Paula Richardson

All or Nothing

While applicable to our lives in general, this article identifies certain ways that perfection may lead to failure, relevant to innovation in particular. 9 Reasons Perfectionism is a Bad Thing Perfectionism is an attempt to avoid failure. Fear of failure stifles innovation. With that in mind, four of the article’s reasons stood out to me: You are never done – this idea of never being done prevents you from offering business value to your customer at the earliest point in…

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Agile in Action – Human Resources Salary Survey tools

Each year, Wake County Human Resources performs the critical but very time-consuming task of collecting comparable compensation data from around 30 benchmark organizations regarding a third of the County’s job classifications. When the study reared its head this time around, Anza Harker came to our team to discuss options to improve the study.  As is often the case with innovation, the change began when someone who felt the business pain recognized that there had to be a better way to…

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Hacking Time to learn

One of the regular pieces of feedback that I get when I discuss training with people is that there just isn’t enough time to learn everything that you want to learn.  I think this complaint often is tied to how we approach continuous learning rather than specific time limits. One of the things that I have done over the years is to carve out just fifteen minutes a day to pick up something new.  I find that by doing that,…

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Meaningful Learning

A learning mindset is one of the most crucial characteristics of an innovator.  This is an interesting take on three different approaches to learning: https://fee.org/articles/meaningful-learning-is-just-in-time-not-just-in-case/ Learning in order to avoid pain (average) Learning in order to gain credit/status/praise/recognition (elite) Learning in order to solve a problem (ascendant) Ascendant learners seek meaningful, practical and challenging learning.  This type of learning can be frustrating, exhausting, taxing….even painful.  And that’s exactly why it’s the least common.  The reward is timely solutions that directly address the…

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Soft Skills

I found this article a few months ago and reread it often to reinforce what I already know, but what the professional world makes me doubt…that interpersonal skills are invaluable: https://fee.org/articles/interpersonal-skills-are-anything-but-soft/ We’ve all engaged in job searches where the only requirements mentioned are onerous lists of learnable, tangible skills.  For example, a typical list for my role, business analyst might look like this: Analyze, define, and document requirements for data, workflow and business processes Develop a strong understanding of the…

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Motivating change

In my last post, I shared an interesting document from WWII, the Simple Sabotage Field Guide. In that post, I focused on the advice that is given for business disruption.  However, there is also an interesting section on motivating saboteurs, aptly called “Motivating the Saboteur,” that I think can be helpful when thinking about innovation in our organizations. This section clearly speaks to the need to treat people like humans and understand that they have intrinsic motivations that are critical.…

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Print your next home

While I know that 3D printing is one of the top disruptive technologies, I’ve struggled to understand its practical applications outside of huge manufacturing companies.  Until…this! 3D printing is making its mark in the housing industry. Believe it or not, there are a few companies exploring building fully autonomous smart homes in a single day using 3D printers.  These homes are modular, off grid and run completely on solar energy. https://3dprint.com/170515/passivdom-3d-printed-house/ This is a truly innovative use for 3D printing…

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Business Sabotage

While researching Agile principles, I came across an interesting historical document.  I wish that I remembered who originally shared it so that I could give them a hat tip since it is one of my favorite examples of how confused our view of work has gotten.  To understand its significance, it is important to give you a brief history lesson.  During World II, the predecessor to the CIA, the OSS, developed a manual to help Allied sympathizers in Axis countries disrupt the…

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Many ask – What do we mean by INNOVATION???

There are many ways to interpret innovation.  I often times get the question…What do you mean by Innovation Initiative?? I must admit that it is hard to explain because it looks different depending on what we are exploring and it is also about thinking differently.  Well, I found this really good video that talks about the many faces of innovation.  It even has a cameo of our own Jim Hartmann and David Ellis!  Take a look, I hope you will find…

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User Design in government innovation

The article below from Wired in 2014 was one of the first articles that got me interested in innovation and it is still one of my favorites.  It showed me how wholesale changes to something as seemingly mundane as parking signs can be made using design principles. Even the simplest topics benefit from getting the input of the customers! I think that there might be something for us to learn in this example when it comes to technology and government.…

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