared than loved” - Machiavelli’s The Prince
· “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” - Lao Tzu’s polar definition

At the end of the industrial revolution, we have seen a progression from a dominant leader style from the early 20th century, to a more egalitarian style, in which interpersonal communication has lost its hierarchy, and value is judged on more than consumer satisfaction alone.

·“Maximizing employees’ effectiveness through specialism” - Scientific Management, Taylor (1905)

· “Leaders are born, not made” - The Great Man theory (1840s)

· “Only men with the inborn characteristics for leadership will be successful, and have the innate ability to take their natural place when crises arise” - The Trait theory (1930s)

· “Three organizational leadership styles: autocratic, democratic, and laissez-faire, with varying levels of management involvement and directive” - Lewin et al. (1939)

· “Leaders show great concern for employees, and include them in the decision-making” - the Participative Leadership theory, Dr. Rensis Likert

· “The best leadership style is the one that best fit a given situation” - the Contingency Theory of Leadership, Fred Fiedler (1973)

· “Leader is characterized as “dominant”, having a strong desire to influence others, being self-confident, and having a strong sense of one’s own moral values” - Charismatic Leadership, Robert House (1976)

· “Conscious joint decision, and delegation of authority” - of the Participative Leadership Gary Yukl (1971)

· “The maturity or developmental level of the follower” - Situational Leadership, Dr. Paul Hersey and Dr. Ken Blanchard (1977)

Currently, the limitations of big companies are renewing interest in leadership qualities associated with small enterprise development.

· Entrepreneurial leadership can be defined as the ability to anticipate opportunities, envision new concepts, collaborate and respond fast to changes or opportunities. (Kuratko, 2007).

Due to big global issues that are already influencing people and planet, social entrepreneurship might be the only way for future leadership. In addition to entrepreneurial leadership qualities, focus is on creating value with higher purpose, sharing resources and working as community in small flexible teams.


As time passes, leadership theories will come and go. What will stay is the impact leader makes and created value, for people and planet.


How do you want to be remembered? What has been your impact?





Oslo/Amela Koluder







STOPP THINKING & THE CHALLENGE WILL RESOLVE

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Fri, June 09, 2017 16:12:49

How to trigger the uncontrolled, creative thinking?
Be tired. Walk. Do simple activities. But first of all engage with passion in collecting and analyzing data.


Creativity is equally magical and frustrating. Creating something of value requires hard work from two contrasting thinking states: controlled and uncontrolled.

While you are gathering information, and thinking of ideas consciously, you are also feeding your unconscious. The more effort you put, the harder your brains will work. And you want your unconscious mind to be involved - it processes data 500.000 times faster than your conscious mind.


We have two modes of thinking:

1. the cognitive mode - creating focused, controlled thinking
2. the default mode - mind wandering, (day) dreaming, free association, intuition and sensation

The default mode - uncontrolled thought is triggered when the cognitive control shuts down or relaxes. The most obvious example of this is dreams. Most of us do not remember our dreams, but we can all remember that we have been dreaming.



How to trigger the uncontrolled, creative thinking?



Be tired.

Research has shown that a tired mind is often a more creative mind. It may sound counter-intuitive, but early birds should try solving problems late at night, while night owls should attempt to come up with solutions early in the morning.

The best time for “great, new ideas” is the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, occurring before being fully awake and just before you are about to drop off to sleep.

Edison famously tried to tap into this “Twilight Zone” with metal balls: he would sit upright in a chair and take a nap while holding a large metal ball in each hand. Once asleep, the balls would drop out of his hands and startle him awake, and he would immediately write down what was in his mind at the time.



Do something simple.

Simple activities that do not demand much thinking are very good for triggering creative insight, for instance while doing the dishes, walking, taking a shower, and driving home from work.

Einstein would work hard on a problem for a couple of hours and then stop to play the violin. Playing a piece, he knew well would require little conscious effort allowing his mind to wander and ideas to arise. By his account, “The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition.”

While doing simple activities, your controlled thinking takes its foot off the gas, making room for your uncontrolled thinking and allowing your mind to wander.



Walk.

Many of history’s great creatives used to walk while solving challenges, including Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Freud, Milton, Dickens and Darwin. Steve Jobs was famous for holding meetings while he was walking and Mark Zuckerberg is now following in his footsteps.

Dr. Oppezzo and Schwartz, professors at Stanford University, have compared the levels of creativity in people while walking and sitting. Their research showed that their creative output increased by 60% when they were walking.



No creativity without relevant insight and analytic effort

New, creative thoughts and solutions will not come if you haven’t previously put in the conscious effort into the subject. But if you have and you are patient, you will be rewarded with a gift from your unconscious.

As the painter Joan Miró said,

“I work better when I am not working than when I am.”









LET'S REBEL

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Wed, March 29, 2017 15:21:20

Do you want to be more creative, engaged and boost your energy?
Be yourself and break rules!

Throughout our lives and careers, we are taught to conform — to the status quo, to the opinions and behaviors of majority, and to information that supports our views. After a while, conformity has been so hammered into us that we stop to question the status quo.

Organizations, especially the big ones, have been focused on designing efficient processes and getting employees to follow them.

Now days, the conformity is bigger challenge than efficiency. Lack of “questioning and disruptive behavior” hurts the business.

The most innovative companies promote “constructive nonconformity”:
behavior that deviates from organizational norms, others’ actions, or common expectations, to the benefit of the organization.


FALLING IN CONFORMITY

There are three main reasons why we fall in conformity: social pressure to fit in, acceptance of status quo and interpretation of information in a self-serving manner.

What is the danger?

When majority sticks with the status quo, it can lead to boredom., which fuels complacency and stagnation. The result is people who feel they can’t be themselves on the job, are bored, and don’t consider others’ points of view. Big companies like BlackBerry or Polaroid, not to mention Kodak once had winning formulas. Overly comfortable with the status quo, they fell back on tradition and avoided the type of nonconformist behavior that could have secured their success.

In addition, we tend to prioritize information that supports our existing beliefs and to ignore information that challenges them. We also tend to view unexpected or unpleasant information as a threat and to avoid to face it — a phenomenon psychologists call motivated skepticism.


CONSTRUCTIVE NONCONFORMITY

Nonconformity promotes innovation, improves performance, and enhances authority. For example, research at the Columbia Business School and Harvard, showed that observers judge a keynote speaker who wears red sneakers, a CEO who makes the rounds of Wall Street in a hoodie and jeans, and a presenter who creates her own PowerPoint template rather than using her company’s as having higher status than counterparts who conform to business norms.

Going against the crowd gives us confidence in our actions, which makes us feel unique and engaged and translates to higher performance and greater creativity.


THE CAPTAIN AND THE PIRATE IN ONE


How to encourage and promote constructive nonconformity?

1. BE YOURSELF

a. what makes you feel authentic? What is your mission?

b. In collaboration focus on what job needs to be done rather than how to do it

c. Let others solve problems on their own


2. BRING OUT YOUR SIGNATURE STRENGTHS


3. QUESTION THE STATUS QUO

a. Ask “Why?” and “What if?”

b. Nobody is perfect

c. Urge for excellence not basics


4. CREATE CHALLENGING EXPERIENCES

a. Maximize variety

b. Try new ways of doing “old” tasks

c. What is your personal agenda for learning and growth?

d. Give others responsibility and accountability


5. FOSTER BROADER PERSPECTIVES

a. View problems from multiple angles

b. Use simple language and reduces self-serving bias

c. Engage people with diverse perspectives


6. CREATE “CONFLICT” OF OPINIONS AND PERSPECTIVES

a. Look for disconfirming evidence

b. Create different opinions by default

c. Be courageous in opposition


source: FOSTERING REBEL TALENT AT WORK, by FRANCESCA GINO





Embracing the Boredom

Creativity HivePosted by Amela Koluder Wed, December 21, 2016 16:45:08

In which direction is the bus pictured below traveling, left or right?If you do not know the answer, scroll down smiley

Have you ever experienced how difficult is to concentrate and specially have new, fresh thought if your stomach is very full? New research shows that you will feel better and preforme more effectivly if you keep 20% of your stomach empty at all times. Why is that?

First of all, it takes a lot of willpower to keep your stomach 20% empty at all times. It takes even more willpower to eat slowly, consciously, paying attention to each smell, each taste, each texture sliding down your tongue and throat. But when your brain (it is your brain, not your body – your stomach hates to be so full and work very, very hard to digest), learns to enjoy the emptiness and the silence, it starts to explore new things. It is where creativity emerges - where there is empty space for the unexpected.

 And it doesn’t just apply to eating. It applies to the way we work, live and create.

Yet the empty space can be very uncomfortable, because we do not know what the future holds. That makes us awake and aware. It sharpens our instincts and forces us to trust our intuition. In empty space lies potential. All that is not, can be.

In a study published in the journal Science, researchers placed participants in a room by themselves for six to 15 minutes with nothing to do but think. Many of the people from the study found the experience so "unpleasant" that they would choose electric shocks the next time around rather than experience the boredom all over again.

While being bored is torturous for some, various studies have found that boredom fuels creativity because it allows our minds to wander. In another study, psychologists at the University of Central Lancashire had participants from one group copy numbers out of a telephone book for 15 minutes while participants from another group were assigned a more creative task. Next, when both groups were asked to come up with different uses for a polystyrene cup, the group that copied numbers from the telephone book came up with the most uses.

Google applies this principle in their 80-20 rule. Keeping your employees 20% empty at all times gives them the space to create something unexpected. If you keep them busy constantly, they won’t have the time or space to be bored, be relaxed, be open to a simple human discovery.



Being bored is uncomfortable and even scary.

What would happend if we left a little empty space in our daily lives?

Isn’t it worth a tiny bit of discomfort to discover the unknown? In a world that increasingly values creativity and innovative thinking, reducing what you consume to increase what you produce can only be a worthy endeavor.

Creativity emerges out of a quiet emptiness and the discomfort you might be experiencing is actually fueling your creativity.

 So what’s stopping you from finding out? You can start today, no matter who or where you are. Just keep 20% of your stomach empty at all times. Who knows what potential your creativity has?!

smiley

So, in which direction is the bus traveling, left or right?

Look carefully at the picture. The only possible answers are “left” or “right.

Think about it and don’t get frustrated of how the bus looks like.

This is the visual logic test for the pre-schoolers. Their answer is:“to the left.”

When asked:“Why do you think the bus is traveling in the left direction?",they answer: “Because you can’t see the door."


Sources: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/how-being-bored-and-tired-can-improve-your-creativity/


Amela Koluder / OSLO























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