1. Have a larger vision and remain focused on it.
2. Seek neither to co-opt nor to be co-opted.
3. Be relational: take time to learn about the people, not just about the program or project.
4. Do not think in terms of problems; think in terms of challenges and opportunities.
5. Be generous, sharing knowledge time and resources as much as possible.
6. Think strategically, not tactically.
7. Diversity matters.
8. Start with what is wanted, and remember that it is not always what appears to an outsider to be needed.
9. Ask for what you need, not for what you want.
10. Minimize surprises.
11. When speaking of success, use “you” and “we”; when criticizing, start with “I” and “me”.
12. Have fun.
So the way I look at it is, don’t worry about year-to-year quantitative metrics. The focus should be whether significant, meaningful companies are being created.
Concentrations of creative and talented people are particularly important for innovation, according to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Lucas.
Ideas flow more freely, are honed more sharply, and can be put into practice more quickly when large numbers of innovators, implementers, and financial backers are in constant contact with one another, both in and out of the office.
Creative people cluster not simply because they like to be around one another or they prefer cosmopolitan centers with lots of amenities, though both those things count. They and their companies also cluster because of the powerful productivity advantages, economies of scale, and knowledge spillovers such density brings.
Collaborative innovation will mean the end of the great-man theory of innovation. Before much longer, the differentiator among great companies will be less individual brilliance and more skill in extracting value from a fluid network of internal and external parties.
Although the concepts of knowledge/innovation/business cluster applied primarily outside of the organizations’ four walls, to survive and thrive in the creative innovation economy, organizations will need to create cross-functional talent clusters on an as-needed basis for creating and executing new ideas and innovation.
Source: Fast Company
Today, numerous cities have substantially more economic weight, international connectivity, and diplomatic influence on the world stage than dozens of nations. The rise of cities as transnational actors is thus driven not only by urbanization and globalization, but also a third nearly irreversible phenomenon: devolution … as sub-state and provincial authorities leverage the forces of transparency, identity, and connectivity to push for greater autonomy.
In today’s Herald, Fran O’Sullivan sums up the Generation Zero viewpoint as follows:
"If you want to create a start-up or you want to enter the New Zealand market and invest in New Zealand, Auckland is the first port of call. It is a place where entrepreneurs meet investors. Where engineers with ideas can find both the manufacturing and the connections to access global markets. And it is possible because of scale. Innovation and startups happen when talented people bump into each other, share ideas and form partnerships.
Vibrant, liveable neighbourhoods where people can meet, collaborate and have shared experiences are not just a great place to live, they are also great places for entrepreneurship to blossom.”
Sound a bit familiar? If you substituted “workplace” for “neighbourhood”, and “work” for “live” above, then it starts to sound a whole lot like a co-working space.
And that’s no coincidence. The same positive factors that drive innovation in the “micro” environment of a co-working space are equally important at the “macro” scale - be it building, precinct, or city.
I for one am looking forward to the implementation of the Unitary Plan. Like Fran says, “the argument for intelligent density and against sprawl is compelling. Couple that with… giving the urban design rules statutory weight and Auckland would be onto a winner.”
Beyond the amenities, Googlers say the biggest similarity between their company and college is the constant hunt for new ideas. Many of the company’s perks are designed to get Googlers out of their cubicles and talking to one another, over muffins in a microkitchen, on bikes crisscrossing campus and over a pickup game of basketball.
Before | After of Papal Announcement. If there was any doubt about the massive impact of mobile in our lives over the last few years, then this image provided by NBC’s Today Show should put that to rest. It compares two images from St Peter’s Square, one taken during the announcement of Pope Benedict in 2005, and the other for Pope Francis in 2013, and speaks volumes for the changes over that time.
The fatal misconception behind brainstorming is that there is a particular script we should all follow in group interactions.
The lesson of Building 20 is that when the composition of the group is right—enough people with different perspectives running into one another in unpredictable ways—the group dynamic will take care of itself. All these errant discussions add up. In fact, they may even be the most essential part of the creative process.
Although such conversations will occasionally be unpleasant—not everyone is always in the mood for small talk or criticism—that doesn’t mean that they can be avoided.
The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks.
There are not that many ideas for internet products that will be really good. It is really all about execution. Facebook too wasn’t a new idea but I think we took the idea and we focused on execution, focused on quality and getting to scale.
Adam D’Angelo, former Facebook CTO
While he makes a number of interesting observations about Apple, Tesla, and universities, I thought his comments on the VC world were right on the money, and this thinking underlies my own motivations around The BizDojo's role in The Mainframe seed investment fund:
"Christensen said he thinks the venture capital world needs to be disrupted because it is focused too much on making big killings on big investments at a time when there are plenty of good smaller investments to be made on companies that will be disruptive."
And he rams the point home further:
“Venture capital is always wanting to go up market. It’s like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. ‘Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.’ People in private equity complain that they have so much capital and so few places to invest. But you have lots of entrepreneurs trying to raise money at the low end and find that they can’t get funding because of this mismatch. I think that there is an opportunity there.”
I agree, and we’ll be positioning The Mainframe to capitalise.
Clusters are a radical alternative to our traditional notion of teams. They are formed outside a company context, but are hired and paid by companies as a unit, as a permanent part of the company. They manage, govern and develop themselves; define their own working practices and tools; and share out remuneration. Technology trends and tools like the cloud, and collaboration suites, are evolving to make this more and more workable.
Fast Company recently ran an article on the secrets of some of America’s happiest companies. Here are the five basic rules from that article, as summarised by Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts on his blog:
- Remain committed to perpetual improvement. Support staff to meet their goals and let them learn from mistakes in the process. Develop movement and change. Status quo is not an option.
- Create meaning. Having a meaningful impact in the work we do will always help motivate and elevate.
- Recognize staff. Let staff know that what they are doing, no matter how small the job, is integral to the big picture.
- Humans first. Show empathy and an interest in staff and they will feel more connected and valued as human beings not just workers.
- Integrate. Offer some flexibility to staff so that they can stay engaged with life outside work. Offer flexi time and make sure workers have time to exercise. Being tuned into life outside work helps us plug into work.