Creating Generational Legacies

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Venture Capital in Australia: Uber for...... A sharing economy

Venture Capital in Australia: Uber for...... A sharing economy: Uber for carers and seniors  - Honor   Honor raises $20m - Matching Carers with Seniors What it is:  Honor  matches seniors with professiona...

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Jobly - tailoring jobs for people

Extract from Brian Rashid

Vint Cerf, father of the Internet and David Nordfors started the Innovation for Jobs leadership forum, i4j. They say that the the large numbers of unemployed and unhappy workers are an underutilized resource and customers for better jobs. 

They invented Jobly, a vision of a company that tailors jobs for people (

 Similar to a dating site, you as the job seeker express your interests, passions, and skill sets, and Jobly finds the perfect match. Then they take a percentage of the money you make. If you notice, this is much different than the current job seeking process; one in which the job seeker tries desperately to fit into the ‘box’ the employer has created in order to secure the job.

 Jobly find jobs that want your exact skill sets and connect you. Then they take a percentage.

We will create a world where jobs apply for people, instead of people applying for jobs. 

These questions will be answered at ‘The Innovation for Jobs Summit’ at the end of January.

The founders of Jobly are incentivized to find people work they love. They work for the seeker not for the company!

The job seeker is incentivized to hone their skills and clearly communicate their desires. 

Those offering the jobs get talented applicants who are excited about working for them.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Australia's $1B innovation Initiative

The Most valuable capital is human capital, which is why we need recruit, train and maintain this amazing resource! 

We need to create an environment where companies , entrepreneurs can innovate, take risks and be supported by private industry, and for these supporters to be applauded and rewarded.

The 4 pillars of the Innovation Package:-

- Culture and Capital, 
- Collaboration, 
- Talent and Skills, and 
- Government as an Exemplar.

- entrepreneur visas - encourage talent to come to Australia
- cash for CSIRO, 
- tax breaks,
- Education as a key pillar  
- Changes to bankruptcy laws - easier to fail 
- Cgt exemption for investors in startups with 3yr + gestation 
- Generous income tax rebates for retail investors 
- Funding to align and connect university research to business
- Encourage smes to bid for it work for government 

The package's major initiatives are:

  • $106 million in tax incentives for "angel" investors, who provide seed funding in the early years of a venture's creation
  • $75m to the CSIRO's data research arm Data 61
  • $30m for a Cyber Security Growth Centre to create business opportunities in cyber security, which the Government spends $5b on each year
  • $15m over four years towards a $200m CSIRO Innovation Fund
  • $10m over four years towards a $250m Biomedical Translation Fund, in partnership with the private sector
The tax incentives for investors will be modelled heavily on the United Kingdom's Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.
Investors will be able to get a 20 per cent tax offset, rather than a deduction and a capital gains tax exemption. The offset model has been chosen instead of a deduction as it benefits people more evenly across income groups. This will cost $106 million over four years, with most funding kicking in after 2017.  For example if someone invests $200,000 and claims the offset they will reduce their income tax by $40,000. Then if the investor sells their shares three years later, their initial $200,000 will be exempt from capital gains tax. 

The aim is to encourage more private sector investment in start-ups, 

(My view is this will cost +$1b and will be money well spent!! )

 University funding incentives for business to make greater use of the university sector, making use of the 70pc of Australia's PHD students, the government will allocate $127 million over four years of research block grant funding towards collaboration between industry and universities. This includes new arrangements to measure the "non-academic impact and industry engagement" of universities, with the first national assessment due in 2018.

Visas: There will be a new entrepreneurs visa created to bring in international talent, and post-grad students with STEM or ICT talent . Visas will be fast-tracked for permanent residency to begin by November 2016. This will cost $1 million from 2015 to mid 2017

Offshore 'landing pads': The government will encourage Australian entrepreneurs to more easily travel to Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and three other unknown locations, likely in Europe and Asia. This will cost $18 million over four years. This will be an interesting programme!! 

CSIRO:  $200 million to the CSIRO  placed into an innovation fund aimed at co-investing in new companies and existing start-ups developed by the CSIRO itself, publicly funded research agencies or universities. Only $15 million funded by budget- balance by receipts from Cairo royalties and private capital .

If some of these policies are not as successful as we like, we will change them. We will learn from them. Because that is what a 21st century government has got to be," said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Why Mature Companies Meed Innovation

Large companies have to learn to operate ambidextrously, and continue to pursue their core areas of expertise while experimenting elsewhere. Many companies have already started to go this route by acquiring start-ups. In our interview, Jerome S. Engel explains how large companies and start-ups can help one another to promote innovations.

Professor Engel, in 1980 you moved from the northeastern U.S., which is dominated by large companies, to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. What were your impressions?

Engel: When I arrived in Silicon Valley, the revolution of the personal computer was in full swing. Many companies were involved in this wave, big companies like IBM and success stories like Apple — and all kinds of start-ups. There were lawyers who knew what the needs of these garage companies were; there were loads of inventors and venture capital providers. Silicon Valley was — and still is — a very lively ecosystem. One thing I noticed was that all the companies there shared an urge to dominate new and growing markets. They didn’t think regionally; they immediately thought globally. From the very beginning, for example, the design company Autodesk, which I helped found back in 1982, wanted to create design software that would be used around the world.

Is it possible for large, established corporations to be as innovative as the start-ups you describe?

Engel: No, not in such a disruptive manner. Innovations, such as the ones developed by start-ups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, don’t fit easily into the relatively rigid structures of large companies, because they rely on constant experimentation, and they’re accompanied by a lot of uncertainty. For a long time, on the other hand, the innovations supplied by established companies have been incremental, consisting in small steps. They generally only improve on what’s already successful. As a rule, a corporation will also take care not to promote innovations that undermine its own business model. To make up for this, however, large companies are masters at putting plans into action – whether it be improving their products, manufacturing them efficiently, or global sales and marketing. If companies manage to use this backbone to take a more playful approach to innovation in individual fields — and pursue a strategy of relying on their strengths for support while taking some risk — then they can be very successful too. But courage is needed to take that step.

Aren’t there also fields of innovation that simply can’t be served by start-ups?

Engel: Sure. An example would be nuclear technology. Commercializing that is not at all a straightforward matter; it’s extremely capital intensive; and it’s subject to very stringent national and international regulations. Another field is automotive technology. But there are exceptions here too. As you can see in the case of electric car maker Tesla, a start-up can be successful in this area, if it doesn’t have to show deference to any existing business models — and has the necessary startup capital, of course.

Innovations, such as the ones developed by startups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, don’t fit easily into the relatively rigid structures of large companies, because they rely on constant experimentation, and they’re accompanied by a lot of uncertainty.

But established companies and start-ups can benefit from one another, as is the case with so-called open innovation models.

Engel: That’s right, corporations and start-ups can complement one another with their own particular strengths. But there is still room for improvement in the open innovation model with regard to the interaction of large companies and recently established market participants. Large companies have to learn to operate ambidextrously, and continue to pursue their core areas of expertise while experimenting elsewhere. Many companies have already started to go this route by acquiring start-ups that might not involve their core business and letting them operate largely on their own. Siemens, for example, does this very well with its Technology to Business (TTB) centers in Shanghai, Munich, and Berkeley. Whenever new technologies or new trends emerge whose development holds great potential, the TTBs’ scouts are on the lookout for start-up companies that may be of interest to Siemens. This way, the company ensures that promising innovations from all sources, whether developed inside or outside Siemens, can be developed into new products and services to power their business. There has to be room in established companies for this kind of true open innovation. 

Everyone thinks of Silicon Valley when it comes to innovation in the digital age. Many have tried to copy it, but so far, no one has been as successful as the original. What characteristics of that innovation cluster can be transferred to other places?

Engel: Silicon Valley is not the only innovation cluster, although it’s a very successful one. There are also innovation clusters in Israel, Germany, Taiwan, and other places. They all have similar characteristics. And that goes beyond just a certain set of components and players, such as start-up founders, venture capitalists, and established companies. These ecosystems are characterized above all by a certain behavior: highly mobile resources, money, people, and knowledge. Think, for example, of Mark Andreessen, who founded the web browser company Netscape and is now a venture capitalist. The people involved in Silicon Valley are constantly striving to create and drive forward innovations that have the potential to change the world — and they are willing to experiment and also fail. And ultimately, they’re pursuing goals that they can’t achieve alone but only collectively. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the order of the day here, and it can pay off in a big way for many — not just those at the top. the Twitter IPO created about 1,600 millionaires at one stroke; the Facebook IPO over 1,000. Add to that the ripple effect as that wealth is consumed and you can see that it can have a massive effect in terms of energizing and motivating an entire community.

About Jerome Engel

Venture capitalist, company founder, and university professor Jerome S. Engel is an innovation expert and senior fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, where he established the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship in 1991. He has also founded start-ups, including Internet company, which has provided support to young companies with information and helpful links, and was acquired by TV broadcaster NBC in March 2000. Today, he manages a venture capital fund with a partner. In recent years, Engel has been devoting much of his attention to innovation clusters, which tend to differ from regular industrial centers in their dynamism and willingness to call into question established business models. Engel edited the collection of essays titled Global Clusters of Innovation: Entrepreneurial Engines of Economic Growth around the World, a 409-page volume published by Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd in late 2014.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Innovation needs to be in the DNA of everything we do... no industry is sacred

Vivek Wadhwa has written an excellent piece in the WashingtonPost on how innovation is in the DNA in everything we do.

Clayton Christensen's theories in his book "the Innovators Dilemma" was a guiding light to innovators to innovate... his ideas being used by the likes of Proctor and Gamble, GE and 

Are his theories still relevant?

The old way was to separate the innovative disruptors from the core businesses; to put them in new company divisions. 

We are now in an era in which technologies such as computing, networks, sensors, artificial intelligence, and robotics are advancing exponentially and converging, thereby allowing industries to encroach on and disrupt one another.

Competition doesn't come from lower end of the market anymore... they come from completely different industries.... 

Apple disrupting music and computing industry and now disrupting healthcare and finance industries. 

Automobile Companies (Uber) delivering flu shots with Uberhealth!

Tesla becoming an energy company - providing solar powered energy and battery power  for homes enabling them to be disconnected from the grid. 

Google and Facebook providing Wifi Internet Access everywhere using drones, microsatellites and balloons. disrupting the telecommunication industry.... looking to monetise data, vs charging for usage. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Power of Wonder - The inverted Pyramid and the football analogy

Jeff Hoffman insights 

1. Don't lose your childlike wonder - After listening to incessant questions from hi 5 year old on a visit to his office, Jeff actually wondered why people were doing what they were doing and made significant positive changes. The gem....innovative people remove filters and open their minds .

When companies lose their ability to reinvent and continue to find better ways to run their business - they will die!

 As my mentor Allen Pathmarajah says.... "When the rate of change on the outside is greater than the rate of change on the inside - the end is near"

2. Every day - for 20 minutes - Let your mind wonder - info sponging 
Go lateral - think beyond your domain of expertise.
What are you looking for? Who knows - but be open to ideas .
After a while - these random ideas and data points form a picture.... They connect and that is where innovation can happen . You have looked at the world that's bigger than your own and interpreted it in your special way... Creating Magic 

3. Get info not only from research  - but go to the diner and listen to your customers!

4. the football analogy - The coach doesn't block the opposing players or tackle them.  Instead he finds the best blockers and tacklers and motivates them to perform at their highest possible level.  Similarly, while the company itself lives to serve its customers, it is the CEO or leader's job to recruit, retain, and inspire the best possible employees for those customers.  As a CEO, my job is to nurture and support players at every position so that they can best serve our customers.

5. The best thing he ever achieved as a CEO was selling my company to a Fortune 500 company and discovering that from the day he started the company to the day we sold it, not one person ever quit.  The success of Priceline was truly a byproduct of that fact.

6. He doesn't believe in a "bossless office" at all.  A strong and decisive leader is what drives the team.  I never left my employees completely on their own.  It's the leader's job to collect everyone's input and then make decisions to chart the company's course and set the strategy.  The freedom comes in the tactics, allowing competent employees to find their own way to deliver on the strategic plan.

7. Another Football analogy - Common traits of succesful coaches and their teams....  They all have different strategies, playbooks, and methods for how to maximize its implementation to be world champions.  The team is aligned, they understand the playbook, they practice its implementation unrelentingly,  and everyone is providing maximum commitment.  

8. Success starts with recruiting and retaining the best players who share the teams values and are motivated to be gold medal winners.  Thinking about their needs and how to keep them fully motivated, engaged, aligned, and retained.  In an important way, the team are his customers — the inverted pyramid.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Challenge - let's build a sticky innovative platform for a transformational economy

An idea from Professor Caroline Wagner - Ohio State University

How to engage students, innovators to collaborate and grow

The Pain

  • The diffusion deficit A weakness exists in the local links between the University and innovative actors in the region, exacerbated by a lack of incentives to create these links. 
  • The data deficit Numerous events in the physical world leave “data traces” in isolated silos that could be useful to the knowledge economy--but, the data are at different granularities and they lack interoperability; paucity of knowledge access and flow inhibits the pace of research and innovation. 
  •   The insight deficit - difficulty in processing and analusing the data into meaningful information - Add to this problem that over 80% of data analytics time is spent in time-consuming pre-processing tasks and we have an insight deficit.
  • The attraction deficit The Knowledge exodus -   Smart students leave the region to go to innovation-rich regions.  
How do we keep them ? In order to keep them in the region, we need to create local opportunities for them to be entrepreneurial – to solve problems and re-invent locally.  

A Potential Pain Killer

National service in an Altruistic Capacity  Right now, our pro-social students are overwhelmingly attracted to a year of service at Teach for America, City Year, Peace Corps, ViSTA –

  • how can we harvest these altruistic vitalities towards building the local and regional economy—to grow the society they want to live in right where they live? 
  • how can we link students with local enterprises that will simultaneously build the data we need, create the local links, give students a chance to create their own jobs/businesses/non-profit start-ups, all while making data-for-innovation available to larger groups and decision makers? Let’s call this: Catalyzing innovative energy.


How can we find a way to get the funding needed to: 

  1. pay students; 
  2. seed pro-social enterprises; 
  3. create an open data platform for innovation; 
  4. link students to faculty (who are themselves linked to the global knowledge network) to diffuse knowledge to make it locally available???
 Let’s call this: building a sticky innovative platform for a transformational economy.

That is my challenge to you – help me design this system from the ground up, tap dynamism, incentivize growth – include the poorest and excluded in the development. Ideas needed!

Ikigai - the reason for being

 Ikigai - the reason for being: Very relevant to a new paradigm  Thank you David Nordfors and I4J

Can the whales be saved?

Below is a message from Steve Denning that I am passing on

Can the existing bureaucracies be saved through more Agile customer-focused innovation.
The article also discusses the Learning Consortium for the Creative Economy. This is an alliance of eleven firms, including Microsoft, Ericsson, Magna, and Riot Games, which I have been leading for Scrum Alliance. As part of the Learning Consortium, these firms undertook a series of mutual site visits in the summer to explore progress in implementing innovative management practices.

The full report of the Learning Consortium, with findings and recommendations, is now available here:

The Learning Consortium explored the hypothesis that forward-looking companies had already made progress in developing and implementing leadership and management goals, principles and values that constitute a fundamental management makeover.

It suggests that "saving the whales" is not out of the question.

The findings of the Learning Consortium will be presented to the Drucker Forum in Vienna, Austria next week. The entire event will be live-streamed: free registration is here:

The particular session of the Drucker Forum on the Learning Consortium will be live-streamed at 8.30amUS ET on Friday November 6.


Friday, October 23, 2015

So we need to Overhaul our Educational System?

RANDOM THOUGHT: imagine if every high school taught business and entrepreneurial skills.

 Imagine our kids innovating and putting to use those skills to start and grow a business while they're still in high school. 

Imagine them loving what they do. 

Imagine our kids bypassing Uni because they're in it and experience real life experiences of being in business versus learning about it from a lecturer (with due respect) who hasn't started a business before. 

Imagine our kids learning from experienced business people, financiers, angel investors, venture capitalists etc. 

This is just one pathway. I haven't even started on the arts, sciences, engineering, environmental pathways. 

The entire education system (how people are taught, how teachers learn to teach etc) and access to education needs to improve massively.  

...and this stemmed from overhearing kids on the train saying "man, school's boring!". Therein lies the opportunity and challenge. Why is school boring? Why can't it be fun and engaging? That statement hasn't changed since forever, right?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Beaurocracy and Innovation - can it coexist

Control vs freedom

Inspiration from  The Management Innovation Exchange (Gary Hamel et al—20,000 participants)

Last year, I was privileged to hear the legendary Gary Hamel talk - below  is a summary of why he thinks large organisations find it difficult to innovate and what they need to do to change

Large organizations of all types suffer from an assortment of congenital disabilities that no amount of incremental therapy can cure.  

1.  they are inertial. Because they are in a zone of comfort - there is no need to change in the absence of crisis - (why change what's not broke?)
Massive change, when it happens, is belated and convulsive, and typically requires an overhaul of the leadership team.... Often causing fatality !

Absent the bloodshed, the dynamics of change in the world’s largest companies aren’t much different from what one sees in a poorly-governed, authoritarian regime—

WHY - there are only a few if any mechanisms that facilitate proactive bottom-up renewal.

2. They are incremental.
As business grows, the leaders become farmers and not hunters!  There function is to create an organise Beaurocracy, with standards and structured to encourage standardisation - which is in direct conflict with innovation! Management is in pursuit of operational efficiency - that is their kpi!
These structures are toxic to break-out thinking and relentless experimentation.
Those that strive for innovation - acquire young companies that haven’t yet lost their own innovation mojo (but upon acquisition most likely will).

3. They are emotionally sterile.
We rarely see them galvanize the sort of volunteerism that animates life on the social web.  Initiative, imagination and passion can’t be commanded—they’re gifts. Every day, employees choose whether to bring those gifts to work or not, and the evidence suggests they usually leave them at home.  

In Gallup’s latest 142-country survey on the State of the Global Workplace, only 13% of employees were truly engaged in their work.

Imagine, if you will, a car engine so woefully inefficient that only 13% of the gas it consumes actually combusts. That’s the sort of waste we’re talking about. Large organizations squander more human capability than they use.

Inertial.  Incremental.  Insipid.  - will create destruction vs growth.

Allen Pathmarajah has an amazing model of the lifecycle of a business from creation to death of a business!

Hamel says that —idea wikis, business incubators, online collaboration, design thinking, “authentic” leadership, et al—are no more than minor tweaks.  They are unlikely to be any more effective than the dozens of “fixes” that came before them. Remember T-groups, total quality management, skunk works, high performance teams, “intrapreneurship,” re-engineering, the learning organization, communities of practice, knowledge management, and customer centricity?  All of these were timely, and a few genuinely helpful, but none of them rendered organizations fundamentally more adaptable, innovative or engaging.  Band-Aids®, braces and bariatric surgery don’t fix genetic disorders.

How do we build an organizations that is fit for the future ?

We need to change our foundational beliefs to build an organisation that

  • is nimble ,
  • that will make innovation an instinctual and intrinsic capability.  
  • that will inspire extraordinary contributions from our colleagues and employees.  
  • We’ve flattened corporate hierarchies, but haven’t eliminated them.  
  • We’ve eulogized empowerment, but haven’t distributed executive authority.  
  • We’ve encouraged employees to speak up, but haven’t allowed them to set strategy.  
  • We’ve been advocates for innovation, but haven’t systematically dismantled the barriers that keep it marginalized.
  • We’ve talked (endlessly) about the need for change, but haven’t taught employees how to be internal activists.
  • We’ve denounced bureaucracy, but we haven’t dethroned it; and now we must.
  • We can cure the core incompetencies of the corporation—but only with a bold and concerted effort to pull bureaucracy up by its roots.

We need to change the core values and DNA of modern management and boards —it's not easy to change what's not broke! There is too much self interest.

The operating system of most organisations is based on beaurocracy - top down

Strategy gets set at the top. Power trickles down. Big leaders appoint little leaders. Individuals compete for promotion. Compensation correlates with rank. Tasks are assigned. Rules proscribe actions. Managers assess performance.  This constitutes the operating system for virtually every large-scale organization on the planet.

Ask just about any anyone to draw a picture of their organization—be it a Catholic priest, a Google software engineer, a nurse in Britain’s National Health Service, a guard in Shanghai’s Hongkou Detention Center, or an account executive at Barclays Bank—and you’ll get the familiar rendering of lines-and-boxes.  This isn’t a diagram of a network, a community or an ecosystem—it’s the exoskeleton of bureaucracy; the pyramidal architecture of “command-and-control.”  


It stifles new thinking, misallocates power, (since promotions often go to the most politically astute rather than to the most prescient or productive. )  It discourages dissent and breeds sycophants.  It makes it difficult for internal renegades to attract talent and cash, since resource allocation is controlled by executives whose emotional equity is invested in the past.

When the responsibility for setting strategy and direction is concentrated at the top of an organization, a few senior leaders become the gate keepers of change. If they are unwilling to adapt and learn, the entire organization stalls.  When a company misses the future, the fault invariably lies with a small cadre of seasoned executives who failed to write off their depreciating intellectual capital.  As we learned with the Soviet Union, centralization is the enemy of resilience.

You can’t endorse a top-down authority structure and be serious about enhancing adaptability, innovation or engagement.

The dilemma
Managers want conformity, manage the future based on the past - want and need regularity and certainty.

Growth and innovation and out the box thinking comes from irregular people (the misfits) with irregular ideas who create the irregular business models that generate the irregular returns.  
In this environment, what do we need to succeed?

Will Intel survive?  Most revenue comes from computer chips and less than 3% comes from the company’s unprofitable “Mobile & Communications” unit. Are they nimble ? Can they change

Did Kodak survive?
Who replaced Sony Walkmans?
Which large corporations will still  be here in 20 years ?

Unfettered controlism cripples organizational vitality.  Adaptability, whether in the biological or commercial realm, requires experimentation—and experiments are more likely to go wrong than right.

Failure and failing should be rewarded and applauded?

Shrink an individual’s scope of authority, and you shrink their incentive to dream, imagine and contribute.  It’s absurd that an adult can make a decision to buy a $20,000 car, but at work can’t requisition a $200 office chair without the boss’s sign-off.

Control vs Freedom
Make no mistake: control is important, as is alignment, discipline, focus, accountability and all the other liberty-limiting virtues so beloved by accountants and engineers—but freedom is equally important.

If an organization is going to out-run the future, individuals need the freedom to bend the rules, take risks, go around channels, launch experiments and pursue their passions.  

An organisation needs both and do not necessarily need to be mutually exclusive!

It's the ying and yang of business
Great  leaders, like Apple’s Tim Cook or HCL Technologies retired CEO, Vineet Nayar understand that the first priority is to do something truly amazing for customers,

Do shareholders want to invest in sustainability and growth or short-term ROI calculations?
The gains that could be reaped from creating organizations that are as fully capable as the people who work within them will be the winners

To succeed, businesses must do more than fiddling at the margins.  

Collaboration needed to build a culture of collaboration

From the digital guru Katz Kiely 
 Katz Kiely
Skype:  katzkiely
Twitter: @katzy

It’s true many (most) C suiters are alpha types. They have spilled blood sweat and tears to scramble to the top. 

The idea of leader in the old world was all about being the best, the expert i.e. knowing better than anyone else in the organisation. 

It is now about  crowdsourced knowledge and co - creation is hard and for some (of the less flexible) impossible.

They, like everyone else find it hard to let go of deeply embedded behaviours and attitudes …but they can be persuaded to try new more collaborative ways of working if they understand the commercial benefits- and by showing the positive effect of ring fenced networked experiments they can over time start to adopt new behaviours more appropriate to the networked organisation

Digital Transformation projects are never successful unless they have the full buy in (not just lip service) of senior leadership. Leaders have to display the behaviours and attitudes they expect their organisations to adopt.  

The shift is from leader as Commander to Communicator (who works with her teams to set the vision and inspires people to travel with her towards that goal) Collaborator or/ and Co- creator (who harnesses the full power of a connected, empowered workforce.) 

Networked organisations who understand the power of co-creation are the most valuable and profitable. Boards are already realising that new style (digital) leaders drive success - 

so C- suiters will have to adapt