Thursday, February 26, 2009

Does innovation time pay off? Google it.

So, your organization talks a lot about innovation but never really gets around to spending time on it. There are a few meetings here and there when something urgent comes up, but nothing really happens. After the meeting, the idea is forgotten until the next crisis.

That's not unusual. People talk about it but don't do much about it. I think organizations don't think the time is well invested. Let me rephrase that. Leaders don't think time spent on innovation is a productive investment. If you want to find out whether time spent on innovation is a good investment, Google it. But, don't just do a search. Look at how Google spends time being innovative, and find out how effective it can be.

According to an article in the New York Times, Google lets its employees spend 20% of their time "to work on whatever projects fan their passions." The results? Very solid, by any measure.

It's a litany of really neat products: Google Earth, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and SketchUp, just to list a very few.

It has been an excellent investment of time and people. For employees, the freedom to be truly creative and get paid for it is the real bonus.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What Color Is Your Message?

While color is often a personal choice, it can have an impact on how you deal with people. According to an article in Science magazine, the colors you use affect how your message is received.

Researchers tested the impact of color on how well people performed certain tasks. "For those that required attention to detail--such as proofreading a list of addresses--participants were slightly more accurate when the background was red, compared to blue or white. Blue, on the other hand, stimulated creativity."

Researchers also tested the impact of color on advertising. "Volunteers who viewed two versions of a fake camera ad--one that featured detailed images of the camera's features and accessories, and one that featured more creative photos (see picture)--rated the first ad more favorably when it appeared on a red background and the second one more favorably when it appeared on a blue background."

It's not conclusive, but it's worth considering. What colors do you use in your environment with your team. Makes you rethink beige.