Heidi Hackemer sensed she was in danger of becoming a fraud. Despite leading up strategy on Google Chrome for BBH NY and sitting on panels at SXSW, her gut told her something was off. Realizing an invisible dust was beginning to settle over her and her work, she decided to shake it off and replace it with the real McCoy—from the Black Hills, Yellowstone, and the deserts of the Southwest.
What does it take to infuse innovation into an organization? Many attempts are made, few are successful. Why? Perhaps we are focusing on a narrow set of criteria. The activities of participating in innovation are important but designing the experience of participating is critical to success.
Our culture is enamored with claiming success by getting a task done. Or hitting a predetermined target. If we can move it from the in box to the out box, victory is declared. If the “expectations market” has been addressed, we can breathe a sigh of relief. The reason we do this is because this is how everyone else does it, and how it’s always been done. We focus on tasks. And while tasks are not always easy to perform, the act of doing them is easy to understand.
What we need to do is think, plan, and create for an outcome.
On Sunday, November 18th, the day we completed the four week pilot program for Islands of Brilliance, a learning workshop developed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This is the story of how it went, and what we learned.
The startup world is all a twitter (see what I did there?) with the utilization of the MVP (minimum viable product) approach to launching new ideas. Often the MVP is solely focused on the product itself… the website, app, etc. In launching an MVP very often business modeling is in its early stages, customer definition and engagement is in its infancy, and use of the MVP product is the driver to inform decisions surrounding these elements of the ultimate business to be built. All attention is focused on the tangible product and its usage to drive decision making. Makes sense on the surface, but a tremendous gap is left in terms of valid data being gathered on sentiment and usage of the product.
The gap is in the lack of recognition of the influence of the brand wrapped around a product or idea that is being trialed.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a ridiculously simple site that allows you to write basic protocol tasks. I would speculate that many of us have been educated and act as if we live in a world that runs on IFTTT-based principles. The irony is, our world ignores protocol in favor unpredictability. Perhaps we need to design our behaviors and thinking to deal with what I call IFTTW—If This Then What?
Steal Like An Artist is an owner’s manual for creative minds which—as Austin Kleon correctly points out—is everyone. This is a book you’ll want to keep with you in your backpack at all times. It is a book that will perhaps look best having been rained on, having coffee (and wine) spilled on it, and festooned with post-it notes, doodles, and multiple underlined passages.
It is true. I know it may be hard to believe. “Mentorship” is one of those words that can be big and scary. One that can often bring up the self-questioning thoughts that often echo in our psyches:
“I really haven’t accomplished enough to be able to mentor someone else.”
“The skills/position/experience/(fill in the blank) really isn’t mentoring worthy.”
“I wouldn’t know where to begin with a mentoring process.”
It’s not true. Everyone has something that is completely unique, that they are experts in that no one else can claim. That is the story of their own experience…