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5 Practices to Avoid Knowledge Differences in Cross-functional Teams

Idea posted: July 2020
  • Leadership & Change

Five practices for cross-functional teams, using a visual or conceptual illustration as a starting point for dialogue and solution-seeking, help team members share knowledge without emphasizing their differences.

Idea #772
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Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh,1889 (Courtesy: Museum of Modern Art, New York)

To Become a Creative Star, Collaborate with Stars

Idea posted: February 2019
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

A new study shows that while innovators benefit from all collaborations, collaborations with creative stars are more likely to lead to breakthrough innovations — and enable the innovator to emerge as a creative star in his or her own right.

Idea #732
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Ostriches in Qatar (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Learning by Hiring: The Challenge of Teaching Entrenched Incumbents

Idea posted: July 2016
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Behaviour

New scientists can bring new knowledge and expertise to a research team and improve the output and results of the team. However, companies need to beware of long-tenured incumbents who won’t take kindly to the arrival of these upstarts. Nor will they be welcomed into a non-collaborative environment.

Idea #614
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Edward Lloyd's Coffee House, where Lloyd's List was originally published in the 17th century (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Constructive Networking: The Strategies of Players and Purists

Idea posted: February 2015
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
Institutions: INSEAD, ESCP

Research and experience tells us that networking improves individual and organizational performance. But how does it work and what dynamics are at play? This research helps us understand the strategies individuals use to build networks and uses specifics about individual’s attitudes, behaviours, and position to identify three networking archetypes - Devoted Players, Purists, and Selective Players. Understanding these archetypes can help organizations encourage constructive networking.

Idea #485
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Black Eyed Peas during Walmart Shareholders' Meeting 2011 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Diversity in Teams: Tasks, Not Relationships Drive Performance

Idea posted: February 2014
  • Leadership & Change

Diversity is a catalyst to creativity and better decision-making, but is considered to have a downside in terms of relationships: there is less of a ‘bond’ or a connection among members of a diverse team. Researchers now claim that this supposed downside is actually the central mechanism that improves the performance of diverse teams; focusing less time on the relationship, team members — especially in pre-meeting preparation — focus more on the task at hand. 

Idea #322
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Scrooge played by Reginal Owen and Marley's Ghost by Leo Caroll. Dicken's The Christmas Carol, © 1938 Warner Bros, distributed by MGM

Resistance to Change: Overcoming Multilevel Cynicism

Idea posted: January 2014
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Resistance to change is not just an individual attitude; it is also reflected at the organizational level through a cynicism to change (CTC) climate. Preventing or addressing resistance to change begins with understanding the multilevel nature of that resistance. Leaders need to address both individuals (e.g., be active in interacting with employees one on one and treating them as unique contributors) as well as organizational climates (e.g., by setting and reinforcing workplace norms, and making communications to the organization as a whole).

Idea #295
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Mahatma Gandhi. Photo 1947 Margaret Bourke-White, LIFE Magazine (Source: Wikimedia)

Live and Learn: The Innovation Imperative

Idea posted: April 2013
  • Strategy
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change

The success of innovative businesses can be attributed in part to the fact that, by innovating, they learn to face new challenges, which in turn improves their knowledge and skills. Extending their range of experience can lead them to outperform their competitors.

Idea #121
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