The moral side of change

Where are we heading to and why? Most change programmes are about adapting to economic times (being able to sell more or to keep the level of sales). But the discussion on why we need a certain change on a deep intrinsic level is hardly addressed. When asked, the most probable answer will be that… Read more »

Tensegrity or prepare yourself to… improvise

I already posted on how improvisation can increase your flexibility. In this article I would like to expand on how your organisation can prepare itself to improvise through the concept of tensegrity.   The principle of tensegrity was first applied in 1951 in the field of architecture in London, UK. Tensegrity (from tensional integrity) is… Read more »

The golden rule for innovation: Observe!

Observation is all about getting new insights. The better you observe, the quicker new insights will come. I was reading the ‘Art of Innovation’, the bestseller by Tom Kelly of the hugely successful design firm IDEO. Observation is a cornerstone in their innovation and design approach. Confronted with an innovation challenge, they start observing the… Read more »

Transformational meetings

When I entered the meeting room I was not happy. A big U-shape filled the room. The four round tables I had requested for were squeezed in a back corner, hardly noticeable. They were not even the tables I had requested for. These ones were awfully small. In a split second I was reviewing my… Read more »

Confronting Chaos

True science postulates laws that are devoid of any morality. The principles on mechanics that Newton described are true. No matter what you find of them. The same applies for other fields such as mathematics, thermodynamics, electronics, etc. Still the effect of these scientific principles might hold a moral value. In this regard I came… Read more »

Disruptive vs. incremental innovation

In a previous post I elaborated on informality as a necessary condition for ideas to travel en create breakthrough innovations. In this post I will take a closer look at how ideas propagate and thereby classifying two sorts of innovation. Let me start with the notion of memes. By carefully observing the behaviour of our… Read more »

Tackling the innovation deficit: get rid of borders

To anyone who is innovating I would recommend looking back into history. And my interest being the creation of participative environments fostering innovation I want to take a closer look at 15th century Florence. Why there? Well, because at that time Florence showed an incredible burst of creativity and innovation in the arts and humanities…. Read more »

Innovate the opposite way

On Friday 11 February I organised the Creative Green Forum as part of the Green Innovation Platform. An interesting discussion about the definition of innovation started between one of the speakers and the audience. One participant claimed that innovation was a lonely activity; many of the greatest ideas had been produced in glorious solitude. The… Read more »

Start improvising and increase your flexibility

Improvisation is a form of creativity, albeit a very special one. Because improvisation is a creativity act with immediate result. There is no time separation between idea generation (composition) and the execution of the idea. When asked to explain the difference in no more than 15 seconds Jazz Saxophonist Steve Lacy gave the following answer:… Read more »

Square dance versus Tango

Square dancing is a dance in which 4 couples dance arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, moving counter-clockwise on the music. Like many dances, it’s highly ritualised with a series of steps and rules governing the way dancers move and behave on the dance floor. A., a friend of mine, is… Read more »

Avoid eternal discussions and get the vision right

M. was holding a passionate plea. He vigorously drew a circle on a flip chart and pointed at to the top: ‘we’re here now. At the same spot as a few years ago. Then we went down to the bottom of the circle in which we all had to be “one”. It cost us a… Read more »

Applying Kotter part 3: what I did wrong

This entry is a follow-up on on why I apply Kotter to my own situation and what I did right. Step 1: Acting with urgency Gee was I busy in the beginning! I wanted to realise my change as quick as possible. But I had no plan and plenty of time. So I just started… Read more »

A multilevel approach for TOP®

I never realised that the US is a very efficient market until I met a former Marketing Manager from Unilever who had been promoted to Asia. He explained that with one single marketing campaign he could reach a huge market of wealthy customers. With 300 million inhabitants sharing the same language and culture a single… Read more »

The flipside of empowerment

Most of the interventions I design and lead are about gathering people in a meeting room for a specific purpose. When participants enter the room they all have their ideas and expectations about the meeting to come. And I often encounter cynicism. Many of them have had their share of ‘strategic meetings’ and the feeling… Read more »

How to make this website participative?

A friend of mine once wanted to organise a Delphi method with several hundred experts. And he had a problem. A Delphi method consists of several rounds in which experts fill in a questionnaire on a specific topic. The questionnaire is sent on-line and every expert answers the questions behind his/her desk at work. But… Read more »

Coordinate less!

To produce a good and meaningful service you need knowledge. Lot’s of it. And you need the ability to integrate. In my work I often meet people complaining they didn’t know that a certain type of information was available within the organisation, that someone was working on a project that they should have known of… Read more »