Friday, September 30, 2011
Is your HR department an impediment to Enterprise Innovation?
While the HR department is spending their energies worrying about what people wear on casual Friday's, the innovators amongst us have figured out how to set the expectation that creative types are expected to look and dress differently. If corporate policy forces clothing choices that do not mesh with a person’s personality, then the first thing that an employee does when they get home is change clothes. As they change their clothes, they change their mentality—and the types of ideas they generate. Corporate dress codes put employees into a box, and a person can’t be expected to think outside that box if they are walking around all day in one. Innovative companies need to provide employees with the freedom to be who they want to be—and think how they’re apt to think—all day long.
Have you ever met an employee of Apple outside of core working hours? Ever notice how they manage to blend their personal and work lives so that they may generate breakthrough ideas at any time from any place. Truly innovative employees will be those who are exactly the same at home as they are at work. Do we really need to add innovation methodologies and hire consultants at high rates to our already overwhelming pile of processes or do we need to instead focus on removing process and anything that is an impediment to creative thinking?
There is no single approach to unlocking creative thinking! Facts suggest that innovation is more likely to happen in environments where personal constraints are minimized and employees are empowered to voice any wild idea they might have. Design firms have been doing this almost unintentionally for decades, and now the business world is waking up to the merits of free‚ creative cultures. Innovation only emulsifies when individual voices are empowered by open policies.
If 21st-century managers want to succeed, then it’s time to do away with the dress codes and time sheets that are the relics of an efficiency-driven era. It’s time to unlock the power of individuals, let people be creative and embrace individual personalities within the mass of an organization. Innovative employees are hired as individuals and they should be free to be unique. HR should champion real genuine diversity and not be an impediment to it...
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Thoughts on IT Outsourcing and Vendor Selection
How many people noticed that I used the word vendor, when it would have been more appropriate to use the word partner? It is important at early stages to look at potential vendors as partners. This may establish a framework in allowing all parties to define longer-term sustainable values instead of focusing on the details of a given transaction.
Part of creating the short-list will be to filter based on sage wisdom from industry analyst firms who rate vendors on a variety of easily discoverable but otherwise suboptimal attributes. At this stage, it is vital that an enterprise buyer understand more about the vendor beyond just their growth patterns, revenue and headcount. A wise CIO will spend time understanding the vendors ability to demonstrate technology leadership across a lifecycle of hardware, software and services regardless if they are solely focused on procuring just a services arrangement.
Many CIOs put their enterprises at risk by not spending more time in understanding the footprint of their partner. Let's face it, while India has the most people, this country also has the biggest potential for increased inflation which over time will erase any savings that could come from labor arbitrage. It is prudent to look beyond India and understand delivery capabilities from countries in Eastern Europe, South America and the continent of Africa in order to truly spread the risk...
Monday, September 05, 2011
Apple vs the rest of the mobile ecosystem, Who is right and who is evil?
If you look at the other mobile stores such as those by Microsoft, they don't have a clear policy in this regard as to whether they will do what is best for the ecosystem vs simply looking out for their own interests. From a developer perspective, this also now means that you will most certainly be confronted with the potential of a new set of APIs at the expense of other mechanisms that may be used for purchasing content. Think about the possibilities of censorship if say the Wall Street Journal, New York Times or even the Drudge Report was forced to fork over dollars simply for accessing content through mobile channels.
The funny thing about this type of policy is this shows a lack of leadership in the marketplace. What should mobile software developers think if a company creates a policy and frequently changes their posture on it? Why can't various mobile App Stores simply have a policy and stick to it...