Needs Assessment as a Learning Tool: Three Findings

Needs assessment can be used to determine what factors are causing a problem. Can it also be used to improve organizational learning? With my colleague, Dr. Denise Cumberland, I was involved in a project that sought to understand if needs assessment could be used as an organizational learning tool, in addition to identifying causes of a problem.  We worked with a Fortune 200 quick service restaurant chain and their “broken” new product development process.  Data were gathered from multiple stakeholder groups using interviews and a survey questionnaire. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design,… Read More

Eight Areas to Rethink in U.S. Higher Education

I just finished reading The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out, written by Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring (2011).  Christensen is the noted expert on innovation from Harvard Business School. The basic premise of the book is that higher institutions education in the U.S. have attempted to emulate the model of Harvard, with several distinctive and very expensive features.  Colleges and universities have developed cost models that are unsustainable and most need to re-evaluate their practice and consider adoption of new models in order to be… Read More

Four Principles in Educating For Diversity-Related Change

How do public sector employees successfully seek LGBT-friendly changes in their workplaces?  I conducted a case study of a 20-year effort to attain domestic partner benefits in one large state university system.  The public sector has always lagged behind large private sector employers in offering employee benefits and other policies that are equitable for LGBT people. Part of that study looked at how employees educated the public, state officials, other employees, administrators, and board members to support the changes. The four most relevant findings for others seeking such changes in public sector organizations… Read More

Coworking…Telecommuting 2.0?

As telecommuting has become a fixture in many workplaces, some have started to look for alternatives.  There’s a yearning for somewhat regular face-to-face interaction and a need for spaces that foster creativity and idea sharing. Traditionally, such sharing has been spawned through chance encounters at the “water cooler,” talking in the hall, or talking in the breakroom.  Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and… Read More

Five Barriers to Knowledge Sharing in Franchising Organizations

The flow or transfer of knowledge is critical in a decentralized franchisee organization.  In these organizations, innovation often happens at the local, franchisee level.  Tacit knowledge is the informal implicit knowledge Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and strategic planning, group facilitation and action planning, and program and initiative development.  More… http://rodgithens.com

Mindfullness as Leadership Development Approach: Four Key Principles

Polly LaBarre writes in the Harvard Business Review Blog about a leadership development program that brings about organization change by transforming “the hearts and minds of people” rather than “changing systems and processes.” This program, from biotech firm Genentech, utilizes four principles Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and strategic planning, group facilitation and action planning, and program and initiative development.  More… http://rodgithens.com