Being open for business
Maybe it's the times, but we opened the Lab yesterday, not with a bang, but with a mighty serious debate. How could we achieve more by working together?
I was heartened to get a strong sense that people want to go beyond talk to work practically. There were two themes that stood out for me. Both of them about opening our minds as we go to work.
The first relates to the recessionary context. It would be tempting in our haste to 'do something'. However, in the pressure to act, it's important to realise that it is unlikely we can achieve significant and long-lasting change by working only within our existing structures. It was therefore a move in the right direction to witness an emerging consensus that now is the time to be bold and to re-think the structures and systems we know so well.
The second theme relates to how we understand innovation. The term itself is clearly starting to wear a little thin for some. However, I think that's because innovation is often associated with inventing new things and having ideas. Our experience persuades us innovation is of far greater value when it is used for a clear purpose. This opens the door to a more diverse set of approaches, sometimes generating ideas, but often times reshaping and scaling powerful new approaches. We need to invest time in learning from innovation and sharing the lessons in either case.