Thursday, January 20, 2011

From Entrepreneurial Ego-Systems to Eco-Systems

VivekWadhwa, a tech-entrepreneur, academic, researcher, and writer, on why and how the economy can be re-boosted (not just in the US (!)) through accelerating the startup process. Like in any eco-system the entrepreneurial eco-system needs certain ingredients, without which fresh startups (either in the tech, computer science, design, production, and service field) can't really emerge.

It needs some kind of constraint to build up the ability to grow steadily (and not dying in the first down turn of the economy). Especially where subsidies are paid out the constraints are hidden by this money, only leading to future difficulties when the subsidies are not any longer in practice. In about two years time the subsidies in area of the former GDR will run out (the track will move further East to the new economies, where subsidies are paid for development).

Then the same will happen as was seen in Finland in the beginning of the 90s, where in the area of Jyväskylä, a new form of entrepreneur education popped up in form of TeamAcademy. Combining this model with other initiatives such as High Tech U (HTU) and the library and institution of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden could also a very special blend of eco-system.

What new models for generating economic growth with what is at hand already?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Changing to the Better - Would You Dare?

In tough times, challenges ahead, just take the detour to the bookstore closest to you. Stroll around (in the real Presencing mode) and let surprises catch you. Mine was definitely MikeRother's newest book which I found in German version (quite uncommon for lean or state of the art international business literature).

My key points taking away:

1. Change can't be imposed to running processes (which are mainly influenced and lived by people) through workshops, specialists/experts, teaching outside the workplace
2. MBM - Management by Means (to go the next level managing what you have most elegantly)
3. Start small - even though you can't really foresee what the future brings
4. Do that - quick, transparent, and learn immediately on feedback
5. Mike mentioned a holistic view, where everything is connected, which goes right into system dynamics
6. ... ask yourself where you are today (with the company), where you want to be (in the future), and what is currently hindering you. Then decide on small action that go into that future direction (immediately (!)) and let your folks on the shopfloor and office have their way (they mostly know best)

Reading through 3/4 of the book the following books are highly recommended in doing the follow up and putting into practice. They are not mentioned in the book, however it became clear that the fields are highly connected. A small investment for a person, a huge for personal learning, and an immense for the people and the organization!

1. Business Dynamics, JohnSterman
2. Theory U - To Lead from the Future as it Emerges, OttoScharmer
3. Process Consultation, EdgarSchein

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A small group CAN make a CHANGE

The most positively disturbing article for quite some time on entrepreneurship and the "game change" by Vivek Wadhwa. Following the essential:

"There is nothing to prevent there being many Silicon Valleys and nothing to stop most regions in the world from innovating. The focus just has to change from investing in real estate to investing in people."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Don't be Evil - Just Do Good, the Rest will Evolve

Times are going faster every day, at least it feels like it. Talking with someone of Forio, a system dynamics simulation consulting based in San Francisco, I stumbled across the SD Forum.

Don't Be Evil  crossed my eyesight and whooosh it didn't take long to dig deeper into this interesting sounding info.

"Creative Destruction of Companies
For many organizations, alarm bells were going off long before the meltdown of financial markets. The emergence of two-way traffic on the internet has been destructive to many markets and companies. The classic example is Wikipedia, the free web encyclopedia based on “user-generated content...." (taken from the booklet)

Are our organizations running full speed into the crossing, seeing the traffic light on RED yet thinking, "We will be fine moving on!"?

I have a DREAM - but I am not MartinLutherKing ;-)

Reply by Ralf Lippold on December 24, 2008 at 8:08pm
Good morning Otto,

Seems to be that this group has taken full grip of my energy:-)

Just came back from a Gottesdienst (mess) at the Frauenkirche (awesome:-)) and totally inspired to write down my first thoughts on your questions (as the topic is racing my mind actually for the last 19 years, after the wall came down between East and West Germany). The crisis of today we see all around is not so new to this part of the country and actually people over here cope quite good with that (they been through the same stage right after '89 when most factories in the so-called "Neuen Bundesländern" ("new states") had to close down).

What do you see going on in your environment?
A deep reluctance to change. Everybody is waiting for the "big guys" that can make the change happen. As I was looking for a job for a few months I got some personal experience on how people are treated by the unemployment agencies. They definitely don't care whether you are working at a place to your strengths:-( The only goal is to put you out of the list. They could be a real value creating institution, if .... Yes if a few essentials would be changed and the pure numbers goals would be eliminated. I have intervened already and proposed a cooperation with a newly set up Team Academy institution in Dresden to eliminate unemployment in Saxony and provide sustainable value to the region and its people.

It is really difficult to grasp the right people and the right time (like here in this group, from the blog I wouldn't have thought of that vivid action already taking off:-)) and I wonder whether who else has made similar experiences and stepped perhaps inside that kind of institutions to make the change start?

How does the global crisis of our time manifest in your context of work and life?
At least not negative. For me every problem bears great opportunities in it and the current crisis really offers lots of chances (oil crisis, climate change, urban planning, new social media use, etc.). The old organizations won't cope too long with the crisis and there is the possibility to make the change real ("Orbiting the Giant Hairball", by Gordon MacKenzie shows quite excellent how it can be done:-))

What is beginning and where?
Here in Dresden and the eastern parts of the country people get back their pride as they have been through this downturn right after the wall came down. They can cope with shortages (done that for 40 years during the GDR times).
To be honest they would be the "real" Toyota people - if one would let them go!

And: what are the things that we could do that would help us and others to move from here (the collapsing old system) to there (the emerging field of the future)? what should we do?

From a very personal perspective and inspired by the visit up to Team Academy, a visit to Genthin (where they close down the chemical plant of Henkel, which is some sort of regional identification) and the idea that has grown out of visits to the small suburb Hellerau, where similar ideas as here in the group emerged some 90 years ago and presently are brought up by Genius-Hellerau (guess I have do the English translation for them, in order that other people outside the German speaking compartment (as one would say in Agent-Based-Modeling coming from System Dynamics;-)) can also participate).

Coming back from Oman in April I told my former logistics professor at my former university in Dresden about the World Café in which the Forum was organized. He gave me the hint and the invitation to the folks in Hellerau. Ever since I have met very interesting people who are striving for the sustainable change in the region. Yet it is really difficult for them to see the change (under grassroot level won't be seen in the beginning and only the really visionaries will "see" that).

The process is ongoing, even though they have doubts that something to change would be possible in the established institutions in government, business and education.

Nevertheless I am working on setting up the Team Academy in Dresden, which I was directly inspired by Marigo (she is also member here) a couple of months ago. Since then I participate in a business plan start-up competition with the project. First round is over already and prizes will given end of January (let's see how the project got the interest of the jury).

I know of other Team Academy like initiatives around Europe and yet there could be stronger inter-group exchange, marketing, and learning.

So I am looking for supporters and if somebody is interested in the ideas behind it have a look at Team Lea(r)ning Experience Dresden

....thoughts must have held back and now they are out;-))

All the best you all and enjoy the coming days and a fresh start in 2009


▶ Reply
Permalink Reply by Otto Scharmer on December 24, 2008 at 10:19pm
Ralf--thank you for checking in on the varous questions posed in this forum. great to hear that you are working with team academy folks----otto

Monday, January 10, 2011

Vannevar Bush's Vision (written in 1945)

Symposium on 50th anniversary of Vannevar Bush's groundbreaking article "As we May Think

Pretty amazing to hear and read about what we still in vast areas of society are struggling with. Resistance is more evident than in the 60s or 70s when times were open to new things. Back in those days a kind of "open crack" in the fixed house of thinking in society was breaking up. Only to be covered up a few years later.

Twenty years after the Wall has come down and globalization is more possible than ever before, my personal experience in innovative workspaces (such as BMW AG) has shown me that technology alone is not enough. A constantly constraining factor is the pressure on time, competitiveness and people's fear to loose jobs. 

Using the given and emerging technology we are probably already more aware and using could help us and others to create the solutions together for the challenging complex problems we are facing today.

What is the one first step you do on this joined journey?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Return of the "Renaissance Man"

Johann Eleazar Zeissig, known as Schenau: The Discussion on Art, 1772
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photo: Elke Estel, Hans-Peter Klut
Enlightenment as the "facilitator" or "boundary art" for the challenges of the 21st century. Based on the transformations some centuries back when the "dark age" was transforming and opening up the doors to science, exploration, and understanding the deeper sources of life. Even more back, some several thousand years back in China the foundations of our modern society, science, and understanding of nature was grounded. Putting these strings together in a present setting, framing a "container", and get traction done is the aim of "Enlightenment in Dialogue".

Lucky to live in Dresden, where one pillar of that process - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden - is situated (not just one, but many more such as Semperoper)

We live in exiting times - and it is right in front of us, it is our playground!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Social inventors of our day

It's the INTRAPRENEUR acting from within a given and living organization.
Some thoughts on the concept and how it can be adapted to the modern world.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Target Value - at the end of the day

2nd of January 2011, the new year is about two days old already. Moving on the same tracks of thinking as the old one ended? Perhaps a little shift - not a big one - to start.

When are you most delighted when buying stuff or receiving a service?

Is it just the price you pay that your take for granted equivalent of value?
Is there something else underneath that is less tangible and yet worth for
you to pay the extra $, €, or other?

Now shift your perspective: what is the ultimate value your product or
service brings your customer?

Stepping into others's shoes to see the world around us, is just a small
turn of perspective. Try it out you will be surprised!

Happy and  great New Year 2011 to all my readers !!! Enjoy