Why Creativity Thrives Under Constraints

Tanveer Naseer

There’s always excitement around a new project. Instead, it typically comes to a predictable end when we hit something inevitable: constraints. We run into constraints around people, the market, the interests of stakeholders, and more.

Managing projects effectively

Lead on Purpose

In general, a project is defined as an activity or endeavor that has a definite start and end date, and is done to achieve certain goals or objectives. The common stages of a project include Initiation, Planning, Execution, Control and Completion. A project is also run by a project manager, who is responsible for the day-to-day execution of tasks, and is often appointed by the project owner or sponsor. Define Project Scale and Scope.

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Project Management – What is Critical Chain?

Strategy Driven

Successful project managers know that the success of their project hinges on the development of a solid plan, the diverse consideration of integration challenges, and the right evaluation of resources. You just finished reading Project Management - What is Critical Chain? !

The Myths of Creativity: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

As I worked my way through Burkus’ lively and eloquent narrative, I was also keenly interested in his discussion Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s insights relevant to incubation in Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention (1997): “Once the incubation stage has run its course, which could be a few days or several years, it should […].

Advice: Manage Well by Leading Better

N2Growth Blog

Keep the projects on time and within budget by putting people into positions where they can succeed. As a leader you will: Challenge convention by encouraging people to think of possibilities rather than constraints; Radiate optimism by looking for positive outcomes; and.

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Boosting Creativity Through Constraints

Harvard Business Review

Conventional wisdom holds that the best way to boost a team''s creativity is to unshackle them from constraints. Some constraints are realities that must to be dealt with — laws of physics, or perhaps a budget. Other constraints may seem immovable but upon inspection are actually assumptions based on the past — your business model, or which customers and needs you serve, for example. The key to spurring creativity isn''t the removal of all constraints.

Integrating Design Theory & the Scientific Process

Mills Scofield

She is co-president of Brown''s student initiative to incorporate the arts into STEM, STEAM and a project manager on Brown''s solar decathlon " Techstyle Haus " team, of which about half are women! If you can''t find what you''re looking for, just create it!

7 Principles of Leadership Development: Education for Leadership

Mike Cardus

Setting firm expectations for the process and measures of strengths and constraints. Team projects were developed. Each of these projects had an overarching reach into the organization, impacting both the financial and cultural aspects of the organization.

Great Quotes: Luc de Brabandere on Change, Innovation and Perceptions


When we change our perceptions, we may end up realizing that most of the constraints that we see may not be existent in the real world, except in our minds. When we encounter a change, we first perceive ourselves in a changed situation.

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The Invisible Power of Competence Plus Calmness

Rajesh Setty

And, in addition, you need to be working on projects related to that topic so that you get the real-world skills. Select the Market: Find out who needs the benefit of these skills to move the needle on their projects. Think about someone who is competent AND calm.

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The Hidden Indicators of a Failing Project

Harvard Business Review

But when Kahneman pressed their curriculum leader to compare their team to other teams in similar situations, something a bit concerning happened: when the leader drew on his knowledge about similar teams and working on similarly big projects, he concluded that his team was slightly below average when it came to their skills and resources. He estimated that 40% of comparable projects failed, and for the teams that did finish, it took about seven years. Project management

The Best of September 2013

Harvard Business Review

Feature Triple-Strength Leadership Nick Lovegrove and Matthew Thomas Nick Lovegrove and Matthew Thomas Managing resource constraints, controlling health care costs, implementing smart-grid technologies — these are challenges that can’t be addressed unless government, business, and NGOs work together.

Get Your Passion Project Moving Without Quitting Your Day Job

Harvard Business Review

What’s the best way to get your passion project moving? ” Next, make a timeline based on what you think you can reasonably accomplish toward your project in the time you have. As you chip away on your project, continue to give your job the attention it needs.

Integrating Maintenance of Board Certification and Health Systems’ Quality-Improvement Programs

Harvard Business Review

Most physicians complete quality-improvement projects individually by completing modules provided by the specialty certification boards to collect, analyze, and improve quality on subsets of 25 to 50 patients. Constraints on Health Care Budgets Can Drive Quality.

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Have a Real Impact; Keep Your Day Job

Harvard Business Review

At the cloud-computing company VMware, Nicola Acutt is running technical service projects to tap into the creative energy of talented employees to solve social problems and uncover business opportunities.

Liberating Patients from Mechanical Ventilation Sooner

Harvard Business Review

We should note that we did not collect patient outcomes data — this project was designed only to improve our compliance with the SAT and SBT protocols, which have been proven to be beneficial. Constraints on Health Care Budgets Can Drive Quality.

Set Your Innovation Teams on the Right Path

Harvard Business Review

One of the most critical challenges facing growth-seeking executives in large companies is deciding what constraints they should be placing on their organizations’ innovation efforts. What kinds of constraints spur innovation and which ones kill it? Generally, we suggest that companies impose two key constraints. New growth businesses generally take longer to mature than even the most optimistic projections.

Fixing the World's Infrastructure Problems

Harvard Business Review

We need to make better choices about the projects we''re investing in. Projects need to be clearly linked to broader economic and social development, rather than being vanity exercises. This could save up to $400 billion a year and accelerate the timeline for the completion of projects.

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When Creating Visualizations, Question Everything

Harvard Business Review

Answering these questions is not just important to moving forward — it often transforms the project entirely. It is tempting to start a data visualization project with an idea for a striking visual artifact illustrating a conclusion, and then work backwards.

Inpatient Patient Navigator Program Reduces Length of Stay

Harvard Business Review

The project was sponsored by a Mt. After one year of evaluation, the hospital deemed the project a success and allocated additional operating funds to the program. Constraints on Health Care Budgets Can Drive Quality.

The Big Barrier to High-Value Health Care: Destructive Self-Interest

Harvard Business Review

A collaborative project with a health care provider to tackle patients with complex illness has had an uneven course, with some early wins offset by relationship challenges. Constraints on Health Care Budgets Can Drive Quality.

Why Can't a CIO Be More Like a CFO?

Harvard Business Review

We came to this place easily and methodically, by providing resources of quickly-evolving technology with no constraints. I believe the driving factor for these failures is that many projects are conceived and scoped only to address a symptom, rather than the disease of too much information.

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Six Classes Your Employer Wishes You Could Take

Harvard Business Review

The student teams, with budgets and other constraints, have to assemble and field the best-performing teams they can and justify their investments and trade. Planning and successfully executing a complex meal is an exercise in project management.

Younger Workers Need a Career Narrative

Harvard Business Review

Two senior management consultants are chatting with each other between meetings: "I heard we managed to staff the new project in New Jersey. Sounds like a good team — I don't know the junior guy, do you?" says the first. "I I don't know Greg yet either," says the second.

A New Model for Innovation in Big Companies

Harvard Business Review

According to my current research at Harvard on innovation models in global companies across diverse sectors, these types of projects fail between 70% and 90% of the time.This should be a deeply troubling, motivating statistic. So nobody was shocked when, for a recent strategy project, Masala passed over many well-known consultancies that he viewed as having already “made a science out of their way of thinking of restructuring.” It seems we’re all racing to get more entrepreneurial.

The Bias Undermining Your People Analytics

Harvard Business Review

In careers and the workplace, this means that credit or blame for performance is likely to be assigned to an individual more based on his or her perceived character, personality, intentions or efforts rather than on the situation, context, opportunities or constraints within which that individual is working.

Avoiding the Soft "Yes"

Harvard Business Review

The project team had spent the past six months designing a new strategy to accelerate growth in a critical emerging market for a multibillion-dollar multinational. The project leader believed the modest request would translate into an easy yes. You almost always can find money in someone''s budget, or find creative ways around financial constraints to progress a new idea. It was undoubtedly a high-quality piece of work.

Sustainable Business Initiatives Will Fail Unless Leaders Change Their Mindset

Harvard Business Review

In a recent survey of 1,000 CEOs of large companies in 27 industries across 103 countries, only 32% believed that the global economy was on track to meet the sustainability needs created by a growing population and rising environmental and resource constraints. To see why the integrated mindset works better, consider the particular case of a global corporation evaluating the sustainability of major projects in developing countries.

Managing Designers on Two Different Tracks

Harvard Business Review

Because they understand both the creative process and broader business considerations, they act as go-betweens, communicating requirements and constraints to creative team members, and championing creative work to clients and co-workers. Acknowledge the possibility that they could be good at tasks that aren’t “creative,”and push them to oversee multiple facets of a project without losing their core competency.

Let’s Hold Consultants Accountable for Results

Harvard Business Review

The odd thing about this case is that afterwards the lead consultant felt that the project was a success, and was even proud to use some of the research insights with other clients. Obviously investing in a consulting project without getting a financial return is not a good business practice.

Empathetic Negotiation Saved My Company

Harvard Business Review

We didn’t appreciate the supplier’s constraints and they didn’t really appreciate the extremely difficult position that their refusal to honor their original offer and the cancellation of this order would put us in with our clients. In other words, they could think of this project as an investment in growth rather than as a short-term profitable deal. Some years ago, one of our family’s trading companies was staring at ruin.

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The Cadillac Tax: A Game Changer for U.S. Health Care

Harvard Business Review

It is difficult to confidently project the impact of these changes on costs, but taken together they represent the best collective thinking on how to “bend the cost curve.”. Constraints on Health Care Budgets Can Drive Quality. While the current debates over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) revolve around the individual mandate and the exchanges, one of the most important features of the law doesn’t take effect until 2018: the so-called Cadillac tax.

Meet Your New R&D Team: Social Entrepreneurs

Harvard Business Review

Mobile Messaging: In early 2008, frog embarked on Project Masiluleke, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to address HIV in South Africa. When social-sector initiatives like these are unleashed from the typical constraints of CSR, corporations often see side benefits in increased innovation, efficiency, and vitality.

What Google Glass Reveals About Privacy Fears

Harvard Business Review

Consider what Techdirt''s Mike Masnick has called a "moral panic" over the release in a year or so of Google Glass, a head-mounted computing device that projects information onto a tiny display positioned in front of one eye.

How to Compete Like the World’s Most Innovative Leaders

Skip Prichard

I think the most important thing that I look for [when funding a project] is really, who’s that champion?” It’s a hard topic to study because of all of the intangibles that go into convincing and persuading others to bring resources to your innovation projects.

How to Drama-Proof Your Workplace

Skip Prichard

29% of Americans believe that armed rebellion might be necessary in the near future to protect their liberties from government intrusion (Cassino, Jenkins, 2013). Instead of name-calling I look at situational pressures and constraints that led to the current situation.

Use Tension and Conflict to Create Breakthrough Products

Harvard Business Review

I''ve written before about the science that helps explain why and how constraints and limits, often in the form of intelligent, well-set stretch goals, result in more creative solutions. The project demanded rethinking the entire concept of what automotive luxury performance meant.

The Critical Skills for Leading Major Change in America’s Health System

Harvard Business Review

As someone who has led large change management projects in both the federal government and a large private health system, my view is that effective leadership of fundamental change requires the following: a commitment to transparency; involving stakeholders so they feel that their voices are heard; making listening a personal priority of the leader; going overboard in communicating; emphasizing that the sought-after change is achievable; and developing a motivating narrative.

What Big Companies Can Learn from the Success of the Unicorns

Harvard Business Review

The term “unicorns,” coined, in 2013, by Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures , is commonly used to identify venture-backed private companies valued at $1 billion or more.

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9 Productivity Tips from People Who Write About Productivity

Harvard Business Review

Our most satisfying work comes about when we’re playing offense, working on projects that we ourselves initiate. If you start a project and leave it unfinished, you’re bound to think about it more frequently than after it’s done.

What It Will Take to Fix HR

Harvard Business Review

Financial capital was recognized as the scarce resource and its shortage a significant constraint on growth. At the same time, alternative approaches to accessing capital and funding projects proliferated, forcing financial decision-making to become increasingly sophisticated.

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Top 10 Sustainable Business Stories of 2012

Harvard Business Review

The mega forces driving sustainability deep into business — such as climate change, resource constraints, and transparency — are getting stronger. The math and physics of a planetary constraints get clearer. Five Questions For 2013. on to 2013.

How to Regain the Lost Art of Reflection

Harvard Business Review

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, among others, share Warren Buffett’s discipline to read extensively, safeguard time for personal development projects, and constantly seek new stimulus and perspectives. What would I do now if there were no legacy constraints on my actions? By the end of 2013, emails were reduced by 60%. A famous but possibly apocryphal tale about Albert Einstein is that he dreamed up the theory of relativity when riding his bicycle.