Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Future of Serious Stories

It's a kind of serendip(ity) - with an open mind not
fixed on certain special fields of interest, one often
explores new fields an future comes in via surprise.

Storytelling in the serious sense can be very useful
in the business context. Instead of just reading the
number in a balance sheet the mutual conversations
between persons enable a flexible flow of thoughts.

What stories do you remember well from around your
workplace that helped you to understand processes
or human behavior?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Five minutes thought standstill

Aren't you driven by the fast pace of business
and life in general?
When and how do you take time to think about
how to improve current processes or even about
redesigning it?

Why not take roughly five minutes out of your
schedule and watch and listen to THIS(*) (together
with your peers, employees, bosses or family).

What does this piece to your mind and thought process?

Mine has been: some tear drops (should I really folishly
admit that it emotionally struck me?) and open mind for
is going to come

(*) JohnCage the creator of this.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Unintended Surprise

Who do you think is the real "designer" of a firm?

Supposedly you think it is the management team up in the top ranks. Right they have the overview from above but can they see what really drives action?

How often do we see the C-level folks down in the lines working side by side with the operators? How often is the engineer (or specialist) talking to the C-level or operators and in which attitude?

The operators within the three cultures of a firm (executives, engineers, operators) are the ones who tackle the uncertainty of daily work that could not be predicted by engineers 100% in advance (EdgarSchein, MIT Sloan School of Management, The Cultures of Management - The Key to Organizational Learning). They are probably the most underrated people within the organization.

To cope with the challenges of the 21st century EdgarSchein proposes the following (which I can underwrite through own experience within the three cultures at an automotive plant):

"Until executives, engineers, and operators discover that they use different languages, make different assumptions about what is important, and until they learn to treat the other cultures as 
valid and normal, we will continue to see failures in organizational learning efforts. We will see powerful innovations at the operator level that are ignored, subverted or actually punished, we will see technologies that are grossly under-utilized, we will see angry employees railing against the impersonal programs of re-engineering and down-sizing, we will see frustrated executives who know what they want to accomplish but feel impotent in pushing their ideas through complex human systems, and we will see frustrated academics wondering why certain ideas like employee involvementsocio-technical systems analyses, high commitment organizationsand concepts of social responsibility continue to be ignored, only to be reinvented under some other label a few decades later."(taken from the above article)

We certainly have the chance in our hands as executives, engineers, and operators to co-create our future together - dialogue will be the first step. For doing the dialogue it needs time we should put into place a "new" management philosophy. On that in my next post in
about week.

Cheers and looking forward on what positive experiences you have done yourself within your own organization with the "three levels of culture"

Friday, November 12, 2010

influencers build the social field from outside to inside

How far is your voice reaching to be understood?

How far and broadly can you sense the world around you?

How many connections to other people can you handle?

When does passion come into play?

..... influencers will spark the passion in us as we become aware
of what is possible and emotionally connects with us. They will
be more influential in the near future than most of us may think.

Who are the influencers within your organization and how do we
recognize them?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Future of Entrepreneurship - ... into Blue Sky!

Gartner expects trends beyond 2010

1. De-routinization of Work
2. Work Swarms
3. Weak Links
4. Working With the Collective
5. Work Sketch-Ups
6. Spontaneous Work
7. Simulation and Experimentation
8. Pattern Sensitivity
9. Hyperconnected
10. My Place

.... in which way will these affect the future of consulting, and doing business?

What are the next big changes in the entrepreneurship and startup arena?

Here I share my personal views (they get updated) on more than 12 years of done action research in the midst of a challenging workspace environment (the scaling up process of the BMW Plant Leipzig in the mid-2000s), and the field of intrapreneurship (at BMW) and entrepreneurship (since 2008, running my own lean consulting firm, and lately working on a startup)
  1. System Dynamics (wiki provided by Gene Bellinger), will be essential to understanding and design complex and interconnected organizational systems 
  2. Entrepreneur in the role of process consultant, not giving advice (as this is free of charge and ubiquitous available on the web for anybody)
  3. Entrepreneurs will be transparent on the various social networks, giving advice of general concern (Freemium Business Model) 
  4. Collaboration and sharing of experiences transparently on the web (on places such as Facebook, GoogleBuzz (shut down), GoogleWave (shut down), TitanPad, and others) 
  5. Intercultural consulting journeys similar to the learning journey of CharlesVanDerHaegen and VilleKeraenen 
  6. Shared benefit model based on the long-term benefit of the consulted client, similar to #TeamLearningExperience(TeamLea(r)ningExperience) 
  7. On flight consulting sessions, sponsored by airlines (Consult & Fly, Travel & Improve will be the first players in this field based in Dresden) 
  8. Hourly consulting (doing about two dozen clients at once, learning from diversity, cross-fertilization) 
  9. Co-Consulting as prototyped by (currently at a stop) already 
  10. Pattern recognization based consulting and entrepreneurship based on data provided by smart organizations providing online data as on the Tesla Roadster,, or through intelligent sensor/ RFID-based production systems (either in production areas or office environments where flow of paper, electronic files is done) - some general applications laid out and implemented during my past work at BMW Plant Leipzig and Kombiverkehr KG Frankfurt (can be also applied to other fields of interest) 

2016-06-06 Presentation of HTxA - HighTech x Agency as part of the Ideas Showcase (page 33, in German) at futureSAX Innovation Conference 2016
2016-04-05 Team Project CitizenScienceLab (part of the MOOC #ScalingUp)
2015-03-10 Interview given as part of ArbeitsVisionen2025 (WorkVisions2025) by Guido Bosbach
2014-07-29 A Mission to Bring World Changing Ideas From Singularity University - an interview
2013-07-15 HTxA - HighTech x Agency (a virtual communications agency currently in the making in order to make the knowledge flow out of conference rooms into the unexplored business opportunity world possible by applying digital communication technology)
2012-07-18 Startup Accelerator (concept)
2012-07-07 Jay W. Forrester's vision for the 21st century (and in large my own personal view on the future)

.... so a visionary future is awaiting us all, where ever we may live, or work. 

Would you like to be amongst the first movers to make the future a reality today step by step? BMW Plant Leipzig has already taken some significant steps in Saxony as well as AMD (now Global Foundries Fab1) and there is yet more to come over the coming years.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Opportunity Space Entrepreneur

The entrepreneurial spirit is probably the most important driver for a future economic drive. The world is changing too fast in forms of new competitors, new markets, new needs, new challenges (facing the world). Entrepreneurs look for the new find solutions where nobody else is looking or taking the future chances for real.

And yet the entrepreneur often tends to present the "real" chances of her/his innovative approach. PeterDrucker in his 1985 book "Innovation and Entrepreneurship" writes about the German chemist who developed Novocain the first local anesthetic. But the doctors he approached didn't want to change from full anesthetic to this.

Then suddenly dentists used to practice this - and liked it. He got made on that and traveled up and down Germany to give speeches about not using Novocain in the dentist field.

The learning from that: you don't like what you have not planned for. Even as an entrepreneur (!)

What could be the reason for that: when having found something interesting to build a business around one often closes in just to not let the information spill in the larger mass and focuses on just a single field of use. The fear of scaling it up, or having worked for the "wrong" purpose sets entrepreneurs under stress - still 25 years after Peter Drucker's writing.

The way to overcome the "thinking stuck": talk with people who are not your possible competitors, ask people in the restaurant, train, conference what they may think of the idea of encounter this or that (the innovation you have in mind) - spread it in as widely context you may can.

Especially if it is a new idea, not yet in use you may feel uneasy telling people about an idea.

Just dare to do - you can only win :-) Some call it  S E R E N D I P I T Y or Innovation on the Edge