Articles categorized as:
July 6, 2021
The Choice to Improvise
Some musicians lean on theory to guide the notes they play. Others rely on their imagination. Both make music. Often, it is a blend of these differences that creates the best bands. Someone holds the structure of the tune together while somebody else improvises. Neither teammate thrives without the counterbalance of the other. Music provides plenty of life lessons for teams.Keep Reading...
May 25, 2021
We Need Everyone on This Team
Change management and innovation skills are the same. Change management deals with loss and recovery. Innovation deals with obsolescence and discovery. What’s the difference? In both phases of the team’s evolution, teammates need to let go of the old and say hello to the new. Whether mourning a loss or taking a risk, the core competencies are shared. Let’s dig deeper.Keep Reading...
December 15, 2020
What Music Teaches Us About Teams
Like human relationships, music composition is created by moving from dissonance to harmony. Composers know exactly how to take listeners on an emotional journey by establishing tension and then bringing the discomfort to resolution. Sometimes, a ‘wrong’ note is written into the piece with intention. Once the unexpected obstacle is introduced, it forces the listener to anticipate more harmonious interplay between the notes. Just like the problem solving that follows team conflict, it’s not about the wrong note. The way forward is about how we adapt to it.Keep Reading...
August 6, 2020
Will Your Team Be Ready?
Athletes routinely predict a strong offseason promising to come back in tiptop shape for the next campaign. When preseason training begins, only an elite few have actually put in the work needed to fulfill the prediction. The others scramble to catch up and the team’s overall readiness is impacted by this odd blend of physical and mental preparedness. The team’s success rests on a collection of individual commitments. So, which teammate are you going to be when the whistle blows?Keep Reading...
July 8, 2020
The Dialogue Bridge
I spent the summers between college years working on a bridge construction crew. We built spans that connected land over rivers, roads and railroad tracks. We enabled travel between locations previously separated by chasms. Each job was its own engineering masterpiece. The destination was always clear, but the path always required negotiation and dialogue. Many lessons learned in those years have been resurrected in recent months.Keep Reading...
November 21, 2019
Harnessing Change to Fuel Innovation
While change is often experienced as a loss, transitions usually become the fuel for renewal. The disruption is simply the trigger stage for the differences that are about to unfold. Because change causes emotional depletion, most teams devote their energy to coping and refueling. Thriving teams see this stage as the launch point for innovation. Answering these five questions will help your team move to action.Keep Reading...
September 10, 2019
All Innovation All the Time
Teams have personalities. Some are tired and worn out from managing constant change. Others are frustrated by having to navigate conflict and differences of opinion. Still others are basking in the glow of trust while fearing what happens if they push their magic to the next level. A few teams figure out how to stay in the innovation mode all the time. Here’s their formula.Keep Reading...
January 23, 2019
Have a Bad Day!
Seriously, we wish you a bad day. May struggle fill your agenda. May you confront problems never before faced. May your ability to adapt be tested. May you become aware of your weakest link. May demands stretch your team’s capacity to the brink of failure. Invite the tension. Seize the opportunity. Discover the resolution. What happens next is game changing.Keep Reading...
October 17, 2018
10 Ground Rules for Innovation
The most innovative team in the history of Team Clock® engagements never stops their strategic planning activity. Their approach is not a time-limited series of steps that lead to a single vision. Instead, they embrace an ongoing, perpetual, cyclical process where the vision constantly evolves. The result is unparalleled discovery and invention. How do they do it?Keep Reading...
November 14, 2017
Seeing the World Through Your Teammate’s Eyes
Our contribution to our teams includes a history of bias. We each see the world through a unique lens filtered by a blend of past experiences and learning style. Often, innovation is hampered by bias. We believe we are considering every possible angle yet we’re limited by the boundaries of our own perspective. Alternate views are alien and cause discomfort if they don’t fit the tidy little universe we’ve created. What might happen if we turned it upside-down? Reflect on these two examples:Keep Reading...
September 20, 2017
Insight Minus Action Equals Frustration
Doctors diagnose before they treat. Teachers assess learning needs before crafting lesson plans. Risk managers evaluate danger before implementing safety measures. Coaches scout defenses before designing offensive schemes. Action follows insight. Understanding what to do is a much different task than doing it. Unfortunately, many teams get stymied after the analysis. You can build a strategic plan with good intentions but you only frustrate the team if everyone is too busy to execute.Keep Reading...
January 24, 2017
Innovation Strategy: Segregate or Integrate?
The most impactful innovations are rarely just the good ideas arising from workplace cultures that support creativity. They are the outcomes of diversity and collaboration that begin with a problem and end with a solution that improves the world. As simple as the recipe might be, it’s difficult to assemble and sustain a team of people who are capable of unselfish, integrative thinking. Why, for instance, would a group of world renowned physicians invite a team of engineers and designers to a strategy session? Even though the physician has never designed a device and the engineer has never performed a surgery, the integration of their talents might create a breakthrough in disease management. How might this apply to your industry?Keep Reading...
July 9, 2015
Innovation is often the solution to the struggle between capacity and complexity. The challenges faced by teams get more complicated each day. The ability of the team to meet these demands is further stretched. The gap widens as time moves forward. Depleted teammates are encouraged to work smarter not harder. If you invest energy in designing a new way to approach a problem, you’ll be rewarded by the benefits of simplicity. This is the value proposition.Keep Reading...
July 11, 2014
Make your list today. What should I stop doing? In a workplace of unprecedented complexity, running faster and working harder only grows the problem. There’s no good way to pack 15 lbs. of potatoes into a 10 lb. sack. It’s time to abandon something. Subtraction is useful math.Keep Reading...
April 25, 2014
Teamwork Actualized: The New Team Clock Website
The crew that initially gathered around the table to design the new teamclock.com website was an unusual assortment of complementary talents. The team of creative minds combined a web designer, a marketing expert, a graphic artist, a social media guru and a business strategist. Divergent strengths and competing perspectives provided the fuel for innovation.Keep Reading...
November 27, 2012
How did they do it? The follow-up survey suggested the team had knocked the cover off the ball. In six short months, every recommended action had been addressed and the business results were the buzz of the senior leadership team. Raising the bar to this level was, to many, a setup for disappointment. The industry’s track record predicted a growth ceiling.Keep Reading...
November 9, 2012
Playfulness is Contagious
The host and his panel had two essential traits in common. They came to play and they came to share. The Du Page Children’s Museum recently hosted an event, Creating a Culture of Innovation, featuring the co-founder of the Chicago Innovation Awards, Tom Kuczmarski. For over an hour, Tom led an exchange with a panel of recent award winners energizing a full house at North Central College with stories of exploration, failure, and discovery.Keep Reading...
November 18, 2011
Anyteam, Anywhere, Anytime
The CEO asked her team for fifteen minutes of their time to complete the Team Clock Online Assessment survey. She knew her team was strong but wanted to dig a little deeper into what opportunities might arise from pushing them to the next level. She wasn’t prepared, however, for the results when she pressed “submit” to download her summary report.Keep Reading...
October 23, 2010
Welcome back to the Team Clock Blog where we invite readers to participate in an Ask/Apply/Act model:
Ask: raise a team challenge
Apply: share an example story
Act: discuss action steps for considerationKeep Reading...