What’s the drill – April 3: Is your organization battle-ready?

Did you know there is a “war” going on? And, according to some blogs and books, a crisis as well?

Sure, I may kid. But the headlines around organizational development write of the war to retain and attain top talent, and the current crisis of leadership and constant push for innovation? Seems scary out there.

Here are some questions for you and your organization to ask to help assess how you are doing in the “battle”:

  1. Do you have processes in place that support people in experimenting more and taking risks?
  2. Does your organizational culture value and promote openness, trustworthiness and transparency?
  3. How collaborative is your organization?
  4. Are processes in place to allow for continual growth, learning, and development?

I believe, part of winning the “war” includes a tangible shift towards creating a more human organization. What shifts can you make today?



How to foster a culture of courage and creativity – the results

The improv-based learning initiatives at Ask.com have received wonderful praise and publicity, and most recently this write-up in Fast Company.

Management wanted innovation and big ideas. The question was, how to jump-start it?

CEO Doug Leeds took a cue from Tina Fey’s Bossypants, which points out how improvisation can lead to more creative thinking and innovation. “[Leeds had} seen it sprinkled in other management books, but that was the tipping point to really investigate.”

He admits, there was some initial concern and fear – but quickly learned Improvisation was not about teaching people to be funny, or jump on stage a la “Whose Line is It Anyway”. Instead, Improvisation lays a foundation for a trusting, supportive, engaged and creative work environment by teaching the basic Improv principles and applying them to their specific work environment.

The result:  “Folks said it was the most impactful training session in their entire career…The bonds of trust and common skill set and language of improv allow us to come together … There’s a sense of trust and when you feel safe all kinds of amazing things emerge.”

How to foster a culture of courage and creativity

Innovation requires courage and creativity, which can be difficult to foster and maintain in a culture“, says Ask.com’s Chief Product and Technology Officer, Lisa Kavanaugh.

Ask.com’s innovation strategy is one many companies are adopting:  to teach Improv skills to every member of their company.

These Improv skills are used as tools to build a safe work environment where ideas are encouraged, shared and built upon.

Hear from the ask.com team about the success of this important initiative here.