2014 June


Do you really need to be in trouble to want to change?


In a recent report published by Forbes on “Transformational Change”, the question if you can really drive transformation without the catalyst of facing a crisis is raised. A successful business transformation is defined as more than simply adapting to change: “it means rewriting business models or even reshaping your own industry”. This is what the hardware maker Apple did when you consider the role it played in the birth of the tablet computer industry and the revolution in smartphones; or what IBM did, when it decided to move from manufacturer to service provider. Both transformations were lead by the need to navigate stormy waters and come out of a crisis not only alive but stronger than ever. Why would a company decide to mobilise resources to transform itself and face the unknown when things are going well? We believe that waiting for troubled times before moving towards change might be even riskier. Certainly, getting everyone to engage in a major change can be easier when the survival of the company is at stake and when the alternative to change is a fast and premature death. However, at a time of crisis, the company’s resources are already weakened and the pressure to change might lead to not well-thought through solutions. Indeed, research conducted by Mckinsey shows that what they call “defensive transformations (those undertaken to stem trouble) have lower success rates than progressive ones (launched, for instance, to boost growth or to move from good to great performance)”. Therefore, welcome to the ambition and curiosity to improve the status quo and explore new territory. If you take the time to appreciate what you already have, take stock of your assets and strengths and celebrate your success, it will not do you any harm to capitalise on your strengths and good results to look at what else you could be doing and do even...

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The official book launch


On June 12th, we officially launched Coaching for Innovation in Switzerland (the country where both Maureen and Cristina live) with an event to celebrate the book, the concept, the website and of course, to thank those who had supported us throughout the writing and publication process. We were joined by many of our Test Pilots and endorsers – as well as friends, colleagues and our families – for a lovely evening on the shores of Lake Geneva. It goes without saying that of course we missed all of our supporters and collaborators who could not attend this event – in large part due to the distance involved or busy work schedules. If you read this post, we hope you will know that you were with us in our thoughts. The atmosphere was fun, friendly and naturally a little creative too. In some of our other blog posts listed under “Events” you can find a photo montage of the launch event, take a closer look at the result of our collaborative painting effort and peruse a list of the most creative things our guests had ever done. We thank you all for coming (or for being with us in spirit if not in person) and we look forward to sharing more adventures with you in the future. A very special “thank you” must go to Serena Dignola-Russignan of “La lumière du temps” for her wonderful candles and beautifully colour-coordinated decorative touches which brought a touch of extra glamour to the...

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Collaborative painting at book launch


In the spirit of creativity and innovation, and to celebrate the launch of Coaching for Innovation, we asked guests at our recent launch event  to contribute to a collaborative painting. Material was provided  to enable each person to make their own creative contribution – adding whatever they wished to the canvas as the mood took them. We promised that the  finished product would be photographed and uploaded to the website – so here it is. By the way, team painting is an exercise drawn from Coaching for Innovation.  Part of Building Block 8 in Chapter 9, it can be used as an exercise to strength the creative potential of the...

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What is the most creative thing you have ever done?


This was the question we asked guests at the recent launch event for Coaching for Innovation held in Switzerland (the country where both Maureen and Cristina live). Big, small, inventive, funny, serious – everyone has at one time or another done something creative. People were asked to write a brief description of their creative moment onto a card in order to enter a prize draw  – we had two copies of the book to give away to the lucky winners. With the kind permission of our guests, here are a few of their creative moments to inspire you: “As I was trying to raise funds for a good cause and wanted to have some fun as well, I asked a good friend to cook at my home. I invited people who then had to make a minimal contribution – good fun, very good friends and I raised nearly CHF 10,000.” “Creating light bulb cupcakes.” “During a bad period of my personal life, I was obliged to look deeper into myself and there was a puzzle to be used to build a new me…And I was very creative then…building a new me step by step with help from very interesting people…finally I liked me. I vote for creativity and the courage to change!” “Implementing a mobility plan for an international hub at work, involving all employees, on-boarding leadership and living it by example, using a rewarding culture rather than a must-do culture” “Building Lego from scratch with my son.” “A self-made carnival created as a child when I was nine.” “Doing nothing.” “I made the curtains of my new house before the house was built.” “To ask for creative birthday presents – outings with a smile.” “Two wonderful children.” “Coming from the environmental sector to studying gemmology to become an expert in this new field.” “Adapting Romeo and Juliet to make it approachable to a teenage audience.” “I wanted to leave for six months sabbatical leave. At the same time, my employee had the opportunity to move to the global team. My manager said to me, “Only one of you can leave the team. You can decide who it will be.” Thanks to my out-of-the-box thinking and understanding the real needs and fear of my manager, I found a solution that enabled both of us to go for our dreams. And my manager was happy waiting for me with my job to come back to.” “Leave everything behind to discover the world.” “I invented a new way of talking via Skype with my four and six year old nephews. They would say, “Ask us a question and we will respond...

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