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Boost creativity: Encourage outside-the-box thinking

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 09 October 2014
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014

Boost creativity: Encourage outside-the-box thinking

The recruitment industry is tough and getting tougher by the day. It’s time to brainstorm and get your thinking cap on. Boost creativity in your business and invest in an afternoon of random thoughts (remember, nothing is too wacky and most of the best ideas start as completely manic!) and open discussion in an attempt to re-invent your business, your services and your value.

Before you can get down to creative thinking, make sure that you eliminate these creativity hurdles:

  •  Heavy workloads
  •  Tight deadlines
  •  Red-tape (business processes)
  •  Managers/Clients who are closed to new ideas
  •  Limited budgets

Provide an environment that encourages entrepreneurial thinking and “different think”. Whilst you don’t have to accept (or implement) every idea that is presented, make sure that you listen to the idea, ask questions and actively consider it to see if it could make a positive difference.

Consider “time to market” in your planning. Rather implement a good idea quickly and see if it works. If it doesn’t, pull it quick and lose nothing. Waiting to see if someone else tries it will only defer your potential advantage but also ensure that you’re always seen as a follower not a trailblazer.

Opportunities for differentiation

Recruitment is recruitment....or is it? The labour market is the same for everyone – same access to clients, candidates and technology. So? How do you differentiate yourself in an otherwise crowded marketplace? Consider...

  •   Different fee models – shift from contingency and traditional % on remuneration
  •   Unbundling your services – think a la carte menu, not one price all you can eat buffet
  •   Partnering with specialists in aligned services, such as HR, psychometrics etc.
  •   Expertise due to specialisation
  •   Individual, not company, focused services, such as payroll management

Employee engagement increases when individuals are asked to participate in discussions and feel that their opinions, input and suggestions are seriously considered. In addition to the potential of creating an entirely new way of marketing, service or product line or candidate attraction programme, a brainstorming idea will also lead to more engaged employees and a happier and more productive workplace.



Tags:  APSO  apsogram  budget  creativity  deadlines  innovation  thinking 

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The 10 Ways to Know Whether Your Job Is Meaningful

Posted By APSO, Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2014



Professor Lynda Gratton, first published on her blog "Future of Work” in Nov 2012

In my book The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here, I made the point that the formula for the traditional deal at work is as follows:

I work... to earn money... which I use... to consume stuff... which makes me happy.

I suggested that this deal is not a sufficient description of what work can and should be. Instead I put forward the following future-focused deal at work:

I work... to gain productive experiences... that are the basis... of my happiness.

But this begs the question – what exactly is a meaningful productive experience, and how do you know when your work is meaningful? So here are the 10 questions to ask yourself to establish whether your work is meaningful.

  1. Do you use the majority of the knowledge you have on a daily basis?
    ...because meaningful work provides an opportunity for you to keep your knowledge fresh by using it constantly.
  2. Do you feel intellectually stretched in your work?
    ...because meaningful work both uses the knowledge you have and pushes the boundaries of what you can become.
  3. Are you able to learn something new at least once a week?
    ...because meaningful work creates constant opportunity for learning.
  4. In your view are your colleagues at work knowledgeable and do you learn from them constantly?
    ...because meaningful work is also about the colleagues who come with it, and your learning and development comes primarily through learning from others: what I have called ‘The Posse’.
  5. Are the tasks you do at work interesting and complex?
    ...because at the heart of meaningful work are the day-to-day tasks that you do.
  6. Do you get lots of feedback about how you are doing?
    ...because meaningful work enables you to grow, and feedback from others is a crucial part of this.
  7. Do you think that the work you do has a positive impact on the business?
    ...because meaningful work enables you to make a clear link in your mind between the tasks you perform and the broader goals of the business.
  8. Do you think that the work you do has a positive impact on society?
    ...because meaningful work is made up of tasks that you believe do good and, as a consequence, make you feel good about yourself.
  9. In your daily work, do you have the opportunity to reach out to develop networks with people very different from yourself?
    ...because meaningful work creates opportunities for you to develop the ‘Big Ideas Crowd’ that is so crucial to developing your innovative and creative capacity.
  10. Does your work give you time to really develop deep regenerative relationships with people inside and outside of your organisation?
    ...because meaningful work creates time and space for you to develop emotionally.

So where are you on meaningful work?

Score 8-10
Through your active choices, or sheer luck, you are working in a meaningful way. Cherish the opportunities this provides and don’t compromise in the future.

Score 5-7
Some aspects of your work are meaningful. Take a closer look at those you have said no to and search for the underlying patterns. Is it possible to focus on developing these areas?

Score 1-4
Your job lacks meaning – you already know that! The question is – what are you going to do about it?

This is my take on meaning at work – are there any areas you would add?


Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  creativity  development  feedback  grow  i love my job  innovation  intellectually stretched  knowledge  meaningful job  opportunity  opportunity to learn  positive impact 

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