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My thesis is a book!

At the moment my hallway is full of boxes. Each of them containing 15 dissertations. It was a great experience to finally being able to 'touch' the text, and to send it to my dear colleagues, family and friends. And, finally, I could admire the end result of the cover made by my friend and artist Mai Marie Choon Dijksma. It is actually a modern interpretation of the 'see-throughs' of old Dutch painters such as Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hoogh. An electronic version of my dissertation Learning to innovate can be found under 'articles' on this website.   


Blogging practices of knowledge workers

Weblogs of knowledge workers could contribute to establish new relationships and to the development of new ideas in organizations. This is one of the findings of researcher Lilia Efimova who will defend her dissertation entitled 'Passion at work: blogging practices of knowledge workers' this afternoon. She focused in her research on the blogging of knowledge workers. Knowledge workers are not likely to conform to existing power structures. Rather they use their own network to keep informed and to get things done. Weblogs turned out to have an important role in this.

Read more:


Database with tools and reference material

Browsing the internet in search for articles on the use of critical friends, I came across this great website from ICVET. This group promotes new ideas and practice in teaching and learning. You can find numerous topics: from appreciative inquiry, action research and evaluation to workplace learning and working with groups. For every topic they give a short introduction, a selection of related websites and articles. These links contain practical tools, ideas for ways of working (see for instance this list of 'icebreakers').You can access the A-Z-resources via this url: http://www.icvet.tafensw.edu.au/resources/index.htm.
Enjoy!


Rethinking our educational system

My colleague drew my attention to this video. Creativity expert Ken Robinson challenges the way our educational system is set up. He makes a plea to change our system in such a way that it provokes creativity, rather than kill it. His talk makes you aware of some of these strange things embedded in our educational system. For instance, says Ken Robinson, we tend to see our body primarily as a form of transport for our heads. And what to think of the story in which a doctor needs to tell the mother of a small girl that couldn't sit still at school "Your daughter isn't sick, she's a dancer. Take her to a dancing school)". This talk is on the website www.ted.com, a site with a rich collection of inspiring video's by 'the world's greatest thinkers and doers'. 
 


From fairytales to spherecards: Towards a new research methodology for improving knowledge productivity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Forum Qualitative Social research-journal, (one of the online open-access journals) has published our article! We, that means me and some of my research-practice-colleages, are very proud of this new and unusual publication in this noteworthy journal. It is a contribution to the special issue on performative social science in which we give a new perspective on the collaboration between research and practice. In our article we combine a solid foundation on the basis of literature with msn-conversations, pictures, lively examples of innovative research methods, and we develop a new model that presents a connection cycle. The model puts into words the stages of co-production that researchers and practitioners go through when collaborating with the aim to be knowledge productive. The model connects the learning cycles of both researchers and practitioners. There are six stages of co-production: 1) curiosity, 2) approach, 3) experience, 4) ideas, 5) knowledge creation, and 6) knowledge productivity. Enjoy reading the article!


Shop assistants as innovators

Later this week my I will present a paper on shop assistants as innovators. I will do this together with my colleagues Tjip de Jong and Joseph Kessels at the HRD conference in Lille. In this paper we critically examine three assumptions on which activities in traditional change processes are commonly based, and we propose an alternative approach. This new approach has three starting points:

  • We consider the supermarket staff as knowledge workers
  • Knowledge workers have an important role in developing innovations during their work.
  • Instead of imposing an intended change as if it were completely new management should look for 'seeds' or successful examples.

We conducted action research in 17 supermarkets. That means that we worked in the shops, talked with the employees, sat in the canteen. One of the things that we found was that there are three types of supermarkets: one organised as a family; one organised as a student house, and one organised as a firm. Each of these types has different qualities. From the research it revealed that it is necessary to allow for diversity; that ownership and entrepreneurship contribute more to change than discipline and obedience; and that the specific role and capability of the manager seems to be crucial. Staff needs to develop competencies that match their own ability and interests in order to successfully innovate in the supermarket. In order to become innovative shop employees should be granted the authority to engage in knowledge work. In the supermarkets that we visited during the research, we found various interventions that could support the development of ownership and entrepreneurship of the supermarket staff. I've attached the paper to this entry. 


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Paper on the descriptive quality of the 11 design principles

Do the eleven design principles for knowledge productivity work as descriptive principles? That's what the paper I've written with my colleague Joseph Kessels is about. One of the conclusions is that the design principles do not help you in designing the process in your innovation project just like a map helps you to design a route from Amsterdam to Lille. We found that the design principles do not work as prescriptive rules that in a specific combination, applied to a predefined situation, will result in certain effects. However, the design principles each offer a new perspective on the innovation practice you are working on. This new perspective helps to get new ideas for interventions. After the design of these interventions it is mainly the facilitator who has an important role in making it a success. If he sees opportunities and is capable, then he can use the interventions to create breakthroughs in the innovation practice.

We've submitted the paper for the 9th HRD conference in Lille. The conference takes place 21-23 May. We'll be there!

 


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Quiet Leadership

David Rock says in his book Quiet Leadership that leaders who want to improve their employee’s performance should improve their employees thinking instead of telling them what to do. Rock offers a six-step guide, the dialogues he offers as examples throughout the book make this approach very concrete. And they offer handles to start conversations like these yourself:

 

  • Step 1: think about thinking (Paul says to Sally: "I really don't know how to lift our sales right now". Sally then does what most managers do, and says: "It's important to get our sales moving so we hit our targets. I think you need to get more focused and put more time into this, the deadline is coming up fast". Here Sally is trying to help Paul to perform better by telling Paul what to do. In another approach where Paul would do more of the thinking, Sally could ask: "How can I best help you think this through?" and "When you say you're not sure about the project, which part of this do you want to discuss with me?" p. 37)
    Here it is also important to focus on solutions instead of problems. In relation to this Rock introduces an interesting distinction: "Why versus Learning". He says that questions with the word 'why' in it usually do not lead to learning, the lead to reasons and justifications. Learning questions sound different. The why-question 'why did this happen?' has a learning-question equivalent: 'what do you want to achieve here?'.
  • Step 2: listen for potential. And that means that you concentrate on not listening for opportunities to sound intelligent, not listening to get information you want, and even not listening to see how you can help.
  • Step 3: speak with intent. That means: be succinct (express yourself compact and don’t waste words), be specific and be generous. In this chapter the author also shares his way of dealing with digital communications in his own company. They have several rules for sending emails: Use emails for exchanging information; if emails are longer than one screen, delete the email and email an agenda instead and use mail to schedule a phone call. Never send an email that could emotionally affect another person unless it’s pure positive feedback.
  • Step 4: dance toward insight
  • Step 5: CREATE New Thinking
  • Step 6: Follow up

What I like about the book is its starting point that we can’t think for others and that therefore good managers don’t offer solutions but rather help their people think. The dialogues he uses to illustrate this approach make it a very useful book.

Rock, D. (2006). Quiet leadership, six steps to transforming performance at work. New York: Harper Collins.


PhD research on knowledge productivity

Yesterday I attended the defense of Christiaan Stam's PhD-thesis 'Knowledge productivity, designing and testing a method to diagnose knowledge productivity and plan for enhancement'. The subject of his research is very much related to mine (knowledge productivity!) and I've read it with great interest. He combines two perspectives on knowledge productivity: a process perspective and an output perspective. The research has resulted in the design of a participative method to support organisations in diagnosing their knowledge productivity and ways for enhancing that. His work not only contributes to the further conceptual elaboration of the concept of knowledge productivity and the corporate curriculum, it also offers a very thorough design based research approach (including alpha and beta-testing!). The complete dissertation is online available via his website on intellectual capital (a website about intellectual capital that distributes a complete dissertation has indeed a very unusual approach to intellectual capital!).


Research on the transfer of the ability to innovate

Kirsti Booijink has finished her master thesis! She has examined the way the ability to innovate that people acquire by participating in innovation practices is transferred to the day-to-day work environment. She has done the research in the context of Habiforum and has studied several of their 'pilot projects' (in Dutch: 'proeftuinen'). One of her findings is that the application in the day-to-day work environment of abilities, acquired in the pilot project, is influenced by a 'layer' consisting of people around the individual. These people, in what Booijink calls a membrane, facilitate the others to use their abilities. The membrane gives them the freedom to experiment, to apply new skills, and to make mistakes. I find this idea of a membrane striking: organisations themselves seem not able to offer a stimulating context for innovation. It works better when we organise pilot projects (with a way of working that is completely different from the way of working in the day-to-day work environment), and then, in order to transfer, we need a membrane, in order to have the freedom to experiment and make mistakes. This gives the impression that innovation takes place rather in spite of organisations rather than thanks to them. Wouldn't it be an interesting perspective to see if we could design organisations as pilot projects (proeftuinen or innovation practices)...? Download the research report of this study (in Dutch!).


The innovation value chain

My colleague Cees Sprenger gave me an article by Morten Hansen and Julian Birkinshaw on the innovation value chain (the HBR-article was translated for the Dutch HMR. Their article is based on findings of five large research projects on innovation they undertook the last ten years. They say that:

  • … organisations that want to be better at innovation, too often start with idea generation and plan one of those brainstorm-sessions. Whereas, they say, the problem is often not generating good ideas but rather bringing them further. Therefore they propose a value chain consisting of three phases: idea generation, idea conversion, and idea diffusion.
  • … organisations cannot allow themselves to be active only at one phase of the value chain. They should be aware of the whole process. It is not about generating as much ideas as you can but about connecting the ideas to further development and to the outside world.
  • … organisations need to focus on the weakest link in the value chain instead of the strongest (as they quite often do). The authors offer all kinds of attractive ways to work on these weakest links (like building safe havens for emerging concepts).

Some of my reflections:

  • Focussing on the weakest link runs counter to the idea of working from strengths. I think where the two meet, is in the individual. The organisation’s policy or culture might be pointed at one or two stages of the value chain, but I believe that the individuals represent the whole value chain. Some people like generating ideas, others like to think of ways to make an idea work. So it is not so much focussing at your weakest link but rather looking for the individuals that are passionate about the phase of innovation the organisation itself is not naturally working on.
  • The focus of their article lies on product innovation. A product is something that can literally be distributed. How would the situation differ in organisations whose primary ‘product’ for their customers consists of services (see for instance the PhD research of Anna van Poucke (2005), she looked at knowledge intensive service firms and divides the innovation process into three phases: Idea generation, Crystallization, and Evolution). A service is not something that can be literally distributed.

References:

  • Hansen, M.T., Birkinshaw, J. (2007). The Innovation Value Chain, Harvard Business Review, 85 (6), 121-130.
  • Van Poucke, A. B. M. (2005). Towards radical innovation in knowledge-intensive service firms. Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam.

Christopher Alexander's pattern language

Patterns again... Somehow a recurring theme in my blogposts... One of the people I work with in my research (respondent&sparring partner!)drew my attention to the work of Christopher Alexander. 'A pattern language' is the second in a series of books that describe an entirely new attitude towards architecture and planning. The book contains over 200 patterns. Each pattern describes a problem "which occurs over and over again in our environment", and besides the problem it describes the solution to that problem. The patterns are concerned with towns, buildings, and construction. every pattern is described in the same format, and most of them are illustrated with tiny drawings that only add to the can-not-stop-reading-effect of the book.

What I find inspiring is both the way he has described his research findings (in patterns that are so practical that they even help to design your own living room) and the content of the patterns. Let me give some examples:

Pattern no 94. Sleeping in public: "It is a mark of success in a park, public lobby or a porch, when people can come there and fall asleep". Therefore "keep the environment filled with ample benches, comfortable places, corners to sit on the ground, or lie in comfort in the sand".

Pattern no 84. Teen-age society: "Teenage is the time of passage between childhood and adulthood. In traditional societies, this passage is accompanied by rites which suit the psychological demands of the transition. But in modern society the 'high school' fails entirely to provide this passage". Therefore "provide adult guidance, both for the learning and the social structure of the society; but keep them as far as feasible, in the hands of the students".

Pattern no 180. Window place: "everybody loves window seats, bay windows, and big windows with low sills and comfortable chairs drawn up to them". Therefore: "In every room where you spend any length of time during the day, make at least one window into a 'window place'".

Pattern no 18. Networks of learning: "In a society which emphasizes teaching, children and students-and adults- become passive and unable to think or act for themselves. Creative active individuals can only grow up in a society which emphasizes learning instead of teaching". Therefore: "instead of lock-step of compulsary schooling in a fixed flace, work in piecemeal ways to decentralize the process of learning and enrich it through contact with many places and people all over the city: workshops, teachers at home or walking through the city".

I understood that at the time this book was published, not everybody was as happy with it as I am now. Architects felt threatened a bit: this book made urban planning accessible for non-professionals. And even more than that: Alexander's view relies on the idea that people know more than they can tell (Polanyi!) his patterns give people the handles to rely on this tacit knowledge. It helps them to recognise it and use it.

Read more:


Appreciative Inquiry Links

 

 

 

My last post before Marloes and I leave for Copenhagen (ECCI-conference on creativity and innovation) on sunday! My colleagues who went to the AI-conference in Florida collected some nice links... Here they are:

 


Bridging the gap between academic reserach and practical problems

Some months ago I wrote something on the 'knowledge paradox' (the phenomenon that knowledge created by scientific research does not lead to economic activity in practice). I then said that "transferral will not help us in overcoming the knowledge paradox. It is more productive for science to connect to the developments in practice and to make joint efforts (researchers and practitioners) to reach a state of innovation". A colleague from the University of Twente gave me this interesting article on the subject: Knowledge for theory and practice, written by Andrew van de Ven and Paul Johnson (2006). This well written article on the growing concerns that academic research has become less useful for solving practical problems, offers an appealing perspective on the issue. They state that there are three ways in which the gap between theory and practice has been framed. Traditionally the gap was seen as a knowledge transfer problem (originating in the assumption that practical knowledge derives (at least in part) from research knowledge). A second approach they describe views knowledge of theory and practice as distinct kinds of knowledge. After reviewing the problems and assumptions of these two approaches, they come up with a third: a method of engaged scholarship in which researchers and practitioners coproduce knowledge that can advance theory and practice in a given domain. Van de Ven and Johnson view engaged scholarship as a means of creating the kind of knowledge that is needed to bridge the gap. Past literature has focused on the relevance and use of academic research for practice. The authors of this article however believe that researchers and practitioners should leverage their different perspectives to develop knowledge about a complex problem. How does this kind of problem look like? According to the authors, a good indicator of a big question is "its self evident capability to motivate the attention and enthusiasm of scholars and practitioners alike". So it needs to be something both parties are curious for. Interesting aspect of their argument is that Van de Ven and Johnson do not believe engaged scholarship to cause scholars to conduct more applied than basic research. I was very happy reading this article, I recognise what my colleagues and me try to do in our work. And at the same time I realised that a lot of work needs to be done in order to make this kind of research accepted in academia.

* Van de Ven, A. H., & Johnson, P. E. (2006). Knowledge for theory and practice. Academy of management review, 31(4), 802-821.


Blog on the appreciative approach

My colleagues started this superblog (in Dutch!) on the appreciative approach: learning by appreciating (leren door waarderen). The foundations for Appreciative inquiry can be found in positive psychology. Positive psychology set in in the 90s with Martin Seligman as one of its founders. Before then, psychology was pointed towards pathology, and curing mental illnesses. The focus of positive psychology, in contrast, lies on identifying and nurturing talent. The school of positive psychology becomes popular in various areas like organisation development (Cameron, Dutton, & Quinn, 2003), evaluation research (Preskill & Coghlan, 2003) and in thinking about organisational change (Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2003). Although this way of thinking became popular only recently, it is built on concepts that have been proven earlier to play an important role in the learning process such as self-efficacy. On their blog my colleagues collect examples of the appreciative approach, interesting articles, tools and instruments.


The Inovativeness of Chinese CEO’s

People sometimes ask to what extent my research results are applicable to organisations and countries other than the ones I’ve studied. In 'East meets West', a report that is just out, I found some relevant examples. This report offers the results of a study conducted by Hay Group over the course of eighteen months in thirty-seven Chinese organisations. The study was comprised of in-depth interviews and surveys of CEO’s and their direct reports.

They found that:

  • Chinese leaders have a great sense of social responsibility that helps them attain positive business results.
  • Chinese CEO’s are not only diligent in their goal of advancing society and their business relationships, but they are also eager to improve upon themselves. They have the ability and an appetite for continuous self-improvement. (Here I see a clear link with the eleventh design principle: developing competencies).
  • Chinese leaders strive to build win-win relationships. For this reason, Western competitors may find many opportunities to develop mutually beneficial relationships (this, in fact, might aid in innovation, according to the fifth design principle).

With respect to innovation, the study states that the Chinese can no longer rely on their highly developed skills as adaptors and employ a low cost, mass market 'read sea' model. This will not make them a strong player in international markets in the long term. Anticipating this, the Chinese already aspire to a new 'blue ocean strategy' based on quality, innovation or other differentiating characteristics.

The Chinese are not very focused on markets and consumer needs and therefore they are not likely to seek new data concerning consumers’ needs or new trends. However, the seeking of new information is crucial to the process of innovation so there clearly is a need for Chinese CEO’s to look for new ways attaining this innovation. Hay Group's researchers suggest that the Chinese CEO’s could use their sense of social responsibility as an impulse for innovation so as to produce market driven innovation.

Read more:


Making pictures in front of a mirror

'Reflection' (painting by Baldin)

'Making pictures in front of a mirror' is the title of Inge Damen's dissertation. It came to my notice via Wilfred Ruben's blog on technology-enhanced-learning. I believe this research that explores how reflection works to be highly valuable, especially as we tend to attribute much merit to the process of reflection without knowing exactly how the process works.

The research was inspired by the observation that self-managing teams are said to be successful because of reflection practices (see for instance M. Schippers who has done research work on reflexivity in teams). Damen wants to look beyond the merits usually attributed to reflection, and goes on to answer the question: what cognitive effort does reflection involve and how does it manifest itself in (group) learning settings? She used literature, observations, interviews and surveys to ascertain what processes underlie reflection in organisational contexts. Her findings comprise:

  • Reflection is questioning to disclose paradoxes, such as circular logic.
  • She found six congnitive aspects inherent to questioning: 1. it is based on the willingness to do effortful thinking, 2. it is provoked by a challenging event or task, 3. it touches upon the nature of knowledge and the act of knowing, 4. it examines the combination of premises that constitute argumentation (logic), 5. it addresses strategies for problem solving (heuristics), 6. it differentiates between types of cognitive processing on the basis of the effort needed.
  • Having found these factors, she defines reflection as a tendency to distinguish between subjective and objective realities and exceed one's own frame of reference by questioning the coherence of argumentation.
  • Individual reflection has a positive effect on cognitive complexity and on the self-conciousness of the individual. This kind of reflection is found to be highest among people with a high need for cognition and who are open to new experiences.
  • Reflection in social interaction positively influences group cognitive complexity and it indirectly influences satisfaction within the group. This kind of reflection is highest when the composition of argumentation is made explicit among group members.

Read more:

  • ScienceGuide writes about this dissertation
  • Wilfred Rubens writes about it on his blog
  • The dissertation itself: Damen, I. (2007). Making pictures in front of a mirror. A cognitive perspective on reflection in learning. Dissertation Tilburg University.
  • The painter Baldin whose painting 'reflection' (see picture above) is on the dissertation's cover

On pattern recognition

patternOne of my passions is making categories (that's why I think I’m always busy doing some sort of research). Recently I bought a great book on pattern recognition: 'Behaviour patterns of people and organisations' (Gedragspatronen van mensen en organisaties) by Rudy Vandamme. In his book he describes the origin of patterns in different disciplines (such as construction, IT, anthropology, etc…) and categorises different patterns (patterns based on repetition, patterns based on connection and patterns based on coherence) offering concrete tips on the process of recognising and changing patterns.
Some years ago, being busy with my Master-thesis, I was very much inspired by the guidelines Merriam (1988) set for qualitative research, especially those she gave for identifying patterns in data sets. Later on, when reading Glaser and Strauss's ideas (1976) on grounded theory, my passion developed further. The way these authors describe the process of categorisation, in plain terms, struck me. Merriam (1988: 134) writes about categorisation as if it were cooking:

  1. Select the first card from the pile, read it, and note its contents. This first card represents the first entry in the first yet-to-be-named category. Place it to one side.
  2. Select the second card, read it and note its contents. Make a determination on tacit or intuitive grounds whether this second card is a "look-alike" with Card 1, that is, whether its contents are "essentially" similar. If so, place the second card with the first and proceed to the third card; if not, the second card represents the first entry in the second yet-to-be-named category.
  3. Continue on with successive cards.
  4. After some cards have been processed the analyst may feel that a new card neither fits any of the provisionally established categories nor seems to form a new category. Other cards may now also be recognised as possibly irrelevant to the developing set. These cards should be placed into a miscellaneous pile and they should be retained for later review.

The book Rudy Vandamme has written is completely different from the abovementioned books but for me really contributes to my love of patterns. His text is not about tracing patterns in a pile of data, rather his book is about recognising patterns in real life, whether while talking to people or while visiting organisations. For him working with patterns is not something you would do alone. To him it occurs as something you would typically do during social interactions, as one speaks with people, and calling on all the five senses. Where Merriam describes the need to determine whether cards are "look-alike's" or "feel-alike's", Vandamme describes how exactly this works and what one could do within the interaction to become more sensitive and aware. He offers helpful questions and tips on how to confront people with a pattern you've seen and that you want to investigate.
Some tips Vandamme gives for summarising:

  • Be careful with anecdotal details. These can be very important or conversely, not important at all . You don't know that at the outset..
  • Bring in structure. When you repeat, do it in a structured way. Enumerate either the distinguishing marks of the example or sum up the sequence . The structure you add here will help in later stages in making a strong comparison.
  • Give every example a name. Use a name that connects to the example content-wise.
  • Make a mental image or film of the things the other person is telling you. This helps understand behaviour from the inside.
  • Be careful with conclusions based on one or two examples. Stay with the facts, even when you've made a hypothesis about the similarity of the examples.
  • Check with the other partner to verify that your summary has been well-done, letting him or her make corrections.

This book, with lots of concrete tips for recognising patterns, is not only instructive for researchers but for managers, coaches, therapists, teachers, consultants etc… as well.

References:
Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1976). De ontwikkeling van gefundeerde theorie [the discovery of grounded theory; strategies for qualitative research, 1st printed 1967]. Alphen aan de Rijn: Samsom.
Merriam, S. B. (1988). Case study research in education. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.
Vandamme, R. (2007). Gedragspatronen van personen en organisaties. Amsterdam: Prentice Hall.


Knowledge workers need their managers' support!

inner work lifePeople don't leave their personal feelings at home when they come to work. It's about time for managers to recognise that. If you expect employees to be smart, their inner work life can't be denied. Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer did an extensive research on how employees experience their life at work. They were curious to learn more about the day-to-day life of people at work and how that affects performance. In their extensive research (238 professional in 26 project teams in seven companies in three industries participated in the study and they collected 12.000 diary-reports!) on inner work life of employees they related people's perceptions emotions and motivation. Their research considers knowledge work. In settings where people must work collaboratively to solve vexing problems, their performance depends on creativity, productivity, commitment and collegiality.

They conclude that for knowledge work (the work that leads to improvements and innovations) management's engagement and behaviour is crucial. Not by giving people pats on the back but by 1) enabling people to move forward in their work, and 2) treating them decently as human beings. With respect to the 1st: This can best be done by setting clear goals and make sure that people know why their work matters to the team, the organization and the organization's customers. With respect to the 2nd: Appreciation without progress has no positive impact and leads to cynism; When people experience good work progress but no recognition (or even worse: criticism about trivial issues) this causes anger and sadness. "Far and away, the best boosts to inner work life were episodes in which people knew they had done good work and managers appropriately recognized that work".

Other findings:

  • The more positive a person's mood, the more creative thinking he or she did the next day. People were more creative when they interpreted the going-ons in their organizations in a positive light - that is, when they saw their organisations and leaders as collaborative, cooperative, open to new ideas, able to evaluate and develop new ideas fairly, clearly focused on an innovative vision, and willing to reward creative work.
  • They were less creative when they perceived political infighting and internal competition or an aversion to new ideas or to risk taking.
  • People are more creative when they are motivated primarily by the interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself - not by external pressure or rewards.
  • The findings for productivity, commitment and collegiality also increased when people held positive perceptions about their work context.

Read more:

  • Amabile, T.M., & Kramer, S.J. (2007). Inner work life, understanding the subtext of business performance. Harvard business review, May 2007.
  • On the site of HBR you can find more infos.
  • A Dutch website on social innovation wrote about this article.

 


The growth-mindset

The website of Coert Visser offers a lot of interesting articles and interviews on the solution-focused approach he uses. The interview with Carol Dweck (Stanford University) elaborates on her new (and with a large body of research supported) insight: the way you view your own intelligence largely determines how it will develop. Dweck distinguishes between two mindsets: the fixed-mindset, in which people believe that their talents and abilities are fixed traits, and the growth-mindset. People with the latter believe that their talents and abilities can be developed through passion, education and persistence. Her research shows that when people adopt the fixed mindset it can limit their succes. The good thing is: people that have adopted the fixed-mindset can learn to change it into the growth-mindset. After a 90-minutes workshop the managers in the experiment were open to noticing improvement and were more willing and able to coach employees. Read more: