The more I research organizational innovation, the more I become certain that rule breaking is its basic tenet and rule breaking in a world controlled by systems thinking comes at personal risk. Over the last couple of months, I have stumbled across extraordinary stories about how individuals have taken dangerous personal risks with good intentions, to follow a hunch or an insight around their work that has been impeded by entrenched bureaucracy or prevailing popular organizational orthodox. I am focusing my research for the next couple of articles on this area to see if I can discover the conditions, circumstances, motivations and associated patterns that cause these acts of risk taking and what the outcomes might be. (At the end of the article I offer a contact email address if you have similar experiences you would be happy to share). Some importance context around this phenomenon to commence. Organizational innovation is very difficult because the creative endeavours and behaviours that go into firstly creating an idea and then secondly implementing it to produce innovation are subtle, nuanced and idiosyncratic. No two situations are the same when it comes to organizational creativity and like the very act of conception itself, it takes many little unique ideas to make a single implemented innovation. Yet the technology underpinning larger organizations demands the organization follow the same process by doing the same thing in the same way in the same situation every time. It does seem ironic
Entries in Innovation (21)
Creativity conferences are now some of the longest annually occuring live learning events globally. The US Creative Problem Solving Institute Conference is in its 59th consecutive year; the American Creativity Association Conference is in its 25th consecutive year; the South African Creativity Foundation Conference is in its 19th consecutive year and CREA, Sestri Levante Italy and Mindcamp in Toronto, Canada are just babies starting out with only 10 consecutive years each under their belts. There is a reason for this phenomenon. Creativity conferences deliver to adults creative learning experiences years of formative education failed to deliver and continues to fail to deliver. Unlike academic conferences
I don't ever want to hear another engineer say I am not creative after attending a presentation on innovation and creativity by Tristan Carfrae, Senior Fellow at Arup, the designers and structural engineers in the consortium who amonst landmark projects constructed the Water Cube for the Olympic Aquatic Centre at the Beijing Olympics and where the engineers on the construction of Sydney's famous Opera House. What was particularly interesting about Carfrae's presentation was his proposition innovation in the building industry is very difficult and when you look at the simple physics of his proposition, he has a point. Every building is a prototype that mustn't fail.
The word tsunami keeps appearing in my conversations with senior leaders around innovation and the future. Why? Because they like I believe disruption is now too weak a term to describe what is happening in business models in many markets and industries globally. Business model tsunami more appropriately describes the phenomenon as social media and the digital world emerge from the edge and enter mainstream business and our daily lives. Indeed, a senior executive from one of Australia’s leading insurance companies in a conversation this week likened the eruption of digital to
Recently I was reminded of how social media has emerged into the mainstream of organizational life along with our personal lives. How it is disrupting all forms of business and organizations in the most dynamic, uncertain and yet optimistic way I think I have ever seen over the 30 years I have been involved with organizational innovation. Over the past weeks, I have been working in the financial services industry assisting an organization’s team of future leaders develop their creative thinking around the organization’s design of future products and services. And I am surprised to report, there is a high level of creativity amongst the leaders in this large traditional governance dominated organization and a high level of belief the leaders can bring themselves to work and make a difference. More importantly the new generation of leaders coming through have a social conscience with more than a passing curiosity in social media and innovation. Banks, in particular, are under threat because web based technology platforms built by PayPal, Amazon and eBay, based on social media technology and principles and the notion of personal trust in commercial transactions, have begun to democratize the flow of ordinary funds in the global economy. Banks' positions as controllers of the flow of global funds has meant they have been able to dictate market terms and conditions on a whole range of financial services products. However, their position as the central processing hubs for payments is now under severe threat. As a result,