GROUP THINK & Multiple Research Confirms Brainstorming Kills Breakthrough Ideas (& What To Do Instead)

by Melissa Schilling, Inc. Magazine, 2/9/18.

… Over a half a century ago, Alex Osborne wrote an influential book called Applied Imagination that opined that “the average person can think up twice as many ideas when working with a group than when working alone.” Managers must have been convinced because brainstorming groups took off in popularity and are still used widely to this day. In fact, in business schools it is almost heretical to argue that teams are not more creative than individuals.

The only problem is that Osborne was wrong. Dozens of laboratory studies tried to confirm Osborne’s claim, but found the opposite: brainstorming groups produced fewer ideas, and ideas of less novelty, than the sum of the ideas created by the same number of individuals working alone…

…three main reasons that groups are less creative than individuals working on their own:

1. Fear of Judgment

A series of studies by Professors Michael Diehl, Wolfgang Stroebe, Bernard Nijstad, Paul Pauhus, and others found that people self-censor many of their most creative ideas in group brainstorming sessions for fear of being judged negatively by others. When the scientists told groups that their ideas would be judged by their peers, they came up with significantly fewer and less novel ideas than groups that were told they would be evaluated by anonymous judges.

As Isaac Asimov, one of the most famous science fiction writers of all time (and also a biochemistry professor at Boston University) put it, “My feeling is that as far as creativity is concerned, isolation is required…The presence of others can only inhibit this process, since creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display.”

2. Production Blocking

When people take turns to voice their ideas, those bringing up the rear may forget their ideas before having a chance to voice them. Worse still, the process of attending to another person’s ideas redirects a listener’s train of thought, essentially hijacking their own idea generation process. Scientists were able to demonstrate this by separating individuals into rooms where they would speak their ideas into a microphone when lights indicated it was their turn. In some of the rooms the individuals could hear the contributions of others, and in some they could not. This study resulted in big creativity losses: being required to wait to give ideas caused people to submit far fewer ideas, and even fewer ideas if they could hear the contributions of others…

3. Feasibility Trumps Originality

Another series of studies by Professor Eric Rietzschel and colleagues shows that teams aren’t just bad for idea generation; they even impair idea selection. If you let people work alone to generate ideas but then let the group select the best ideas to pursue, they will make decisions that reduce novelty. The studies showed that when groups interactively ranked their “best” ideas, they chose ideas that were less original than the average of the ideas produced, and more feasible than the average of the ideas produced. In other words, people tended to weight “feasible” more highly than “original.” If a brainstorming group is intended to elicit novel ideas, asking groups to select and submit their best ideas is not the way to achieve that outcome.

The Benefits of Spending Time Alone

Solitude is immensely valuable for creativity; it affords a person the time to think and pursue those things they find intrinsically interesting. It can help them to develop their own beliefs about how the world works, and to develop a self-concept that is less structured by the opinions of others.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/melissa-schilling/the-science-of-why-brainstorming-in-groups-doesnt-work.html

TIPPING POINT & We try to force the organization to tip early w/ strategies not proven or vented enough to succeed.

Quote by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/26/17 in a response to Jon Hunter in LEAD 600 discussing the tipping point principles of Malcom Gladwell, (2000). The tipping point: How little things can make a big difference. Boston: Little, Brown.

# diffusion of innovation Malcom Gladwell early adopters innovators laggards

STRATEGY & Moving To Blue Ocean Strategy: A Five-Step Process To Make The Shift

by Steve Denning, Forbes Magazine, 7/25/17.

In 2005, Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, a book by Professors W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne, launched a revolution in business strategy. After all, which firm would not to be operating in “uncontested market space,” where “competition was irrelevant”? Instead of struggling to survive in the bloody shark-infested “Red Oceans” of vicious competition, why not move to the “Blue Oceans” where there was little or no competition?

What inspired the authors was not “dividing up markets or the globe,” but rather organizations and individuals that created “new frontiers of opportunity, growth, and jobs,” where success was not about fighting for a bigger slice of an existing, often shrinking pie, but about “creating a larger economic pie for all.” The book was a publishing sensation. It sold more than 4 million copies and has been translated into 44 different languages.

Now, 12 years later, the authors offer an exciting new book that synthesizes their experience in assisting with the implementation of Blue Ocean strategy. The book, Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth, is published this week by Hachette. It includes the experience of organizations large and small, for profit, nonprofit and governments.

In their work since the launch of their 2005 book, the authors have found three key components in successful Blue Ocean shifts:

• Mindset: The authors found that, as in the world of Agile management, Blue Ocean strategy is fundamentally a shift in mindset. It involves “expanding mental horizons and shifting understanding of where opportunity lies.”

• Tools: Successful implementers of Blue Ocean strategy have used practical tools to systematically “translate blue ocean thinking into commercially compelling new offerings.” Sporadic, one-off “Blue Ocean strategy” is one thing: systematically adopting Blue Ocean thinking is another.

• Human-ness: Successful implementers exemplify “a humanistic process, which inspires people’s confidence to own and drive the process to own and drive the process for effective execution.”

… The Five Step Process

The book offers a five-step process for systematically reproducing such strategic triumphs, and shows how a Blue Ocean initiative can be successfully launched in even the most bureaucratic organization that is trapped in a bloody Red Ocean. The five steps are:

1. Choosing the right place to start and constructing the right Blue Ocean team for the initiative.

2. Getting clear about the current state of play

3. Uncovering the hidden pain points that limit the current size of the industry and discovering an ocean of non-customers.

4. Systematically reconstructing market boundaries and developing alternative Blue Ocean opportunities.

5. Selecting the right Blue Ocean move, conducting rapid market tests, finalizing, and launching the shift.

Though this process, the organization is able to move from the limitations of competing within the existing industry (“settlers”) to migrate towards greater value improvement (“migrators”) and eventually towards creating new value for people who are not already customers (the “pioneers” of marketing-creating innovation.)

Professors Kim & Mauborgne (Hachette)

From settlers and migrators to pioneers: Image from from Blue Ocean Shift by Professors Kim & Mauborgne

The Trap Of Mere Product Improvement

In the process, the book shows how to move beyond the trap of merely focusing on making things better for existing customers. Thus, usually product improvement doesn’t lead to large new markets of those who were formerly non-customers. If it does, that is a happy accident, rather than the main goal. To get more consistent success in generating market-creating innovations, an explicit focus onattracting non-customers is needed. This includes (a) soon-to-be non-customers; (b) refusing non-customers and (c) unexplored non-customers.

Professors Kim & Mauborgne (Hachette)

Categories of non-customers: Image from Blue Ocean Shift by Professors Kim & Mauborgne

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2017/09/24/moving-to-blue-ocean-strategy-a-five-step-process-to-make-the-shift/#5d7740327f11

non-churchgoers innovation adapters

MULTIPLICATION & 7 Statistics That Predict Church Growth #HartfordInstitute

By Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, LifeWay, 3/21/16.

Analysis of the American Congregations 2015 study finds seven statistics played a role in which churches experienced significant growth since 2010.

1. Growing location — The old real estate adage applies to churches. Growth is connected to “location, location, location.”

More than half (59 percent) of churches in a new suburb grew at least 2 percent in the past five years. Those in other locations were less likely to experience similar growth—only 44 percent grew at that rate.

2. Younger congregation — Churches whose membership was at least a third senior adults were less likely to grow than other churches.

Only 36 percent of churches heavily attended by senior citizens grew 2 percent or more in the last five years. Almost half (48 percent) of churches where seniors were less than one-third grew.

3. Innovative worship — Congregations who describe their worship service as “very innovative” are almost 10 percent more likely to grow than others.

Less than 44 percent of churches that say they have little to some innovation in worship grew, while more than 53 percent of churches with very innovative worship grew.

4. Lack of serious conflict — Fighting churches are not growing churches. Serious conflict stunts growth.

For churches that maintained relative calm—no serious conflict in the past five years—more than half grew. Only 29 percent of churches with serious conflict did the same.

5. Involved church members — Simply put, the more laity is involved in recruiting new people the more likely a church will grow.

How likely is it that a church grew? For those whose laity was …

  • Not at all involved: 35 percent
  • Involved a little or some: 45 percent
  • Involved quite a bit: 63 percent
  • Involvement a lot: 90 percent

6. Unique identity — If churches worked to discover and present to their community what makes them different from other area churches, they are more likely to grow.

Almost 58 percent of churches who distinguished themselves from other congregations grew, compared to 43 percent of churches who showed little to no difference.

7. Specialized program — Similarly, if churches establish a program as a congregational specialty, they are more likely to grow.

Close to 52 percent of churches that have at least one specialty grew, while less than 42 percent of congregations who claimed no specialty did the same.

These seven statistics from the American Congregations 2015 study give a picture of the churches bucking the trend of decline across U.S. churches.

Read more at … http://factsandtrends.net/2016/03/17/7-statistics-that-predict-church-growth/#.Vu_fmEX3aJI

Hashtags: #StLiz #StLizTX  #Renovate16 #StMarksTX

CREATIVITY & Why Creative People Say No: Because Saying “No” Has More Creative Power

“Creative People Say No” is an extract from Kevin Ashton’s book, “How to Fly a Horse  —  The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery,” available here.

A Hungarian psychology professor once wrote to famous creators asking them to be interviewed for a book he was writing.

One of the most interesting things about his project was how many people said “no.”

Management writer Peter Drucker: “One of the secrets of productivity (in which I believe whereas I do not believe in creativity) is to have a VERY BIG waste paper basket to take care of ALL invitations such as yours — productivity in my experience consists of NOT doing anything that helps the work of other people but to spend all one’s time on the work the Good Lord has fitted one to do, and to do well…”

The professor contacted 275 creative people. A third of them said “no.” Their reason was lack of time. A third said nothing. We can assume their reason for not even saying “no” was also lack of time and possibly lack of a secretary.

Time is the raw material of creation. Wipe away the magic and myth of creating and all that remains is work: the work of becoming expert through study and practice, the work of finding solutions to problems and problems with those solutions, the work of trial and error, the work of thinking and perfecting, the work of creating.

Creating consumes. It is all day, every day. It knows neither weekends nor vacations. It is not when we feel like it. It is habit, compulsion, obsession, vocation. The common thread that links creators is how they spend their time.

No matter what you read, no matter what they claim, nearly all creators spend nearly all their time on the work of creation. There are few overnight successes and many up-all-night successes.

Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know.

We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy.

Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview, this letter, this trip to the movies, this dinner with friends, this party, this last day of summer. How much less will I create unless I say “no?”

Read more at … http://www.businessinsider.com/successful-creative-people-say-no-2015-1

INNOVATION & Charts on Accelerating Diffusion of Innovation & Maloney’s 16% Rule

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  “The following charts describe the ‘Innovation Adoption Curve’ developed by Everett Rogers in his book on diffusion of innovations titled, Diffusion of Innovations.  In addition Maloney discovered a 16% rule that impacts Roger’s curve. Chris Maloney, Marketing Manager for HSBC Australia delivered his presentation on the 16% rule at Loyalty World Australia in 2011.

Maloney’s 16% rule suggests that an organization begins with a “scarcity” strategy, i.e. when people perceive something is scarce, it will generate demand … to “social proof” where people begin to do things they see others doing. (For more on scarcity and social proof see Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Arizona State professor of psychology and marketing Robert Cialdini.

See the charts below to understand both of these important principles of innovation.”

Diffusion of Innovation Adoption Curve

Accelerating Diffusion of Innovation - Maloney's 16% Rule

Read more at … http://innovateordie.com.au/2010/05/10/the-secret-to-accelerating-diffusion-of-innovation-the-16-rule-explained/

INNOVATION & Science Says Entrepreneurs Should Believe in God #IncMagazine

by Geoffrey James, Inc. Magazine, 3/6/15.

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/why-entrepreneurs-should-believe-in-god.html

INNOVATION & How To REFOCUS a Ministry That Has Outlived Its Usefulness #ChurchCureBook

CURxE T = Tackle Needs by Refocusing or Creating Ministry Programs.

Article by Bob Whitesel, excerpted from CURE FOR THE COMMON CHURCH: God’s Plan to Restore Church Health (2012), pp. 42-56 (download the chapter below):

Cure T stands for “tackle needs by refocusing, creating or ending ministry” and the term “tackle” is fitting for this may require the most energy of the three cures in this chapter. As we saw earlier long histories and good fellowship often cause a church to focus on congregational needs in lieu of non-churchgoer needs. Thus, churchgoers often focus on ministries they enjoy doing even when these programs are no longer meeting the needs of non-churchgoers. As a result, Cure T is absolutely critical for church health. Therefore, be aware that three tactics will be needed:

  • Refocusing: Some of a church’s programs will need to be refocused to better meet the needs of non-churchgoers.
  • Creating: Some programs will need to be created to meet the needs of non-churchgoers.

Refocusing & Creating Ministries: The A-B-C-D Approach

The key to refocusing or creating ministry is to:

  1. Assemble both canvassers and ministry leaders.
  • The goal is to compile a master list of needs and draw connections to existing ministries or create new ministries that could meet those needs.
  • A convener (i.e. chairperson) should be selected. This will usually be a staff person or the leader of the canvassers. She or he will oversee the A-B-C-D steps.
  • Convene both canvassers and church ministry leaders as soon as possible after the canvassing. Some churches will conduct their canvass on Sunday or Saturday morning and then meet that afternoon. This can allow leaders to consider the results while the conversations are fresh in their minds
  1. Brainstorm a master list of needs.
  • When the canvassers convene after their canvass, everyone shares the needs jotted down.
  • From these lists they create a master list of needs (i.e. those that reoccur with the most frequency on the canvassers’ personal lists).
  • Combine similar needs into categories.
  • Column 2 of Figure 2.8 illustrates how a master list of needs might be categorized from the sample in Figure 2.7.
  1. Correlate needs to ministries the church offers or can start.
  • Just as you brainstormed a master list of categories, now it is time to brainstorm a list of ministries you can refocus or launch to meet needs in each category.
  • Put these ministry ideas in Column 3 of Figure 2.8.
  1. Distribute your list of refocused or created ministries (Figure 2.8) to church leaders.
  • Send this list to all department heads and ministry leaders.
  • Ask them to look over your suggestions in the right column of Figure 2.8 and add their own.
  • Ask them to report back in 30 days with their responses of how their ministry can be refocused to better meet community needs.
  • The report will be received by the staff person or convener who oversees the canvass.

To see the Figures and read the rest of the chapter, download the chapter (not for public distribution) by clicking here:  BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CURE Chpt 2 HOW OUT

(And, if you enjoyed this chapter, please support the publisher and author by purchasing a copy. Thank you.)

INNOVATION & How To END a Ministry That Has Outlived Its Usefulness #ChurchCureBook

CURxE T = Tackle Needs by Ending Ministry Programs.

Article by Bob Whitesel, excerpted from CURE FOR THE COMMON CHURCH: God’s Plan to Restore Church Health (2012), pp. 42-56 (download the chapter below):

Ending Ministry: 3 Guidelines

As noted, some ministries may need to be ended. This is especially important when volunteers need to be redeployed into ministries that better meet the needs of non-churchgoers.

One example comes from a client church. This church had a group of ladies that meet Wednesday afternoons to knit quilts, which they then sold to raise funds for missionaries. The missionaries were appreciative, but the efforts raised little funds. The ladies mostly enjoyed the fellowship and felt they were supporting outreach. A canvas of the community found that many of the two-wage residents needed after school child care. Armed with this information, the leader of the canvass asked the Wednesday knitting group to consider hosting a play and tutor time from 3-5:30 pm once a month (the time during which they typically knitted). Community residents and children so enjoyed these afternoons with their newly adopted “grandmas” (and the senior ladies enjoyed it, too) that this ministry soon replaced the weekly knitting circle.

Still, there are three criteria that must be met when ending ministry and redeploying volunteer skills.

  • Guideline 1: Redeploy People. Volunteers involved in a ministry that is ending must clearly see a redeployment for their skills and fellowship. The knitting circle became an afterschool team of surrogate “grandmas.” At first the knitting circle was hesitant, but once they saw that their skills and fellowship would be preserved, they relinquished one ministry to launch another.
  • Guideline 2: Move slowly. Most people will need time to process the end of their ministry as well as the value of diverting their skills. One of the key lessons of research into church change is that leaders often doom the change process by proceeding too quickly (i.e. not giving congregants enough time to grapple with the change).[i]
  • Guideline 3: ADD if you can’t subtract. If you can’t end it, leave it and add something else. Some people are so wrapped up in their ministry that they cannot envision ever doing anything else. While it might not be the most desirable tactic, if ending a ministry is causing too much division or grief it is best to leave the ministry and launch something new. Many a church leader has become bogged down trying to end something, when that energy might have been better spent launching something new.

Fill in Figure 2.9 to ensure you meet all three guidelines when ending a ministry.

FIGURE 2.9 CURE Ending a Ministry

Remember, ending ministry may be the most difficult and thorny task you undertake in growing a church O.U.T. But remember, if ending a ministry becomes too problematic, it is best to begin something new.

To see the Figures and read the rest of the chapter, download the chapter (not for public distribution) by clicking here:  BOOK ©Whitesel EXCERPT – CURE Chpt 2 HOW OUT

(And, if you enjoyed this chapter, please support the publisher and author by purchasing a copy. Thank you.)

[i] For more on why leaders must go slower than they wish when implementing change, see “Go Slowly, Build Consensus and Succeed” in Bob Whitesel, Preparing for Change Reaction: How To Introduce Change in Your Church (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2007), pp. 151-169 and Staying Power: Why People Leave the Church Over Change And What You Can Do About It (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002).

#FlintFirst

INNOVATORS & Research shows they have learned that skill through multiple innovative experiments in the past #StanfordUniversity #ChurchPlanters

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “My students know that some leadership abilities are learned and some you are born with. This new research from Stanford University shows that innovative leaders have learned that skill through multiple innovative experiments in the past. Leaders – get out there and start experimenting!”

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/elizabeth-macbride/why-repeat-entrepreneurs-succeed.html