work creativity

Why are we so focused on our weaknesses?

In the business world, it’s that time of year again: time to update our personal business goals, our individual development plans, or whatever our workplaces call it. It’s also time to meet with managers to discuss our “strengths” and “areas for improvement.” I’ve always thought we’ve handled this process in an odd way. When we discuss things we’d like to improve, we’re supposed to follow them with suggestions for actions—ways

How Networks Aid Creativity

How Networks Aid Creativity One of the inspirations for my PhD research was seeing how certain colleagues were able to have their creative ideas heard and used while other co-workers seemed to struggle. I found that even though I worked with a lot of intelligent people, only some really succeeded. It was my curiosity around the point that led me to my initial doctoral research agenda and led me complete

Tips for Information Sharing across Teams and Organizations

One of problems teams often have is working with other teams whether they are within the same organization, or the same business. Why? Because teams use different tools in their work, and they record and use different information, and follow different processes. When the tool, information, and processes are taken out of the original context they can be difficult to understand and use. For instance, when I told my manager

Hello World, It's Me

My manager called, he is encouraging me to write up a blog post about my new role at Red Hat. So I open a browser and surf to my intranet profile to write it and, of course, realize I really need to start an internal blog and not just a one-off post. And I need to start at the beginning, just as I do here. I started work life as

The Fourth Element of Success - The "Giver" Interaction Style

Adam Grant author of Give and Take (*) says success is a combination of hard work (motivation), talent (ability), and luck (opportunity)… but there is a fourth element — how we style our interactions with others. In other words, how relate to others and collaborate with our co-workers matters: Takers – want more than they give Matchers – equally give what they get Givers – give more than they get. When takers

Dialing in to Context

It happened again. The Harvard Business Review newsletter sent me an article about creativity – not a bad thing, per se, since I requested it. But a quick look at their latest articles on creativity shows that there are a number of them, and they are recent, which indicates the importance of this topic. Yet, do you notice anything about the topics in the list that might be in contrast to your

Creativity complicates women leaders Leaning In

I admit that it took me years to get and read Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and the only reason I did was because I read a book on women and negotiation called Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock. For a long time I wondered what Ms. Sandberg could possibly know about the struggle of women in the workplace and the struggle for us to get opportunities and create our

Intersecting "The Open Organization" and "Give and Take"

  Or, “How does building credibility work?”, “What specific things do people do?”, “How do you become a leader in an open organization?”   In Jim Whitehurst’s book, The Open Organization, he discusses Red Hat’s culture as one in which the passion of the associates leads them to collaborate and debate (sometimes aggressively) the merit of their ideas. Because Red Hat is a meritocracy, the best ideas are chosen because they

Give Up Your Weaknesses (120117)

In my consistent quest for self-awareness, I was chatting with my life coach and we were talking about how we always respond to negative things about ourselves as if they are something we need to improve.  As in we need to constantly improve ourselves, get better and better each moment, day, week, month, year… YAWN. Is there anything more boring than that? (Oh right, a hamster on a wheel, that’s right,

Being a Badass in your Personal Life and Work Life

  Excerpt from You are a Badass: “You’ll probably have to do things you never imagined you’d do because if any of your friends saw you doing it, or spending money it, you’d never live it down. Or theyd be concerned about you. Or they’d stop being friends with you because now you’re all weird and different. You’ll have to believe things you can’t see as well as some things