Quality Progress - May 2014 - (Page 44)

INNOVATION IMPERATIVE BY PETER MERRILL Team Sports Tips for building and directing innovation project teams THE SPIKES IN knowledge that have in history in Menlo Park, NJ. During the half, a full back and a number eight. occurred throughout history all have Renaissance 500 years ago, Michelangelo These players, plus myself on the wing, leaders associated with them. The myth did not paint the Sistine Chapel on his were the pivotal positions, and each that surrounds these leaders is they all own. His core team included a dozen person had an equal voice in the team were lone geniuses. In truth, the most diverse and highly skilled artists and strategy. Other people came and went famous leaders worked with teams of engineers working with him. from the team, but over time, we built our critical mass and became a winning highly skilled people but, sadly, history often just gave the leader credit for the Building your team breakthroughs of others. When innovators are tasked with a team. More recently, I was faced with a more project-whether it's an incremental challenging task as the convener of the was a skilled marketer. In his absence, improvement or a radical innovation-the working group writing a new Interna- Apple languished. But the early techni- first and biggest challenge is deciding tional Organization for Standardization cal skill came from co-founder Steve who should be on the team. (ISO) standard. There was a member on Take, for example, Steve Jobs, who Wozniak, and the iPod was really only an adaptation of the existing MP3 player. A hundred years ago, Thomas Edison In reality, you rarely have the luxury of hand picking the perfect team. Most of the time, you must work with what the team who sought a radically different outcome, and it caused some problems. If these problems arise, you could did not invent the light bulb, but he cre- you're given. The job of leaders is to build recourse to someone senior who can ated one of the greatest research teams these "gifts" into a cohesive team. Years mitigate them. But also remember the ago, somebody said to old saying, "Keep your friends close and me, "It's desire-not your enemies closer." You must know ability-that leads to what people seeking different outcomes success." Look at the are thinking and doing, and you also need people you are given and those who agree with you to help bring find the believers. These your ideas to the table and stay focused people are going to on the mission. make up your core team and also provide you the Team needs early win that will bring The way you keep your core team mem- those who may be less bers committed is to give them what they enthusiastic on board. need to do their jobs. When I captained In these early form- the rugby team, what mattered most to ing days, don't worry the team was to never play a man short. about structure. Give If we lost a man on Saturday morning, I people real jobs that would break my back to get a replace- will get them engaged. ment to ensure we never played short. When I first captained a That built loyalty and commitment. Al- rugby team, which has ways ask yourself what your people most 15 members, I had a need to get their jobs done. core group of about six Recently, I also was tasked with build- people-a pack leader, a back leader, the scrum 44 QP * www.qualityprogress.com ing the ASQ Innovation Interest Group. This team is different from those I've led http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - May 2014

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
Catching Fire
Making the Rounds
Plan of Attack
Virtual Voices
Innovation Imperative
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Standards Outlook
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea

Quality Progress - May 2014

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