How To Avoid Innovation Theatre

Consistent investment, dedicated teams, proper evidencing of decisions, alignment with strategy. A simple but critical recipe for innovation in future-ready organisations – Tom Cheesewright One of the questions I get asked most frequently is“How do you define innovation?” This week I’ve been asked it several times so here’s a short post to recap my thoughts. ...

Does Benchmarking Really Save Companies From Failure?

Even in the very best organisations, bad practice is waiting just around the corner. In 2014 General Motors began the recall of the Chevrolet Cobalt which would ultimately affect nearly 30 million cars worldwide. The problem was with the ignition switch which could shut off the car while it was being driven, disabling power steering, power ...

What Digital Transformation Is Not About

#WAODigital18 I’m hearing a lot about testing multiple small things and spreading what works – rather than investing in single Big Bang solutions. The world is moving too fast… — Chris Bolton (@whatsthepont) June 14, 2018 “How ambitious can organisations be in using digital technology?” was the theme of two recent events I contributed to ...

The Rise Of Business Bullshit – And How We Can Fight It

“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this, but we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves.” – Harry Frankfurt  On Bullshit Many people in the social sector will have heard about ...

The Danger Of Listening To People Who Talk A Lot

Research indicates that even when everyone within a group recognizes who the subject matter expert is, they defer to that member just 62% of the time; when they don’t, they listen to the most extroverted person – Khalil Smith Innovation must be founded on a deep understanding of the problem we are seeking to solve. It ...

The Problem With Professionals

Social progress is about the expansion of freedom, not the growth of services – Cormac Russell Our digital networks, Twitter, in particular, are unparalleled listening tools. I follow thousands of accounts, many organised into lists so I can get a sense of what’s going on in innovation, technology, health, housing – and the social sector generally. ...

Why Small Teams Win

In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos came up with a rule: every team should be small enough that it can be fed with two pizzas. The ‘Two Pizza Rule’ signalled that Bezos didn’t want more talking, more line reports and more communication. He wanted a decentralised, even disorganised company where creativity and independence prevailed ...

Failure: We Need To Move From Slow And Stupid To Fast And Intelligent

In the history of pointless technology, it takes a lot to beat the Twitter Peek. Aimed at those interested in Twitter, but who didn’t own a smartphone,  it asked customers to spend $100 plus a monthly subscription. With the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly designed to solve a problem that didn’t really exist.  If you were ...

We Need To Be Boringly Reliable and Radically Disruptive – At The Same Time

Our organisations are generally bad at innovation. That’s because they are designed that way. Just as your body is designed to fight a common cold, most of our cultures protect the organisational DNA from any foreign antibodies. Add something new and it can get rejected. It’s not personal. It’s just an automatic survival mechanism. Purposeful thinking – ...

Reshaping Organisations Around What’s Strong – Not What’s Wrong

“ECONOMICS ARE THE METHOD: THE OBJECT IS TO CHANGE THE SOUL” This (pretty chilling) quote comes from Margaret Thatcher in 1981 – and ushered in an era that promoted the belief that social progress is achieved through the accumulation of wealth or status. Earn more, consume more, and you’ll be happy.  The legacy of this is ...

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