Featured

What Separates the Leading Innovative Companies from the Rest?

Why are some companies continually coming up with new, dynamic products and services, technologies and business models? And, why are others always late to the party? Why do some companies lead with one innovation, and then falter before developing the next? We believe we have some answers for you. At InnovationOne, we have just completed… Read More

Featured

DisruptHR-San Francisco Speakers Announced

The speakers for the San Francisco Bay Area’s first DisruptHR include CEOs, technologists, artificial intelligence experts, human resources thought leaders and others ready to disrupt HR. Are you tired of the same old approach to Human Resources? Are you ready to start talking about talent and technology in a whole new way? Then DisruptHR is for… Read More

Featured

The Biggest Mistake Companies Make with Their Workforce

Many CEOs will tell you that their workforce is their strongest asset. They write mission statements and hang their carefully crafted values on the walls of their entrance lobbies and conference rooms. They profess their commitment to hiring the best employees and offering them great careers. While all this may be great, it’s often just… Read More

Featured

Five Steps to Overcoming Group Think and Solving Problems Innovatively

How do you avoid groupthink, or what psychologists call “functional bias?” My friends in the “big data” and artificial intelligence industry believe the solution is the algorithm. Executive teams often decide whether to accept the “big data” solution to a problem, based on analyzing very large volumes of a wide variety of data, or do… Read More

Featured

IBM Marketing Calls It Quits on Telecommuting. It Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing!

After being a leader in telecommuting, IBM is calling it quits, due to declining revenues.  At least, it’s calling it quits in its marketing organizations in the US and Europe. It feels like a Marissa Mayer step backwards – it is sure to increase turnover, as well as lower morale and productivity. There is a… Read More

Featured

The Secret to Keeping Smart Teams from Failing

Many teams, and especially teams loaded with smart and highly educated people, fail because management and team members do not understand the fundamental differences in communication styles among employees. I learned this lesson up close and personal, working with research and development (R&D) teams in the Aerospace industry. The head of R&D was frustrated with… Read More

Featured

Are You Ready to Disrupt HR?

DisruptHR is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area. Join me on the evening of April 27th at Domenico’s Winery in San Carlos for the rebellious spirit of HR. DisruptHR is an informal exchange designed to energize and inform business and human resources leaders. Are you tired of the same old approach to Human Resources?… Read More

Featured

The Best Talent Strategies to Keep Your Best Employees

The top strategies to improve retention will probably astonish you. More and more companies are struggling with employee retention in the face of an eight-year recovery, low unemployment, and labor shortages. Human Resources can drive company value by implementing retention strategies. First, understand that employee retention requires a talent mindset and takes a comprehensive approach.… Read More

Featured

Seven Strategic Steps HR Can Take to Drive Company Innovation and Profitable Growth!

Human Resources can make significant contributions toward improving a company’s innovation, especially with mature or fast-growth post start-up companies. Human Resources can engineer the organization’s talent management and culture so that it is more innovative, while also maintaining the excellence and reliability of its current operations.  They all are needed to drive today’s profitability. We… Read More

Featured

InnovationOne Founder C. Brooke Dobni, Ph.D. Will Speak and Present a Workshop at ISPIM’s Innovation Forum – Toronto 2017

InnovationOne Founder and Managing Partner, C. Brooke Dobni, Ph.D., will speak and present a workshop at ISPIM’s (The International Society for Professional Innovation Management) Innovation Forum in Toronto, Canada, March 19th to 22nd, 2017. During his Innovation Leadership presentation on Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Dobni (Brooke) will disclose the organizational dimensions of innovation effectiveness and the 12 most… Read More

Featured

Long Commutes Hurt Productivity and Morale. Here is a Better Way…

Are your workers struggling with long commutes that cut into the workday, drain productivity, and drive up costs for your business and for them?  There is a better way. Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the world, based on a study by the transportation analytics firm, INRIX. Last year, the average LA driver wasted… Read More

Featured

The Top Six Benefits Preferred by Millennials!

Many companies are jumping through hoops to come up with quirky benefits to attract skilled millennials. Give it a rest. According to a study published by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, rather than trendy benefits, here is what millennials prefer:[i] Training and Development. Millennials prefer real learning opportunities related to their positions, and they want… Read More

Featured

New Research on When to Use Stretch Goals to Improve the Bottom Line!

When should a company use ambitious, stretch goals (sometimes called “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals” or “BHAGs”), and when is it better to improve incrementally?  New research on goal setting is providing important guidance that can significantly improve a company’s bottom line, increase innovation, and perhaps save its very existence. Let’s be clear, goal setting improves… Read More

Featured

Eight Steps from Neuroscience that Will Improve Employee Engagement and Productivity!

Researchers, such as Gallop, have demonstrated the economic benefits of improving employee engagement, including higher productivity, better quality products and increased profitability.[i] Since the early 2000s, however, the empirical evidence has shown that the overall level of employee engagement in the United States, and around the world, has not increased. While many leaders believe in… Read More

Featured

The Corporate Diversity Movement Got It Wrong. The Key is Common Focus, Discomfort and Conflict!

If you lead a global company with demanding customers that is fast paced, facing frequent change, and requiring innovation, you need more discomfort and conflict.  For that, you need a diverse, global and inclusive workforce.  Studies show that type of workforce is worth the investment. (More on that below). The diversity movement in corporations, however,… Read More

Featured

Six Steps that Enable Virtual Teams to Outperform Co-located Teams

MIT researchers found that there are three characteristics that allow virtual teams to outperform co-located teams. The three characteristics are: having team members who communicate effectively, participate equally, and are good at reading emotions. They also found that having women on teams helps because women, on average, are better than men at reading facial expressions,… Read More

Featured

To Rate or Not to Rate. That is the Performance Management Question.

Although it has obvious benefits for aligning, motivating and developing an organization’s workforce, performance management is the most hated of human resource processes. If not done well, it interferes with the relationships between managers and employees. Performance management is often bureaucratic and time consuming, with long forms to complete and 360-degree feedback to collect. In… Read More

Featured

Live Webinar – The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Fixing Performance Management

Over the past decade, the HR industry has seen big changes in performance management. HR professionals no longer abide by the philosophy of “up or out.” This outdated philosophy calls for the removal of the bottom 10% of employees annually then focusing development and rewards on a company’s high potentials. Instead, companies are moving to… Read More

Featured

Seven Mistakes Companies Make When Trying to Retain Employees

Companies operating in the United States face a tight labor market. Having strategies in place to retain employees is vital. If you believe you can provide a counter offer to an employee on the day she or he presents you with a resignation letter, that is a big mistake. It is already too late! Research… Read More

Featured

What Performance Appraisals Are Really About…

When I met with my former Italian human resources director, which often was over dinner, he would frequently tell me, “In Italia, dinner is about the relationship.  Not the food.” I responded, “You have me fooled. This food and wine are great!” He was right, of course. When food and wine are extraordinary, as they… Read More

Featured

The One Step All Leaders Should Take to Drive Results!

The one step that all leaders can take to drive results is supported by mom and empirical research.  It is simple and straight forward. Even a five-year-old can do it. Say “thank you.” When employees are recognized and thanked by their leaders, it significantly raises their sense of achievement, engages them, and reinforces the behavior… Read More

Featured

Seven Mistakes New Leaders Make

I have worked with new leaders for over 25 years. Some make smooth transitions to leadership, but for many others, it is a rocky transition. Here are seven mistakes new leaders make and how to overcome them: Keep on doing exactly what got them there. Wrong. Most employees are first noticed as leaders by being… Read More

Featured

Five Mistakes Companies Make with Onboarding

Many companies ignore an awesome opportunity to dramatically improve employee performance and engagement, as well as contributions to the bottom line, during the first week of their employment. While many companies provide a comprehensive overview of the company’s mission and strategies and use human resources technology platforms to gather payroll and compliance information and enroll… Read More

Featured

Six Traits of Highly Innovative Companies

Companies often contact us at InnovationOne because their long-range financial forecasts are on a southbound train. Or, they are facing fierce competition from industry disruptors that have a new technology, newly applied technology in their industry, or a better business model. Sometimes their innovation projects have not produced tangible results. Or, they tried a new,… Read More

Featured

The Secret to Improving Recruiting Success

I have turned around the recruiting functions of several organizations in my career, and then rapidly hired hundreds of workers. While branding, interviewing skills, career fairs, astute competency identification, assessments, wise use of social media, and skill/ job matching software were all important, they weren’t the real secret of my success. My success was due… Read More

Featured

Studies Show that Open Offices Negatively Impact Employees and Productivity

Many studies, including ones conducted by the manufacturers that sell office furniture used for open offices, have shown that open floor plans hurt productivity and dampen employee morale. And, contrary to what was first thought, they are not the panacea for promoting collaboration. The pitfalls of open office spaces have been known for some time… Read More

Featured

Wells Fargo ignored early signals of cultural breakdown!

Wells Fargo’s CEO, John Stumpf, defiantly told congressional investigators that, despite a multi-year scandal and $185 million fine, the bank did not have a culture problem.[i] But, when 5,300 employees are fired for a five-year pattern of stealing private records, you have more than a culture problem. You have a problem with executive leadership. You… Read More

Featured

Big Changes in Performance Management! Are You Keeping Up?

Over the past decade, we have seen big changes in performance management. The trend continues. Out is the philosophy of “up or out,” take out the bottom 10% of employees annually, and only focus development and rewards on your high potentials. Instead, companies are moving to the philosophy of constant performance and development feedback. They… Read More

Featured

Big Companies Can Be Innovative Too!

If you read the business press, you might believe that only start-ups can be innovative.  Start-ups certainly have the advantage of agility, focus and speed. Without the burden of ongoing operations, customer relations, and Wall Street investors to manage, they can focus all of their attention on innovation. Large companies can also be extraordinarily successful… Read More

Featured

Secrets to Creating an Exciting Employee Experience!

Employers who want to get higher levels of discretionary effort from their employees and all the awesome side effects that come along with it, such as higher morale, loyalty, productivity and innovation, need to face reality. Achieving higher employee effort doesn’t come from doing the same old, same old, or what has become habit. Instead,… Read More

Featured

Breaking Through the Employee Engagement Ceiling

Gallup’s insightful State of the Global Workforce reports have galvanized interest among executives about the value of employee engagement. Ever since Gallup began to measure employee engagement in 2000, however, the needle hasn’t moved much. Starting with Gallup’s first report, actively engaged employee scores have ranged from 13% to 20% and disengaged employee scores have… Read More

Featured

Recent Acquisitions Signal the New Era for Recruiting!

The announcement last week that Monster Worldwide will be acquired (pending approval) by Netherlands based Randstad Holdings heralds the new age of recruiting. “Post and prey” is out. What’s in is direct recruiting, creating communities of interest, specialized job boards, mobile apps, and new candidate/company matching technologies which work like dating apps! Monster changed the… Read More

Featured

Women in the Workforce: What Decade is This?

It has been an extraordinary week for news about women in the workforce, with events that make me wonder if this is the 1970s, or closer to 2020. On Monday, I was aghast to hear comments from Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump when asked what he thought his daughter Ivanka should do if faced with… Read More

Featured

What Does 80% of the U.S. Workforce Want?

A pay raise? A compliment from the boss? The answer may surprise you – 80 to 90% of the workforce wants to be telecommuters.[i] And why not? As telecommuters, workers are typically more productive, have higher morale, save commuting costs, and have more flexibility for work/life integration.[ii] What is in it for management and investors?… Read More

Featured

CEOs Can Have It All: Great Financial Performance and Innovation!

Innovation remains a continuing concern for CEOs. Highly innovative companies, such as Tesla, Salesforce.com, and Alexion Pharmaceuticals, garner the admiration of others. Many executives, however, tell me that their CEOs resist taking steps to improve innovation for fear that their organizations will lose focus on current operations and miss their financial goals. Becoming a highly… Read More

Featured

It’s Mid-Year. Are Your Talent Management Strategies Leading to Improved Business Results?

Organizations that have comprehensive talent management strategies benefit from exciting work environments, higher performing, innovative employees, and top-tier financial success. So, halfway through the year, how are your talent management strategies working out?  Are they accelerating the profitable growth of your business?  What are your predictive measures telling you? Just as the different elements of… Read More

Featured

Employers Need to Brace For a Tight Labor Force and Higher Wages!

Buried in the news of robust U.S. job growth in June (287,000 jobs added) is that pay has risen at the fastest annual rate since 2009 (2.6%). Also, the labor market has tightened. The shoe has shifted to the other foot – it’s an employees’ job market!  Smart employers will adjust their talent management policies… Read More

Featured

Old Fashion Collaboration Still Powers Innovation at 3M!

I recently had the opportunity to mix with dozens of 3Mers at The Conference Board’s 4th Annual Master Class on Innovation, held at the 3M Innovation Center in Maplewood, MN. 3M has a long, glorious history of innovation and is famed for its culture of allowing employees to spend 15% of their time on innovation.… Read More

Featured

Learning & Development’s Role in Innovation!

Innovation continues to be a hot topic with CEOs. According to Mike Maddox, founder and CEO of Maddock Douglas, 84 percent of CEOs believe they need to improve innovation within their companies. We have found that creating an organizational culture of innovation is the foundation for sustaining ongoing innovation within a company, maintaining a competitive… Read More

Featured

Does hiring for “cultural fit” really work?

Lately, I have received many questions regarding whether hiring for “cultural fit” works. Or, is hiring for “fit” the lazy way to hire?  Even worse, does it lead to discrimination in hiring decisions? Hiring for “cultural fit” began in the 1980s with companies such as Southwest Airlines. Southwest decided to hire staff that would be… Read More

Featured

The worst kept secret in talent management

What’s the worst kept secret in talent management? It’s the fact that annual performance evaluations with ratings are subjective, demotivating, destroy collaboration and innovation, and are time consuming. Ultimately, they do little to motivate, align and improve the performance and innovation of employees. Despite recent research and the fact that many well-regarded companies have abandoned… Read More

Featured

Strategy is Leadership! Strategy is Innovation! The advice of 10 experts on innovation.

In a world of constant change, technology breakthroughs, and globalization, company strategies need constant redefinition. This is the advice of Vijay Govindarajan, known as “VG” and the author of The Three Box Solution, speaking to the audience of the Front End of Innovation Conference last week in Boston. VG said executives need to avoid the… Read More

Featured

Incomplete science has shrunk learning organizations. Time for a comeback.

If you listen to some of the pundits or review the marketing materials of technology platforms that offer instant on-line learning, you could come to the conclusion that there is no need for organizational learning. I couldn’t disagree more. In today’s tight U.S. labor market, executives are increasingly concerned about how to retain employees, increase… Read More

Featured

Here’s How to Make Open Innovation Work!

The term “open innovation” was coined by University of California, Berkeley, professor Henry Chesbrough when he authored a book with the same title.  According to Professor Chesbrough, “Open innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectfully. [It] assumes… Read More

Featured

Can You Fix a Broken Business Culture?

Or is it nearly impossible? Instead, should you just focus on fixing your business, and the rest will follow? These are the questions raised by a recent Harvard Business Review article by Harvard Professor Louis E. Kirstein and research associate Emily McTague.[i] After conducting interviews with excellent CEO’s, including Doug Baker, CEO of Ecolab, Richard… Read More

Featured

Four Proven Recruiting Strategies for High Flying Labor Markets!

Various industries, including: high tech, trucking, accounting, and STEM, are reporting difficult times with recruiting. There just isn’t enough good talent available! The good news is the U.S. labor force has historical low participation rates. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the March U.S. work participation rate was 63%,[i] far below the highest participation… Read More

Featured

What Happens When Companies Nix Performance Ratings?

For a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, the NeuroLeadership Institute published its analysis of what happened when 33 large companies removed their performance ratings.[i] Here are their findings: The frequency of manager-employee conversations increases dramatically. I totally get this one. I have observed this significant change while working with companies to update their… Read More

Featured

Be Strategic About Changes to Performance Management!

It’s a stampeding herd! Companies large and small are significantly changing or eliminating their performance management systems. In one conservative estimate from the Conference Executive Board, approximately six percent of Fortune 500 organizations have replaced traditional performance appraisals. Bersin by Deloitte estimates that 70 percent of companies are planning to make changes. Companies such as… Read More

Featured

Latest research and best practices on innovation revealed at ISPIM in Boston.

Should innovation be its own profession in large organizations? Can pharmaceutical, biotech and green tech innovation occur without incubators? How do companies continually renew themselves in our fast changing, fourth industrial revolution[i]? Is the triple Helix for innovation really a quintuple Helix? What are the drivers and tools of an innovation culture? These discussions and… Read More

Featured

What Inspires Employees to Think Like Owners?

Does your executive leadership team want an engaged workforce that provides discretionary effort, makes valuable innovative suggestions, and surpasses their goals – one that acts and feels like owners? If you do, I suggest that you implement the following employee engagement practices. Engagement interviews. Teach your managers to ask each employee what they like and… Read More