En vald sanning

Min valda sanning är att mänsklighet är lönsamt och värdeskapande.

Det är också det nya svarta.

Mänsklighet är den enda riktigt vettiga differentieringsstrategi vi har kvar att ta till i de flesta marknader. Överetablering och överflöd har medfört att dagens knappa resurs är kunder. Vi har helt enkelt inte tillräckligt med kunder till alla våra fina produkter och tjänster.

Framtidens marknadsvinnare behöver erbjuda kunderna mening. För att lyckas med det behöver medarbetarna uppleva mening. Då behövs det äkta engagemang. Äkta mening. Äkta mänsklighet.

Vi kommer inte ha antingen lönsamhet eller mänsklighet. Vi kommer ha båda. Eller behöva packa ihop verksamheten.


Rant on innovation

I wrote this on January 2, 2009. After coming back from two days at a conference on innovation in the public sector I was just about to write a rant about the goings on in this field. But something in me said I had already written it… And so I had. Here is a small excerpt:

If you really want your organization to be more innovative, creative and entrepreneurial – go to school and study the best. Steal from them and implement. But foremost understand that this is a process of changing culture that takes time, a long time. And be humble to the fact that you might not succeed. Organizations have been known to resist change…

Here is the full post. I'd love to know what you think.


PS. In general I find it more and more intersting to explore the charades we employ in our organizations. I'l be writing about this in a coming post. DS.


Troubling stuff

Read this.

"The study, called "State of Create," found that eight in 10 people believe that creativity is critical to economic growth. But it also found that only one in four people feel like they are living up to their own creative potential. And 75% of respondents said they feel like their employers put more pressure on them to be productive than to be creative."




Holy moly

This post in Management Issues just baffled me. Consider this:

"In fact, four out of 10 of the 500 employees surveyed said that innovation is either a long shot for their company or a mere "buzz word" the company would like to embrace."

"According to research carried out in 2010 by the Nielsen Company, organizations with less senior management involvement in the new product development process generate 80 per cent more new product revenue than those with heavy senior management involvement."

"A culture of innovation will support ideas coming from any individual, any level and sometimes from unusual places in the organization."

I rest my case. Do you now get why organizations need to be more human friendly?


Hacking Management

A couple of years ago I went to London and participated in the launch of Julian Berkinshaw's book Reinventing Management. That put me on track for his and Gary Hamel's joint work into Management Innovation. As with all new strands of work you see some very interesting stuff and you see some not so impressive stuff. But they have stayed on track and their work has among other things evolved into The Management Exchange or The MiX.

I can recommend that you spend some time at The Mix. Check out what they are doing. See some interesting clips. Read about the different 'hacks' of management that are being tested.

It is work life this that we need to be doing on a wider scale, in each organization. I agree with the basic premise they make. Management as a technology is mature and needs to be innovated, or rather reinvented. 20 years from now we'll be amazed over the progress we've made. For now we're stuck in confusion and frustration over an organizational model that is losing it's ability to deliver what we need. And is step by step draining us of our most precious resource – our dignity and humanity.



Stanford Magazine profiles d.school

"A first-year graduate student in the management science and engineering program, Asha Gupta had barely started Design Garage, a course aptly characterized as an "imagination dunk tank"—and she was getting soaked. Gupta and her classmates were challenged to develop a prototype that would improve the gift-giving experience. They had 54 minutes."

via www.stanfordalumni.org

A darn interesting piece on the development of d.school. Why do we have so few learning environments like this?



Innovating education

Everything I've read so far on renewal and innovation of our floundering education systems seem to be based one or more of these unchallenged and potentially faulty assumptions:

  • Business knows what we need. Hell, they can hardly predict a quarterly earnings report so why would they know anything about what kind of competences would be needed in 50 years time?
  • Politicians know what we need. Hello, get real.
  • The current system can be fixed. Remember Einstein's wise words?
  • A knowledge society will resemble an industrial society. That is obviously what our industrial minded institutions need to say and believe. They aren't just going to dismantle themselves peacefully.
  • A knowledge society is what we are headed for. Hello once again. How can we be so sure? Could is be that this knowledge society is just a transition phase into whatever comes next? Or will there be several parallel societies? Just sayin'…
  • With rational thinking we can deduct what the future education system needs to look like. Duh, that is the industrial model. Remember Einstein..?
  • No bold choices and decisions need to be made. Once again the voice of the industrial and bureaucratic mind.
  • Human needs (our kids' needs) are not given weight in the innovation process. This makes me the most frustrated. Our kids are seen as empty containers to be filled. Furthermore, established institutions, largely clueless about our future, are allowed to more or less without opposition dictate what education should look like.
  • We can't start changing the system if we don't know beforehand what the end result should be. If the need was an incremental change, fair enough. But we are approaching a system change that aims to create a body of methods, knowledge and competences our kids will be using 30-50 years from now. So how could we know the end result? Even hinting that borders on arrogance.

I'll leave it at that. I think my point is fairly clear. We need to have a much more broad and open view of the process of innovating education. Yes, and also remember that it needs to be an emerging process. Trial and error, experiments, prototypes, etc.

Right now it is more fruitful to discuss and build agreement on a process for the innovation of our education systems rather than get locked into arguments about content, curricula, learning goals and you name it. Sure, we need a desired outcome to give us direction and in my view that outcome should be formulated in terms of human needs. Nothing less.

And I'll say one thing that I believe must be in that desired outcome. Ecologically sustainable human life.