Collaboration is not about gluing together existing ideas. It’s about creating ideas that didn’t exist until everyone entered the room.
Over a century ago, the great educationalist John Dewey remarked: “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
As prescient as this observation was at the time, it is perhaps more relevant today than ever. We are staring down the barrel of a very turbulent few decades of widespread change and so the need for educational systems and educators themselves to be future-fit has never been greater.
Any experienced surfer knows how important it is to keep one eye fixed on the horizon. While a wave is still forming a long way off, that is the time to start paddling, to get into position and get ready. Leave it too long or fail to move at all, and you’ll be wiped out as the wave crashes you.
It’s much the same when looking to ride the waves of change. Smart individuals recognize how important it is to have one eye firmly fixed on what lies ahead. Failing to identify and prepare the waves of change will set any business or professional on a collision course with irrelevance or annihilation.
Large and mature organisations tend to be inertial at their core. In nature as it is in business, size is almost always inversely related to agility.
While talk of decentralised business structures is far from new, most leaders and large organisations cling to nineteenth-century management models. Although a rigid bureaucratic approach may promote consistency and predictability, these benefits all come at the cost of the very agility and responsiveness required to win in the twenty-first century.
So is it possible for large businesses and mature organisations to mimic the agility and responsiveness of a nimble startup? Is a truly decentralized and network-based business model practical and possible? In short, the answer is a resounding yes.
I’ve been a Dyson fan for many years. I vividly remember the day my wife and I purchased one of their iconic bagless cyclonic vacuum cleaners shortly after we got married. It was amazing. Everything from the packaging to the product design and performance were impossible to fault.
As a business researcher I have found Dyson equally impressive. When I was writing Winning the Battle for Relevance and identifying companies that were flourishing in the face of disruption, Dyson bubbled to the surface time and time again.
Why your next petrol car will likely be your last
Amidst all the recent talk about driverless cars, it’s easy to have missed the fact that less dramatic but equally disruptive changes are afoot in the transportation and mobility sector.
Speaking at the LeasePlan Interactive conference last week, I had the chance to share the stage with the brightest minds in transportation and was fascinated by some of the trends they shared. In summary, I was left with little doubt that the cars of the future will be three things:
We all know the feeling of being in a rut when motivation eludes us and the gravity of inertia feels too great to shrug off. There’s a pile of work to do but you can’t seem to summon the energy or will to get off go.
With more of us in freelance roles or working from home for a day or two per week, being able to get into the zone or break the rut cycle is critical when you don’t have the inbuilt accountability and structure of an office environment.
Here are eight simple and effective ways to getting moving when you feel stuck, listless or overwhelmed:
Recent decades have seen scores of offices embrace an open-plan format - as many as 70% of all workplaces. The rationale for doing away with doors and walls was clear: by bringing down the barriers that divided us, greater collaboration, communication and cohesion would result. In addition, a more flexible and fluid office layout would suit an increasingly mobile and transient workplace. Or so we thought.
While open-plan offices have certainly benefitted companies in that they've significantly reduced floor-space requirements and therefore costs, the data is becoming increasingly clear: open-plan offices aren’t really working.
Consider the evidence: