There can be little doubt that the rate of change that most companies face is an issue. AnIBM survey of 1700 CMOs, a couple of years ago found that 4 out of 5 CMOs expected a high degree of complexity in their markets but only half felt ready to deal with that level of complexity, and this is a picture repeated anecdotally again and again. On screen now is work by Professor Richard Foster of Yale University that found that the average lifespan of a company in the S&P 500 index has decreased from 61 years in 1958 to just 18 years today. His estimation at the current churn rate is that by 2027, more than three-quarters of the S&P 500 will be companies that we have not yet heard of.
So the landscape in which just about every company is operating is changing rapidly, and the single most significant external force shaping the current and future position of companies is technology. This data taken from the most recent IBM CEO survey
Perhaps small wonder when the next great threat is just as likely to come from two college kids in a garage as the competitor you’ve been benchmarking against for years – what Hal Varian describes as the rise of the micro-multinational company. Small companies that operate early and easily at global scale
So change is a constant, and yet we are constantly hearing stories of traditional, legacy businesses that are struggling to adapt to this new world. Let’s understand one thing right from the start – change is hard – but why?
One reason is that organisations become 'sticky' over time. Their culture becomes entrenched and resistant to change. The idea of infallible uniqueness perpetuates ('we're different, so that wouldn't work here'), and there is a disinclination to admit failure. If a culture grows up around the problem-solving experiences and prcoesses associated with a particular kind of technology, then relationships between people and patterns of behaviour also grow up around that and can adapt to block change in an effort to maintain social stability and the existing relationship capital that has been built up over time. Essentially, if the underlying business or technology changes, it also changes the value of the relationships within the company, which is often something that is resisted.
So people are often naturally resistant to change if the idea isn’t theirs, which means that trying to get a new idea off the ground in a large company can often be a battle to gain consensus and momentum.
So organisational culture can be one of the most significant barriers to change of any kind – this data taken from an MIT/ CapGemini long-term study showing that competing priorities, lack of familiarity, resistance to new approaches all get in the way of digital transformation
Companies may well end up basing strategy and decisions on what I like to call ‘Toxic Assumptions’ - the kind of presumptions that are deeply embedded within companies but which contribute toward innovation inertia. The kind of assumptions that commonly go unchallenged, and are typically based on a view of the world that relies on existing market, model or competitive dynamics. As soon as those dynamics change, potentially in unforeseen ways, the business is underprepared and struggles to adapt.
Gary Kasporov once said that ‘Chess, like business, is a balance between the mundane and the unthinkable’.A real challenge around innovation in companies is the need to deliver and continually improve on day to day execution as well as originate potentially disruptive and market leading innovations - the digital team are often at the forefront of the search for that innovation so how is it possible to balancesteady, logical consistent development within the market whilst also being ready to disrupt the market and get that big leap over competition?
We don’t all have the luxury of a founder/leader like Jeff Bezos who takes a long-term view on his business, is willing to take huge calculated long-term bets for the good of the business and is also willing to be misunderstood for ling periods of time because they have the belief in their vision (just witness the kindle). For most companies, there is real tension in creating the space for innovation to happen and the need to pull resource to focus on short-term targets
Another much talked-about cultural shift is the need to embrace failure, or ‘fail fast’, or ‘fail forwards’. Jim Collins (who wrote the excellent Good To Great) identified the trait of Empirical Creativity as a key characteristic in leaders and companies who create 10x returns. These leaders understand that'freedom to fail’ in isolation is a redundant standard, but the true success driver is the'desire to learn’. His concept of ‘Empirical creativity’ is a blend of creativity and discipline. It wasn't that the successful companies that he studied were more innovative, their success was largely due to the way that they were innovative.The goal, he said, isn't to stop innovating, it's to do it in a more disciplined manner and to test your innovations and learn from your failures
We’ve recently had an excellent example of the consequences of a culture that makes it hard to fail, to test and learn. NYU professor and author Clay Shirky wrote a good piece on it describing aculture that made it difficult to pass bad news back up the line, that failed to adopt test and learn approaches with technology, and that stick to rigid waterfall processes and thinking, and so built up huge risk:"An effective test is an exercise in humility; it’s only useful in a culture where desirability is not confused with likelihood. For a test to change things, everyone has to understand that their opinion, and their boss’s opinion, matters less than what actually works and what doesn’t".
The result was a bloated site that reportedly had 500 million lines of code. DatavisualiserDavid McCandless had a remarkable visualisation that compared that to the codebases for things like the Space Shuttle, the Large Hadron Collider, and even entire operating systems.The total number of DNA basepairs in a Mouse genome isapparently over three times smaller than the number lines of code in that website.
So what does digital transformation look like in organisations? Well I’d hazard a guess that it doesn’t look like this. This is Fox News in the US showing off their revamped newsroom featuring bizarre 'big area touchscreens’ (or BATS). It was interesting that on the same day that this emerged, the FT announced their version of what digital first means. In a widely shared memo, editor Lionel Barber told journalists that they needed to re-form new habits and working processes, shift patterns, and even the relationship with readers – in a far more fundamental shift the print product now needed to derive from the web offering
So what I call the digital magpie syndrome can be really dangerous. Last year, Cap Gemini and MIT released the results of a longterm study of c.400 companies into digital maturity.They mapped digital maturity on two scales - digital intensity is investment in technology-enabled initiatives to change how the company operates. Transformation management intensity was about the leadership capabilities necessary to drive digital transformationThey found that not only were the so-called Digirati 26% more profitable than average, fashionistas, who pursued technology without the foundation of good strategy, processes and structures actually damaged their business and were 11% less profitable
Agile Development has revolutionised the way in which tech teams build software and digital products. But the challenge with agile is not just adopting agile processes in the tech team, but about the fact that it can impact structures and ways of working across the organisation, and in recognising the potential for more broad based benefit in driving efficiences, better customer experience, and innovation
…and so the bigger picture is about the progression of those processes through an organisation, and the adoption of the philosophy and CULTURE that surrounds it
So let’s start with what culture is really all about – the people. One of my favourite ever books that I mention in my video talk in Module 1 – Drive by Dan Pink talks about how limited money is in terms of motivating employees, and actually the thing that really motivates is Autonomy – the empowerment of staff to make decisions that affect their areaMastery – how people can be rewarded to get better an better at what they doPurpose – clarity of vision and purpose
So autonomy is very important. Agile is about self-organising teams. Resourcing for projects is purely voluntary, project leaders pitch developers to generate interest, engineers decide which projects sound interesting to work on
As is Mastery. Two pizza teams
Spotify thinks about roles and teams. Essentially, they have turned the matrix organization on its side.Instead of an engineering department, a design department, and a marketing department that each collaborate on products with dubious ownership, they organize vertically around products (or more specifically pieces of products) and traditional disciplines are loosely held horizontally. The main unit of organization in this model is called a “Squad,” (equivalent to a two-pizza team)This small group (usually 7-10 people) is self-sufficient, multi-disciplinary, autonomous, and focused on a particular product, problem, or module (often with a core KPI or OKR). Think of it as a mini startup. Groups of Squads that are related through product or strategy are called “Tribes.” Groups of people who practice the same discipline (design, UX, development) organize and collaborate as “Chapters,” and communities of interest that aren’t specific to a Chapter (like QA or Agile) are called “Guilds.” The squad model’s strength is that it allows one person to be a member of several different groups with completely different functions, while not losing sight of the most important thing (the user/product). What makes it flexible is squads are formed, grown, and divided or dispersed with little fanfare as the business evolves.
And lets also think about vision and purpose, both of which are hugely important in both agile and modern organisational strategy since they provide both the clarity of direction, and the reason why people would want to pursue it
Pixar are an amazingly successful film and technology company. They way they produce such success is really interesting, focusing around an ideas from anywhere approach. Their creative process involves a large number of people, often from different disciplines, but marshalled around a vision – the way they know they have a good director is not because he’s good at telling people what to do but because people want to follow that vision
So digital culture, although hard to define, involves a composite of cultural factors involving combining a ruthless commercial and customer focus, with a greater degree of openess, empowerment, collaboration, innovation, agility, and data-driven decision making.
And digital culture can be transformational. This is Harper Reed, ex-CTO of Threadless and the CTO of the Obama campaign. I saw a great talk from him at Next Berlin a few months back. The Obama campaign invested heavily in tech talent – in 2008 they had 4 engineers, in 2012 they had 40. He talked about how an API had enabled them to act quickly and at scale, rapidly executing and shipping over 200 products in a short space of time, and how they were not afraid to use technology built by other people
Meanwhile back in the UK, the Govt Digital Service are bringing a new found level of agility to what has to be the least agile, most rigid and complex environment.Founded around some core design principles that could be the basis for a sound digital philosophy for any business.Start with user needs not govt needsGovernment should only do what only government can do. If someone else is doing it — link to it. If we can provide resources (like APIs) that will help other people build things — do that. We should concentrate on the irreducible corelearn from real world behaviour - build and development process — prototyping and testing with real users on the live webMaking something simple to use is much harder — especially when the underlying systems are complex — but that’s what we should be doing.We’re not designing for a screen, we’re designing for people
Mike talks about how the old process that put policy as the starting point leads to overly detailed input, 'digital versions' of existing practices, lengthy and complex procurement proceedures and inflexible solutions based on analgue thinking:The new process shows the transformative effect of an approach driven from the very beginning by user need. For GOV.UK they created an alpha of the service in 12 weeks based on evident user needs, and designed or re-designed services through rapidly reacting to user feedback from multiple sources (user surveys, A/B testing, summative tests, social media), precluding lengthy procurement proceedures and shrinking the time between feedback and resultant changes to live services.
I really liked this list which I came across recently from Sam Altman who is the co-founder of Loopt, a silicon valley compeny that produces mobile location based services. Lots to like in the detail behind each of these points but I particularly liked: the point about making something that a small number of users really love. He says: "Successful startups nearly always start with an initial core of super happy users that become very dependent on their product, and then expand from there.”.I think it's easy to be too obsessed with scale too early on. For me, the balance between vision and validation is about designing with vision, and optimising with feedback
Another interesting take on digital culture and agility come from financial software business Intuit, who call themselves a 30 year-old startup: a company of entrepreneurs making new things through constant iteration. Intuit adopt a 70, 20, 10 model which I think has broad application since new things rarely kill old things, we need to embed digitally native practices like optimisation and amplification into our businesses, but also leave room for continuous innovationSo Intuit talk about 70% of their focus and resource being on their core/oldest products – the cash cows. This is your rowing team. 20% are younger products whose job it is to increase share and profit. These are your white-water rafters. And then 10% are completely new leaps of faith. And this is like diving for pearls.
So taking all of that, how can we think about making change itself easier?
I doubt Socrates was talking about digital transformation when he said this but it’s just relevant. Too much effort is wasting trying to fight existing legacy thinking and ways of doing things. Far better that that energy is, wherever possible, directed at buidling the new
So when building the new we need to remember that there are many ways of making new things that are different or better. Innovation is not limited to new products and services. The Doblin consultancy originated this list of ten key types of innovation that show the huge variety of things – from models to customer experiences to systems to processes to structures – that might be innovated. The most innovative companies typically innovate in very broad ways
And perspectives from other industries or external sources are more valuable than ever – here’s a great exampleimproving the 30 minute process to unplug and untangle (in a crowded space) all the wires and tubes from patients in order to transfer them from surgery to the ICU could directly improve patient care.head ICU doctor and heart surgeon, were watching a Formula One race in the hospital’s staff common room following a 12- hour emergency transplant operation and noticed how a 20-member Formula One pit crew worked seamlessly to change the car’s tyres, fill it with petrol, clear the air intakes, and send it away in less than seven seconds.So they invited the McLaren and Ferrari racing teams to work with them to identify how their own handover discipline could be more efficient. Not only was the process speeded up, but the number of mistakes were halved
So how can you give yourself as much chance as possible to gain fresh perspectives? In ‘Where Good Ideas Come From’, Steven Johnson debunks the myth of the lone inventor suddenly having a blinding spark of inspiration. Instead, he says, ideas take a long time to mature, and often start out as scattered ‘half-ideas’ or hunches that may exist for a long time. But it is the collision of these half ideas that make breakthroughs happen, and the great driver of that is connectivity
The Power of Pull, written by three Directors from the Deloitte Centre For the Edge, talks about how it is the connected employees that bring new thinking and fresh perspectives into an organisation, so if the core of a business is about doing existing stuff incrementally better or more efficiently than before, this allows for innovation at the edges. So as well as the ‘stocks’ of knowledge, companies also need to focus on the ‘flow’ of knowledge into and within their organisation
Interestingly, a McKinsey study a couple of years ago identified that what they called ‘fully networked’ companies (those that were networked both internally and externally) were more likely to be market leaders, have higher margins or gaining market share, so there is real competitive advantage in operating in this way
But innovation is not only about ideas of-course. In fact if you think about a definition of innovation as the commercialisation of ideas or inventions, then just as important is the persistence in developing the product idea and finding a viable commercial model. It took Rovio six years before they came up with Angry Birds. It took Dyson over 5,000 prototypes before he launched his own vacuum cleaner
So it’s important to understand innovation as a process. All of these things need to be done well if an organisation is to be really good at innovation
These are four paintings by the artist Stephen Taylor. They are four of my favourite paintings, and I have copies of them hanging in my living room. Stephen spent most of two years in a wheat field in East Anglia painting the same oak tree. He painted it in a huge variety of weather, light, and detail. He painted when the wheat was ripe and blown by a late summer wind, when the snow was thick on the ground, when the earth was bare and cold. He painted in the early morning light just after sunrise, in the heat of a summer midday, and when the tree was lit only by moonlight. A whole series of paintings capturing the complexity of a single living thing and the living things that surround it. Alain De Botton devoted a chapter of his book on ‘The Pleasures and Sorrows of work’ to Stephen describing how his approach to the painting of thetree was about the story not of each individual leaf but of the dynamic mass of the whole.
So the point of this is to understand that, much like the tree through the seasons, change is a complex thing that is likely to have multiple dependencies that all influence and impact each other, but more than anything it is a process, not an event.I have a personal example of this – in 2006, just when so-called Web 2.0 or the social web was beginning to take off, I was working for a large publishing company. I strongly believed that this new connected world was going to going to change everything about what that company did. But It felt like nobody was really taking it seriously enough. So I put together the most compelling presentation I could, full of unassailable facts about how this was going to change the world, I went round and presented it to five operating boards that ran the different divisions of the business. I got to the end of that process and sat back, expecting a tidal wave of new ideas, innovation, changed thinking. But nothing happened.The lesson? I had forgotten that not everyone had been on the same journey that I had. I wrongly assumed that one powerpoint deck would bring change. It was a valuable lesson in the importance of taking people on the journey with you
This is a process that Dr. John Kotter, professor at Harvard, breaks down into these 8 key stages, that are grouped into preparing the ground or creating the right conditions for change to occur, implementing and then managing change. Notice the importance of creating short-term wins when implementing change – this I think, can create powerful momentum but is often ignored
And it’s worth remembering that real change whilst individual roles and even teams may well be catalysts for new ways of working,real change can only come from a combination of top-down (a strong vision, the right organisational structures, priorities, and a serious commitment to cultural change from the very top) and bottom-up (knowledge, skills, rewards, processes, tools and behaviours).
Dr Ronald Heifetz of the Center For Public Leadership at Harvard University is known for delineating a clear differentiation between what he calls ‘technical change’ (broadly speaking the type of change that addresses more tangible things such as products, procedures or processes) and ‘adaptive change’ (that which is more concerned with less tangible human aspects such as attitudes, thinking, beliefs, values, behavioural change).Adaptive challenges, he says, have a different timeframe to technical problems. The latter might cause a high level of disturbance that will then trigger an organisational response, but since the organisation is typically already well equipped with relevant knowledge, cultural assumptions and capability to deal with such a challenge, a solution may quickly be found.Adaptive challenges are different. Instead of being problems that might be solved rapidly with existing expertise, they require on-going experimentation, learning, behavioural and attitudinal change from multiple parts of the organisation. In this instance, staff need to feel comfortable with a certain degree ofambiguity, have an ongoing commitment to the longer-term vision, and leadership is more about asking the right questions rather than providing the solution.
Effective change requires a number of key things to be aligned. The vision, central to the direction and goal-setting, requires skills to realise, incentives to aid adoption, momentum and motivation, and adequate resources to fulfil it. The action plan runs as a consistent guiding foundation throughout the process of change. This model is a great way of showing what can happen when one of those elements is missing
The Roman poet Ovid said ‘Nothing is Stonger than a habit’. A study from Duke University estimated that habits, rather than conscious decision-making, shape up to 45 percent of the choices we make every day. It’s a good parallel to think of organisations developing habits too – habits that might be hard to break
In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about how difficult it is to rid ourselves of a bad habit. The best way of doing so, he says, is to replace it with another habit. This involves recognising the cues that trigger the start of the habit, the action you take and the benefit you get from doing it. Breaking it down like this helps reform new habits, so in the context of a company it’s just as valid to reform new habits by understanding and changing the cues, routines and rewards that shape what people currently do almost without thinking about it.
One of the studies mentioned in that book is a 1994 Harvard study that examined people who had radically changed their lives... researchers found that some people had remade their habits after a personal tragedy, such as a divorce or a life-threatening illness. Others changed after they saw a friend go through something awful…Just as frequently, however, there was no tragedy that preceded people’s transformations. Rather, they changed because they were embedded in social groups that made change easier or more believable. So choose who you spend your time with carefully
Another way of thinking about this is systems and goals. Companies love setting goals to help drive change. And goals are good at giving you something to aim for. But if a goal is a target that you set to acheive at some point in the future, a system is a change in behaviour, a way of continually looking for better options or creating the right habits to build toward success. And systems trump goals:Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, draws this distinction in his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. He gives a few examples to make his point, a simple one being setting a goal to lose weight which is something that may be difficult to maintain, as compared to learning to eat better as a system that substitutes knowledge for willpower.
He says that Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous pre-success failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their system. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction. So whilst goals are good, finding ways to change and reward behaviours to create a new system is better.
One of the most interesting examples of this idea, which Adams talks about, is the practice of blogging which had a seemingly intangible return-on-effort when he started doing it but has since led to newspaper columns, speaking engagements, business opportunities and approaches from book publishers. Blogging, he explains, is a system – he was positioning himself to create more opportunity for good things to happen
I’m a big believer in the power of connecting to interest networks. There is a highly active community of advertising, digital and media people on social platforms, including some of the smartest people in the industry freely sharing their thinking – such a great resource and opportunity for anyone
Artist AustinKleon has a great set of rules in his book ‘Steal Like an Artist (10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creativity)’. I like his point about how creativity is subtraction, but I particularly what he says about how important side projects and hobbies are
And any process of change has its ups and downs. So its worth being prepared for the downs. You’re no doubt familiar with the Gartner Technology Hype Cycle which talks about the different stages that new technologies go through before they are adopted. Each technology goes through a peak of inflated expectations, but it’s only after going through a trough of disillusionment that the real long-term value starts to build.
I think there is an ‘idea hype cycle’ that we typically experience when we go through the process of implementing a new idea. We begin by rightly getting very excited about the potential of our idea. This is the peak of inflated excitement. We come down to to earth somewhat when we find that others are not quite as enthusiastic as we are, or don’t share out vision. This is the trough of disappointment. Then we start to bring people on the journey, possibilities slowly open up, others begin to support the idea. This is the slope of hope. And finally we convince others to work on it, it’s becoming a reality, and we are in the highland of headway
Innovation comes from people questioning the dominant way of thinking and status quo. As AustinKleon says, don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.Google make a point of asking bright sparks fresh out of college for their opinion on how they should tackle some of the trickier challenges that Google faces, because these new starters see things from a fresh perspective. Everyone has a valuable perspective. Yours is very valuable. Don’t be afraid to ask the awkward questions.
Humility wins - (Jim Collins: “when humility is combined with ambition it can be channeled into a cause that is bigger and more important than the individual.”)
CEOs consider technology
the single most important
external force shaping their
IBM CEO Survey 2013
“If the late 20th Century was the age of the
multinational company, the early 21st will be
the age of the micro multinational: small
companies that operate globally”
Hal Varian, Google Chief Economist
“A large organisation is almost nothing but a
massive knot of pre-existing relationships.”
“Good ideas alter the power balance in relationships, that is why good ideas are always
initially resisted.” Hugh MacLeod
Source: MIT Sloan Management/Capgmini, “Embracing Digital Technology”, 2013
Culture is one of the most significant barriers to digital
"Chess, like business, is a balance between the mundane and the unthinkable. Each move
has game changing consequences, sometimes you must win by doing the right thing each
time….but at Grandmaster level we all think 25 moves ahead and are familiar with every
nuance of the game. The only way to win at that level is to do the unthinkable, something
that explodes the game and upends my opponents thinking.” Gary Kasporov
HT Scott Gallacher, The Aston Group
Taking the Long View
Key tension - requirement for longer-term strategy and investment vs constant
need to hit short-term targets
“We are willing to think long-term. We start
with the customer and work backwards.
And, very importantly, we are willing to be
misunderstood for very long periods of time. I
believe if you don‟t have that set of things in
your corporate culture, then you can‟t do
"An effective test is an exercise in humility; it’s only useful in a culture where desirability is not
confused with likelihood. For a test to change things, everyone has to understand that their
opinion, and their boss’s opinion, matters less than what actually works and what doesn’t”
“The notion of ideas as this singular thing is a fundamental flaw.
There are so many ideas that what you need is that group behaving
creatively. And the person with the vision I think is unique, there are
very few people who have that vision.. but if they are not drawing the
best out of people then they will fail.”
Ed Catmull, President of Pixar
1. Commercially minded
3. Open and transparent (data)
4. Collaborative (cross-function, tools)
6. Growth hacker
7. Empowered (fail fast, ideas from anywhere)
8. Data driven (test and learn, evidence based)
9. Passion (hungry to learn, curious)
10. Innovative and agile (embrace change, process)
What is digital culture?
"We aggressively stood on the shoulders of giants like Amazon, and used technology that was
built by other people. We had a pretty good culture of using not-invented-here technologies.
And we weren't scared about it."
“Government should only do what only government can do. If someone else is doing it — link to
it. If we can provide resources (like APIs) that will help other people build things — do that. We
should concentrate on the irreducible core.”
• Policy as the starting point = overly detailed input
• Digital versions of existing practices
• Lengthy and complex procurement
• Inflexible solutions
• Driven by user need
• Alpha of the service in 12 weeks
• Rapid reaction to user feedback from multiple
• First 10 days after release over 100 changes at
• In many cases, delivery of services has come
before final strategy work is completed
"In an analogue world policy dictates to delivery, but in a digital world delivery informs policy".
1. They are obsessed with the quality of the product/experience.
2. They are obsessed with talent.
3. They can explain the vision for the company in a few clear words.
4. They generate revenue very early on in their lives
5. They are tough and calm
6. They keep expenses low
7. They make something a small number of users really love
8. They grow organically
9. They are focused on growth
10. They balance a focus on growth with strategic thinking about the future
11. They do things that don't scale
12. They have a whatever-it-takes attitude
13. They prioritize well
14. The founders are nice
15. They don't get excited about pretending to run a startup
16. They get stuff done
17. They move fast.
What Makes a ‘Super-Successful’ Company?
Budget split Life stage Objective KPIs Team
Small growth Maintain profit ‘Rowing team’
Increase share and
Profitable growth ‘White water
10% New Prove leap of faith
‘Diving for sunken
“The most innovative companies innovate in the broadest possible ways.”
The Ten Types of Innovation
“Looking outside your own industry for inspiration is as useful as it‟s ever been, but
you need people who can think laterally enough to apply an unfamiliar idea to their
The Importance of Fresh Perspectives
Getting patients from surgery to ICU in Gt Ormond St…
Chance favours the connected mind
• The eureka myth
• Ideas take a long time to mature
• Collision of „half ideas‟
• Connectivity drives collisions
Ideas From Anywhere
• Connected employees bring new thinking into the organisation
• Allows for innovation at the edges – non-core thinking
• Companies less reliant on „stocks‟ of knowledge, and more connected to „flows‟ of knowledge
“…fully networked enterprises are
not only more likely to be market
leaders or to be gaining market
share but also use management
practices that lead to margins
higher than those of companies
using the Web in more limited
The Networked Enterprise
Test and Learn
It took Rovio 51 attempts and six years to come up with Angry Birds.
It took over 5,000 prototypes and 15 years of perseverance for James Dyson to launch
the Dyson DC01 vacuum cleaner under his own name
“Prototype an idea as soon as possible, be transparent and have a fact based
organisation – endeavour to constantly remove guesswork.”
Developing a culture of experimentation
The Innovation Value Chain
CHANGE IS A PROCESS NOT AN EVENT
Technical change: change that addresses tangible products, procedures or processes
Adaptive change: less tangible human aspects - attitudes, thinking, beliefs, values, behavioural change
Technical and Adaptive Change – Embracing Uncertainty
Knoster T, Villa R, & Thousand J. (2000). A Framework for Thinking about Systems Change. In R. Villa & J. Thousand
“You can’t extinguish a bad
habit, you can only change it.”
Changing Organisational Habits
“When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that
change to occur becomes more real.”
You Are Who You Choose to Spend Time With
"If you do something every day, it’s a
system. If you’re waiting to achieve it
someday in the future, it’s a goal."
Systems Trump Goals
"If you do something every day, it’s a
system. If you’re waiting to achieve it
someday in the future, it’s a goal."
“The goals people are fighting the feeling of
discouragement at each turn. The systems
people are feeling good every time they apply
Systems Trump Goals
"I was moving from a place with low odds (being an out-of-practice writer) to a place of
good odds (a well-practiced writer with higher visibility)."
A Bit Like Blogging…
Trough of Disappointment
Peak of Inflated Excitement
Slope of hope
Highland of headway
The Idea Hype Cycle
What does this mean for me?
Be the change you wish to see
But remember change is a process, not an event
Don’t just think creativity – think empirical creativity
Ask the awkward questions
Focus on behaviours, not technology
Always be learning
Surround yourself with people who inspire you
Connect with the great thinking that is given away freely in this industry
Don’t fight the old, build the new!