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Unlearning Is the New Learning

lördag, april 21st, 2018

To Learn or to Unlearn – that’s the question

Take a moment right now to put everything on pause and visualize the person you were a decade ago. You didn’t have a smartphone because they didn’t exist. The BlackBerry was the one of the dominant form of business communications, but they had no cloud-based app ecosystem to support them. Twitter wasn’t hatched yet and Facebook was in its infancy. MySpace looked unstoppable. If you needed to go somewhere, you had to stand on a street corner and hope a cab would stop for you. While standing on that corner, you probably saw a Blockbuster DVD rental store across the street.

The point is that there are many ways that the cultural, technological, and financial landscapes have redefined since then. Would you act on investment advice from the person you were 10 years ago, or would you rather give you past self the benefit of your current knowledge?

The question is not academic. It represents a very real problem in management all over the globe today. Board members, C-Suites and executives of all stripes are attempting to apply the lessons they learned 10 years ago (or more!) in MBA school. The results have often been disastrous.

Business Model Innovation

You cannot take the latest technology and force it into old business models. Or you can – but your business will soon be obsolete. Along the same lines, it won’t work to take old technology and try to jam it into a new business model. The past can be instructive, but it can’t no longer function as a predictor of project feasibility. The most effective decision-makers in the new world of global volatility and trans-industry disruption are those who toss out old assumptions and iteratively test what actually works as operational parameters transform.

Mobility, digitization, distributed ledgers, data center access by the microsecond, and crowdsourcing have practically eliminated barriers to entry in many sectors. Disruptors can appear overnight from anywhere in the world to make technologies or entire industries obsolete. In this climate, business continuity starts with a risk mitigated portfolio of short-term, mid-term and long-term innovation projects. The short-term projects are where leaders are on their surest footing, making minor improvements and simple variations of existing market winners.

Fail to learn

It’s a very different story for mid- and long-term projects with their corresponding levels of uncertainty. To choose the best investments under those conditions, project teams need to test out new concepts with clear, verifiable hypotheses and using explorative leadership styles. Failing is part of learning, but the most successful innovators identify the signs of project failure early enough to redirect resources ASAP. The next step is another common breakpoint. Companies that succeed with innovation have the market agility and the tools in place to scale up rapidly as soon at the tests prove out an idea.

Confidence and persistence

Confidence and persistence, which are keys to getting the business running, are not be enough
to get it off the ground. Too many business leaders still believing that they can figure it all out by intuition (without adequate data) and adjust trajectory on the fly in response to the market. That is a formula for joining the BlackBerries, Blockbusters and the 70% of businesses operating today that will be gone within ten years.

Learn more about future-proofing your business with management model we’ve developed The Innovation Framework including Wheel of Innovation for assessing, measuring and governing innovation. We developed the leadership model UPACS (for smarter data-driven decision-making through uncertainty, paradoxes, ambiguity, complexity and speed) for modern leadership and we developed the ground breaking model for implementing innovation systems. Details are inside Innovation360’s latest release Sustainable Growth and Profits, Volume 5 of our Complete Guide to Business Innovation.

The story about Ziperall & Lean Start-ups

fredag, mars 30th, 2012

MORE ACTION Sweden and Scandinavia is innovating with a goal-oriented leadership and open environments. That is good, but to maximize the innovation power Sweden and the Scandinavian countries need to add a little bit of MacGyver.

For some time, we have measured and evaluated a large number of companies’ and organizations’ innovation ability with a completely new concept for innovation measurement.

It has proven to be major cultural differences between regions and countries; in Sweden and the Scandinavian countries, for example, we have a goal-oriented leadership and open environments which include a lot of discussions. At the same time we are lacking a bit of MacGyver: for those of you remembering the TV series the hero who makes bombs out of bamboo sticks and some sugar, or builds a vehicle with a Swiss army knife.

Basically, business development and successful innovation work are about accomplishing activities that give something in return and ignore the others. For Lean Startups, this is made by a learning process, and for MacGyver, who in this context symbolizes entrepreneurship, by utilizing the resources at hand.

Both can be seen as role models for how companies with a minimum effort manage to drive their innovation and development to a level which really gives results.

Hurdlers and Great by Choice

According to IDEO, a world-leading innovation and design company in Palo Alto, hurdlers are one out of ten competences/personalities needed in order to drive innovation work effectively.

A hurdler is a person who can do anything out of nothing, and quickly as well. Or, to quote from Jim Collins’ new book Great by Choice, “firing bullets and then fire cannonballs once you know what’s on target”, and preferably in combination with an extreme endurance or what Jim Collins refers to as the 20 miles march.

A successful concept has been systematically and persistently working toward targets, in combination with shooting small-bore until you hit and then bring out the big guns. However, this also requires a certain kind of culture and personality.

In the measurements we have made recently, it is evident that endurance, extreme belief in oneself and having the guts to do much out of little are characteristics that distinguish winners. Characteristics which in combination with the things we are good at in Sweden, namely dialogue and goal-oriented leadership, become a fusion that really gives innovation power. Especially on the level required for rapid growth and success in a global market.

However, according to the measurements we have made, Swedish and Scandinavian companies are not culturally good at doing much with little, thinking very highly of themselves and never giving up. A call to all Swedish and Scandinavian firms: let’s find the MacGyver’s among you and give them the space they need. Set the ”Jante law” aside.

Lean Startups

One of the very big trends right now is so-called Lean Startups, where you enter the market quickly and build with standard components. The focus is on continually learning in small rapid iterations.

Typical features are minimal costs, developing cheaply and taking help from customers and other external partners in order to develop what the market wants. This, combined with a goal-oriented leadership, collaboration in open environments, dialogue and some really effective hurdlers is a recipe worth applying and following.

An exciting example of the recipe above is Dropbox, where the founders by applying the Lean Startup methodology went from 100,000 users to 4 million users in just 15 months. Good entrepreneurs, understanding of people’s needs, a substantial drive and a present learning process have made Dropbox to a success story.

Today new companies are being started with business models and distribution channels which we have never seen before. Globalization has created a new golden age for those who help themselves, see the possibilities and are able to mobilize the right work methodology. This combined with finding the company’s inner core and exploit it fully leads to success.

What do customers really want? How do we know that we are making progress in our product development? Questions that sound familiar? Thinking “Lean” is not only for startups; any company wishing to perfect its innovation capacity could learn from the simple principles of the methodology.

The story of Ziperall – a Swedish Lean Startup


We have had the pleasure of working closely with the founders of Ziperall.com; some young entrepreneurs who went from idea to complete concept within two months, and in less than four months went from break even to selling tens of thousands of garments just in Sweden.

What is the secret? The idea? No, the product is far from unique. The secret is more likely a “MacGyver” and a structured innovation environment with good infrastructure, as well as a genuine interest and understanding of how people function and make decisions.

The company was started as a spin-off to the “DI Gazelle” winner and “A Great Place To Work” company Estate Europe. The garment has literally taken the world by storm. In this moment, a Ziperall is sold through (referring from) Facebook every minute…

Game driven innovation

tisdag, april 19th, 2011

In a recently report Gartner state that games will be used to drive innovations, an old phenomenon but interesting.  One of the most interesting stories is about how LEGO made an amazing turnaround some years back, and in the new spirit started to invited their customers to design and customize their own LEGO via Internet. And not just that, they also released a complete new highly interactive and flexible platform Mindstorm encouraging customers to design and develop their own LEGO-robots. Talk about innovative leap: strengthened relationship, better understanding and customer insights as well as a renewed hype around their products. Just have a look at the clip I found on YouTube.

Today, it seems like many companies and organizations actually try to use internet based games, as an open innovation approach, gaining better understanding of behavior and demand. Another example on how games can be used to get better insights and ideas is how the UK Department of Labor launched a game-like application called ”Idea Street” aiming at collect new insights from their 120 000 users. Read more here.

A new cool blog…

onsdag, september 15th, 2010

A new cool blog about entrepreneurship is up – cretated by my angel college Gustaf Brandberg, have a look at http://thefutureisalreadyhere.se/2010/09/a-business-angel-is-born/

Enjoy
Magnus

Do you want to build Sweden’s leading HR-consultancy company!

måndag, september 6th, 2010

Today aligning firm’s capabilities with the strategic intent is crucial, defining and developing the organization’s sweet spot essential. It’s a lot of article about the subject in Harvard Business Review among other, a lot of insights gains from former experts on intellectual capital and knowledge management but the real value comes with aligning and implementing the insights in the firms line of sight. Through the whole organization releasing the power and full potential. I am chairing the award winning and leading e-Learning company Lexicon Interactive who are in the middle of building up their professional services department enabling companies releasing their full potential, deploying with infrastructure (tools) and content (learning). Are you interested in heading this expert department? We are looking for people with high energy level, fully committed, C-level experience and deep knowledge in HR/Management Consulting. We will offer partnership possibilities and a journey beyond the usual. Send me an e-mail at magnus at penker.se

Du är välkommen på frukostseminarie den 28:e april kl 8.30-10.00

fredag, april 23rd, 2010

Om du som de andra 20 sugna vill lyssna till hur offshoring påverkar oss och vilka möjligheter det finns för dig är du välkommen att anmäla dig på http://www.dfkompetens.se/ledarskap/kurser/4110022/index.xml

Det är en blandning av journalister som kommer skriva, branschfolk, inköpare, projektledare och konsulter som kommer… Välkommen du också.

Jag kommer också, ihop med dataföreningen, hålla en  3 dagar utbildning i hur man praktisk handlar upp och leder offshoringprojekt för IT ocxh media. Den 25-27 maj smäller det, läs mer eller anmäl dig på http://www.dfkompetens.se/ledarskap/kurser/3110016/index.xml

Hoppas vi ses

Magnus

Söker en VD till

lördag, april 17th, 2010

Ett av bolagen jag är engagerad i söker VD till vad som kanske är Sveriges ledande bolag inom Scrum, har du några tips så hör gärna av dig så kan jag ge mer detaljer.

Leadership coaching in Asia

onsdag, april 7th, 2010

For a global Leadership Program I am  looking for trainers who are situated in the APAC area (India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia). Terms and conditions are negotiated on individual basis. Details about the program are given upon request.

The profile of the trainers we are looking for:

1.                  Own leadership experience, at least 5 years

2.                  Minimum of 5 years experience in leadership training

3.                  Experience of change management in large organisations

4.                  Skills in how to manage business and people

5.                  Certified for assessment tools such as PDI, DiSC, Profilor or others

6.                  Multilingual, mother tongue plus English is preferable

Intressted or knowing someone? Please do not hesitate to contact me or send this blog post forward.

Kind Regards

Magnus

Grattis till Solle på GTL i Spanien

måndag, februari 15th, 2010

För inte så länge sedan etablerade Salomon Mir den spanska delen av GTL (www.gtl.se) för Indisk Offshoring, vi kör samma koncept där som i Sverige… Nu har han vunnit pris för bästa mobil app på mobilmässan i Barcelona, konept Solle och leverantör GTL. Stort grattis.

Sagt om Happens

torsdag, januari 28th, 2010

There are those who make things happen,

… those who respond to what is happening

… and those who is wondering what is happened!

 

Vem är du av dem?