Blog Carnival Annual Roundup: 2011: The 99 Percent Solution

I am honored this year to be part of John Hunter’s Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival. John is one of the pioneers in just not using internet technology but in using it to improve organizational performance and in a way to get results. I encourage you to browse his site. It is littered with information and few aspects of continuous improvement cannot be found there.

My first blog of the week to review is The 99 Percent Solution. which is part of Behance  founded by Scott Belsky, author of Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality. I have been a big fan of the blog and so has many others. It has won the Webby Award for Best Cultural Blog and was chosen as one of the “Top 6 Sites That Inspire and Educate” by Intel’s “My Life Scoop” page.

The 99% solution’s blog is about providing Insights on making ideas happen. And they practice what they preach; their site is uniquely laid out for both the first time and the daily visitor. The website’s home page opens to an array of choices, visually displayed so you can quickly locate subject matter. What is unique about the site is that you have a good idea from the headings, how much time you will spend. For example, are you willing to watch a video, read a tip or an article or research a book?

One of my favorite 99% posts this year was this video Beth Comstock: Make Heroes Out of the Failures. Beth is GE’s SVP and Chief Marketing Officer and she talked to Scott Belsky about what it takes to keep great ideas alive in a big company. Offering essential insights for creative leaders, the conversation touches on the power of passion and storytelling in getting ideas off the ground, why we should make heroes out of failures, and the challenges of driving change amidst bureaucracy.

The site includes a Tip section that gives you incredibly powerful insights in over 30 different productivity categories. A favorite tip that I have been trying to put to use lately (don’t think I am not busy, I am swamped) was, What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space. It says, “However, despite the incredible power and potential of sacred spaces, they are quickly becoming extinct. We are depriving ourselves of every opportunity for disconnection. And our imaginations suffer the consequences.”

The strongest connection I have to this site is through their time management system called The Action Method. It is my management planner of choice. It is extremely simple and highly intuitive for a single person and/or team. I use the paper, online and the app for my iPhone all in combination with very little redundant work. The Action Planner creates a system that emphasizes action steps and having the supporting resources available. It is laid out very similar to a Personal Kanban System.

Action MethodThe action methods, Scott’s writings and the website resemble a Lean approach in so many ways that it is natural fit for use in Lean sales and marketing. I have blogged about it several times in the past but the 99 percent’s Action Method concepts simply describe standard work for the creative side of the business. A part of every job description at Behance says it all:

Across all positions, we seek people who:
  • Believe that execution matters as much as inspiration
  • Want to create and iterate, not just maintain
  • Have a bias towards taking action
  • Care deeply about design
  • Enjoy a good debate
  • Thrive in a start-up environment

Sounds very Lean to me!

Related Information:
Evolution of Standard Work in my Sales and Marketing
GE CMO sheds her view on Design Thinking
Even Seinfeld used Standard Work
Successful Lean teams are iTeams

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