New ideas need new behaviors - a behavioral focus on innovation


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In this presentation, we take a look at how Big Spaceship organizes itself for new behaviors, how our approach focuses on behavior, and how behavior has affected work like Skittles, Star Wars, Google, and The Most Awesomest Thing Ever.

It originally appeared here and then at eat:strategy - a strategy conference in Toronto in July 2012.

For more on Big Spaceship:

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New ideas need new behaviors - a behavioral focus on innovation

  1. Out on Good BehaviorMark Pollard, VP Brand Strategy - @markpollardModified with subtitles for Slideshare.Read with an Australian accent. JULY 18, 2012
  2. Last Saturday, I was playing frisbee with my six-year-old son at Coney Island beach whenFrankie, a local eight year old, joined in. After a few minutes of play, I asked Frankie whyhe had a black eye. He said that a kid had cursed him at school so he hit the kid in hisstomach but got headbutted in return.
  3. A few other boys joined in and we switched to volleyball with a soccer ball. About tenminutes in, I turned to pick the ball up only to return to the kids racially slurring eachother and threatening to beat each other up. Frankie’s teenage brother was coaching himto stand his ground against three other wild kids saying: “It’s a cold world out there.”
  4. Sometimes, the ideas that help you survive trap youThese kids are trapped in a cycle. Their ideas will keep them in fights that sometimes theywill win; and sometimes they won’t. It made me realize how ideas that help you survivecan also trap you.
  5. Subtitle Here Title HereLike in advertising: the politics, the competing, the infighting, the sex, the beheadings.Advertising is engorged with people who have survived with ideas that are trappingthem.
  6. Ideas compel behaviorWhy are they trapped? Well, their ideas compel their behavior.
  7. There is so much research about this. This classic business book shows how goodmanagement necessarily leads to worse performance unless you can create a new cultureand an approach to innovation outside the everyday approach to business.
  8. New behaviors compel new ideasThe only way to get to unexpected new ideas is to encourage new behaviors becausenew behaviors beget new ideas. And it’s this focus on new behaviors that I want todiscuss with you today.
  9. What happens after advertising?Which brings us to this question: What happens after advertising? It’s important to mefor two reasons. First, a lot of great people I know pose this question to themselvesevery day because they’re tired of the toxicity and bad behaviors of the industry.Second, this question shapes our behavior at Big Spaceship.
  10. I.How we behave e culture and structure of Big Spaceship
  11. 1. There’s no creative departmentLess politics leads to less noise andmore focus on issues at hand. Creative Commons: Darwin Bell
  12. 2. There’s no production departmentTeams bleed into each other’s realms andeveryone expects to contribute to themaking of a project - through whateverskills one has at hand.
  13. Cross Disciplinary TeamsThis is how we sit. And eachteam has its own name.
  14. Creative Commons: T Krueger 3. Culture is critical to the CEOThere are 2 types of CEO: one who fixateson money almost at the cost of culture,and the other who creates a culture inwhich great work happens.
  15. Creative Commons: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons 4. Values trump processMuch of Big Spaceship is a self-organizingorganism. Tools and systems exist buteach team works the way it wants to.
  16. Four PrinciplesCollaborate.Produce exceptional work.Take care of each other.Partner with your client.e rest is up to you.
  17. 5. It’s a very self-aware cultureWhat we stand for and what we are goodat is a constant discussion. On everyproject, we try to bring the best of ourculture to the work. Creative Commons: Leonard John Matthews mythoto/3943777830/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  18. 6. It’s a quiet cultureMuch of our culture happens throughGchat, AOL chat, Basecamp and on ourinternal blog. Loudness doesn’t indicateanything; making stuff does.
  19. You know you’ve made it when this happens to you.
  20. 7. If change matters, don’t service it with lipsJazz hands and lip service can only getchange so far. We’ve made severalchanges over the years - from makingmovie websites in Flash, to now, where amajority of our work involves productsand platforms. Creative Commons: Cobalt sizes/l/in/photostream/
  21. II.How we focus on behaviorAn unprocessed approach to strategy in 5 slides
  22. Ideas compelbehaviorIf we take this as an obvious given...
  23. Purpose is the new idea How does the business serve humanity?Then purpose - because of its ability to compel behaviors - is the new idea.
  24. And the planning is in the behavior How will the business behave? What behavior are we trying to affect? What behavior can we play to?
  25. The future of planning is in the experience Stage Step Actions Insights Content Metrics
  26. III.Make-behaving Turning behavior into made things
  27. Wrigley SkittlesUnderstanding that Skittles lovers enjoyed certain types of bite-sized content led to anever-ending rainbow of absurdism.
  28. Before
  29. Lucasfilm Starwars.comUnderstanding that Star Wars needed to engage superfans as well as less involvedpeople, led to a website that allowed depth as well as simpler exploration.
  30. stronger screenVW add
  31. Google What do you love? Do You LoveUnderstanding that people learn by doing and that their passions are key to their onlinebehavior, instead of a messaging campaign, we created this tool for Google.
  32. Before
  33. Big Spaceship Most Awesomest Thing EverUnderstanding that people love comparing random things and debating which is betterled to this: The Most Awesomest Thing Ever.
  34. So, that’s how a focus on behavior affects our culture, our approach and our work. And,while I hope that Frankie from Coney Island escapes the cycle that his ideas may trap himin, and if we treat Frankie merely as a metaphor, then our industry doesn’t need moreFrankies.
  35. Can good behavior get you out in time?
  36. Mark Pollard, VP Brand Strategy -