No matter what you call the next generation of workers – millennials, Gen Z or even the three billion – there is no doubt that they will change our workplaces forever. How? The Cisco Connected World Study asked the questions and turned the answer into an infographic which tells the story. Now – how does this fit with your business workplace policy?
Archives for November 2011
Innovation has been a business buzzword for decades. Yet despite this, we continue to seek out innovation where every it may hide within our organisations.
Over recent years, with the rise of social networks, some of this “beyond the firewall” thinking has crept into the enterprise. The concept that good ideas, practices and even innovation can be sourced or nurtured by a community has been trialled by Dell and by Starbucks on fairly large scales – but how does that apply in a B2B framework? What does it mean for a business ecosystem, and what gives (and takes) life away from these communities of innovation?
Marilyn Pratt and Anne Hardy have had some considerable experience in this field, playing important roles in the 2.5 million member strong SAP Community Network. They are also heavily involved in driving the practice of inclusiveness and design thinking across developer business communities – leading workshops on this subject in the US, Europe and Asia throughout 2011. In this video, Marilyn and Anne share some of their knowledge – and tips for things you can apply in your own search for innovation.
One of the things that I continue to love about blogging and bloggers is their willingness to tackle interesting issues and problems. You see, blogs are transition spaces – where ideas can be tested and improved – where the community can be brought into a debate and concepts synthesized. These posts from last week pose some interesting challenges and opportunities – but they are always only starting points. Your comments and ideas are also appreciated!
- Renee Blodgett has written one of the best posts on the topic of influence that I have read in some time. She asks What is REAL influence? Will Klout and other tools define and control you or will you define them? Big, interesting questions!
- What are the key priorities for your influencer program? Maria Ogneva suggests stepping away from that bevy of measuring tools and focus on two things. Any guesses what they’d be?
- One of the reasons that “influence” is such a hot topic is that online search is being curated – through Google, Facebook, Twitter and almost every other network we connect with. And it is being curated by algorithms combined with those we know, trust and connect with. As Stefano Maggi says, it’s pointless optimising for SEO if we aren’t also optimising for people.
- Now you can accept credit card payments with an iPhone. Hear how you can get top shelf marketing services with a simple swipe and a smile from my man, Drew McLellan. Now, I just wonder whether this wonderful Square service works in Australia!
- What do you prefer, giving, getting or being the inside scoop? Your answer tells a lot about you. Just ask Valeria Maltoni.
Over the last couple of weeks I have watched the growth and spread of the #occupy movement – from the financial district of New York City to the streets of Sydney and Melbourne. This dishevelled and ramshackle mob seem to have touched a nerve. There’s a deep insecurity that is triggering a disproportionate response from Australian businesses, business people, politicians of all shapes and sizes and everyday individuals. Clearly we like our round pegs round.
And in almost the same timeframe I have been amazed at the way an Australian icon brand like Qantas has chosen to wilfully trash over 90 years of brand equity, focusing on the square peg problems of its unions, leaving thousands of its customers stranded across the world without a word of warning.
In a way, these problems have the same root cause – a chronic lack of imagination – something that has plagued our business sector for decades. Just look at the product launches of new “innovations” which are pale imitations of things that have been available overseas for years. Look at the way our industry leaders doggedly defend their oligopolies and market share, taking competitors to court and lobbying government for subsidies, tax reductions and bailout guarantees – and then complain when customers fed up with poor service, take their brand loyalty (and their wallets) and shop elsewhere.
When you have a square peg, a round hole and a hammer – well, you know it’s going to be used.
And I think – think – being the operative word – that this is the real promise of the #occupy movement. #Occupy is a challenge that is being thrown down to the big problems of our time – and it seems that we have no capacity to creatively respond to it. It’s disappointing.
By comparison – take a look at what Starbucks is doing in the US with its Create Jobs for USA campaign. They are teaming up with community lending institutions to provide financing to community businesses – and throwing in the first $5 million. Individuals can donate too – and receive a wristband with the poetic inscription indivisible.
And then take a look how this word has spurned a movement – a Twitter hashtag backed up by individual stories, crowdsourced support and community impact. David Armano talks a little about it here. A problem (and it is a shared problem) is identified, a business engages creatively – and as a business ecosystem – and the community steps in and supports it.
Now imagine if someone – anyone – over at Qantas had considered its communities of loyal travellers. Imagine if an idea had been sparked around these big problems – and that some action had been taken – not to amplify the problem, but to generate a solution.
You see, David Armano is right. Whether we like it or not, we are indivisible. We are linked irrevocably to the problems and challenges of others. So rather than ignoring them, it’s about time we #occupied our imagination and got to work on the challenges ahead of us all.
If, like me, you were wondering just how much impact June Dally Watkins could have on my friend, Steve Crombie’s table manners, then you may want to tune in this month to watch his transformation. As part of #movember, Steve is seeking to release his inner gentleman. Let’s hope he does it with style.
In almost every presentation I give, there is some reference to Ray Kurzweil, a nod to Edward de Bono and a smattering of the design thinking process that came from IDEO. And I am sure I am not alone.
Just consider how readily you respond to business or customer challenges, employing a version of lateral thinking in your problem solving technique. Consider how easily you think about the use of mobile and digital technologies and the way they can be incorporated into our behavioural landscape. And consider how you engage your stakeholders and frame a response to their challenges. Yes, de Bono, Kurzweil and IDEO have pervasively infiltrated our minds and the way that we work – and sometimes we hardly even notice.
So imagine if there was a conference which brought together these creative innovators. Then imagine that it went further – including folks like Pete Williams from Deloitte, Craig Davis from Mojo and BrandKarma, and a bevy of leading thinkers from James Moody to Gus Nossal and Hugh Mackay. And then, imagine, that such a conference would be held near where you live – say, Melbourne. Then, what you’d have is the Creative Innovation 2011 conference.
For two days, 16-18 November (hurry up and register!), the Sofitel on Collins will glow with the collective intellect of a global consciousness. You want to bathe in that brainy brine, right? If so, you’d better get going.
Each week, the Gruen Planet poses a creative challenge to two advertising agencies. The resulting TV ad is then judged by the panel.
This week, the challenge was to rebrand Australia’s greatest horse race – the Melbourne Cup. Is it possible to turn Australians against the event “that stops a nation”?
That wild, wonderful thing that is Wikipedia has changed our lives in all sorts of subtle ways. Gone are the vast bookshelves of leather bound tomes that held me in thrall as a child – and in their stead is a white page, an empty search field and a button.
Amazingly, as Clay Shirky reminds us, Wikipedia was built by a global collective donating 100 million hours of time to its grand vision. But this cognitive surplus is just a drop in the ocean of time that is spent by Americans watching television each year – estimated to be many times that number.
Now, while this is fascinating as a data fact, what I am more interested in is the substitution that is taking place. You see, for 100 million people to donate one hour of their time – a deliberate choice is being made. The choice is to create rather than to consume. And the thing is – as humans, we seek the pleasure of consumption over the cold choice of decision. We have to be driven to act. Compelled. Consumption, after all, is the easy way.
Now think about the current debate in Australia around the regulation of gambling. Clubs across Australia are claiming that these regulations will impact their ability to employ people and to support the community through their charitable giving and community support programs. But as Ben Eltham points out, most clubs direct a miserly proportion of their revenues into such programs:
Or examine the Rooty Hill RSL, also in Sydney’s western suburbs … Poker machines raked in $43.2 million of the club’s total operating revenue of $64.7 million … [with only] $601,000 [spent] on donations.
What would happen if INDIVIDUALS actually chose where to invest their “community support” programs? I’d actually be keen to see some small percentage being funnelled into a microloan style service or even an insurance fund to help problem gamblers (but that is a whole other blog post).
Today, on Melbourne Cup day, the folks over at DebtConsolidation.com.au have put together this infographic that images what could be done with all those wagers being made at the track and at betting agencies across the country. Makes you think – what good could we do if we made better decisions? What indeed.