Measures: Will You Get What You Want?

I recently spoke with a new client who shared with me their innovation measures.  When I looked at their measurement system, I immediately saw flaws. But before addressing these imperfections, let me first provide you my perspective on innovation measures. In general, there are...

Innovation and the Performance Paradox

Today, my article on “The Performance Paradox: When Less is More” was published by the American Management Association. You may recall that I introduced this concept in a blog entry last month. What is the Performance Paradox? The more fixated on your goal you become,...

How to Swim Faster

At a recent workshop on creativity, I discussed “the performance paradox” – the concept that trying harder produces poorer results. Afterwards, one executive in the audience came up to me and told me his own story.  He said… “When I was a kid, I went to summer camp. ...

How to Perform at Optimal Levels

In the early 1900s, Robert Yerkes and J. D. Dodson developed the aptly named Yerkes-Dodson Law. The premise is that performance increases relative to motivation (they call it “arousal”) only to a point, after which performance drops. It is typically drawn as an inverted U-shaped...

Go 95%; Achieve Optimal Performance

I just read a blog entry on CanOWorms that discusses the concept of 95% perfection. The general idea is that in sports, we achieve optimal performance when we put 95% effort into what we do. My own experiences — personal and professional — support this premise. A few...