Focus, Focus, Focus

If your team is confused or has lost momentum – Focus, Focus, Focus. NEWS FLASH:  You can now add your comments to these blog postings. If you are reading this blog post within your email, click on the link at the bottom of the post to go to InnovationNews.com – a new publishing portal that shares News, Wisdom and Wit on Innovation.   If you were receiving these blog posts before then you are auto enrolled to receive them through this new site. At InnovationNews.com there are also other blogs you can sign up for with more to come in the future.

This week I was reminded of the the power of focus, focus, focus.   I observed a half dozen innovation teams who had taken the simple and made it complex.  Instead of focusing on the key Death Threat – they talked, and talked and talked about endless micro project details.  They got so far into the “weeds” it was hard to see the purpose.  And, without the connection to the purpose – the energy and enthusiasm of the team was hurt.

My advice was to focus on a smaller step.  I explained that I didn’t mean to imply that the mass of details wasn’t important – rather – at this stage of the process (Discovery) it was important to focus on the bigger picture learnings.

I wonder – what would happen – if every employee of every company in the USA – did one small Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle every week.   Imagine – everyone learning – every week.  Sadly, for many organizations they’re lucky if even 50% of employees realize significant learning once a quarter!

I’m so interested in this subject that I’m half tempted to cut the InnovationEngineeringLabs.com portal listing to only one death threat per week instead of three – to increase the focus.

Innovation Engineering HOMEWORK for the week of May 9th

Focus – Focus – Focus Your homework this week is to focus on ONE death threat, doing ONE thing and learning ONE thing.

1. FOCUS on ONE death threat. PLAN: Take any idea you’ve considered but not acted on.  Or, one project that you are working on.  Identify an uncertainty or risk associated with the idea or project.   This is your ONE “Death threat” or point of focus for your homework this week.

2. FOCUS on ONE thing to do each week. DO: Identify and take action on one way to LEARN MORE about the Death Threat.  It can involve: Asking for Advice, Doing the Numbers, Tech Mining for data or running Fail FAST, Fail CHEAP experiments.

3. FOCUS on learning ONE thing from what you did each week. STUDY & ACT:  Study what you learned. Think deeply about the root causes, root issues, meaningful solutions.  Then Act – 1) drop the idea/project if the death threat can’t be resolved, 2) go with the idea/project if the death threat is resolved and there are no others or 3) run another Plan, Do, Study, Act cycle to dissolve the remaining death threats.

 

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