Ask Aubrey: Insanely Simple or Just Insane?
Here's a recent question that came to me via Twitter
[SIC] What is your take on this quote from the book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple's Success by Ken Segall?
I have not read this book, but based on this quote, here's what I think. First, brains have very little to do with it; it's about behavior. When people take that into account, it is more about how behavior is reinforced and/or discouraged than it is about how many people are involved. I say that most organizations have the solution to their problems when they create an environment where everybody feels they are an important part of making the organization successful. That necessarily means that they need to continually come up with ideas about how to do things better, faster and cheaper. Organizations shouldn't want to limit the number of ideas their employees generate--the more ideas the better. When you have many ideas it is the task of management to make sure that idea generating is positively reinforced. The next task is to sort, prioritize and fund development. 3M Company was the exemplar at this years ago (think Post-It notes). They are trying to recapture what was lost when they began to depend only on the brains (engineers) to come up with good ideas. There was a time when employees were given time and money to pursue what appeared to be wild ideas at the time. I do agree with the money part, where companies think it is a money and resource problem, but that is not my experience (and the science of behavior tells us otherwise).
Additional Resources: PM eZine Rapid Change: Immediate Action for the Impatient Leader