Richard Hawkes's blog

Creative Tension Is The Source Of Innovation In Teams


Creative tension is the source of innovation in teams. Creative tension is the natural tension created by the tug of war between managing current reality and moving towards a compelling vision of the future. In teams where conflict is not managed in an effective way, creative tension disappears and innovation stops.

In this post, I will share some data from a team and then explain:

  1. Not all innovation is risky.
  2. The source off all innovation is the same -  it is the naturally occurring creative tension between horizontal and vertical perspectives.
  3. Once you understand where innovation comes from you can intentionally design it into your team culture and organizational structure.

Organizational Structure Change Is Required To Reach The Next Level

bigstock-Business-human-resources-manag-19572602As businesses grow, organizational structure change is required to reach the next performance level. Although these changes are predictable, they are rarely easy for top leaders and teams.

This post looks at some predictable organizational changes as businesses grow. And it describes why these changes can be so difficult for top leaders and teams.

Peer Feedback Around Assertiveness, Attentiveness, Authenticity, and Accountability Can Cohere Executive Teams

Feedback Can Stabilize Teams

Peer feedback around authenticity, attentiveness, assertiveness, and accountability can cohere executive teams. And, peer feedback can create the conditions required to clarify roles and align priorities.

My colleagues and I call these four ways-of-being the "four-As". This post is about how to apply the four-As to provide direct developmental feedback to others and to yourself.  

I was recently working with the senior leadership team at a very successful medical device company. Their business was going great. The problem was that the team atmosphere had gotten so bad that even the CEO didn't enjoy working with his team.

During an alignment workshop we had team members give each other direct peer feedback using three of the four-As. As a result, we were able to transform the working atmosphere of the team from de-energizing to energizing...

Merging Teams Faster

Cairo traffic

You are speeding along a highway and then it merges with another highway. What happens? Traffic slows until all of the cars can become integrated using the zipper method.

Merging team cultures and business models works the same way. The speed at which a business is able to develop, sell and deliver products and services to customers slows until the two teams and business models can become aligned and integrated. This post will describe a zipper method for integrating team cultures and business models.

I was recently advising the top leader of a consulting firm, which acquired another consulting firm...