Thursday, January 11, 2007

Let's talk leadership development...and why it's so important for any company to groom it's future leaders. Martha Legace with Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge wrote an wonderful blog piece about Grooming the Next Generation Leaders. Three key points from the article are:

1. Talent provides organizations a key competitive advantage, but there must be managers and a process in place to identify and nurture next-generation leaders.

2. Large and small companies may have a leg up in leadership development. Medium-sized organizations have the most difficulty with talent identification because these companies often lack the infrastructure and human resources capabilities.

3. What separates true leaders from the merely capable is flexibility in leadership styles in order to meet challenges of the global economy, rapid commoditization, and hyper-competitive environments.

Take some time to read the full article and see if it fits with your business strategies for 2007. As always, I would love to know what you think.

Michael T. Bauer, MSW is the President and Chief Creative Officer of Innovative Business Resources, LLC, a management consulting firm that focuses on helping organizations align their leadership and culture with their business strategy.

Michael is the publisher of
the Creative Edge Newsletter.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

How Important are Ideas for Creativity and Innovation

I bumped into this article a few days ago and thought it would generate some discussion. Doc Searls writes to the Linux programming community, so I wouldn't normally reference material written by him. He isn't a part of my daily diet of blogs, but his comments about ideas are worth referencing. They are very direct, and very true. Here are his thoughts...

1. Ideas aren't physical. Regardless of the legalities, treating ideas as possessions insults their vast combustive power.
2. Ideas aren't worth jack unless other people can put them to use.
3. Ideas won't change the world unless others can improve on them.
4. Ideas grow by participation, not isolation.
5. Ideas change as they grow. Their core remains the same, but their scope enlarges with successful use.
6. Ideas have unexpected results. No one person can begin to imagine all the results of a good idea. That's another reason to welcome participation.
7. Nobody's going to "steal" your ideas, any more than they can steal your cerebrum. You're the source. Authority over the idea begins with you.
8. Authority derives from originality and respect. You can't get respect for your original ideas unless those ideas prove useful to others.
9. There are two reasons other people are going to "steal" your ideas. First, the only people qualified to steal your ideas are too busy trying to get their own ideas to work. Second, they already don't like your idea because it's not their idea.

What would you add?


Michael T. Bauer, MSW
Check out the Creative Edge's worth the time.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Passion Matters in All Areas of Life

Happy 2007!!!!

Today...I need to talk about passion, goals, and success. To do so, however, I have to reference a game...a football game. And I generally hate using sport analogies to describe anything...but today it fits. If you missed the football game between Boise State and Oklahoma a couple days ago...well you missed a game that everyone (football fan or not) would enjoy. An amazing number of points were scored in very little time. If you didn't stay and watch until the very end of the missed the most important minutes. This was a David and Goliath story in the making and both teams were working hard for this win. Oklahoma was the odds on favorite to win, but in overtime and with a 2 point trick play Boise State took home the Fiesta Bowl championship and the hearts of many people watching the game. Oh...and the running back that scored the final 2 points -- shortly after the game he went and proposed marriage to his girlfriend on national television (and she said yes).

It's time for all of us to take that kind of passion into 2007 and turn it into something special.


Michael T. Bauer, MSW is the President and Chief Creative Officer of Innovative Business Resources, LLC, a management consulting firm that focuses on helping organizations align their leadership and culture with their business strategy. Michael is the publisher of the Creative Edge Newsletter.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Something Creative For Christmas

I've been really quite over the past few weeks, and I apologize for that. Now that it's a few days before Christmas, I've decided to shared some Christmas cheer. I'll be back in early 2007 with more on innovation and creativity.

I've received this story in multiple emails from multiple friends. I'm not sure who is the author, but I'm not taking credit for it. I'm posting it to bring some christmas cheer.

An Adventure With Grandma

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her world-famous cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus!" she snorted. "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous, cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten- dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out for recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough, and he didn't have a coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes," I replied shyly. "It's .... for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on the wrapping paper. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside: $19.95.

He who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Creative Leadership and Innovation

I's been a while since my last post. Like most of you, I've found my self busy with the smaller things in life. However, I've continued to read articles and posts and find new programs that point to innovative thought. So, expect to see more posts again...and don't forget to let me know your opinions.

The Center for Creative Leadership recently surveyed the readers of it's e-newsletter "Leading Effectively" about the importance of innovation in the workplace. What caught my eye was that although 92% of those responding to the survey agreed that innovation was important to be successful as a leader, very few have actually done something to be innovative. Check out the
full survey when you have time.



Michael T. Bauer, MSW is the President and Chief Creative Officer of Innovative Business Resources, LLC, a management consulting firm that focuses on helping organizations align their leadership and culture with their business strategy.

Michael is the publisher of the Creative Edge Newsletter.