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A Beautiful Constraint

Leading Blog

Typically we look at a constraint as a negative. But what if a constraint was the gift that opened up previously unimagined possibilities? What if a constraint was the gift that took you to the next level? Not in spite of the constraint, but because of it.”

Why Creativity Thrives Under Constraints

Tanveer Naseer

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. Just about every influence on our once new and exciting project also brings a constraint.

The Constraints of Passion


The sparkle in the eyes , the energy, the willingness to go the extra mile, the exposing of one's soul to the critique of the world, all of these are characteristics of a leader with passion. We've all been moved by such leaders to accomplish higher goals.

Add Constraints to Processes Carefully

Curious Cat

Take great care in adding constraints to processes to avoid doing so needlessly. Occasionally a required field is a sensible constraint on an online form but so often they add unnecessary constraints. Frequently I see unnecessary constraints creating the edge case excuse.

How to Succeed With Limited Resources

Let's Grow Leaders

I believe these companies were successful not in spite of, but because of their constraints. When constraints became tighter and competition stiffer, it became critical to make smarter choices at every stage of the game. ” Embracing Constraints When You’re Not in Charge.

Photo Inquiry Friday: Can Autonomy Exist Within Organizational Constraints?

Create Learning

On to the Inquiry: Can autonomy exist within organizational constraints? The tension between individual autonomy and organizational structure/constraints can play out weird and interesting ways…What behavior do you notice when people feel that the organizational constraints get in the way?

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.

EBM: Constraints


Theory of Constraints (TOC) is an overall management philosophy introduced by Dr. Eliyahu M. The theory contends that any manageable system is limited in achieving more of its goal by a very small number of constraints and that there is always at least one constraint. A constraint is anything that prevents the system from achieving more of its goal. Identify the constraint. Decide how to exploit the constraint. Elevate the constraint.

Embrace Your Constraints to Create New Markets

Harvard Business Review

This term is just what it sounds like: external constraints are market, environmental and/or consumer conditions forced on any company doing business in their space — something from outside the company that it has little or no control over.

How to CRAFT a conversation that moves the needle

Rajesh Setty

Understand their weaknesses and constraints : Just like topics related to their strengths are where they will gravitate towards, topics related to their weaknesses are what they will want to avoid. Not only their weaknesses are against them but also the constraints (e.g.:

Project Management – What is Critical Chain?

Strategy Driven

Premium Project Management critical chain Greg Gaskey project constraints strategydriven 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.

Leading in a World of Resource Constraints and Extreme Weather

Harvard Business Review

Consider three critical mega-trends: resource constraints and rising commodity prices; climate change and extreme weather; and radical, technology-driven transparency. Resource constraints mean organizations have to use less stuff. My father worked at IBM for 35 years.

Why Innovators Love Constraints

Harvard Business Review

Nearly a decade later, I find myself almost a fan of constraints. Constraints lead to faster feedback. Whether they are limits on space, time, money or other resources, constraints can improve our agility and get our synapses firing at lightning speed.

How Intelligent Constraints Drive Creativity

Harvard Business Review

Not long ago, Teresa Amabile revealed in an HBR blog post that while she had spent much of her career as a research psychologist showing how constraints can undermine creativity, she had discovered that the right sort of constraints can in fact "stoke the innovation fire.". CEO Marissa Mayer offered the same opinion writing for Businessweek in 2006: "Constraints shape and focus problems, and provide clear challenges to overcome as well as inspiration.

New Years is an Artificial Constraint

Mills Scofield

Seriously ! Thank you Switch & Shift for hosting my (anti)-New Year''s post! "Ah, Ah, New Years hype! New resolutions, habits, goals, priorities. We make it so grand and complicated that we set ourselves up for failure. Seriously, what’s the difference between December 31st and January 1st?

The Accidental Mind: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Bob's blog entries A lively explanation of the beneficial neural functions in that “cobbled-together mess” between our ears “Rube Goldberg contraption” “The Main Evolutionary Constraints on Brain Design” David J. The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God David J.

Dwell in Possibility


If you look for problems and constraints, you will always find them – even in the best of situations. In my own career, the mindset shift from constraints to possibilities has helped me immensely and continues to help.

WEadership Practice #4: Encourage Experimentation (and, of course, experiment yourself)

Lead Change Blog

Leadership Development boldness constraints experiment ideas incentives Innovation innovative lead Leadership management risk testingPosted in Leadership Development This post is the fourth in a series that began here summarizing the findings of a one-year study of workforce leadership. Through that process, we identified six practices next-generation leaders use to be effective; a new model of leadership we call WEadership, in a nod to its collaborative nature. The Speed of Life For [.]

Constraints on Health Care Budgets Can Drive Quality

Harvard Business Review

From my experience heading Scotland’s National Health Service from 2010 until last August (and before as its director of health care policy and strategy), I know that such constraints can unleash innovations that will lead to better care — and better health — for communities.

Blogging on Business Update from Bob Morris (Week of 2/11/13)

First Friday Book Synopsis

Lafley Adam Bryant Alan Bird Andy Jefferson “5 ways to find your team’s hidden talents” “Why Innovators Love Constraints” Blogging on Business Update from Bob Morris (Week of 2/11/13) BOB Bryan Neider Calhoun W. I hope that at least a few of these recent posts will be of interest to you: BOOK REVIEWS Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works A.G.

Project Management Model – SQERT

Rapid BI

Management Add new tag constraints cost Leadership project management project management triangle quality sqert timeProject Management Model - SQERT - Scope, Quality, Effort, Risk, & Timing.

In 100 Words: Face The Light


and focuses on those possibilities because constraints are almost a given in work and life. In moments of uncertainty, inspiration came to me in form of a tweet with a visual that read, “If you see shadows, it is because there is light.”.

Professional Development Best Practice 6 – Peer Coaches

Strategy Driven

Even high performing managers may, at times, be challenged by time constraints or have so many direct reports that it is not possible to provide each individual the amount of feedback desire. An individual’s manager should seek to provide ongoing performance feedback.

The Best Leadership Books of 2015

Leading Blog

A Beautiful Constraint : How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It's Everyone's Business by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden Typically we look at a constraint as a negative. But what if a constraint was the gift that opened up previously unimagined possibilities?

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First Look: Leadership Books for January 2015

Leading Blog

A Beautiful Constraint : How To Transform Your Limitations Into Advantages, and Why It''s Everyone''s Business by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden. Here''s a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in January. Driven to Distraction at Work : How to Focus and Be More Productive by Ned Hallowell. Fairness Is Overrated : And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace by Tim Stevens.

Leading Rookie Talent: Helping New Recruits Hit the Target

Leading Blog

Studies by Patricia Stokes have shown that people tend to be more creative when they are given constraints. The lack of constraints makes it easy to rely on what worked in the past. Conversely, constraints increase the challenge level and force us to think in new ways. Are your new employees loose canons or heat-seeking missiles? In a rapidly changing world, experience can be a curse. Strategies can grow stale and innovation can stop.

How to Deal with Unreasonable Contrarians

Leadership Freak

Constraint makes the river powerful. A river without banks drifts calmly into oblivion. Tell teams what they can’t do and where they can’t go and they’ll get further, faster. This applies to… Continue reading → Courage Innovation Taking others higher Teams Communication courageous leaders Leadership

A Bold and Blatant Disregard for Normal Constraints

Steve Farber

The most common and insidious “normal constraints&# are the ones that are imposed on you by others. Whenever you see a better way to do things or better things to do, make a list of all the “normal constraints&# that seem to be holding you back. Every “normal constraint&# in the proverbial book will tell you that this question is unrealistic and a waste of time.

How to Manage Business Transformation and Keep Your Sanity

N2Growth Blog

But, during times of significant change, it is not unusual for work (particularly that which crosses organizational boundaries) to get “ hung-up ” by resource constraints and political red tape.

Surrounded by Geniuses: A book review by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

Surrounded by Geniuses: Unlocking the Brilliance in Yourself, Your Colleagues, and Your Organization Alan S. Gregermnan Sourcebooks (2010) How and why winning in today’s competitive markets requires unlocking genius within us and in the world around us I deeply appreciated all that I learned in Alan Gregerman’s most recent book, The Necessity of Strangers: The […]. Bob''s blog entries Alan S.

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 […].

3 Skills That Set Successful CEOs Apart

Lead Change Blog

Next, having vision requires that a CEO keep from being restricted in his or her thinking by self-imposed (and usually unfounded) constraints. There are three competencies that are necessary to have if a CEO is to be successful.

Skills 112

How Do You Calculate ROI?

Mills Scofield

Customer Value : delighting customers with meaningful solutions that meet real needs within the customers’ contexts and constraints; perhaps even creating new markets and industries.

ROI 115

Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined

Coaching Tip

Act without planning: Get going, impose constraints -- it fosters spontaneity and creativity. Many of us are focused on the wrong approach to reach our goals and improve our lives. We don't need to get more than what we already have. We just need to learn to use what we have.

Leadership Isn’t About Checking Boxes

N2Growth Blog

Great leadership thrives beyond typical borders and constraints – it lives outside the norm. By Mike Myatt , Chief Strategy Officer, N2growth . Today’s post is a short rant, but one every leader should take to heart – STOP CHECKING BOXES.

Quote of the Day


In our interviews, people with good track records as transformers advanced the view that most, if not all, constraints could potentially be enabling. Adam Morgan and Mark Barden, A Beautiful Constraint

Leading a “Mozart”

Lead Change Blog

External controls trigger their aversion to restrictions and constraints. He was arguably the greatest composer who has ever lived. He wrote over 600 scores during his short 35 year life span. He was performing advanced piano works before kings at the age of five.

Ulrich 129

How to Stop Drama Queens and Chronic Complainers From Destroying Your Team

Let's Grow Leaders

But, you understand the bigger picture and the constraints. I often start my speeches on employee engagement sharing prototypes of various kinds of disengagement.

5 Insights on Creativity from Osho


I wrote earlier that constraints help us become creative – but being in a state flow, being with the work, being in the work is the key to be creative. Creativity, Effectiveness and Constraints. Creativity is at the core of building quality in design.

Why You Want to Change TO Something

Leading Blog

In other words, what can I do to get rid of the obstacles or constraints that are impeding progress? When we encounter something that needs changing we tend to view it as a “freedom from” problem. When thinking about change we should look at “freedom to” solutions. Both approaches lead to freedom but “freedom from” is a negative freedom and can lead to new problems. It’s like replacing a negative with nothing. Freedom to" is a positive freedom.