From the monthly archives: January 2013

A good example: Co-creation

The usefulness of things should be a privileged destination of creation but those things often satisfy the wants of the people and not always satisfy their needs.

Being creative means having an open mind to encompass all condiments of a good creation. An open mind is not limited to create desired things or come up with concepts that they like.

An open mind seeks to create something with meaning and purpose.

Traditionally the innovation arises in developed countries and then is “exported” to “least developed countries”. This route does not bring the true meaning that innovation should carry and only serves mostly to satisfy the desire of more fortunate people or to satisfy the vanity of owning the latest news.

This hierarchical approach to innovation, directed by conductors of large companies where top talent make vibrate the technical and creative skills is increasingly destined to be called into question.

Today create far from home (corporate headquarters) is a possible path that uses the art of improvisation to find solutions that later by a reverse process, are adapted to the needs of the populations of developed countries.

Create outside the context of R&D orchestras is like to compose with local and rudimentary instruments, doing more with less and then make arrangements to play with traditional and universal instruments.

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Procter & Gamble, GE and PepsiCo, among many others have already experienced success with these new approaches and others experience yet new paths:

Emerging markets like Africa, India and China offer Western engineers a great training ground to practice frugal simplicity. For example, Siemens, the German industrial giant, is using its R&D teams in India and China to develop minimalist solutions that deliver higher value to customers. In one instance, Siemens’ engineers in India — working closely with their German colleagues — developed a Fetal Heart Monitor that uses inexpensive microphone technology rather than the costlier ultrasound technology. This “good enough” medical device promises to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to more people — not only in emerging markets but also in developed economies. “

We still feel the times of crisis, although not with as much intensity as a few years ago, and so the way we see innovation and their destinations should be reconsidered as an “incremental revolution” which will solidify ways of thinking and acting.

Innovation should mean generate more business and more social value, significantly reducing the use of resources that are considered scarce.

Innovation should mean completely rethinking the way to achieve a goal and, in some cases, this may mean redefining the goal we pursue.

Innovate should mean adapting the environments where we live to new demands and needs from younger to older.

Living longer is great, but it is also a formidable challenge for both public and private budgets, for public services and for older people and their families. New approaches and solutions are needed urgently and you should be aware of them. Start today with ‘Active and Healthy Ageing’ and care for your health.”

Innovation means coming up with a new idea capable of creating a better world and create better children in a changing world.

Innovating means being able to create solutions for the errors that my and other previous generations committed and also be able to avoid that other generations share the same mistakes.

Innovation means creating positive learning environments, applying the present to a new context.

I think as we are moving forward in our journey of life, we are thinking of leaving something, as a testimony of our presence, which can serve to tell a story later so people can learn with our experience.

Let us be innovative without a deadline to do it!

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Reconciliation of generations

In this 21st century we live in, we are deepening differences between the various generations who cohabit the planet, instead of the schedule a meeting for a common good.

Although this “deepening” come up with relevant differences imposed by different cultures and communities, the four or five generations that mix or combine  themselves have much to learn from each other.

For example, older people need to learn to use new technologies intuitively and the younger ones need to hear stories of experiences with success and disastrous experiences to learne the importance of context and relevance.

“Children in this century are too different from us. So we really have to give them all the opportunities, to have the skills so that when they reach our age, they will be equipped in doing what is positive, appropriate for the world…

The 21st century child is a combination of the three things — creative, cognitive, and learning and he is also a child with a champion mind. He or she can really say ‘I can do my best in any situation that I’m given in and if I’m not good in this, that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything’,”- De Ocampo

We do not need to think much to see that these kids are the future generations to create business or to take our places in organizations where we work.

The explosive combination of creativity, cognition and learning sheathed in a spirit of champion is an excellent model to embed for all generations and serves as a source of reflection for the status quo in many of us as stakeholders in organizations, but is also a starting point for new achievements.

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Let us leave our comfort zones and come closer to this model through the activities that we develop in organizations.

It is expected that faced with this combination, the attempts to innovate and to be entrepreneur, comes drastically and sometimes uncoordinated, not inserted in contexts or with unclear meanings, which does not facilitates the growth and sustainability of businesses.

But if, to those children and all the others that there is within us, it is necessary to create a favorable environment for their growth, guiding it in such a way that produces positive results, it is also vital that our creative and innovation ability be developed in a balanced and healthy environment within organizations.

Critical thinking, curiosity and enthusiasm that is necessary in solving problems, are relevant aspects of creative thinking that we’ve seen over the years being repressed by the school and other educational and learning environments.

Being creative is to be able to be different and such like they did with us a few years ago, now we encourage or support our children or students to be all equal, with equal clothes, using the same technology and eating or drinking coffee at the same places.

Then when they reach the “adult age” will follow our example, what model out of fashion, and we will see that many of their ideas, which eventually were already released on a platform either for analysis and selection, are nothing more than intentions.

Many of these intentions are representations of to act through the creation of new procedures, processes and promising products, services or business models, but willingness is not enough.

Such as in a laboratory, our team or organization we need to work in good environmental conditions, comparable to the best hospital facilities, the right studio of a sculptor or a kindergarten.

I think we can say that creativity, cognition and learning are the angles of the triangle of success.

And likewise there is a screwed up too big to say that fun, curiosity and experimentation are levers for innovative behavior.

Tell me what do you think?

 

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A sea of contingencies

Innovation never reduces to a good idea. It is a process, which plays primarily in the appropriation of novelty for those who must implement it. Interestingly, there is a tendency to neglect this process of appropriation or to considerer it just in that angle of brakes and obstacles.”

Saying that, if we have an idea considered excellent, we must move immediately to its implementation is as dangerous as saying that a successful methodology (within a given context) can fit all kinds of projects we develop.

There are many experiments that have shown that a single method does not fit the wider diversity of projects because the success of this will depend on the intensity of the change they cause, the context in which they will experience, the reasons that promoted their development, their complexity and contingency or pre-conditions that exist in the moment we pull the trigger.

So why think about all this when we talk about innovation process?

We should think about this because there is a need to aggregate organization areas, interdisciplinary teams and elements of diverse natures. This happens on projects involving a large number of people and with a wider geographic distribution and where the concern with the connectivity must be constant.

Because it regards the effects that projects generate on the environment and on the behavior of the people involved.

Because creativity and innovation means being different.

Because the context is a contingency and a single model does not fit all projects.

Because a good idea is only good if you have in fact regard the undesirable consequences that it can bring. Our tendency to solve immediate problems without looking at the whole can bring undesirable consequences of innovation.

Often when we look back, for all the activities already elapsed in innovation processes, whether successes or failures, we do not see a lot of data or events likely to learning.

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At such times, we consider, and well, some believed to be fundamental achievements and celebrate the creativity, cultural diversity or interdisciplinarity, but almost always shyness WINS in approaching people.

“It was nice to celebrate the creativity of employees; we keep the habit of thinking innovation in terms of design, and not dissemination. This approach leads to give emphasis to the methods. It is a response that has relevance, because of course the purpose of the company is not flourish all over the place the creativity of each one. We are at organizations that operate with procedures. But the “methodical” approach to innovation is limited by its difficulty in regard to an essential point: ownership, i.e. the ability of interested parties – managers, employees, suppliers, subcontractors – to adjust the novelty to their needs or their concept of effectiveness. Therefore it is necessary to remember that this is empirical, confirmed by the history of innovations: innovation manages from the downstream and not from the upstream.”

To manage the outcome of the work carried out on our ideas we have to always bear in mind two important aspects: the meaning of things and relationships between people.

I think that a process of innovation depends crucially on interactions, as a means of obtaining new knowledge and therefore seems essential the existence of interdisciplinary teams to provide a comprehensive perspective of the consequences of the use of an innovative product or service.

As a result of the relationship developed in interdisciplinary teams, learned behaviors are a fundamental difference that manifests themselves in the form of a culture of innovation in organizations.  This culture is lived with passion and it is supplied with the celebration of ideas of all elements of the team.

Innovation is an essential guidance for the success of many projects, simple or complex, but when we talk about its implementation and its complexity we have necessarily to reference the interdisciplinary characteristics, the volume of information and their diversity, the number of individuals and organizations involved and the quality of existing or performed connections.

There is an endless universe of small and subtle variables or factors in innovation that we carry up to the level of contingency, but there is no doubt that the human factor is among them the most important and the most complex.

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Innovation with Open Mind

“…knowledge diversity facilitates all types of contributions to open innovation projects”

In some way we can say that the knowledge diversity or even experiences and cultural diversity, when we talk about interactions between companies and its exterior, easily produce new knowledge.

However this new climate of interaction can obstruct and derail the success of open innovation.

It is essential, therefore, to know how people, when placed in teams, can make substantial contributions of knowledge and how they can combine those contributions giving rise to new knowledge, new ideas and innovation.

But what are the problems these people face in knowledge exchange?

In small and medium-sized enterprises are the networks that facilitate these exchanges of knowledge and provides high levels of creativity as well. More than the formal networks established by companies, informal networks launched the frontiers of knowledge of SMEs to surprising levels.

Networks work more and more to small and medium-sized companies as a way to learn about business opportunities and about the potential for intervention outside its borders.

Though after a few years since Henry Chesbrough coined the term “Open Innovation”, the leaders and managers of SMEs does not yet demonstrate behavior and practices typical of an exploratory attitude or of a networking of exploration of new territories and environments.

There is not a trend or a common desire widespread within companies for advancing collaboration in the creation of products and services or in their marketing, most likely because there is not a climate of trust to promote this collaboration.

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By the absence of this climate companies that have integrated some knowledge about the new opportunities from the networks do not come out of its embryonic state of collaboration, and feel difficulty in perceiving a decrease of risk that networked collaboration features.

Building trust is a vital issue and a facilitator for businesses when we established connections in the network.

The first step is to create confidence in the new models within the leaders and managers and make it expand by contagion to all employees.

When a company has allowed or was able to build the internal trust among its employees, essential step to a progression in an environment of open innovation, its employees become imbued with the ambition of being innovative.

Today seems to be irrefutable fact that innovation doesn’t happen without connections and without nets and consequently, the employees of the companies will face the same challenges of trust that their leaders or managers.

Those connections and networks are the result of an era of intense technological development where exchanges of knowledge associated with missing or surplus technologies must be clear so that we can address these challenges of trust.

The more evolved is the technology provided more credibility and greater responsiveness of third parties.

“As a rule, in the Portuguese case, we have a strong emphasis on absorption”, says the researcher, explaining that the tendency, in Portugal, is that companies try to use technologies created outside their companies and do not use the surplus technologies that they have to share with others. This makes the Portuguese innovation model a relatively closed model when compared with countries where technological development is advanced. “

But, technology is not enough to increase levels of trust in open innovation. It is also necessary a greater collaboration and the creation of a common language, the transformation of implicit into explicit and the acquisition of meaning and purpose of the project.

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This post was originally published at Crowd Sourcing Week

 

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A desired change

To be successful in the future we need to understand that the landscapes are quickly changing and so we have to develop our capabilities to navigate.

The future is an open sea that will oblige us to re-evaluate our skills continuously and quickly rearrange the resources available to develop and update those skills.

The future will be, above all, adaptation and lifelong learning.

Most of us prepared hard for the future we expected, and yet things aren’t working out as we had planned. That’s true if you have been laid off, are a recent college graduate who feels underemployed, or are a manager facing constant upheavals at work, even if you are the boss, because you are wrestling with disruptive technologies and new competitors who seemingly come out of nowhere to upend your industry.”

Even in other age groups to build a future that one day we imagine we can realize, collapses by the strength of the storms of change and uncertainty, and so, more and more, learning is a value of very long duration.

Yesterday in the evening and today during the night and morning, my country was surprised, albeit with some mixing prediction, by very strong winds and intense rain. It were released some alerts and we only talk about the “very bad weather” but about the consequences we only heard after the storm.

Throughout the country people report the effects of the storm, but what most affected here at home was a seemingly “simple thing”:

“The land, where was installed the water motor house, has collapsed and swallowed the house and equipment”.

Moral of this story: we have been preparing for some time now the best conditions to expand the cultivation of tomatoes and peppers at the “Horta do Sol” and we were going to cultivate new land adjacent to the engine house.

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Now we have the unknown (dimension of the damages) and with it the uncertainty!

“‘Prepare, don’t Predict’ means setting your business up to withstand whatever the future can throw at you, for good or bad, to defend against and exploit chance. Prepare, don’t predict means do not just be ready for that which can be expected from what we know, but consider even the happening that is very rare but has very big consequences if it happens. The expected or predictable do not have the same size effects on a business as the unexpected and unpredictable.”

Things that will affect are not yet properly determined but luckily there are some alternatives, as a result of some preparation for the unknown.

We know that there are great principles that guide us to think that the world happens as we are waiting to happen, but we also know that there are factors not controlled that can turn right on a surprise.

We know, or we think we know that the laws of supply and demand work to establish the prices when the time of the harvest will arrive.

We know that if we do not take precautions to the consolidation of water reserves we have exaggerated risks in cultures exploration.

We know that there are laws of probabilities that can indicate to us how likely is the chance of something happening, but did we know to ask questions?

In environments where change is rapid and steady, if we want to learn throughout life, asking questions is the first step to learn and solve problems.

Routine work may one day be performed by very reliable machines and available 24 hours a day and at that time we will be the people of projects.

Will we be competent in the approach to these projects?

Will we know how to deal and lead to change?

If we want to be prepared for the future (uncertain) instead of the forecast (revenue to solve problems) it will be good to start thinking about autonomy, in collaboration, tolerance to ambiguity, empathy, happiness and passion for what we do.

 

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An important social support

There are growing communities of elderly people in need of support of other younger generations. We have seen great technological revolutions aimed at the active population, but those fringes of the population have been forgotten, especially with regard to the issues of social integration.

The growth in the number of elderly in many countries represents today the benefit of a lot of research and innovation in healthcare and therefore falls upon these areas the continuity of a project, that is, we need to revolutionize the revolution and to create conditions of security and welfare for the elderly.

This manifest leads to reflection about the direction or inclusion in the horizons of innovation, a layer of the population that presents new needs. It is more than timely to develop our capacity for empathy and seek to understand deeply the problems that new elderly people bring with them.

It is not enough to keep people as surviving persons. We need to create well-being for those elderly and to all around them, be they family members, caregivers or simply round partners.

More than ever, in an environment of limited financial resources and lack of human availability, we must direct our focus and make it focus on simplicity, usability, utility and entertainment.

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We need to seek to maintain the emotional stability of the “new consumers and users”, that have an advanced age and because of that reason they do not have the motor and mental characteristics similar to the active population.

Our starting point must be to innovate by adapting and creating anchors in past experiences to clarify usage.

With social empathic attitudes and with solidarity it is possible to conceive of a significant cost reduction in the products or services and change the environment to facilitate desirable behaviors that enable harmony in villages.

This is also a socially responsible attitude.

Cars that drive themselves are coming too. Google has built one, but other companies want to make them too. No one will yell “Speed up, Grandpa!” when you are riding in one of those.

Technology leaves some gaps, however. Try writing on a tablet (as opposed to typing) and you are restricted to a stylus that is about as thin as an eyebrow pencil. Even for people with supple joints, it is hard to handle.

A few entrepreneurs on Kickstarter are developing styluses that are fatter, but don’t expect significant changes on this front. The diameter of the stylus is a function of the thickness of the mobile device. The stylus is designed to slip into a cradle in the device, so you don’t lose it. As the devices get thinner, so do the little pens.”

Technological innovation associated with the innovation of processes and procedures could allow elderly populations and not active a desirable conciliation with younger generations.

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From tacit to explicit

In business, there is a difference between knowing what consumers and users want and what they need to meet their needs.

There are times when companies dive deeper into consumer life, and when that happens, they asked to be part of the process of design and creation of products or services, a desire to participate in the organizations life that social networks make easier.

On the one hand, the networks offer a visible picture of systems that provide articulation and understanding of needs but on the other hand also presuppose many hidden needs.

If it is true that the existence of networks contributes to the opening of internal silos of organizations and allows the acceptance of innovation held abroad, also seems to be true that can create an uncontrolled diversity and rich source of dissent, disagreement, and conflict in, what can be called, an open system.

In these circumstances it is important to be attentive to the way in which we deal with a system so developed. The systems are not static, they are complex, and evolutionary and therefore have the capacity to change and learn from experience.

In this dynamic is good to remember that the needs and wants also evolve, as a result of the constant changes of interactions and relationships or connections that are established in the networks.

We must be mindful of these social and cultural structures that are complex systems, which consist of several elements, different, but interlinked and which are seen as a whole, without highlighting particular aspects.

There are the common points or connection that will constitute the nature of unity within diversity.

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One of the purposes of the opening of companies abroad, is the expansion of markets, the resizing of innovation out of the borders of organizations, allowing the outside world to identify needs and propose solutions combined.

“In today’s competitive environment, companies in both the manufacturing and service sectors need to constantly develop new products. However, many new products fail because they neither excite customers nor adequately address their needs. Traditional forms of market research, including surveys and focus groups are suitable for identifying ideas for incremental innovations but ineffective at identifying radical customer requirements. Many customers are unaware of or unable to articulate their needs (therefore the term “hidden needs”) and so enhanced methods of market research are required. These new market research methods are being developed in industry based on techniques from anthropology and psychology.”

In fact, many of these needs are hidden and the opening to the outside world amplifies the detection of these needs, clarifying them and validating them through connections that are established by the organizations.

There are the networks that will bring the clear meaning of the needs and the cultural integration of solutions, the best and fastest means of satisfaction and validation of the proposals.

“The connection between communities and innovation is often made and to me, this ability to solve problems for others before they are even expressed, is one of the most powerful benefits of deploying communities. Innovation cycles have decreased rapidly with the rise of agile methodologies and the reams of customer data. Companies need to look at how they can fundamentally restructure how they think about innovation life cycles to remain competitive. Turning the tacit knowledge created by communities into innovation before it is translated and documented as explicit knowledge will be one of the core innovation methodologies going forward.“

It is my belief that these combinations of perspective given by the social networks can facilitate innovation, leveraging its opening to the outside world with different purposes and enable projects focused on the needs of the people, creating wealth and social development.

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Strategy to have places in the Sun

When we were boys, were creative, small geniuses who easily gave surprising answers that filled the places with amazement. At that time we didn’t have enough knowledge to transform those ideas into something with value, and in this way we can transform us into “startup kids”.

Many of these people have grown and were transformed into successful entrepreneurs, others are working with large projects as top managers and there are still some that failed but are now learning to handle some business traps.

Today there is much talk in innovation, we do timid forays with so-called success models and with imported best practices and often we face the first disappointments or adversities reorganizing ourselves, inventing talents and hiring saviors.

We do all this but we forget that people are a very important part in the functioning and in the success of organizations.

“People aren’t born with the ability to innovate. It’s a structured management practice that’s taught and learned” – Geoff Tuff

Often organizations or their officials dream of a space of processing and gathering luggage and people for the great crossing without thinking on strategy (whatever that means), that is, without answering a few questions as suggested by Roger Martin:

  1.  What is your winning aspiration?
  1. Where will you play?
  1. How will you win?
  1. What capabilities must be in place?
  1. What management systems are required?

The answers to these questions are the fundamental choices every leader must make to craft a successful strategy. Make no mistake about it, strategy is choice; it is a set of choices about what you will do, and what you will not do so, so as to create advantage over the competition.”

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I think that companies, when outcrop innovation as a way to create competitiveness and sustainability, should follow the words of Socrates “know yourself”, and then departed for the expeditions to the core of the Organization, to middle ground or transformational initiatives as Michael Zacka refers in an article on Huff Post.

To become a sustainable enterprise (innovation allows us to reach these heights) an organization must seek to earn a place in the Sun using the difference as a territorial marker.

For example P&G in its statement of purpose, says: “We will provide products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders, and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.”

Organizations need to avoid launching impulsively to paths for wich they are not prepared. For an organization to “know itself” it is necessary having awareness of the value of their resources, their talents, their position in the territory in which it is inserted and its potential to play the game.

An organization that wants to launch itself into the world of innovation should think beyond the immediate things, products or services, and search for differentiation in solving problems through the satisfaction of needs, the effectiveness and the feelings of well-being.

An organization should consider innovation as a whole, resorting to collaboration and sharing in consistently and comprehensively way.

An organization should seek to create the largest possible number of alternative solutions to the problems identified and select the most relevant proposals to a given time being, to the limited context and with the availability of existing resources or with feasibility of the investment.

An organization must be able to interpret the needs, desires and wishes of its clients and potential clients in order to anticipate their requests, avoid their complaints and above all in order to fill the place with better “sun exposure “.

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The package of ideas

Every time I hear talk on the economic crisis (in Portugal added the financial crisis), I hear talk about reactivating the need to leverage our creative ability.

This must be a capability that is not limited to the creation of new “stuff” but also to the creation of value for all stakeholders and the creation of new ways to distribute that value.

But where are the ideas?

How to invest in innovation when the moment is of crisis?

How to create innovative products and services that can transform our position in the market and ensure the sustainability of this position?

“However, our survey also revealed that there is no correlation between financial performance and the particular processes companies use at the idea-generation and idea-conversion phases. Overall, companies continue to depend on a set of long-standing, reliable methods for coming up with new ideas. The most common method, by a substantial margin, was “direct observations of customers,” ranked number one by 42 percent of all respondents. “Traditional market research” was a rather distant second, at 31 percent. We also looked at the kinds of external networks companies turned to at the ideation stage; again, the most common was talking to customers, followed by working with channel partners.

Finally, when asked what internal mechanisms their company used, most respondents pointed to “innovation champions” — people assigned to coordinate the capture, development, and internal promotion of new ideas — followed by “cross-functional collaboration” among different business units.”

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It is no longer surprising but still curious the fact that more and more companies give importance or ears to the voices of customers. This attention that companies pay to the needs of consumers and users is often driven by diverse nature including social networks. They are mostly external businesses networks.

Internal networks seem to be more powerful, because they use more filters and are more decision-making bodies, than global networks but does not always result in the best way.

So that the needs of users and consumers is transmitted and translated with reliability it is important that the companies and their internal networks do not produce noise in the information received.

It is often said that “Whoever tells a tale adds a point” and this our tendency to transform reports turns out to be complicated and dodge creativity inside of organizations. The definition of the problems is fundamental to a good start on the road to resolution, especially when the packaging for our solution is called simplicity.

“These results tell a clear story of a growing need and demand for simplicity in the UK. We live in an increasingly complicated world and the brands that help simplify our lives are winning not just consumer affection, but also a greater share of our wallet. Overcoming complexity is the new brand challenge.“

Companies have to “offer” products and services that their customers want or need and not those that the creators liked to present.

In an organizational context, we tend to try to solve complex problems, to put pressure on ourselves, or gather a lot of data, that cause a roaring noise in our brain.

It is important simplicity, synonymous with process agility and quickness. Simplicity facilitates and allows for greater coverage of the population, that the service or product is intended, and promotes the elegance

At a time when the excesses of all are still very visible is good to remember the words of Matthew E. May:

“There are three crítical choices inherent in every difficult decision in business, work and life:

1     – What to pursue, versus what to ignore?

2     – What to leave in, versus what to leave out?

3  – What to do, versus what not to do?

Most of us focus only on the first half of each of these choices—rarely do we focus on the second half.”

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Being empathic with myself

I read a post written by Tim Brown that fits nicely in a question I have latent a few days ago and that one might translate as follows:

How can I build a path for the growth of innovation in companies that take us to the welfare and happiness of the people and not exclusively for those who are shareholders of these companies?

As I see in this article are referenced some aspects that are of extreme importance for ensuring a life of welfare in a sustainable way and full of joy. There are not resolutions for a new year but can be valuable help for today and for the future wherever it starts, since that happens quickly.

There are not services or products offered by companies but are good tips to guide business to meet the needs of the people.

Tim Brown presents five ways to practice in our daily lives the principles of Design Thinking:

1 – Be optimistic, collaborative and generative.

2 – Think of life as a prototype.

3 – Don´t ask “what?” ask “why?”.

4 – Demand divergent options.

5 -Once a day, deeply observe the ordinary.

These are some important points to reflect and apply in our daily life if we want to evolve towards sustainable well-being. But they are not just notes for life outside of work. Are notes for ours 24 hours and must be adapted or suited to working environments where we operate, that is, according to our role in organizations.

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Be optimistic, without being overly optimistic, allows us to face the world of impossibilities as a game of assumptions and beliefs. When the “what if …?”, a result of our ability to generate new ideas (even absurd), combines with the “I believe we …” (attitude of predisposition for collaboration) something surprising turns out to emerge.

At any time of the day it will eventually come up something tangible to test our assumptions and with which we will be able to learn how to create well-being. This will not be never the result of a great idea which will emerge one day and save our world.

“The answer is that there is no big idea to be chosen, just the process of hammering an average idea into a great one. That experience is the best preparation for the future.

Hankering after an ideal of perfection is exhausting and soul-destroying. Treat your life as a never-ending prototype. Get into the habit of failing early and often.” – Andy Polaine

We are talking about prototypes, the results of trials that transport us to rewarding discoveries, guiding the direction of our lives and enlivening our curiosity.

It is a curiosity towards understanding or the reason of things, for its meaning and purpose, and not to the knowledge of irrelevancies of our day-to-day lives or the environment.

Be able to ask the right question is a competence that allows us to be always trying to solve the important problems and not to choose among the options that have been suggested. Although there is within us a tendency to seek what confirms our assumptions or a tendency to be in accordance with the crowd around us, we have the ability to choose the relevant items of the existing solutions and with them we can build a new option.

It is our ability to build new from existing options that makes us unique and integrated.

“Onlyness is that thing that only one particular person can bring to a situation (emphasis added). It includes the skills, passions, and purpose of each one of us. Onlyness is fundamentally about honoring each person, first as we view ourselves, and second as we are valued. Each of us is standing in a spot that no one else occupies. That unique point of view is born of our accumulated experience, perspective, and vision. Embracing onlyness means that, as contributors, we must embrace our history, not deny it. – Nilofer Merchant

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