6 Key Innovation Insights

As part of MLC’s search for best practices in radical innovation (contact us if you have thoughts to share!), I attended the PDMA’s 2010 Global Innovation Conference last week.

One of my highlights was definitely playing with the Spotme networking devices that all attendees received. These hand-held gizmos represent the acceptable face of stalking, enabling you to browse a list of attendees and track relevant people as they move around. It then alerts you every time your target comes within a 25ft radius of you so you can catch them and exchange knowledge. The technology isn’t perfect yet, but it just might be the future of networking.

I also saw some great presentations from General Mills, Corning, Coach, Ashland, Mohan Sawhney, Dan Pink and others. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways:


by  Anna Bird
http://mlcwideangle.exbdblogs.com/2010/10/26/6-key-innovation-insights/

As part of MLC’s search for best practices in radical innovation (contact us if you have thoughts to share!), I attended the PDMA’s 2010 Global Innovation Conference last week.

One of my highlights was definitely playing with the Spotme networking devices that all attendees received.  These hand-held gizmos represent the acceptable face of stalking, enabling you to browse a list of attendees and track relevant people as they move around. It then alerts you every time your target comes within a 25ft radius of you so you can catch them and exchange knowledge. The technology isn’t perfect yet, but it just might be the future of networking.

I also saw some great presentations from General Mills, Corning, Coach, Ashland, Mohan Sawhney, Dan Pink and others.  Here are a few of my favorite takeaways: Leer más “6 Key Innovation Insights”

Answer One Question to be a Better Manager

Most of you aren’t managing all-volunteer organisations, so you may ask: so what? Here’s the thing that I realised though – the more I managed in “real” businesses, the more I realised that all of the lessons I learned at the radio station still held true. Carrots and sticks don’t work very well anymore (see the talk by Dan Pink). Here’s how Douglas Rushkoff puts it in Get Back in the Box:

These top-down, regimented forms of group cohesion could not cope with the complexity of real human beings interacting with one another. Our newfound ability to embrace more complex dynamics changes all this. Instead of trying to get everyon to conform to a simple set of commands, a great manager, organizer, or leader strives to create an environment or provide the tools through which people naturally cooperate.


What would I do differently if everyone reporting to me was a volunteer?

Some of the things I learned are:

  • Passion trumps everything: passion is what kept the station running. It’s why I got involved with it in the first place. All of us were passionate about finding music and sharing it with people (or sharing the news, or sports). How can you keep a group of 120 volunteers going? Purpose.
  • You can’t use power: when everyone is a volunteer (with more important things that the should probably be doing!), you can’t force them to do anything. If they don’t like the situation, they’ll quit.
  • The number one job of managers is to remove obstacles: when you have neither carrots nor sticks to fall back on for motivation, you develop a different set of management skills. Finding the things that motivate people is one of them. The big one though is figuring out how to clear out the obstacles that prevent people from getting things done. A good manager is not a director, but rather a supporter. Leer más “Answer One Question to be a Better Manager”

Following Some Lines of Thought

Posted by Tim in innovation

I’ve run across a number of things that relate to recent posts, so I thought I’d put together a quick grab-bag selection today.

* Yesterday I talked about Naomi Simson and innovation at RedBalloon. One thing that I forgot to mention is that in addition to growing incredibly quickly and being very successful financially, RedBalloon is also consistently rated by employees and outside evaluators as being a great place to work. I was reminded of this when I read a post this morning by Matt Perez called Creating a Great Place to Work. Matt’s firm NearSoft was just named one of the Top 20 Great Places to Work in Mexico, which is a great achievement.

Being a great place to work is critically important when we are trying to make our organisations more innovative. As Dan Pink says in his book Drive, if we want creative (innovative!) work from people, we have to empower them, and give them the autonomy they need to come up with great new ideas. Compare that idea with NearSoft’s goal:

we just aim to create a culture that people want to be part of and an environment that people want to be work in. And we (all) work hard at improving and innovating on it every day.


Posted by Tim in innovation

we just aim to create a culture that people want to be part of and an environment that people want to be work in. And we (all) work hard at improving and innovating on it every day. Leer más “Following Some Lines of Thought”