Creating Generational Legacies

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 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

AI taking boring jobs - is this an issue?

Extract Washington post 

Advanced robotics/artificial intelligence. Dramatic improvements in hardware and software are creating a future in which computers will supplant even more human beings in a wide range of dangerous, repetitive, error-prone, or simply boring jobs. Sudden leaps in overall productivity are great for society, but the potential displacement of large categories of blue- and white-collar workers is raising anxiety levels and calling into question long-held principles of industrial policy, including the need for universal employment, the role of organized labor, and the meaning of “full-time.” Characterizing these developments as bad doesn’t help—and, frankly, doesn’t matter. They’re coming anyway.

Regulating the sharing economy

Extract from washington post 
 The sharing economy. Technology that makes it economically efficient for consumers to share, lease, or co-own expensive fixed assets including vehicles, housing, and expertise is bringing to the surface long-buried compromises, inside deals, and outright corruption in the mostly local licensing, inspecting, and insuring of transportation companies, hotels, and professional services. Some of the largest cities in the U.S. haven’t expanded the number of licensed taxis for decades, for example, creating an artificially low supply of vehicles and complicity in the exploitation by medallion owners of a mostly immigrant pool of drivers.  Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and others seem doomed to continue running head-first into artificial and inefficient barriers to competition, at home and abroad.
Downes is co-author with Paul Nunes of “Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation” (Portfolio 2014). He is a project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy.

Regulating Autonomous vehicles and drone

Extract from Washington post 

Self-driving cars and self-flying aircraft will revolutionize the design of cities and roads. They will vastly improve the efficiency of agriculture and public safety by providing new sources of real-time information at minimal cost and reduced human risk. And by enabling low-cost deliveries, they will further the revolution in retailing that began with the first e-commerce sites. But federal, state and local regulators are already swooning at the prospects, with a paralyzed FAA missing every deadline for integrating drones into U.S. airspace.  How can we redesign the rules of the road on land, sea, and air — a body of law that has grown around the assumption that humans are inconsistent, easily distractible operators? What kind of police will we need? What kind of insurance? And how will we manage the transition from one transportation paradigm to the next, taking lessons from the clumsy shift to “horseless” vehicles a century ago?

Downes is co-author with Paul Nunes of “Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation” (Portfolio 2014). He is a project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Taking Action to Attract High-Skilled Immigrants, Graduates, and Entrepreneurs

Dear i4j group,

with 6.1 million USD in funding, I’m about to employ 25 people and I’m relocating a 2800sqft Office. Our company will create work and opportunity for millions of people in America in the coming years. 

Now Office of Homeland Security turned down my VISA, I have 30 days to appeal or leave the country. 

Any advice?

For you to know more about tispr:

America wants this immigration - how can we match wants of policy to mechanics of bureaucracy? 

Policy thoughts from the White House 

- America needs a 21st century immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants – and that grows our economy.

- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced more good news for job creation and economic growth:  a new proposal to streamline the EB-5 visa process, designed for immigrant investors and entrepreneurs who create at least 10 U.S. jobs.  Applicants can expect accelerated processing times, direct communication with specialized intake teams, and decision boards with considerable expertise.

 America needs a 21st century immigration system that lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants -- and that grows our economy..... And it seems that the President is taking action .

According to an analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, the President’s executive actions on immigration stand to boost the nation’s GDP by $90 billion to $210 billion, while shrinking the Federal deficit by $25 billion over the next ten years. These actions will also increase the productivity and wages of all American workers, not just immigrants.

Many of these economic benefits spring from the President’s actions to “make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy.” We need to build on our strengths -- after all, over one-quarter of all U.S.-based Nobel laureates over the past 50 years were foreign-born, and more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.

But for too long, our broken immigration system has made it needlessly difficult for America to attract the best and brightest talent from around the world. Highly skilled workers often have to wait years, even decades, to obtain the green cards that will allow them to fully contribute to our economy and become Americans over time. Entrepreneurs have no dedicated immigration pathway that allows them to grow their companies and create jobs here. And every year, we educate some of the world’s most talented students at our universities, only to compel them to go back to their home countries to compete against us.

Here are the key things that the President’s executive actions will do to improve the immigration system for high-skilled workers, graduates, and entrepreneurs:

Unlocking the talents of highly skilled Americans-in-waiting: Most high-skilled immigrants get started on a temporary work visa (typically the H-1B visa), and if there are no American workers qualified and available to do the job, the employer can sponsor that worker for lawful permanent residence—commonly called a “green card.” But the wait for that green card can last years, even decades, even after their application is approved. During this time the worker is effectively locked into one position at the sponsoring company. The President’s actions will make it possible for these highly skilled workers and certain spouses to obtain a portable work authorization, allowing them to accept promotions, change positions or employers, or start new companies while they and their families wait to receive their green cards, and ultimately become Americans.

Clearing the path for job-creating entrepreneurs: The President’s actions will, for the first time, clarify dedicated immigration pathways for entrepreneurs who seek to start and grow their companies here. Entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria for creating jobs, attracting investment, and generating revenue within the United States will be eligible for temporary status or a green card. More than ever before, these “startup visa” pathways will allow the world’s most promising and innovative entrepreneurs to innovate and hire here in America.

Retaining the scientists and engineers we educate here. Our universities train some of the world’s most talented students in science, technology engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but our broken immigration system compels many of them to take their skills back to their home countries. The President’s actions will strengthen and extend on-the-job training for STEM graduates from U.S. universities, giving them a limited but more reasonable period of time to fully realize their course of study.

The President has also issued a new directive to make sure that his Administration is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to modernizing our system of managing and issuing visas more effectively in order to improve the employment-based immigration system, as well as other pieces of our immigration system.

These are commonsense steps, but only Congress can finish the job. As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill—like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago—that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.

“Q: What do you think? How does technology affect human relationships?”

How Technology Affects Human Relationships | Social Media TodayInteresting Observation by Bryan Kramer ....

Do you reach for your smartphone as soon as you wake up to check email and respond to texts?

How often are you messaging, browsing, friending, tweeting and sharing on your phone, tablet or computer?

Are we connecting with people around the globe..:.:.. Or are we "DISCONNECTING"?

Has the immediate world has lost out full attention?

Is their a long term impact of technology on personal interactions?

I requested some input from my Facebook followers. I asked: 

“Q: What do you think? How does technology affect human relationships?” 

I was amazed by the overwhelming response.

Conversations Lack Context

Their is an inability to detect tone. Is the writer being sarcastic, funny, not funny, serious or joking.”

Unless you see the person’s face, hear their voice and understand the environment, you have no idea of the context surrounding the written words. 

Misunderstandings, miscommunications and assumptions result, which have an impact on how we view others.

Online Contact Falls Short on Empathy - you need the personal touch

There’s an utter lack of empathy when using technology to interact with others. 

“I’m so sorry your ___ died” or “I heard you lost your job; I feel for you.” Where is the compassion and solidarity with loss? It certainly does exist within the soul of the person who texted, posted or emailed this – but words alone don’t necessarily convey that personal touch.

Do you use technology to pet your dog or cat? Not likely, because they couldn’t care less. Sometimes we fail to realize that, as humans, we’re also animals that need personal touch.

Tech Overload Leads to Cocooning

Technology takes you out of the physical world impacting on the number and quality of human relationships. 

Conversations through social media and email take the place of traditional interactions and discussions; eventually, a person doesn’t even need to leave the house to communicate with others – and many people won’t. The cocooning phenomenon leads to social isolation that can be crippling for some.

Online Dating - a blessing or a curse ? A case study....

“Stan” married his college sweetheart. After two months of marriage, he walked into the home office to find his wife chatting with someone on Facebook. She assured him the guy was just a friend, but Stan soon saw the person’s name all over his wife’s news feed and posts. Not long after, she traveled to meet the man – staying at his place. Their child was born within a year after the visit.

Stan sees that whole relationship as something that started and developed entirely online. He’s convinced his ex-wife’s behavior would have manifested at some point, but technology drove the two of them apart faster. Stan’s new relationship started through an online dating site, but he quickly moved it into the real world. He’s understandably not a fan of developing relationships through social media.

Key Takeaway

There are many positives of online communication - but it is important to balanceour offline and online communications with others – personally and professionally.

 I guess the best approach is to make yourself available through technology only when appropriate, so that it supplements our relationships rather than replacing them.

Is this a too-dismal view of technology in human relationships? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post originally appeared on Bryan Kramer's blog

Saturday, October 3, 2015

40pc decrease in low skilled jobs

robot workers
Low-skilled jobs could be given to robots that can mimic people’s abilities and eventually perform better and at no cost.
According to a major report on automation, intelligent computers that can learn people’s jobs could lead to a 40 per cent decrease in low-skilled jobs. Plus, ‘robot workers’ can cut costs for business in half. IBM, ANZ Banking Group and Westpac are among the companies moving to embrace this type of technology to automate finance, back office and human resources functions.
The Australian Financial Review cited Simen Munter, ANZ’s general manager of group hubs as saying that the bank planned to deploy 100 ‘robots’ in 2016, after running a pilot program across the bank especially in its human resources, finance and mortgage processing departments. Robots are meant to eliminate routine tasks such as invoices, payrolls and closing accounts so that employees can focus on more high-level tasks, Mr Munter added.
ANZ’s general manager of group hubs claimed the bank’s decision to include ‘robot workers’ is not driven by the cost saving and emphasized “it is about smart people working with smart robots.”
According to the report management advisory firm Mindfields, staff reduction strategies will be necessary where staff members cannot be trained for other roles. The report also showed that robotic automation will lead to a “change in hiring strategy and the mix of staffing required.”
- Click here to see more 

Friday, October 2, 2015