Yes, I will be talking Innovation!
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My Thoughts on Innovation and Struggle

How did it get to be 7:45 on Saturday night - without posting on Innovation? Well, let me explain...

And, in order to do so, I must talk innovation. Because that's what's happening, all around me - innovation is guiding me, challenging me, inspiring me. In the past few years of building my busines - both on the publishing side and the blogging side - I've struggled to understand HOW to build what I wanted the company to be, and to become. The struggle was in learning how to be a leader - because I am the leader. I own the company. The struggle was in embracing the right new ideas - because we have them so often, almost every day, and we just can't do them all. Then, the struggle was in recognizing just what was happening all around me - to the business, to the people I work with, and to myself. All of it is part of innovation. MY innovation.

The Innovation Forum was more than a gathering of interested people hoping to take new ideas back to the office. The overall goal was "Creating Sustainable Innovation" - so we were told at the opening. Some stats I managed to jot down:Innovation_ideas

[image from Dave Feguson's blog, where he has a book coming out called: The Big Idea.]

  • 15% of the attendees were from companies with revenues over 15 billion
  • 10% of the attendees were from companies with revenues of under 5 million
  • 30% of the attendees were C-level executives
  • And, a vast majority have the word "innovation" in their title.

I call that impressive. A glance around the auditorium was also impressive. Here are my initial thoughts:

This year, compared to last year, the ladies were more focused on career goals. I noticed Orange_sneaksprofessional dress, compared to last year's high heels and low-cut blouses. Lots of practical shoes - low heels, or flats. (including mine) Additionally, my trained eye thought it counted more women this year, than last. I have no supporting numbers for that - just my gut feel. More women, more interest in the meaning of innovation, the concept, the strategy, the creativity.

We were greeted, at the onset, by advice to grab the 5 Ms. Mood - Mindset - Mechanism - Measure - Momentum. While the speaker, Andy Stefanovich [a great question beats a right answer] from The Innovator's Studio, talked about the 5 Ms, I observed the backdrop on stage. I was impressed with the collage, for wont of a better descriptor. The backdrop was crafted from metal, I think. I never got close enough to touch it. It evoked life and robotics - in the form of machine parts and flowers. A coupling of biology and mechanics. People and power - parts and pictures. Things made up from right brain and left brain.

Andy advised the audience to "be slightly disruptive. Be confusion tolerant." Embrace life as if it were part of a children's novel. Allow wonder to enter your world: do we take charge of innovation, or does innovation take charge of us? How do we play a part? How does our org play a part?

On to Gary Hamel. By far this year's outstanding speaker. More on Gary tomorrow...


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