Blackmores sees innovation as a way of life

Many organizations operating in competitive and changing markets understand the need for innovation. Few organization however have found a successful method for innovation that suits their culture and works effectively within the existing operating environment.

While there are no hard and fast rules about how an orgaisation should innovate, there are approaches to innovation that can yield strong learning and business results.

Integral Development, in partnership with Salmat Learning, recently completed the delivery of a Diploma of Management program with a focus on innovation to a group of Senior and State Managers at Blackmores.

Blackmores is Australia’s leading natural health brand offering high quality products and services in the vitamins and natural health sector. The organization realized that in order to maintain its position as the market leader it needed to invest in its people and find ways to extend its excellence in product innovation to areas such as culture, sales and marketing and management.

So how has BLACKMORES set about achieving this?

Blackmores invested in a formal learning program with a focus on innovation. The organization understands the need to engage and develop their staff in order to attract and retain the best talent. More importantly, Blackmores understands that fully harnessing the skills, ingenuity and passion of its people is critical to becoming a truly innovative health leader.

Over a 12-month program participants worked through an applied innovation curriculum that involved:

Investigating developments and changes in the marketplace that created opportunities in keeping with Blackmores values and strategic drivers; … Continue reading

Transformational leadership is the ‘Hero’s Journey’.

In the work that I do as a facilitator and coach I am frequently exposed to an enormous amount of diversity. Exposure to a diversity of organisations, industries, people, experiences and cultural backgrounds is a common feature of the life of a consultant. It is somewhat of a paradox therefore that what strikes me most about the work that I do is not the diversity but the common ground that many people experience.  It is in facing the challenge to become the leaders their organisations need them to be where the common ground emerges.

In recognizing these shared experiences I am reminded of American scholar Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) who identified a common pathway people follow that he called the hero’s journey. His belief was that we all follow a similar path throughout our life (and career) journeys with distinct stages such as ‘the call to adventure’ and ‘crossing the threshold’ marking the way. Campbell studied various people, cultures and societies from significant stages throughout human history and recognized a common developmental sequence that became the basis for his life’s work.

Campbell’s framework of the hero’s journey has become widely recognized in popular culture with his notion of the hero strongly informing education, literature and film alike. George Lucas worked closely with Campbell when writing and developing the ‘Star Wars’ films.

A core theme of Cambell’s work is that all humans have the potential to access their inner hero. Finding one’s own inner strength and courage to develop and … Continue reading

Stages of Change

The attached diagram illustrates a sequential process model for achieving lasting change.

Pre-contemplation is the first stage in this model. An example of pre-contemplation is the unassertive individual identifying the benefits of being assertive in order to create a dynamic sense of motivation and thus building a solid foundation for the construction of change.

Contemplation is the second stage wherein we strive to identify and understand what has previously prevented the desired behaviour. Contemplation is a particularly challenging stage because it entails the recognition of psychological drivers and dynamics that have resided in us at an unconscious level

However, embarking upon change with an over-reliance on existing perspectives could be likened to redecorating a house when the foundation needs attending to. It is absolutely essential that we become conscious of any potential obstacles to change before embarking on the construction and implementation of strategies for new behaviours.

Having here addressed the pre-contemplation and contemplation stages of change, in a following article I will address the preparation, action, maintenance and relapse phases in this sequential process model for achieving change.