1. Reserve these dates – The Global Organisational Excellence Congress, 10-12 December 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE

    March 1, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    Abu Dhabi 2018

    Posted by Dr Robin Mann, CEO, COER Limited and BPIR.com

    Start planning now to attend the Global Organisational Excellence Congress

    This is going to be an event that gets you excited with a big WOW!

    The Abu Dhabi International Centre for Organisational Excellence of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry has brought together a number of prestigious international conferences/events into one major event.

    The Congress brings together:

    24th Asia Pacific Quality Organisation International Conference

    • ACE Team Awards Competition 2018
    • 18th Global Performance Excellence Award

    12th International Benchmarking Conference

    • 6th Global Benchmarking Awards

    6th International Best Practice Competition

    • 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award

    Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award’s Best Practice Sharing Conference

    With a theme of “The road towards excellence in organisational performance & nation building” the Congress will explore what is excellence in today’s fast paced and ever changing business world and how organisations and nations can move towards, achieve and sustain excellence.

    This won’t be an ordinary conference – it will be extraordinary – encouraging considerable networking and sharing of best practices. Competitions such as the ACE Team Awards Competition, Global Benchmarking Awards, International Best Practice Competition and Organisation-wide Innovation Award provide opportunities for organisations to showcase their best practices and learn from each other.

    The Asian Pacific Quality Organisation and Global Benchmarking Network represent more than 40 countries worldwide and bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge on how quality is a building block for excellence and how benchmarking through the search and adoption of best practices leads to excellence.

    It is appropriate that the Congress is held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The UAE has invested heavily in learning about and applying excellence both in the private and public sector. Excellence models such as EFQM Excellence Model and the 4th Generation of Excellence Model are used extensively for assessing excellence and guiding improvement initiatives. This has led to dramatic improvements in the business environment and society as a whole with the UAE becoming one of the most favoured destinations for business and tourism in the world. The Congress will support the UAE on its journey to excellence whilst showcasing its significant achievements and leadership in many areas to the rest of the world.

    Within the next month a website on the Congress will be up and running. In the meantime if you have any questions on the conference please email me, Dr Robin Mann at congress@coer.org.nz.

    COER are a co-organiser of the Congress, along with ADICOE from the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce.

    Also, you can view here a short video that I made for an UAE audience where I announced the Congress. The video will give you an insight into the magnitude of the event.

  2. How to make practical innovation sustainable

    May 21, 2017 by BPIR.com Limited


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Faisal Hoque

    Break through innovation gridlock, regardless of your organizational shape, size, or available resources.When Richard Branson told an audience of media, entertainment, food, fashion, retail, and healthcare startups that “small businesses are nimble and bold and can often teach much larger companies a thing or two about innovations that can change entire industries,” this serial entrepreneur knew what he was talking about. It was 2014, and the group was pulled together to “thrash out” inspiring visions for the next three decades of business.

    Whether they’re coming up with new products that meet their customers’ needs, joining forces with their competition to gain economies of scale and make significant breakthroughs, or approaching uncharted marketplaces, small to midsized firms are the very cornerstones of innovation in today’s business world. Unfortunately, they don’t always know it. In fact, too many of them assume innovation is only for the big-and-rich organizations that have deep pockets and unlimited resources.

    This is a fallacy. In fact, innovation doesn’t have to break the bank nor does it require unlimited human resources to happen. In fact, sometimes it starts with a single employee—a reality that not all organizations fully leverage. With Adobe’s Kickbox program, innovation starts with a shiny red box, $1,000, and everything an individual needs to launch an idea. Working with the innovator, Adobe shows him or her how to come up with the idea, test it with real consumers, and turn it into a new Adobe product.

    “We want more disruptive innovation and less planned innovation. To do this, we had to let go,” said Kickbox Founder Mark Randall. “We thought, what if we removed the obstacles that are stopping people from innovating? What if we gave them the resources? There are no rules or constraints. The approach to innovation in Kickbox is giving people the permission to go do it.”

    In one example of Kickbox in action, a senior software development manager came up with the idea of creating video stories that sync images and music with mood and emotion. Through Kickbox, this new mom and a team came up with an idea that would transform personal memories into digital stories. It would sync photos and audio into videos that can be customized with mood and emotion. She said reception to the idea has been fantastic. “I was surprised at how willing upper management was to give us support, even when the product was in its infancy.”
    The good news is that you don’t have to come up with a revolutionary invention to be innovative. Many innovations coming out of today’s organizations are just small wins that slowly help the company make incremental moves toward achieving its overall mission. In other words, don’t assume you have to spend millions of dollars and allocate hundreds of hours of manpower to creating the “next best thing” that will knock everyone’s socks off, only to watch that dream take a backseat (much like an overly ambitious New Year’s resolution) as everyone refocuses on their day-to-day responsibilities.


    So how can companies break through this innovation gridlock and come out winners? The key is to leverage your firm’s “nimble and bold” qualities to always be innovating. And don’t assume you have to come up with the next iPhone, medical miracle, or manufacturing breakthrough to be innovative. A fairly nebulous term defined at its simplest as “the introduction of something new,” innovation assumes different shapes depending on the organization, people, and processes involved.

    Clif Bar is a good example of how innovation doesn’t require big-company resources or even a physical location. It does, however, require devoted inventors, a true customer need, and a willingness to put the time and effort into making a product that people will actually like. Starting in their own kitchen back in 1990, the company’s founders began baking their own protein bars because they didn’t like what was on the market at the time. Needing fuel for their long bike rides, they originally marketed their creations to fellow athletes. Fast-forward to 2017 and Clif Bars (and its since-extended product line) graces the shelves of Target, Walmart, and many other mainstream online and offline retailers (not just those targeting athletes).

    So how do you do practical innovation regardless of company shape or size? You can kick off the process with this 3-step exercise:

    1: Start thinking out of the box.

    Start thinking out of the box. Yes, we know you’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s important when you talk about innovation—an area where the words “But we’ve always done it this way and it has worked,” can quickly derail even the most innovative ideas. When you think out of the box you invite new ideas, brainstorming, and collaboration, all of which support innovation. By keeping an open mind and exploring options that you’ve never considered before, you can start the innovation train rolling in the right direction.

    2: Come up with your own definition of innovation

    Come up with your own definition of innovation. Go beyond “the introduction of something new,” and figure out what innovation really means to your organization.

    Is it:

    • Implementing new ideas?
    • Creating dynamic products?
    • Responding to customers’ changing wants and needs?
    • Improving existing services?
    • Finding new avenues for business growth?
    • Adapting in a challenging marketplace (or to changes in your environment)?
    • Changing your current business model?
    • Developing a culture that’s focused on continuous innovation?
    • Finding business partners to collaborate to create new products and/or services?
    • Some other measure?

    These are just a few ways that you can define innovation, but you get the idea. The important point here is to come up with your own picture of what innovation looks like within your organization and then start taking the necessary steps to put it into action.

    3: Putting Innovation into action

    Go beyond lip service and put innovation into action. Talking about innovation doesn’t make it happen. Brainstorming new ideas don’t make them come to life. And hashing out the details of a “future” plan doesn’t mean it’s ever going to come to fruition. To create the greatest impact, you need to actually put the innovation into action by addressing these questions:

    • How do I design my customer interactions?
    • How do I design my new service or product?
    • Who can I work with (both internally and externally) to help make this a reality?
    • What internal and external resources do I have at my avail?
    • Who is going to pioneer this innovation and see it through to the end?
    • And finally, how will I quantify the success of this innovation?


    Innovation isn’t just about coming up with the next, cool product. It has no end point, and it includes everything from how you take your product to market to how you serve your customer to how you come up with effective pricing solutions. All of these activities fall under the broader contexts of innovation and go well beyond the very narrow “cocktail napkin” approach to innovation.

    By adopting this mindset, organizations not only become more competitive and customer-friendly, but they can also become more profitable. The latter is a particularly important point in today’s business world, where thinner and thinner margins—and the need to do more with less—are challenging companies to find more innovative ways to generate revenues.

    Pretty much every business that’s surviving today – and that will survive for the long haul – will have to be competitive and innovative across all segments of their workflows. From hiring and compensation to selling to market strategy, positioning, and branding; all of these elements are part and parcel of innovation. In fact, as I survey the business landscape right now, I can tell you that all companies that are “surviving” are leveraging innovation in some way – whether they know it or not.

    For some companies, of course, the urge to innovate comes quite naturally. A maker of highly-engineered products, for example, is always on the lookout for the next best product introduction and spends much time and money honing its existing offerings. This commitment to continuous innovation can be applied in pretty much any setting. All companies have the same opportunities to innovate, and particularly when they are pushed to do so by forward-thinking personalities, leaders, and/or owners. Those that are succeeding in competitive markets (e.g., those that are commodity-driven, for example, and that have been hit hard by online sellers on both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business segments), tend to follow some basic principles.


    Tight focus on purpose. In other words, why are you here and what purpose does your company serve? The purpose-driven organization has a much better chance of succeeding than the one that’s just selling something to people. Apple and Google are two good examples of firms that are well known for their innovative and creative strategies – not all of which are focused on product development.

    Willingness to go beyond the basics. Think beyond just creating a product to your intrinsic value proposition, be it to serve your customers better, save the planet, or some other core value. Through this exercise you’ll be able to create an identity and a true purpose that, in turn, dictates your firm’s position in its industry.

    Solid value propositions. Having a value proposition in place also helps organizations answer questions like “How am I going to serve my customer?” “How am I going to price my products and services?” and “How can we create a better execution model for success?”

    Vision of a profitable model. Companies must also consider their core competencies, and then turn those advantages into capabilities or differentiations that will be used to build out a platform for innovation. You may have a great vision and terrific partners, but if you can’t create a service platform then you’re not going to be able to develop a profitable model.

    Nurturing ecosystem. Last but definitely not least, innovation requires a support group that includes suppliers, customers, and other business partners. This is particularly important in today’s business environment, where companies rely on suppliers to deliver quality products; their employees to sell, deliver, and support the products being sold; and their customers to put the products to work out in the field. By continually nurturing that ecosystem, companies can innovate effectively on a regular basis.

    This combination of purpose, platform, and ecosystem can be leveraged effectively across all innovation models, and by companies of all shapes and sizes. Build out innovation based on these guiding principles and use it to develop customer-centric innovation that truly differentiates your organization and helps it stand out in the marketplace. You’ll be glad you did.

  3. Call for Papers: The International Journal of Innovation Science

    by BPIR.com Limited

    ijis cover.indd

    The International Journal of Innovation Science and The International Association of Innovation Professionals are pleased to announce a general Call for Papers.

    Papers can be submitted to https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijins

    About the International Journal of Innovation Science:
    The International Journal of Innovation Science publishes fundamental and applied research in innovation practices. As the official journal of the International Association of Innovation Professionals (IAOIP), the journal is a forum for the exchange of advanced knowledge in innovation, including emerging technologies and best practices, tools and techniques, metrics, and organization design and culture; as well as the stakeholder engagement, change management, and leadership skills required to ensure innovation succeeds.
    Areas of Coverage

    • Innovation processes, methods, techniques
    • Individual’s role in Innovation
    • Improvements in HR, marketing, finance, or other disciplines that enable innovation
    • Innovation practices in specific industries or countries
    • Innovation centers, incubators, labs…
    • Regional or national economic development/policies related to innovation
    • Innovation competency, skills
    • Innovation conventions, competitions, or training
    • Innovation for entrepreneurs
    • Regional impacts on innovation
    • Growing innovation through university programs
    • Attracting innovative companies and entrepreneurs

    The International Journal of Innovation Science is indexed and abstracted by EBSCO, ProQuest, ReadCube Discover, Scopus
    The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Brett Trusko

  4. Winners of the 1st Organisation-Wide Innovation Award

    April 28, 2017 by BPIR.com Limited


    The 1st Organisation-Wide Innovation Award was held at NMIMS University, Mumbai, India, 25/26th April 2017. This award recognises organisations that have embraced best practice learning and combined this learning with their own ideas and creativity to become highly innovative. The award recognises organisations that excel in inculcating an innovation culture throughout all facets of their operation from the leadership to employees and covering all stakeholders leading to innovative processes, products and services. The Organisation-wide Innovation Award has been designed by the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), the developers of the Business Performance Improvement Resource. Presentation videos will be on the BPIR soon.
    Manin Kaur, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (left) and Siang Hock Kia, National Library Board (right) with judges

    Manin Kaur, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (left) and Siang Hock Kia, National Library Board (right) with judges


    • NLB’s Organisation-wide innovation approach, Siang Hock Kia, Deputy Director, National Library Board, Singapore


    • MPA’s Organisation-wide innovation approach, Manin Kaur, Assistant Director, Organisational Excellence, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore

  5. To invent your organization’s future, experiment, question, sometimes fail

    April 14, 2017 by BPIR.com Limited


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    Create an innovation advantage for your organization by letting go of industrial-age principles, embracing imagination, and experimenting even if you might fail, said Polly LaBarre, co-founder and director of Management Lab (MLab) and co-founder of MIX (Management Innovation eXchange). LaBarre, who delivered the 29th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference keynote presentation, said, “You cannot have some big opportunities without having some big misses. . . . Mistakes should be shared and picked apart for every last tidbit of insight.”LaBarre asked the conference audience, “How do you build the capacity for innovation and the adaptability that keeps your organization growing and thriving?” and “Are you capable of changing as fast as the world is changing? . . . The next game changer probably will come out of nowhere. Your customers, patients, stakeholders have more information, more choice, higher expectations than ever before. . . . In that context, are you constitutionally adaptable?”

    The modern industrial-age organization was not built for adaptability and innovation, she said. Instead, the assembly-line plants from years ago were designed “to maximize standardization, specialization, predictability, and control,” said LaBarre, adding that the business model was to “get flesh and blood human beings to become widget-producing robots.”

    “All of the practices and systems that we have built and embedded in our organizations [including] budgeting, performance review, ROI calculations, inventory. . . . All of those things were invented over a century ago to routinize the nonroutine,” said LaBarre; “When [today’s] challenge is for every organization to become ever-more adaptable, ever-more innovative, ever-more inspiring and engaging, those principles don’t serve us well. There’s no competitive advantage left. . . . We can’t solve the new problems with the old principles.”


    LaBarre said that innovation in today’s organizations tends to get compartmentalized if it is not embedded in every activity, every function. “As a result, the 90% of people who do not have a formal innovation role, think of innovation as someone else’s job. And those companies then end up commercializing and capturing just a tiny potential of their people and their organizations,” she said.

    The efficiency principles of the industrial age are still critical and necessary, LaBarre said, but to “transcend the inevitable tradeoffs of discipline without the cost and the drag on agility . . . and the crushing of human initiatives,” organizations should also consider pro-innovation principles such as aspiration, experimentation, diversity, freedom, and openness. She illustrated several real organizations who have embedded such principles and asked the audience to consider, “What kind of sustaining advantage can innovation bring?”

    The first tip for our organizations, LaBarre said, is to expand autonomy. “Control [of people, information, deviation from the norm] is the wrong design when you want to unleash people’s best imagination, initiative, passion–the human gifts that are in so much demand today but which cannot be commanded or controlled into existence.”


    LaBarre pointed out that we’ve all experience a huge expansion of freedom in our personal lives, especially with our ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world. “We can challenge, speak up, have a voice in the world, but the workplace lags so far behind,” she said, adding that in their personal lives, people can buy houses, cars, etc., but in the workplace, they may not have the authority to purchase a desk chair.

    She asked the audience to consider, in their organizations, “Who does the thinking and who does the doing?” She described freedom as giving employees more opportunities and more channels to have meaningful roles.

    She shared with the audience that she has traveled around the world looking for organizations that have reinvented their management models, “swapping out industrial bureaucratic DNA for pro-innovation and pro-adaptability.” In some of these companies, LaBarre said she found employees with total autonomy, which is balanced by extensive accountability, especially by coworkers who, for example, conduct each other’s performance reviews. These organizations are growing their leadership capacity, she said.

    LaBarre spoke of the “latent creative potential” of employees and cultures of collaboration. Invite everyone to be part of the strategic and creative realm, she suggested. In one organization she visited, LaBarre said she found hundreds of “communities of passion” that work on strategic priorities and local problems, and resolve issues must faster than they could under a standard corporate model.

    “Design systems and practices for more headroom and elbow room,” she said, “so people can operate outside of their spheres. . . . People can find natural collaborators, pursue their passions, [find] the slack [they] need for trying new things, for experimenting, and for taking risks.”


    “If you want to build innovative, adaptive capacity, there is no more powerful leverage than experimentation,” said LaBarre.

    How life itself has flourished is a perfect example of experimentation, according to LaBarre. “Life has become ever more capable and complex in the process without a CEO, SVP, or strategic plan at the helm,” she said. “Evolutionary progress . . . is a product of rampant experimentation. Mutations are mistakes. Let me put it another way, if life was run by Six Sigma, we would all still be slime.”

    LaBarre said experimentation is about cycling through ideas, testing assumptions, getting feedback, discarding what isn’t working, and building on what is. “It’s a strategy for measuring your insights,” she said.

    Organizations should develop the facility to fail in order to learn, because in the words of Pixar Animation Studios, according to LaBarre, “Pain is temporary. Suck is forever.” Or, in other words, she said, Pixar understands that “if you are going to try new things, you’re going to have errors” and that’s how you learn.


    To truly build an innovation capability at your organization, “Ask more questions than you give answers,” she said. “If you’re open, curious, you can surface more possibilities. As a leader, craft stretch questions. . . . Invest as much in what could be as what is. . . . Walk in stupid. . . . Practice the innocence of children to gain fresh eyes to innovation.”

    She encouraged the audience to question every orthodoxy in their industries and to hack every process to imbue it with innovation principles. “Questions that no one has asked before spawn innovative answers that no one has sought before,” LaBarre said, adding “invite the subversive in.”

    Innovation Panel

    To further explore innovation, senior leaders from the four 2016 Baldrige Award recipients joined LaBarre on stage. They talked about how they define innovation and how they equip people to handle it.

    Roger Arciniega, CEO of Momentum, said, “Culture is most important. You need a structure for innovations to break through. A big barrier is employees not wanting to be associated with failure,” adding the importance of not having a “gotcha” mentality.


    The health care senior leaders on stage, Maryruth Butler, executive director of Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Center – Mountain Valley, and Malisha Patel, vice president of operations at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, discussed how to stimulate innovation and still ensure patient safety.

    Don Chalmers Ford’s Andy Strebe, director of fixed operations, said innovation sometimes means being open to ideas that make you uncomfortable. The leaders also talked about getting out of the way of employees’ ideas, integrating work processes with action plans, looking for innovation in the supply chain, simplifying innovation, trusting employees, and putting down your “pivot foot” (i.e., practicing values-based innovation).