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            [post_content] => George Yip photoProfessor of Marketing and Strategy, Imperial College Business School. Previously Professor of Strategy and Co-Director, Centre on China Innovation, China Europe International Business School in Shanghai; VP and Director of Research & Innovation, Capgemini Consulting; Dean, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; faculty at Harvard, UCLA, Cambridge and London business schools. Other books include Strategic Transformation, Managing Global Customers, Asian Advantage and Total Global Strategy. He took his MBA at Harvard and has worked at numerous business schools including those at Harvard, UCLA and Cambridge, as well as working as author, consultant and manager. Most recently he was professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 29th September 2016.

IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business – what would they be?

GY: China is the next innovation powerhouse

IMI: What does this mean? GY: China is moving from imitation to innovation. China’s vast, diverse and still-growing market, its legions of low-cost scientists and engineers, and its innovation ecosystem of research institutes, technology parks and universities have created a fertile ground in which Chinese companies are now innovating, not just for China, but for the world. As a result, the country has finally emerged from years of being seen as merely the factory of the world and is now rapidly assuming a new role: innovator to the world. IMI: Where should we look for further information? GY: Forbes online, George Yip and Bruce McKern, “The ‘Three Phases’ of Chinese Innovation” 23 March 2015. Forbes online, George Yip and Bruce McKern, “5 Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property in China,” 1 July 2015. Forbes online, George Yip and Bruce McKern, “5 Strategy Lessons Companies Can Learn From China,” 6 June 2016. George Yip is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 29th of September. To register for this event, please click here.         [post_title] => "China is the next innovation powerhouse" Six Word Wisdom from George S. Yip [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => draft [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => china-next-innovation-powerhouse-six-word-wisdom-george-s-yip [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-28 00:31:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-28 00:31:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=16062 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16052 [post_author] => 88 [post_date] => 2016-09-28 11:32:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-28 11:32:28 [post_content] => Frances Ruane picFrances Ruane served as Director of the ESRI from 2006 to 2015.  She previously taught in the Dept of Economics at TCD, and earlier in her career she work at Queens University in Canada and at the Central Bank of Ireland and the IDA. In Ireland, her current activities include chair of the Interdepartmental Group on Making Work Pay for People with Disabilities at the Department of Social Welfare, membership of the Public Interest Committee of KPMG, and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Economics at Trinity College, where she contributes to the MSc in Economic Policy Studies. She is also a Research Affiliate at the ESRI and a member of the Royal Irish Academy.  
IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business – what would they be?

FR: Look positively beyond the immediate.

  IMI: What does this mean? FR: After a period of rapid growth, the global financial crisis meant that Irish businesses had to concentrate on handling immediate challenges.  They managed that disruption well and this contributed to the strength of Ireland’s recovery.   But the focus on the immediate has left many businesses with legacy issues (debt burdens, under-investment in innovation, poor staff morale). And now businesses need to prepare for the medium term when we discover what is really meant by ‘Brexit means Brexit’.  Forward looking businesses leaders need now to ask: what could Brexit mean for my market and company? Where am I exposed to risk and how can I mitigate it?   [post_title] => "Look positively beyond the immediate" Six Word Wisdom from Frances Ruane [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => look-positively-beyond-immediate-six-word-wisdom-frances-ruane [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 09:58:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 09:58:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=16052 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12166 [post_author] => 68 [post_date] => 2015-10-07 11:00:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-07 11:00:35 [post_content] =>
Yves-Morieux-Hi-Res-150x1501.jpg
Yves Morieux is a Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, a BCG fellow and director of the BCG Institute for Organisation.Yves' Six Simple Rules of Smart Simplicity, has helped CEOs with their most critical challenges, for instance, moving their companies from quasi bankruptcy to industry leadership. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015

1. What is the chief thing that managers/leaders get wrong about what effective leadership means today, in your experience?

Managers often don't understand what their teams really do. They understand the structures, the processes, the systems. But this is not what people do – it is what people are supposed to do.  A company's performance or a department's performance is what it is because people do what they do, because of their actions, decisions and interactions – their "behaviours".  Because we don't understand what people do, we create solutions – new structures, processes, systems, scorecards, incentives, training, and communication – that don't address the root causes. We don't solve the problem, we simply add more internal complicatedness. And the more complicatedness we create, the less we understand what is really happening, the thicker the smoke screen, and then the more rules we add. This is the vicious circle of modern management. This is why the first rule of what I call Smart Simplicity is "understand what people really do at work."

2. Do leadership principles work best when understood as a top-down process, or is this understanding of leadership out of touch with the modern workplace?

From collaboration to performance to employee engagement, everything we know about work is changing – but our businesses are seemingly slow to respond. People are more attuned to sharing posts, writing blogs, and providing instant feedback through ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ than they are to completing surveys, so why does our approach to employee engagement still centre on a set of fixed statements and a rating scale? In their personal lives people collaborate naturally with those around them and have an amazing propensity to share even when there is no immediate benefit to them, hence the success of crowdsourcing sites like Wikipedia. So, why do we spend so much time and energy in organisations on encouraging people to practice these seemingly natural behaviours at work? The challenge for businesses is to disrupt every process and practice in the organisation by asking: Why does it exist? What are we trying to achieve? If we were to start the organisation from scratch, would we choose to create this? And perhaps most tellingly of all, would this practice exist if we trusted our employees? iqmatrix

3. A core feature of your approach to leadership and better workplace productivity is the concept of ‘Smart Simplicity’. How does this play out in a world where the data available to companies now – be it through consumer feedback, predictive modelling, data analytics etc – has surged? Does the effective use of all of this data necessitate more complexity, rather than simplicity?

The environment is more complex – the problems to resolve in order to attract and retain customers, in order to create value and build competitive advantage – are more demanding than in the past. This is a fact of life. Based on our analysis, complexity has been multiplied by 6 over the last 60 years. The real problem is not business complexity. The real problem is internal complicatedness – the solutions companies typically use to try to respond to this complexity: a proliferation of cumbersome structures, interfaces, coordination bodies and committees, procedures, rules, metrics, key performance indicators and scorecards. Based on our analysis this complicatedness has been multiplied by 35! This complicatedness creates obstacles to productivity and innovation. People spend their time writing reports, in meetings. There is more and more work on work, and less and less work! A lot of data, a lot of information is always good. The difficulty – and the value-added – is sense-making, to derive meaning and knowledge from the data, so that companies can interpret and act on the data. But complicatedness makes it increasingly difficult for companies to make sense of the data. There is at the same time a data indigestion and a knowledge deprivation.

4. When it comes to Irish businesses, how do their workplace dynamics compare with other countries and what would be your principal advice to them on what to change?

Irish businesses face the same problems as other mature economies. They need to manage the new business complexity without getting complicated. Smart Simplicity is not about becoming simplistic, we cannot ignore the new complexity of business. This is why I refer to "Smart" simplicity. The six rules of Smart Simplicity concern Irish businesses because Irish businesses are also confronted to a greater complexity.

5. Should business leaders focus more on improving employee productivity per se, or should this be balanced with also ensuring that staff are happy at what they do and not afraid to be creative? How does one strike an effective balance?

We must not strike a balance here! We must break the compromise between productivity and happiness or creativity. We must not improve one at the expense of the other. In fact organizational complicatedness hinders productivity while demotivating people and making them suffer at work. They lose direction, purpose and meaning in the labyrinth. They have to work longer and longer, harder and harder, but on less and less value-adding activities. This is why Smart Simplicity and removing complicatedness simultaneously increases performance and satisfaction at work: because you remove the root-cause common obstacles that hinder both.

6. What do you think are the key organisational challenges that face a country like Ireland over the next few years, for both business managers/leaders and their staff?

Organizations are going through a deep revolution in their ways of working. We are going through a new economic revolution, and every economic revolution entails and organizational revolution. The organizational solutions on which we have built profitable growth over the last 30 years are obsolete.  Irish managers and employees will have to invent new ways of working. Smart Simplicity provides guidelines for this, but what mainly matters is boldness and courage in breaking with conventional wisdom. Irish people are certainly well placed in this respect! NMC 2015 A4 HEADER Yves Morieux is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. Apologies but this event has now reached maximum capacity.  [post_title] => "Understand what people do at work" Six Word Wisdom from Yves Morieux [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => understand-people-work-six-word-wisdom-yves-morieux [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:27:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:27:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=12166 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7017 [post_author] => 32 [post_date] => 2014-05-08 15:28:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-05-08 15:28:31 [post_content] => [post_title] => 3 slick selling techniques you should take from the Time-share Salesperson [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => can-learn-selling-street-vendors [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-13 12:36:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-13 12:36:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=7017 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 20899 [post_author] => 105 [post_date] => 2017-11-22 07:48:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-22 07:48:10 [post_content] =>

In our 21st Century Age of Science and Technology, the volume of information available to us is enough to make our heads spin. Finding market information that is reliable and credible is a challenge that often defeats us, and for many organisations, the cost of commissioning primary research can be prohibitive. Market Research is the only sector where the ‘Secondary’ should be undertaken before the ‘Primary’. This saves time and money by finding crucial market information, from reputable third-party sources, to inform our decision-making process. On the face of it, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

market-researchMarket Research is a process; it’s what we do. The frequency with which we do it is determined by our business needs, the speed of change in our industry and the impact of external forces on our sector.

Market Intelligence is how we use our research to inform our decisions, on an ongoing basis, as part of our strategic planning process.

Working with my IMI colleague, Cariona Neary, we have discovered that linking market research to established market analysis models makes it easier for organisations to get real value from their research. Meaningful market intelligence is found when the data is used to identify opportunities, as opposed to data being found to support a strategic decision that has already been made.

Discovering how and where to start, differentiating between reliable and spurious data, understanding how to use your data and building a framework that allows you to track mission-critical information on a regular basis is the key to real market intelligence. Here are 5 quick-start tips from my toolkit:

  1. Start with the Economy

Check unemployment and consumer confidence levels – these trends indicate the economic health status of your target market, and this information is feely available from EU statistical websites and national government sites.

  1. Reliable Business Data & Reports

The IMI Library should be your first port of call as they have access to several useful online sources. Enterprise Ireland’s Market Research Centre is an essential resource – if you are an EI client. Other business libraries that I frequently use, where clients are not EI clients, are the various business libraries in London that are free to use. Old-fashioned library work is cheaper than purchasing third-party reports that quickly become out-of-date.

  1. Online Sources

Reputable online sources include trade bodies, websites, blogs and magazines. I keep an eye on industry conferences where keynote speakers can often provide an insight that was previously unknown.

  1. Comparing Like with Like

This is where basic maths comes into the equation! Inevitably, you will need to do some basic calculations to marry the information and data from the different sources that you have found. Online maths calculators and Excel spreadsheets are hard to beat, though there are many software applications with varying benefits available online.

  1. Ongoing Tracking & Evaluation

Once you have identified the key market indicators that you need to track, the different intervals for updates and the KPI’s for measuring progress and success, you can create your market intelligence dashboard. Using a single-page dashboard means that key market factors can be reviewed efficiently as part of your monthly/quarterly management meetings.

Developing in-house market research capability to deliver meaningful market intelligence is a sure-fire route to competitive advantage, and, at the end of the day that should be the whole point of the exercise.

g_-024-1Gráinne Kennedy is an IMI associate  is an award-winning market research expert, with a background in international advertising who delivers data-driven communications solutions and advertising campaigns to client companies building international brands and businesses. Gráinne is a guest lecturer at the IMI.
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sue cox
Sue Cox is a Learning and Development Consultant and a Tango dancer.  She has worked extensively with the public and not-for-profit sectors as well as the corporate world and has developed and led social inclusion projects across the UK. She is interested in how we develop our own potential and how we connect better with others in order to be more effective in our organisations and relationships. She will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015 IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

SC: Want better leadership? Develop your followership.

IMI: What does this mean? SC: Many organisations invest heavily in developing and recognising good leadership but give little or no thought to actively cultivating good followership. Leadership is, by definition, a relational process however there is no leadership unless there is a leader/follower dynamic. When we focus only on developing leadership, we give visibility and importance to one aspect only, neglecting the contribution of followership and the untapped potential of the relationship between the two.  How much do we lose by doing so? A powerful illustration of what this looks like in practice can be seen in Argentine Tango. There is a misconception in Tango that the leader is in control and the follower is relatively passive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tango is complex, improvised and co-created in the moment and it depends entirely on the leader/follower dynamic.  Good followership amplifies and strengthens leadership; good leadership maximises the followers’ contribution. The quality of their connection elevates the whole dance to a greater level of performance. Misconceptions about leadership and followership are seen as often in the boardroom as they are in the ballroom. If you want to release potential in your organisation and be resourceful and creative in the way you respond to change and opportunity, the challenge is to develop everybody’s ability as both leader and follower, so that each can play their full part in co-creating the dance. IMI: Where should we look for further information? SC: Visit my website at Ballroom2Boardroom.com 

tango

Sue Cox spoke at the IMI National Management Conference on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to conference@imi.ie. [post_title] => "Want better leadership? Develop your followership" Six Word Wisdom from Sue Cox [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => want-better-leadership-develop-followership-six-word-wisdom-sue-cox [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:29:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:29:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=11952 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Kriti Jain

Kriti Jain

4th Apr 2019

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"China is the next innovation powerhouse" Six Word Wisdom from George S. Yip
"Look positively beyond the immediate" Six Word Wisdom from Frances Ruane
"Understand what people do at work" Six Word Wisdom from Yves Morieux
3 slick selling techniques you should take from the Time-share Salesperson
5 Tips For Turning ‘Market Research’ into ‘Market Intelligence’
"Want better leadership? Develop your followership" Six Word Wisdom from Sue Cox

Information Overdose

In today's hyper-complex and fast world, do we need to change how we process information?
In today’s hyper-complex and fast world, do we need to change how we process information?

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What is the first thing you do after you wake up in the morning? I bet it is to check your phone. With that activity, imagine how our mind gets suddenly cluttered with all the emails, tweets, LinkedIn, and Facebook updates of other people. To add to it, if you switch on the news on TV channels, the bombardment of information – mostly unnecessary – is unimaginable.

Infoxication – a combination of the terms information and intoxication that signifies the overload of information – has become a serious problem. Remember the old days when searching for new data was a challenging task in itself?

One would have some go-to persons to ask all their questions from or find a library and locate that encyclopedia. Similarly, a letter from relatives and friends was a much awaited item and people would gather together to read it. However, today with everything being on fingertips of our instantaneous devices, the charm of searching and savoring information has been lost.
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Too much information

A natural disadvantage of this excess information is that it interferes with proper decision making. Research has shown that our mind can hold approximately 7 chunks of information at a time. Anything more makes people confused and results in poorer decisions.

execseriesIn fact, one common technique used in research to study the effects of distractions and interruptions is to make people remember lots of information and then ask them to make decisions. A clear result is that a busy mind results in sub-optimal decisions. Moreover, with such mechanical overdose of information, the role of our senses and deep thinking gets dulled.

The social and psychological aspects of this so called ‘info-inflation’ are huge.

Facebook gives a twisted image of reality where others seem to be having the perfect life and we somehow seem to face all the miseries. LinkedIn makes us feel that everyone has fancy job roles. Instagram filters has turned everyone into photographers.

And with all the blogs and articles being floated around, there is the problem of information anxiety – the feeling that we know too little compared to what we must know. Add to this the problem of fake news…

To know that the information we are consuming might be useless and untrue – but also has the potential to cause riots and social chaos – is disheartening.
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Quick to consume, slow to learn

The clutter of the internet is being reflected in our cluttered minds
The clutter of the internet is being reflected in our cluttered minds

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Such infoxication has implications for our education system as well. Students have gotten impatient. My own observation from our MBA classrooms is that they need catchy take-aways and quick bites. Reading and ruminating on materials is an obsolete process. Students are quick to judge if they would get anything from the class or not.

In all of this, the professor has become more of a performer and an entertainer who needs to use multiple methods to keep the attention of the class intact.
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Lot’s happening, not much getting done

In our workplaces, several studies have shown that this information clutter has resulted in large losses of productivity. A 2012 survey by McKinsey Global Institute found that the average worker spends 28% of work time managing email.

The constant interruptions from email pings and message alters are a productivity killer – especially if you consider the fact that it takes the average person an average of four minutes to recover from any interruption.

Then there is this buzzword of Big Data. With all the massive amounts of data being collected, it is natural to learn to process it. However, not everyone knows what needs to be done with that data. What questions need to be addressed? Or if it needed at all?


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Fail to filter, prepare to fail

So, what can we do? Professor Clay Shirky from NYU describes this problem as ‘filter failure’.

Unlike publishers of books who were also in charge of the quality of content, today the price of creating and sharing content has become zero. As such no one is really in charge of the quality of information that reaches us. So, we need to create our own action plans.

First, generate your own filters. Know what kinds of information is necessary and what kinds you can do without. Next, organize your information flow. For example, plan to check your emails three times a day, classify them priority wise, and respond to them accordingly. Third, create a schedule – plan to get updates of news, articles, or blogs at particular times of the day or the week.

Read news while on the train. Check for LinkedIn articles and other blogs on a weekend. Fourth, be ruthless in throwing away and cleaning up unnecessary junk that you have been collecting over years.

It is time to do a serious information detox.

 


kriti-jainKriti Jain is one the lead designers on the IMI’s series of development programmes for senior leaders – the Executive Series. For more information on the programmes within the series, click here.