Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Overcoming fixedness before being locked in amber

It seems strange to me, after working for over 12 years in innovation, that so many people can view the same set of circumstances and opportunities in so many different ways.  Our economy is awash in innovation opportunities, and the opportunities are growing and expanding.  There are opportunities to innovate new products and services, of course, but also new channels and new business models.  Customer experience is rapidly becoming an important innovation avenue.  Paul Hobcraft and I have been writing about the opportunities that are available in entire platforms and ecosystems, and these of course create in turn new opportunities.

The basic building blocks of opportunities - customers, unmet needs, emerging trends and technologies - are all growing.  Beyond that most of us have our basic needs fully met - food, clothing, shelter are all reasonably achieved.  That means that new innovations may be more intangible, psychological, emotional, notional - but there are as many opportunities there as there are in tangible innovations, if not more so.

With this opportunity abundance, why is it that so many individuals and companies see restrictions, limits and barriers to innovation, rather than the vast potential that's available if only they'd set aside past conventions and risk tolerances.  After all, this isn't a 'glass half empty, glass half full' conundrum. This is more akin to a 'glass half empty, barrel overflowing' situation.  People simply aren't paying attention, are too distracted or too fearful to really think about all the potential innovation opportunity.  Or, as I'll explore below, we give into a perspective that suggests that many issues, conventions, regulations and cultures are fixed, unable to move.

Like an insect in amber

You may be familiar with amber - the gemstone that originates from ancient tree sap that hardened over time.  The Czar of Russia had an entire room that was covered in amber - supposedly one of the most beautiful rooms in the world.  You'll often find in amber insects from long ago that were captured by the sap as it flowed down pre-historic trees.  I often think of modern business executives and their teams share similarities with those insects.  They are caught up, stuck, and have lost their freedom of movement. But unlike the insects, that loss of freedom isn't because of a tangible, sticky substance, but because of the stickiness of their perspectives, their cultures, their experiences and education and their industry conventions.  They are insects in a virtual amber, doomed to limits that are dictated and prescribed by their own thinking.

Innovation comes from outside

It may not seem evident at first, but virtually all radical and disruptive innovation originates from outside an industry's boundaries, by people who often weren't even in the industry, who were serving other clients or other needs and saw a way to serve a new set of customers or solve a new set of needs.  The reason these outsiders can so easily disrupt an existing industry is because they haven't been paying homage to the conventions and cultures that built the industry or market.  These entrants have little or no stake in how the industry or market is built or its existing business models, and in fact can profit by radically changing the business model.  These individuals, like Richard Branson or increasingly Elon Musk, are radical free agents, who aren't bound by industry conventions or past expectations, who actively look across industries for rigid decision making and adherence to past ways of doing business.

Weak links / Strong links

The other way to think about this stickiness is a "weak link/strong link" framework.  There are two perspectives: first, the linkages within the industry or convention and second the linkages between the participants.  Disruptive innovation is easier in the first example when there are few strong industry conventions or shifting from existing conventions is relatively painless for the consumer, or when everything is shifting, so the customer accepts that shifts are necessary and important.  An example is when digital music appeared via MP3s and Napster made music sharing acceptable.  Apple was able to disrupt music distribution and publishing because the form factors changed, the technology (digital versus physical media) changed and the music players themselves changed.  When multiple factors are changing, disruption is easier to accept.

Conversely we can see why it is difficult to innovate in the airline industry.  There are too many rigid, regulated or business model conditions.  Safety concerns, unions, the transparency of pricing, the reliance on key volatile inputs (oil, labor), the fixed number of gates and so on don't leave a lot of options for innovation. This means that much of the innovation needs to happen outside of the core offering, and explains why the most interesting innovation has come from outsiders (Branson for branding) or new entrants (Emirates/Qatar) for new services.  But even these innovations pale when we compare them to innovations in technology, in software and in other markets or industries where conventions or regulations are absent or easier to ignore.

What's fixed / what mutable?

So the questions a potential innovator must ask themselves in any situation is:  what's fixed, and cannot be changed?  What do competitors assume is fixed but could change?  Where are there strong linkages that would be difficult to change, and where is change already occurring that we can surf to greater success?  And, how "fixed" or transmutable is my company's culture, perspective and thinking?  Can others around me recognize opportunity and move with it?

Innovation is possible in any setting and in any industry.  Even a very heavily regulated industry such as air travel has plenty of potential for innovation if only the participants would think beyond product innovation.  In other industries that are less regulated, innovation opportunities abound.  Innovators must determine the "fixedness" of their perspectives and cultures, and then the fixedness of the industry or market they compete in.  Otherwise, like the insect swallowed by the tree sap, they'll find themselves encased, unable to move and unable to innovate.



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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 6:19 AM 0 comments

Monday, August 07, 2017

The most innovative man in the world

For the last few years a commercial has been running to advertise Dos Equis.  In these commercials there's always some hyperbole (I know, who would of thunk it in a beer commercial) about a suave, sophisticated gentleman who can simultaneously drink Dos Equis and entertain heads of state.  He is, we are constantly reminded, the most interesting man in the world.  We are told that his mother has tattoos that say "Son" on them.  Superman has pyjamas with his face on them.  And so on.  And because he drinks Dos Equis beer, you should too.

In light of this (admittedly interesting and captivating) advertising, I thought it would be interesting to describe in the same way what the most innovative man (or woman) in the world might think, might do and how they might behave.  While the most innovative man in the world doesn't exist, wouldn't it be worthwhile to imagine what skills, attitudes, perspectives and beliefs that individual would have?  Here we go...

The most innovative man (or woman) in the world

Motto
The most innovative man or woman in the world would have to have a motto.  The most interesting man says "stay thirsty" because he's selling beer.  I believe the mantra of the most innovative man in the world would be "stay curious", because he's interested in identifying and solving interesting problems.

Sidekicks
The most interesting man in the world, according to the ads, is almost always surrounded by supermodels and beer.  The most innovative man (or woman) in the world would be surrounded by customers and prospects, because he or she would be constantly trying to ascertain what the really interesting, unmet needs were.

Settings
The most interesting man in the world is always shown in exotic locations - skiing in the Alps or yachting in the Med.  The most innovative man or woman in the world would be found in more mundane places - research labs, startups, focus groups - always searching, always curious, open for any new insight.

Connections
One thing both share is the desire for connections, but for very different reasons.  For the most interesting man, connections are about social advancement, getting invited to the right party.  For the most innovative person, connections are about exchanging new ideas, mixing, combining and blending new ideas and experiences to create new solutions.

Approach
The most interesting man in the world has a "been there, done that" aspect, always with a wry twinkle in his eye that suggests he's done this before and knows how it will end.  The most innovative person in the world approaches every experience as if for the first time, with a Beginner's Mind approach, hoping to learn something new.

Conventions
Another thing they share is the lack of conventions.  Neither are interested in following conventions but in setting new conventions, new ways of thinking.  The interesting person does it for attention and followership, the innovative person does it to disrupt markets and industries and create new solutions and value.

Insider/Outsider
The most interesting person is a total insider - knows everyone, knows where the bodies are buried and his or her social capital is built on that, and on sustaining the status quo or bettering it.  The most innovative person is a near outsider - knows a lot of people in the in-crowd but also knows plenty who aren't "in".  He or she understands the social conventions and industry standards but doesn't rely on them, just as happy to subvert them as to sustain them.

Amalgamation
Finally, the most interesting man in the world is an amalgamation - the combination of a number of stories and people combined into one fictional person.  Likewise, the most innovative person in the world is also fictional, because it takes a group of people or a team to bring an idea to full reality, and few people possess all of these traits.

 Just as no man is an island, no one person can contain all of the skills and traits to take an idea from concept to realization.  The sooner corporations understand that innovation is a team sport that requires an interesting blend of different skills and experiences, and the environment in which these teams can thrive, the sooner we'll see more interesting products and services.

The most innovative person on the planet isn't known, and probably won't be, because innovation is a team sport, where many different people bring many different skills, perspectives and experiences to bear.  Stop searching for the most innovative person and start building the right teams and placing them in cultural and business environments where they can succeed.


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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 5:49 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Innovation requires learning, relearning and unlearning

There's probably few activities that corporate folks enjoy less than corporate training.  For most it's guaranteed to be a slog, or a review of policies and procedures rarely used and important only to a specific team or set of circumstances.  While people are attending the "mandatory" training to learn material of vague importance to their day to day jobs, their inboxes are filling up, cat videos are going unwatched.  Most people assume they have enough knowledge to do the jobs they have, and they are often comfortable simply winging the rest.

That's why innovation often presents such an interesting challenge.  For the most part people have the suspicion that innovation is unusual and requires new insights and skills they don't possess.  And, since they don't possess those skills, they will avoid doing innovation work (from fear of failure) or will make innovation work align to existing programs and policies (which they know well).  In response, many organizations are turning to innovation training and innovation workshops.

I'm just back from leading a couple days of innovation training with a client, and the more we do this, the more convinced I am that 1) corporations can do a very good job innovating with the people they have 2) innovation training - learning the skills that make up a good innovation activity isn't difficult and 3) people will need to both learn, relearn and unlearn some things in order to achieve innovation success.

Learning

The fact of the matter is that most of us have spent the last 20 to 30 years learning to be efficient, to succeed at our first attempt.  This makes all of our efforts very careful and very incremental, and doesn't embrace innovation or disruption.  We aren't good at discovering new needs or experimenting with new ideas, and we need to learn some tools and methods to help us do a better job of finding unmet needs and creating interesting ideas.  You can learn the tools to innovate, and the more you practice these tools and methods the more creative and capable you'll become.  In this regard, innovation training is important, but must be quickly followed up with putting the learning into practice.

Relearning

A lot of what we teach when we teach innovation skills is going back to basics.  First is doing a good job defining an opportunity or problem to tackle, rather than simply solving the most obvious problems or symptoms.  Next is taking the time to understand what customers actually want and need, rather than presenting your latest technologies.  Third is having an open mind, creating and combining ideas.  Like Fulghum's book All I needed to know I learned in kindergarten, some innovation thinking is simply taking the time to contemplate and analyze a lot of ideas, using interaction methods and perspectives that you learned earlier in life and later abandoned.  It's also important to allow ideas to evolve and not judge them immediately - to build on and expand ideas and to provide the room for really crazy ideas to develop.

Unlearning

There is some unlearning that's required when people learn about innovation.  For too long we've settled for success, lack of variation, efficiency.  This means we've curtailed exploration, discovery, and wonder.  We approach problems as experts rather than as naive beginners, which shuts down a lot of good ideas and exploration.  We rush to converge when we should take time to diverge.  A lot of innovation seems almost counterintuitive, not because the tools and methods are difficult but because they seem to conflict with how we operate our businesses today.  To do good innovation you must sometimes take the opposite view, take on new perspectives, ask what would happen if industry norms were eliminated.  You have to unlearn some of your assumptions and ask unusual questions.

The benefits of innovation training

Like us old guys who laughed off yoga, stretching and warming up who are, later in life, coming to realize how important core strength and flexibility are in day to day life, you can get a lot out of innovation training and can become far more creative and innovative if you are willing to adopt some new tools and a new perspective or mindset.  This is true for individuals, small teams and ideally for an entire corporate culture.  You simply need to learn the tools and methods that work, relearn how to work together and unlearn some of the things that seem so certain.  Once you do that, or your teams or culture does that, you have the chance to be far more innovative.


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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 8:30 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Is innovation unreasonable?

Thank goodness for Twitter.  What would we do without this constantly refreshing stream of bromides, insights, accusations and occasional bursts of wisdom?  Just yesterday while perusing the Twitter stream I saw a quote attributed to Jonathan Ive that made me want to sit up and scream.  The quote was relatively straightforward and seems innocuous on its face:

"To do something innovative means you reject reason"
Sounds about right, doesn't it?  Innovation means that you are creating something new and potentially disruptive, and that means that you may have to go against "reason".  As I've said before, I'm a big fan of George Bernard Shaw, who said that all progress is due to "unreasonable" men and women. But do we have to reject reason in order to innovate?  I don't think so - in fact I think we have to embrace reason, knowledge and insight in order to innovate.

Reason or Convention

What I think gets confused here is the idea of fighting "convention" and somehow that becomes conflated with reason.  When we innovate we are often changing the status quo, and there are plenty of people with reasons to protect and sustain the status quo, who can give you plenty of..wait for it.. reasons why you shouldn't disrupt or change the status quo.  Convention is powerful, and if the quote had said, "To do something innovative means you reject convention" I would have said: Amen.

However, we cannot reject reason when we innovate, in fact we must rely on insight, intelligence, research and reason when we innovate.  That's because the only way to encourage people to commit to new ideas is to demonstrate new insights, new needs or new experiences, which are all based on research, insights into unsolved problems or challenges or new technologies.  This all appeals to reason - why would I choose an uncertain unknown over a predictable certainty?  Only if the unknown is promising, compelling and valuable.  And how would I communicate those benefits?  By appealing to your reason, and overcoming your fear of rejecting convention.

Innovators/Artists/Creatives

So, it might be rightly said that innovators, artists, creatives and others of a similar ilk are unconventional, even unreasonable in their pursuit of new ideas, but not that they lack or reject reason.  Shaw suggests that only people who are willing to bend the world to their viewpoint, who don't accept the status quo, create change and progress.  Only those who use insight, research, intelligence and sometimes their gut see what's coming and apply their reason to overcome conventions and objections to create a new reality.

I didn't have the opportunity to work with Jobs - Ive did - but I'd think Jobs was often unreasonable in his pursuits of innovation and rejected convention, but his insights called on his reason and his intellect.  And Jobs was simply better at spotting emerging needs and markets than others were - this isn't a rejection of reason, it is a validation of reason and a rejection of convention.
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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 7:04 AM 0 comments

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Your robot will serve you now

There are a lot of concerns about the advancement of artificial intelligence and robotics in regards to creating and especially destroying jobs.  When you read that many fast food and other basic service organizations are experimenting with replacing human workers with robots, you can begin to see the emerging problem.  In the past, many new or young workers gained skills and job experience in low wage, low cost service industries like fast food or retail.  If Amazon popularizes the concept of a retail establishment without cashiers, or McDonald's can fully automate its cooking, food delivery and checkout process, thousands of low wage, ideally entry level jobs will be eliminated.  This is all part of Schumpeter's creative destruction paradigm:  innovation creates new opportunities while destroying or disrupting existing markets and models.

The Implications

There are several implications from this rapid advancement of AI and robotics.  The first, as I've described above, is that many jobs will be eliminated.  This is good in some respects because they are menial, low wage or dangerous.  However, many of them were often entry positions that allowed people to gain skills and establish a work history, which allowed them to move on into positions with more responsibility.

On the other hand, until AI and robots can maintain, repair and upgrade themselves, the emergence of robots and AI into our lives creates new opportunities, for software development, better articulation and fine motor control for robots, maintenance of the robots and so on.  These jobs will pay more and require higher order skills than the jobs they replaced, so we better understand how to prepare people to do this work, which will very soon be in high demand.

There's a third implication I'm interested in exploring, which is that as the use of AI and robotics increases, the cost of robotics and AI will fall dramatically.  And that means that many of us may find a new helper in our lives.

Robots and AI as in-home or in-office solutions

Here's where there's a real opportunity for innovation.  As the use of robotics and AI increases, the price and breadth of services AI and robotics can offer will increase.  We are seeing the very first signs of this from Amazon and Google with their in-home devices that allow us to use natural language to request assistance from virtual assistants. This of course is simply the very thin edge of the wedge, however, because most of the interaction is question and answer, with the human then acting on the information.  As the AI gets more embedded into systems in the home and at work, the AI and/or integrated robots will take the actions, leaving humans free to do more (or take more leisure I guess).  Figuring out how to integrate smart assistants with networks and autonomous robots that can then take action (Siri:  please ask the Dyson to vacuum the downstairs hallway) is the next step but a difficult one, because many of the appliances we have aren't smart enough to be directed or guided by themselves even with very smart AI.

Robots, especially robots made for specific uses, can also provide a real lifestyle change.  If Roomba can vacuum your house then how long before Mowerba comes along to mow your grass, automatically and based on growing conditions?  I think we'll see a plethora of single purpose robots not connected to a central AI or hub just yet, while eventually we'll see robots that are more capable of doing more diverse tasks (but that are much more complicated).

Integration and Customer Experience

The two biggest innovation challenges then aren't creating the robots or the AI.  These to a great extent exist.  What's important is figuring out how to integrate these and other devices so that they work together seamlessly.  How does an AI operate a vacuum cleaner or even schedule it, for example.  Integration and shared platforms or standards will become important and there is a huge innovation opportunity here.

The other aspect will be completely overlooked by most technology companies, but it's just as vital.  The customer experience of these solutions will also matter.  If you are watching TV and your robot gets you a drink, what's the customer experience you want to have?  Will robots have appropriate bedside manner for the bedridden patients they are asked to care for?  The technologists that design and built AI and robots will want to prove these devices work efficiently.  The consumers using the devices will want a warm, empathetic, engaging experience.  There's room for innovators in that gap. While we'll understand the use of robots and other automated devices in our food service and health care, we'll still want and expect a level of interaction and experience that must be designed in.  Customer experience is still paramount, no matter who or what delivers the service, and getting this right is a real innovation opportunity.
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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 8:10 AM 0 comments

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What accelerates innovation

Lately I've been reading about the efforts to build or create innovation accelerators.  Universities, businesses and even cities and regions are talking about innovation and the need to create accelerators or innovation enablers.  I'm glad that everyone is excited about innovation, and that they want to provide the means to help it flourish and help it move more quickly. But the thing is, like most late arrivals, they've got the wrong end of the stick as the Brits like to say.

Buildings, programs, artificial meet ups and other activities that are being put into place as accelerators aren't going to accelerate innovation.  These solutions will accelerate interaction, perhaps, but not innovation.  To accelerate innovation, we need to do a couple of important things that are being overlooked or ignored.

First, describe an important or interesting problem or opportunity.  Most cities and businesses are overwhelmed by opportunities and problems, yet they spend little time adequately defining and describing these problems or opportunities so that innovators can place them in context and begin to imagine solutions.  Rather, we build buildings or create "accelerators" where people work on random ideas that have little importance to the people who built the accelerators.

Second, describe the benefit to the organization, business or community of an incremental change and/or a radical or disruptive change.  What are the outcomes we seek?  Without a clear understanding of the potential end game, innovators and other participants will end up on one end of the spectrum or the other, either creating very marginally different ideas from the status quo, or seeking to overthrow everything and start afresh immediately.  Neither of these is practical or valuable, especially at the start.

Third, give the innovators and entrepreneurs a stake in the outcome.  This is especially true in business settings.  What rationale do innovators have to work on interesting or disruptive ideas if they have no stake in the outcome? We ask them to take risks through the innovation process for a small reward or some recognition if the idea succeeds, and the potential they might lose their job if the innovation fails.  This is why there is far more innovation in startups and entrepreneurial companies and programs than large companies.

Fourth, encourage exploration and experimentation.  Elon Musk can talk about hyperloops and tunnels under Los Angeles because he can afford to experiment and explore new ideas.  We allow successful people and visionaries that freedom. We restrict that freedom from everyone else.  A good example is the difference in startup culture in Silicon Valley and the East Coast.  In Silicon Valley the fact you've lived through a startup that crashed and burned makes you more credible.  In the East Coast it can make you a pariah when seeking new funding. 

Fifth, consider who the judges are.  Frequently when incubators, innovation accelerators or other programs or enablers are created, the "judges" of such activities are often the more established leaders in the community.  These are the people who would scoff at Uber or AirBnB, who don't understand texting or emojis, who are uncomfortable with ideas or solutions that upset the status quo.  So they reward and recognize small, incremental ideas that align to existing infrastructure and investments and ignore and fail to fund really interesting or radical ideas.

Finally, don't worry about the money.  If the innovators have any marketing or social media savvy, they'll be able to publicize their ideas broadly and quickly with little cost.  There's enough money around that good ideas and good teams will attract funding, plus, working under tight constraints makes innovators face the real world and forces them to be more creative.  Money will come into play when the idea or solution needs to scale.  Only then will the idea need to move to where the money is - and that's when a business or community will be forced to make decisions.  Startups move to Silicon Valley because that's where the funding is in the later rounds.  If you want to be a real regional player in the innovation and entrepreneurial world, create or foster a critical mass of venture capital, which can encourage startups to stay local. Then perhaps you can build a critical mass.

The focus on accelerating innovation is a good one, but in many cases the solutions are the wrong ones.  Buildings, programs, incentives are all helpful and may accelerate some portions of the innovation process, but the facts above: critical mass, evaluation and judgement, easy exploration and cultural acceptance, clear definitions of the problem or challenge and having a stake in the outcome are most important. 
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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 6:45 AM 0 comments

Monday, May 22, 2017

Innovation and creativity: the lasting competitive advantage

I wrote recently about my last trip to Dubai, and the impact it had on me.  Dubai is unusual because it combines a number of factors - an energetic leadership, a country and region hungry for growth and transformation, a significant investment pool, and a real "can do" spirit.  Clearly things are changing quickly there, and everywhere.  During the conference where I spoke we had several other speakers who were futurists, including Matthew May.  He and others talked about what they believe is about to unfold as we move ever more quickly into the future.

Pause to acknowledge Daniel Pink

I'd like to pause here and tip my hat to Daniel Pink, who wrote a really good book that is becoming ever more prescient.  Daniel Pink wrote a book entitled A Whole New Mind in 2005, and at the time the book had a nice reception.  His key points in that book were that automation would increase, replacing repetitive labor.  Anything that can be reduced to an algorithm will be described, defined and encoded.  If it can be automated, it will be automated.  His further argument was that we needed to be focused on training people in skills that can't be reduced to algorithms.  Dan's book, published in 2005, deserves a re-read at this time, 12 years later, because a lot that he talked about is happening.  People are being replaced by algorithms, machines and artificial intelligence.

Where automation and AI are taking hold

McDonalds, that trusted first employer of many a teenager, is testing automation and robots to take orders, make food and complete orders.  It's possible within a few years that many McDonalds restaurants will be fully automated, finally achieving the original McDonalds brothers goal of speedy, efficient service.  Check out the movie "The Founder" to see how choreographed the original McDonalds were, and think about how those patterns and repetitive activities can be reduced to automation, machines and AI.

While I was in Dubai I was speaking with an executive of a firm that reviewed intellectual property.  20 years ago the firm had hundreds of US lawyers on staff, but shifted these jobs to a large Indian location where hundreds of Indian engineers and lawyers reviewed intellectual property claims and patents.  His belief was that within 5 years algorithms and machine learning would mean that he would not need many, if any, humans to review patents.

Wall Street is under attack as well from automation and machine learning.  Already there are stock funds managed almost exclusively by algorithms and machine learning, and a significant portion of stock trading is already done by software.  Machines can recognize patterns and act far more quickly than humans can - so you can imagine that a significant amount of trading and money management will be automated in relatively short order.

What does that leave for humans?

As automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics grow in capability, humans doing simple, repetitive jobs will be crowded out.  Robots are much more expensive initially but don't strike, don't get sick and do things exactly the way they are programmed.  They don't get overtime.  So what's left for humans?  Perhaps this will be a golden age - where increasingly we are removed from the drudgery of manual labor and repetitive jobs and are finally freed up to explore the unlimited creativity that we possess but have never been able to fully harness.  There may be far more Faradays and Einsteins in our midst who can fully recognize their creative potential as we are freed from boring, mundane and repetitive tasks.

Pink suggested in his book that the "right brained" people would rule the future. This is because machines aren't artistic or creative - yet.  We humans still possess far more creativity and the ability to assimilate and create in ways that can't be reduced to an algorithm.  We must take advantage of these gifts and differences.

But that doesn't mean that engineers, mathmeticians and scientists are doomed.  Someone will be needed to dream up the next AI, investigate black holes, explore space and perhaps discover how to travel at the speed of light.

What needs to change?  Everything

All of these factors mean that our educational system needs to change, to reinforce creativity and expansive, divergent thinking.  When we needed people on production lines who could do rote work, we taught in rote methods.  Now and in the future we need a completely new way of thinking, that frees up and encourages creativity and innovation.  But it's not just elementary schools, high schools and colleges that must change.

Our traditional hierarchical top down management models, first organized around the military and the railroads, must change and morph as well. We don't need to pigeonhole people into exceptionally narrow jobs, and we need to eliminate siloes and accelerate the best and most creative ideas to market as quickly as possible.  I write this on a day when Ford Motor fired its CEO, even after record breaking sales, because the firm isn't making enough money and its stock price is tanking.  Ford and the automotive manufacturers must shift their thinking from building cars to financing vehicles to providing transportation. 

Will we leverage the power and performance of AI and machine learning and automation and robots to free people up to create even more incredible ideas and products - to add value where AI and robots can't?  Will we prepare our children to compete in a world where creativity and divergent thinking become more important than rote memorization?  Can we rethink our business structures and processes to embrace more divergence and creativity? 

Innovation and creativity are the lasting competitive advantage, for individuals, for cultures and for businesses.  The sooner we realize that and act on it, the better off we all are.

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posted by Jeffrey Phillips at 6:31 AM 0 comments