The Discipline of Innovation Blog

The Discipline of Innovation Blog

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A Conversation is the Smallest Unit of Change

“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” -Walt Whitman, Song of Myself “After I used the term sympoiesis in a grasp for something other than the lures of autopoiesis, Katie King told me about M. Beth Dempster’s Master of Environmental Studies thesis written in 1998, in which she suggested...

The Power of Purposeful Innovation

The Herman Miller company became one of the world’s first manufacturers of sustainably-produced furniture almost by accident. Back in the 1950s, as the company became one of the biggest furniture manufacturers in the US selling now iconic designs from Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Alexander Girard. At the time, DJ de Pree, the founder of...

Taking a Long Term View During Turbulent Times

What’s the best way to respond to covid-19? There’s still so much uncertainty, it’s almost impossible to know. There are people and institutions that urgently need help – and first priority has to go them. But there’s also value in taking a longer-term view in times of turbulence – I gave a talk last week on this topic, and you can see it here: I...

Taking a Long Term View During Turbulent Times

What’s the best way to respond to covid-19? There’s still so much uncertainty, it’s almost impossible to know. There are people and institutions that urgently need help – and first priority has to go them. But there’s also value in taking a longer-term view in times of turbulence – I gave a talk last week on this topic, and you can see it here: I...

Technological Revolutions and the Governance Gap

The Core Problem of Management Today Sur-veil-lance Cap-i-tal-ism, n. 1. A new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of extraction, prediction, and sales; 2. A parasitic economic logic in which the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new global architecture of behavioral...

Are You Working On the World’s To-Do List?

There are a number of major challenges facing the world today. Poverty, climate risk, war – the list goes on. In 2015, the United Nations released a list they called the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. It was an agenda of actions and targets to reach by 2030. In announcing the SDGs, the UN said: This Agenda is a plan of action for...

Do The Hard Work

I’m not a very good photographer. I love the idea of being a good photographer, but, sadly, I’m not one. The main reason is that when it comes right down to it, I’m not willing to do the hard work. You need to know about shutter speeds, and apertures, and framing, and all kinds of arcane stuff. And it takes a lot of practice. Sometimes, I’m tempted...

The Story Behind The World’s Most Incompetent Drawings

Language Warning right at the start! I recently gave a talk at a workshop for the International CFO Forum in Singapore. After it was done, one of the participants came up to me and said: “Can I ask you a question about your slides?” “Sure,” I replied. “By all the objective principles of good slide design, they’re shit. But, they’re REALLY effective....

Well, No, I am NOT a Natural

“I was looking for work that would make my heart sing.” Jamie Ford said that recently at a UQ Business School alumni event as she told us about the path her career has taken. She said that her current role as Head of Customer Experience for Uniting Care Queensland does exactly that. Jamie was one of the people that I interviewed for Design Thinking...

Do We Need Managers or Management?

Note: this was originally posted on Harvard Business Review Blogs, with terrific editing by Sarah Green Carmichael. Maybe you’ve heard the old cliché – if you’ve got “too many chiefs,” your initiative will fail. Every time I hear it, I wonder, “Why can’t everyone be a chief?” For instance, the Second Chance Programme is a group that raises money...

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