What Effect Does Environment Have On Our Ability To Think Creatively?


When you think of the “space to innovate” what immediately springs to mind? Is it the physical space , the mental space, the calendar space? All three? I’ve been thinking a lot about spaces and environments this week: specifically what are the best creative spaces to boost collaboration? Few companies measure whether the design of … Continue reading What Effect Does Environment Have On Our Ability To Think Creatively?

How To Kill Ideas (Part 53)


Many organisations act as inhibitors of innovation. Rules and protocols are put in place, often for very good reasons, that preserve the status quo.  Over time, organisations develop a set of social norms – ‘the way we do things around here’ – that can quell any creativity or dissent. Organisations can quickly develop an autonomic immune response … Continue reading How To Kill Ideas (Part 53)

How To Resist Corporate Hoarding


Many companies are still using software built or purchased from a time when Blockbuster were fining us for late returned videos. Most of the companies we admire for their innovation , your Amazons, your Netflixes or your Apples have no such legacy ways of working holding them back. They either cleared them out years ago … Continue reading How To Resist Corporate Hoarding

The Complex Problem With Big Change Programmes


Change-washing (noun): the process of introducing reforms that purport to bring about change but fail to result in any substantive shifts in systems, services or culture.  — Thea Snow and Abe Greenspoon One of the unfortunate side-effects of writing a post that becomes popular such as  People Aren’t Sick Of Change. They’re Just Sick Of … Continue reading The Complex Problem With Big Change Programmes

The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable


Never mistake your Twitter feed for your country — Nick Cohen (@NickCohen4) December 12, 2019 Now, more than ever, it’s easier to exist within a bubble. We spend a lot more time communicating through screens than talking face to face. Our digital social networks are powered by algorithms designed to feed us information confirming what … Continue reading The Problem With Seeing People As Vulnerable

Redesigning Organisations For Positive Deviance


What if the traditional way that we think change happens is all wrong? What if our focus on the spread and scale of innovative business solutions isn’t the answer – but is part of the fundamental problem? In 1990, an American couple named Jerry and Monique Sternin were sent by Save the Children to fight … Continue reading Redesigning Organisations For Positive Deviance

The Complex Task of Simplicity


If you want to make things truly simple to use by your customers, you will nearly always have to make your organization take on more complexity – Gerry McGovern Yesterday, I delivered a talk at a conference that was aimed at getting organisations ‘back to basics’. The problem, I proposed, was that we live in a … Continue reading The Complex Task of Simplicity

How Technology Can Increase Collaboration And Build Trust


This post is an shortened version of a plenary talk delivered in Cardiff for the Wales Audit Office  Depending on your age it’s likely that the two things you were not taught in school were: a) how to collaborate effectively and b) how to use technology to connect and share with others And yet these … Continue reading How Technology Can Increase Collaboration And Build Trust

How To Kill Doomed Projects


The challenge for managers in the “can-do” culture of business is to distinguish between belief as a key driver of success—and belief as something that can blind managers to a project’s ultimate failure – Isabelle Royer  It’s always easier to start something new than it is to stop doing something. Many of our organisations are … Continue reading How To Kill Doomed Projects

How To Avoid Corporate Initiativitis


We’ve never felt so busy at work, and never been less engaged. 90% of people say they expect to find a substantial degree of joy at work, yet only 37% report that they do. Many of our organisations remain afflicted by: Initiative-itis: The condition of mistaking busyness for productivity Vanity Projects: Things that only got … Continue reading How To Avoid Corporate Initiativitis

How To Kill Ideas


We were asked a really good question last week with the visit to Bromford of the Disruptive Innovators Network. How long should you spend on an idea? In the early days of Bromford Lab we had a 12 WEEKS MAX rule. If we couldn’t get an idea up and running within that time – it should … Continue reading How To Kill Ideas

What We Can Learn From The Oldest Companies in The World


Shigemitsu Kongo, a Japanese Buddhist temple builder, formed his construction company Kongo Gumi in in 578 AD. His company built relationships with their customers that lasted for 1,400 years, surviving through many wars and natural disasters,  just like their temples. It wasn’t technology that nearly killed the company, but cashflow. The oldest company in the world … Continue reading What We Can Learn From The Oldest Companies in The World

Lessons Learned From Five Years of Failure


Sometimes the execution of the idea doesn’t need to be the best to succeed. In 1989 a video game designer called Gunpei Yokoi changed the world with the launch of the original Nintendo Game Boy. It took gaming out of the hands of geeks and paved the way for the industry to become the most … Continue reading Lessons Learned From Five Years of Failure

Why We Don’t Collaborate


Everyone says they love collaboration. Our open offices are designed to encourage collaboration. We recruit for people who are collaborative in nature. The digital tools we use are aimed at fostering greater collaboration. We promote the benefits of collaboration , or even co-creation, with our customers and service users. Collaboration has replaced innovation as the … Continue reading Why We Don’t Collaborate

How Good Company Culture Can Go Bad


Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. One of the best hours I spent this week was with our Governance, Risk and Assurance Team. There – I said it. Joking aside, the relationship between governance and innovation is an important one.  As I wrote in my last post – for an organisation to support innovation … Continue reading How Good Company Culture Can Go Bad

Creating The Right Culture For Innovation and Change


I’m not sure I buy into the concept of organisations having a culture of innovation. After all, innovation is a process consisting of four things: Having an idea that solves a problem Doing something with that idea Proving that it delivers new value for people Translating it into reality and making it part of the … Continue reading Creating The Right Culture For Innovation and Change

The Fruitless Quest For Inbox Zero: Eight Tips To Protect Your Time


You can seek to impose order on your inbox all you like – but eventually you’ll need to confront the fact that the deluge of messages, and the urge you feel to get them all dealt with, aren’t really about technology. They’re manifestations of larger, more personal dilemmas – Oliver Burkeman At the back-end of … Continue reading The Fruitless Quest For Inbox Zero: Eight Tips To Protect Your Time

Who Really Wins From Digital Transformation?


The birth of the change management movement began in the 1960s and 70s – when big consultancy began to see a vast new market – convincing organisations of the benefits of ‘transformation’. Alongside this came the development of a distinctive, pseudo-scientific language of change which the consultants needed to pitch themselves to new clients. It … Continue reading Who Really Wins From Digital Transformation?

Is It Time To Get Rid Of The Job Title?


Deleted my Tesla titles last week to see what would happen. I’m now the Nothing of Tesla. Seems fine so far. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 29, 2018 Last week Elon Musk dropped all job titles associated with Tesla referring to himself as CEO of nothing. Although he soon discovered that some jobs are legally required … Continue reading Is It Time To Get Rid Of The Job Title?