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Archive for the ‘Big Picture’ Category

How to be innovator for life: Tom Kelley (IDEO)

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At STVP eCorner, Tom Kelley,the GM of IDEO and author of best-selling books on creativity, translates his thoughts on corporate creativity to a personal level and suggests how a innovator can learn to foster the nature of creativity for life. He urges entrepreneurial thinkers to resist the forces that chip away at creative energy, and encourages an effort toward innovation to remain young at heart.

Listen to the entire talk (MP3, 58min)

Here goes couple of great sound bites from Tom Kelly’s talk –

In his book, “Orbiting the Giant Hairball“, MacKenzie asks school children from kindergarten through sixth grade if they consider themselves to be artists. While the enthusiasm for creative free expression seems to run freely for the youngest children, the author notes some attrition from the idea starting with the second graders, and full-blown shame for artistic expression by the time he speaks to the sixth grade. The take-away from this exercise, says Kelley, is that we are all born with a high level of innovation, but it is the cultural norm to have these aspirations and pleasures flattened at a surprisingly young age.

…attitude of wisdom which is a healthy balance between confidence in what you know and distrusting what you know just enough that keeps you thirsty for more knowledge. Because we’ve all met people in our lives who they get to be an expert, they develop this deep expertise and they want to rest on their laurels. “I know a lot about that. I don’t need to know more.”

“It’s not what you don’t know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know for sure that ain’t so.” And this “know for sure” stuff could be really a problem for lots of people.

More here

Written by anol

February 17th, 2009 at 11:21 am

Slide-set from SMU speech

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The slide-set from the brief speech at SMU. Thanks Pamela, I really enjoyed the whole session.

Written by anol

February 16th, 2009 at 11:02 am

Organizational Learning, Collaboration and more : HBR

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David A. Garvin, Amy C. Edmondson, and Francesca Gino from HBR discusses the building blocks of a ‘Learning Organization’ in the article (and video), “Is Yours a Learning Organization?”

Building Blocks of the Learning Organization.  

  • A supportive learning environment:  An environment that supports learning has four distinguishing characteristics, which includes – Psychological safety, appreciation of differences, openness to new ideas, and time for reflection.
  • Concrete learning processes and practices.
  • Leadership that reinforces learning.

Another awesome video from HBR (pointed out by Luis) is an interview of Cisco CEO John Chambers, where he explains how abandoning command-and-control leadership has enabled the company to innovate more quickly, using collaboration and teamwork.

To quote :

“Stepping down from command and control formal authority and instead overseeing a web of relationships and inter dependencies requires you to be able to build an inclusive collaborative approach, more of a leading from behind perspective, to be an effective leader. To allow leadership as collective genius requires you to subjugate your own ego in order to allow others to thrive”

Written by anol

February 12th, 2009 at 11:06 am

7 things Small Businesses can learn from Chefs

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I am a lousy cook, but a big fan of good cooking shows. Why? ‘Cause I get many useful business lessons from the world class chefs. Seriously! Here goes few -

  1. There is no secret recipe
    Share everything. Chefs share there recipes will everyone, write books, host TV shows. Being open don’t take away any business from them, rather increase their reputation and eventually grow business. Share everything you learned with your present and prospective clients. If only hoarding the ‘trade secret’ can save you, you don’t have a sustainable business to start with.

  2. Create an audience, not just a client base.
    Chefs create audience, a group of targeted people who are always listening and tuning into chef’s recommendations. In business? Imaging the ‘audience’ of Steve Job’s hour long commercials! Enough said!

  3. Presentation matters
    No matter how good the food taste like, no one will like a badly presented dish. Presentation matters, in every front of business. Be careful how you present yourself – starting from your name-cards, PowerPoint presentations to website. If you don’t have the required skill, don’t take a chance – hire a professional designer.

  4. Repeat yourself.
    Chefs always repeats the ingredients and the process at least once. Follow that for every presentation or pitch you do. We might be center of owe own universe, but not for others. a quick repetition with highlighting key points is always a good habit.

  5. Simplicity Rules
    (Good) Chefs never suggest a complex cooking process or a hard to find ingredient. Simplicity is a key success factor. Edit away all the jargons from your sales pitch and business processes. Checkout Startcooking.com, great and simple recipes presented awesomely. In fact you can learn a lot about presentation from Startcooking.com. Here goes an example :

  6. Try new new things
  7. Not all the recipes are success stories. Keep experimenting and keep what works. There are many chefs, running shows and writing cookbooks for more than 10/15 years, still presenting always fresh and new things. Keep re-inventing, re-imagining.

  8. Don’t waste peoples time

    Good chefs are articulated and precise. They don’t waste time (again Startcooking.com is the case in point)
    Be precise and to the point for all your business communications – emails, web page writeup, presentations. People don’t have eternity for your stories. Tell them how you are going to make their life better and shut up.

Inspiration : A short talk by Jason Fried from 37 Signals over at BIF-4 Collaborative Innovation Summit

Cross posted at Macchiato

Written by anol

January 5th, 2009 at 7:40 am

Out-Teach Your Competitors : Jason Fried

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A short talk by Jason Fried from 37 Signals over at BIF-4 Collaborative Innovation Summit on how to spend no money on advertisement and create an ‘audience’ by out-teaching your competitors.

Written by anol

November 12th, 2008 at 6:00 am