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Successful Brainstorming: Possibility or Hoax?

In terms of brainstorming, people often tend to forget that in order for it to be achieved the answer is quantity, not quality. Brainstorming represents the essential first step in early stages of a new project, so it is crucial that everyone understands how important it is to be open towards all ideas and variables. Naturally, issues occur when team members feel the need to filter themselves from potentially good ideas that they may seem far-fetched or just simply because they are afraid of rejection and embarrassment.

Another common misconception about brainstorming is that employees and managers alike believe it can be done only in a certain way: the evergreen group discussion with everyone involved. It is not necessarily the worst idea, but it can have major drawbacks from a creative point of view. There is a general tendency that during these meetings, the first two ideas that get bounced around tend to be the focus of the entire meeting. In a recent study on traditional brainstorming methods, it has been discovered the fact that only a handful of people do approximately 60-75% of the talking. Logically, it can prevent other ideas from being discussed.

How to Make Brainstorming Better

There are many ideas through which brainstorming sessions can become more practical, based on individual creativity, idea generation and a better meeting experience. The following strategies will help your organisation’s brainstorming.

1. Select only necessary employees: Choose the people you need for a brainstorming session. If the meeting is filled with people who have no relation to the nature of the discussion, their contribution and participation will be zero. Moreover, more people mean a higher level of difficulty in passing along ideas given the fact that people may exhibit anxiety in explaining their ideas. A manager’s best bet here is the creative individuals who can actually carry the discussion in a productive manner.

2. Brief sessions: It is as clear as day that shorter meetings are more efficient. The current tradition is for a meeting to last for an hour. However, shortening the meeting time will entice people to bring ideas to the table much faster with a healthy disregard to keeping some ideas for themselves. Normally, a meeting shouldn’t be any longer than 30 minutes. Managers can always do follow-up meetings to discuss leftover ideas or if the schedule is too hectic then the recommendation is individual brainstorming time.

3. “Bad” ideas are welcomed: Managers should encourage their employees to speak their mind. Good ideas “happen” after a lot of other ideas have been bounced off at the meeting table. People should understand the fact that there is a very fine line between good and bad ideas. From a managers point of view all ideas are welcomed given the obvious fact that it will lead to the best solution in the end.


Read also: What Makes a Great CPO


4. Brain Writing: The general principle of this technique is to separate idea generation from actually talking. The manager shares the topic with the team, and the team members individually write down their ideas. This helps eliminate anchoring and encourages everyone on the team to share their own ideas. It also gives everyone more time to think over their ideas, which is especially helpful for your introverted participants. This brainstorming technique works best for teams who seem to be greatly influenced by the first ideas presented during a meeting. When you get your team to brainstorm ideas individually, away from distraction and public opinion, concepts are generated that may not naturally surface when in a larger setting. Individual brainstorming techniques such as this will often give you more unique ideas than when the group is left to think up topic ideas.

 5. Online Brainstorming: These days, virtual teams are becoming more and more common across all industries. The evolution of email and collaboration tools makes working remotely the norm in some organisations. Having a central location online where team members can collaborate is crucial for these virtual teams — talking here about cloud-based document storage or an online collaboration tool. One of those brainstorming exercises for groups involves using an online mind-mapping tool to answer very specific questions or simply to generate ideas that might be tangential to the main problem. What other ideas surround this concept? Map these examples out, visually.

 

We have an impressive assessment library with hundreds of dimensions that can be leveraged in creating a custom skills-based assessment that supports your organisation’s specific competencies and unique vision. Please contact us if you need to measure the engagement level in your company.

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Sources:

https://www.wrike.com/blog/techniques-effective-brainstorming/

https://www.inc.com/larry-alton/5-strategies-for-team-brainstorming-to-use-in-your-next-meeting.html

https://www.inc.com/kat-boogaard/4-easy-tips-to-improve-your-brainstorming-sessions.html

What Makes a Great CPO?

Extract from an article published in Supply Management Magazine:

“There are more than 96,000 procurement and supply professionals in the UK alone, according to CIPS estimates. For the ambitious among this large group, there exist only a handful of strategic CPO roles to compete for. So what helps someone get there? Is there a secret sauce of competencies, skills and behaviours that the best of the best have in common? It’s something SM set out to explore in a first-of-its-kind study to assess the psychometric make-up of forward-thinking procurement leaders.

We handpicked 45 CPOs from large, global organisations, including FTSE-100 listed multinationals, government departments and high street brands, and put them through the Great People Inside Full Spectrum, a completely new assessment platform just launched in the UK by psychometric assessment company Great People Inside (GPI).”

To read the full article, please access this link.

 

Recruitment based on Organisational Culture

Appointing leaders may seem to be easier said than done, but this is not the case at all. According to an academic research paper done by the American Psychological Association, the rate of successful hired leaders is around 30%. In the United States alone, 75% of employees have reported that their direct manager has been poorly chosen and it obstructs them from doing their work. Furthermore, 65% of them would accept lower salaries in order to change their manager with someone better equipped for the job.

There are numerous reasons why this situation occurs over and over again. Mostly, this is due to the over-reliance on intuition in the early stages of recruitment instead of using proper scientific validated selection tools. The problem that almost always arises when hiring new leaders is their incongruity with the organisation’s culture. Even though on paper the candidates may seem perfect and they tick all the boxes in terms of skills, leadership capabilities and expertise, organisations tend to overlook the congruence between their values and the candidate’s values. Consequently, leaders hired for their excellent skills and talents are often fired on the premise of poor cultural fit.

What Is Organisational Culture?

In layman’s terms, organisational culture revolves around the collective mindset and norms of employees, as well as palpable aspects revolving around the work environment which directly mirror these beliefs. The effectiveness of organisational culture relies upon the company’s workforce, business market and strategies. Moreover, given the fact that there are countless organisations around the world, organisational cultures are abundant and different altogether.

How Can Culture Be Related to Recruitment?

There is a close relation between the recruitment process and organisational culture due to their association to employee selection and retention. Attractiveness wise, culture represents everything ranging from brand image to company projects. There are organisations that hold culture in high regard and plan their recruiting accordingly. Due to this type of recruitment, only the right people are being targeted and attracted, whilst others are somewhat determined to look elsewhere for employment.

Primarily, experience and expertise are central characteristics to a leaders’ potential, but, unfortunately, they are unsatisfactory in determining leadership performance. To be more precise, personality traits such as: curiosity, self-awareness and integrity won’t help predict a proper leader to fit the role within the company. In order to properly evaluate how fit a leader is with an organisation, their motives and values should be analysed. These characteristics act as an inner compass, revealing how they would conduct activities, in what type of culture they would thrive and what kind of projects they will deem necessary or engaging.

For instance, if a leader truly values tradition he or she will have a strong opinion regarding right and wrong, will have an affinity for hierarchical companies and will exhibit a low tolerance for innovation. Simply put, these types of leaders would struggle in a creative environment. Leaders who value relationships will develop a strong bond with their staff and their focus will be on creating and maintaining collaborative work and social relations. If they are given a role within an individualistic organisational culture, which would isolate them, they will fail. Subsequently, we have altruistic leaders who focus on improving employees’ lives. If the organisations they work at are profit driven, their skills will be wasted.

Understanding the company’s organisational culture

It is absolutely essential for a company to know their own culture; otherwise knowing a leader’s motives and values becomes practically pointless. Regrettably, a vast majority of companies do not understand the importance of pinpointing their culture and generally tend to rely on clichés such as: ‘entrepreneurial’, ‘innovative’, ‘diverse’ and ‘results-oriented’. Of course, there is the off-chance a company hires a leader who can perform in any kind of environment. Unfortunately, these leaders are an exception, a rare breed, because in most cases potential in leadership depends greatly on context.

Although its significance, organisations don’t pay attention to culture, they just let it evolve from within. It is somewhat good news, due to the fact that if companies start recruiting with the idea of developing a proper organisational culture, it can vastly improve employee retention and performance which translates into growth and profits. Another argument for cultural-based recruitment is that while job demands may constantly change, culture will always be a constant within the company. Statistically, people being hired in part to their cultural fit are more likely to become a company asset.

Great People Inside provides easy-to-use tools and processes to attract, assess, match, select, onboard, manage, develop, benchmark and maintain workforces anywhere in the world.

Finding the right talent, the best fit for the job and your organisation, can be a very challenging task. It requires deep knowledge of your own organisation’s culture and keen understanding of the candidate’s personality, strengths, interests, work style and other characteristics. Our technology and solutions will do the work for you, helping you find employees who can flourish and reach the highest performance required to constantly bring your company forward.

Request a free demo:

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Sources:

https://hbr.org/2017/06/when-leaders-are-hired-for-talent-but-fired-for-not-fitting-in

https://www.forbes.com/sites/propointgraphics/2016/11/13/hiring-for-smart-talent-not-direct-experience/#37b671f42dcf

https://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/strategic-workforce-planning/hire-for-the-organization.aspx