To this point, we have reviewed commitments, requests, and escalations required to effectively accomplish innovation tasks. There is also a technique to take this ongoing dialogue to an entirely new level of performance through the use of offers.
Who knows your work better than you? No one. When I approach with a clumsy request, it is often because I really don’t know or understand all the nuances of the work you do. So as you’re listening to me fumble my way through what, from you, by when, you now have an opportunity to get really creative and take over the leadership of our conversation. Stop me in my tracks. “Michael, I think I understand what you want and how I could do it best. What if I did X, by Y?” Suddenly understanding what that means, I respond, “YES! That is perfect. Please do just that.”
You have creatively taken our conversation way beyond what my request would have yielded. You have added significant value to the project by adding further insights and thinking to our resulting answer. In some instances, these offers address work that may be lagging in a project plan that may be holding others up in their tasks.
Clarity of communication yields results when it comes to executing complex projects. Direct conversation that makes specific requests, signs people up to specific commitments, escalates quickly when necessary, and allows for the possibility of offers provides an ideal climate that removes ambiguity and fosters real innovation in a project setting.
Companies that adopt and practice all four innovation behaviors are more likely to achieve sustained innovation results. The key is for several leaders within innovation to embrace these behaviors and bring more clarity to the conversation together. Through them a critical mass begins to build that reinforces these behaviors and demonstrates them to other portions of the organization. Soon the results begin to get the attention of others. From this simple seed, grows a much more productive and results oriented innovation process. It all starts with a well-directed conversation!
Michael Glessner is a director with Kalypso and has worked extensively in the areas of business and innovation strategy, product development, portfolio management, smart connected operations, large-scale organizational change leadership, and the software systems that enable innovation. His industry experience includes life sciences, industrial and high technology companies. He is a frequent speaker and writer on innovation effectiveness, disruptive innovation and time-to-market reduction.