Archive for the 'Creativity' Category

Personal branding – it’s about you

Keith October 19th, 2013

Personal branding is about you. It’s about you presenting yourself to an audience. It’s about you standing out.

But there are two sides to this coin. On one side, you need to understand your audience, and you need to know what will speak to them – what it is you need to present that will connect with them. The other side of the coin is you. It’s who you are. You are the sum total of your experiences and what you represent to your audience.

But who are you?

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Art of Conversation – article edition

Keith May 9th, 2011

Further to previous posts here on the transformative power of conversation – the Ignite presentation at KMLF, and the trampoline presentation - I have now also written an article on the topic, which was published by Thomson-Reuters’ Online Currents last month.

This article has documented in a little more detail the recent research that highlights how conversation can actually make us smarter and more innovative – this research is from:

  • Anita Williams Woolley et al, who found that “small groups demonstrate distinctive ‘collective intelligence’ when facing difficult tasks”.
  • Steven Johnson’s book Where Good Ideas Come From, on cultural progress and how innovation really works.
  • Oscar Ybarra et al, showing that even brief, friendly conversations can improve individual mental function.

This research is summarised and drawn together in the article, along with other thoughts on conversation, change and social media.

Download a copy of the article here.

The Art of Conversation – trampoline edition

Keith April 16th, 2011

So today I presented this topic at trampoline.  Trampoline is a “self-organising event for those who find the world interesting, have something to offer and share, and have an inquisitive mind”. I’ve been at some of the earlier trampoline days, and it’s great to get back and get energised again!

@kdelarue on conversation #trampoline

photo: thesquigglyline

This morning, I presented on the same topic as my last KMLF presentation – see this post for the details.  This time, I have tweaked the presentation a little, and had the luxury of enough time to get the audience engaged in the conversation. Since the KMLF presentation, I have also  written an article on this topic for Online Currents, which is being published this month. A copy of the article will be posted here a little while after the magazine is out.

The new slide pack is now up on SlideShare.  One thing that has emerged from this work that is added to this version of the presentation is my proposed Innovative Meeting Test:

  • Have we all been introduced?
  • Is everyone open and willing to change?
  • Are we all taking equal turns?
  • Is the talk friendly and constructive?
  • Do we have sufficiently diverse viewpoints?

Making Collaboration Happen

Keith November 16th, 2010

I presented on this topic at Ark Group’s Collaboration Site Visits event in Sydney on 8 September.  The Slide Pack is now available on SlideShare here.  This was a half-day workshop, and it was delivered in three parts.  The title was, of course, intentionally misleading – the whole point is that you can’t really make collaboration happen – you need to set up the right environment to support it.

The first part  addressed the dynamics of collaboration and CoPs – a discussion about community.  This is built on articles I have written previously, one of which is discussed on this site.  This also refers to Stan Garfield’s Communities Manifesto.

The second part provided some of the outcomes of the work Matt Moore and I did in our survey and report OzCollab – Collaboration Software in Australia. We then broke into a collaborative exercise, using another card game involving Patrick Lambe’s KM Method Cards.

The final part of the session then addressed the approach to participative change that has also been discussed here before – The Idea Monopoly.  This highlights the need for creativity, trust and openness in today’s complex organisations, and draws on the Cynefin model and other recent research.

Presentation – The Idea Monopoly?

Keith June 25th, 2010

“Nearly 60 percent of projects aimed at achieving business change do not fully meet their objectives.” – IBM, 2008.

Why does this happen? As many working in Knowledge Management and related fields understand, it’s all about people and complexity. Organisations are increasingly dependent on people and what they know in order to operate successfully in today’s environment. It is no longer sufficient for organisational change to be driven by a small handful of people – there is no monopoly on ideas.

This is the topic of the presentation I delivered last Wednesday night at the Melbourne KMLF.  The slide pack is now available on SlideShare.

I have posted on this topic here before, and delivered an earlier version of the presentation at trampoline.  

Key points in this presentation are:

  • Recent insights into effective organisational change.
  • The impact of complexity and the importance of engaging people. 
  • Creativity and the wisdom of crowds. 
  • Social Media – the power of trust and openness.

For more background on the topics covered, here are some links to the material referenced:
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Landscape

Keith March 25th, 2010

I have mentioned here before that my late mother, Edna De La Rue, had an interest in painting.  It is now nearly 12 months since she passed away at the age of 95.  A couple of weeks ago I received a call from someone who had purchased one of her paintings some years ago, and is interested in re-selling it.  It was a piece painted in 1966 (making my mother about 52 at the time). It was painted at a time when she was attending a series of classes at the local High School run by the artist Geoff LaGerche, focussing on a technique that involved applying oil paint by palette knife.

It was interesting seeing a photo of this painting after all these years.  I can recall my mother using the technique at the time, but oddly I have no recollection of seeing this particular piece before:

Landscape 66

Picture the Future: Australia

Keith March 23rd, 2010

Yesterday, on World Water Day, Siemens delivered a presentation outlining their technology blueprint for a cleaner, greener Australia.  Using Siemens technologies in the fields of water and energy, they have put together a “technology blueprint for energy and water sustainability in Australia by 2030.” Impressive stuff.  Most impressively, they claim that even: “current available technology, with some fuel switching, could reduce the emissions from the electricity sector by up to 30 percent”.  Over the period 2000 to 2050, Australia’s population is expected to grow by 75%. The challenge is to reduce emissions over the same time period by 60%. Siemens claim that this can be done with the right mix of technologies, and without purchasing CO2 certificates from offshore.

Now if we could only get governments to pay some real attention to this…

Footprints

The issues

There are four Mega-trends in the world at the moment: Climate change, Demographic change, Urbanisation and Globalisation.  Energy is linked to all four, and water plays a role in two of the four.

Although we definitely have a number of crises on our hands in Australia, we sometimes forget that we are amazingly well-off compared to many parts of the world – for now.  We have plenty of water in Australia; it’s just not all in the right places.  We have excellent access to all known forms of energy; we are currently relying too much on coal & oil, the sources with the highest per capita emissions.  Our immediate survival is not under threat.  However, the time to act is now – before things get worse.  The “do nothing” option means that we can expect an increase in emissions of 50% over the same 50 year period.

We also often tend to see only the costs of the solutions. We need to remember that new technologies also create more jobs. There are sound economic reasons for changing the game. However, “changing our view of the future can be unsettling”. It would be much better for our economy to invest in technology rather than buying in offshore CO2 certificates!

What kind of future do you want?

Siemens have applied their “Picture the Future” innovation approach to these issues; this approach is:

Concept > Research > Scenario >Validation >Picture

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Expect the unexpected

Keith January 21st, 2010

I was tweeting from a presentation on storytelling on Tuesday.  Shawn Callahan of Anecdote led the session, and listed the key elements of an effective story:

  • Simple – It doesn’t have to be sophisticated – you hear it once and you get it.
  • Unexpected – It throws you a curve ball that you weren’t expecting.
  • Concrete – It has names and actual events.
  • Credible – It sound real.
  • Emotional – It gets you in the gut – impactful stories evoke at least one strong emotion.
  • Transport – It transports you to where the story took place - you can feel the experience.
  • Human – It happens with real people.

I have quoted Charles Savage here before: “Innovation is like humour – it occurs at the intersection of the expected and the unexpected.”  The same principle applies to storytelling. 

One fantastic little story I heard a while ago that embodies these principles is a vignette in Bill Bryson’s book In a Sunburned Country:

In the 1950s a friend of Catherine’s moved with her young family into a house next door to a vacant lot. One day a construction crew turned up to build a house on the lot. Catherine’s friend had a four-year-old daughter who naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door. 

She hung around on the margins and eventually the construction workers adopted her as a kind of mascot. They chatted to her and gave her little jobs to do and at the end of the week presented her with a little pay packet containing a shiny new half crown. 

She took this home to her mother, who made all the appropriate cooings of admiration and suggested that they take it to the bank next morning to deposit it in her account. 

When they went to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her own pay packet. 

‘I’ve been building a house this week,’ she replied proudly. 

‘Goodness!’ said the teller. ‘And will you be building a house next week too?’ 

The little girl answered: ‘I will; if we ever get the f***ing bricks.’

Realising Our BroadBand Future

Keith December 7th, 2009

Can’t believe I forgot to post to the blog for all of November!  At least I have something new to post now…

The Government is hosting the “Realising Our BroadBand Future” forum on 10 and 11 Dec, to map the applications and business models that will thrive in Australia’s high speed broadband future.

Thanks to John Wells and co at CivicTEC, I am facilitating a parallel session in Melbourne that will generate some contributions to the discussion.  The session is at 8:30 to 12:00 next Thursday 10 Dec. Deloitte are very kindly hosting us at 550 Bourke St. This is a free session, but you must register. See the details, and click through to register here.

We’re talking about our connected future. This isn’t about technology, it’s about how we can all use it – to connect communities, build businesses, improve our education and health systems, create and innovate, improve our quality of life for all.  For those of you wishing to come along, please register as quickly as you can, as there are limited places available!  Read more in the Press Release.

I have circulated this to various networks in Melbourne – social media people, creative people, trampoline attendees, geeks, telecoms consultants and knowledge managers.  There should be some diverse points of view.  If you can’t make it, follow us on Twitter at #bbfmel.

Trampoline presentation

Keith October 24th, 2009

I’ll be off to trampoline in just a few hours, with the intention of doing a presentation on “The Idea Monopoly?” I have blogged on this topic before, and you can see the slide pack on SlideShare here.

The topic of organisational change – and getting people more involved in it – is something I have been becoming quite passionate about for a while now.  This presentation at trampoline will be the first time I have presented on the topic. I intend to develop this work, and its linking themes, in time to come.  I am currently playing with a new term for this – “orgsourcing”. You heard it first here!

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