Innovation is about small shifts, not huge transformations. There are lots of reasons why companies find it so hard to stay ahead of the innovation curve: Legacy thinking, insufficient allocation of time and resources, siloed cultures. But the biggest barrier to innovation is the belief that it somehow can only be practiced by a select few (the in-house “geniuses” and “visionaries”) under specific conditions (formal, scheduled brainstorms) and must produce sweeping, sensational change (“big bangs”). This belief not only reinforces unhelpful assumptions about where big ideas come from, but strips organizations of… Read More
Feedforward is a unique approach to giving feedback that improves performance, boosts productivity, and keeps teams on track. Unlike traditional feedback, feedforward is timely, continuous, and focused on development – a refreshing change from the typical feedback fare that rarely makes a positive difference or offers much insight about how work gets done.
Giving too much feedback is counterproductive. People can’t fix what they can’t see. From time to time, it’s our job – as managers, teachers, parents and friends – to see for them. By providing eye-opening feedback, we eliminate some of the tunnel vision that keeps others from recognizing their personal or professional flaws. And while sharing negative feedback can be good news, we need to be particular about how much of it we share at once.
Few people like hearing bad news about themselves. Getting a tough performance review or being called out for a mistake challenges our status and triggers feelings of shame, frustration, and helplessness. Negative feedback floods the brain with stress-inducing hormones that raise our threat awareness and causes a momentary loss of executive functioning. If an unfavorable report makes you think you’ve lost your mind, it’s probably because you have. But before we write off the criticisms we receive from bosses and friends, here’s the surprising part about negative feedback: It might actually be… Read More
Dynamic feedback drives creative thinking among teams Pixar is one of the most successful movie studios in Hollywood. Over the years, it has collected more than twenty Academy Awards for hits like Toy Story, The Incredibles, and Finding Nemo. Its last eight films have grossed more than $500 million worldwide. The memorable characters and storylines that Pixar dreams up have delighted moviegoers of all ages. But behind all of the box office magic is an active feedback system that’s built on candor, communication, and a surprising openness to other people’s ideas. Creating full-length… Read More
We like to claim that some institutions are “too big to fail.” Can the same be said of teams? Turns out that bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to team size. Not only can large teams put a freeze on workplace culture, they sometimes create silos that stifle collaboration and threaten a company’s ability to innovate and grow – all because of the magical number 150.
The Golden State Warriors just proved that creating a championship culture can be a piece of cake. Literally. In what has become a Warriors tradition, players receive custom-designed cakes on their birthdays from Alison Okabayashi, a trained pastry chef in the Bay Area. (What else do you get for a multi-millionaire on his birthday?) Over the past year, Okabayashi has dreamed up MVP-caliber confections for the team. There was the one with the Michigan State mascot in Draymond Green’s uniform. Or the lifelike reconstruction of Anderson Vareajo’s curly hair. And who could… Read More