27 May 2006
Here's my blog:
Here's our site for Institute for Collaboration Creativity and Culture (IFCCC):
Here's Jonathan Marks' blog - Critical Distance - he's one of our partners in IFCCC:
Over two weeks ago, May 3-5th, I participated in The Summit for the Future 2006 hosted by the Club of Amsterdam. The theme was “Risk in Innovation and Global Growth”. I played trendwatcher for the Media stream and the knowledge stream on Values & Spirituality. Throughout the conference, we had many opportunities to share in delicious conversations with people from all over the planet and from many different disciplines. We engaged in a wide range of approaches to the theme of risk.
Within the knowledge streams and break out sessions, we deepened our engagement with the theme of risk, sometimes even unexpectedly. This was very apparent in the media stream where I sat.
Jonathan Marks was moderator for the Media stream. He had arranged a line of speakers that entertained us, informed us and shared their toys. There were two presentations that raised critical issues for us.
Eccky, the game, was the most provocative because it awakened our sense of parenthood and protective instincts on a deep and personal value level. We explored this questioning with a sense of real purpose, and Yme Bosma responded with an openness and shared our concern. He also opened our eyes to other perspectives. The real risk here is parental engagement. How willing are we to engage in the kind of discussion with our children that establishes acceptable parameters for their behavior? Because Microsoft is one of their investors, they are “American-izing” elements of the game for the moral driven American market. Isn’t that a risk as well?
Marc Canter raised a different set of issues regarding our digital identity. He was larger than life in his beautiful bright orange shirt, and so was his thinking. He challenged us to think about who is really accountable for how our identity gets managed online. Where does the authority, authentication, and the authorization lie? It certainly opens up the discussion about companies and software with an open source strategy versus those with protectionism strategies (like Microsoft). It should be user-permission driven - but is it?
During other presentations in the media stream, we looked at the impact on future business models. With the introduction of IP TV, will viewer participation begin to dictate content and programming, much like bloggers and social media have democratized publishing? No one really understands the real impact of social media, and yet they do understand that it is already changing the economy and the conventional business models.
The knowledge stream on Values & Spirituality gave us an opportunity to experience an exchange in consciousness. Led by JJohn Renesch and Bill Liao, the discussion opened up dialogue about how we manifest our engagement with risk. It became obvious that the Dutch culture is driven by fear of risk on almost all levels. That opened a door into our personal cultures and the values that drive our behavior.
During the collective sessions during the Summit, we listened to sound bites from speakers and participants in the many knowledge streams. The real eye-opener was the disruptive behavior of interrupting the presentations with comments that people needed to share. Most of the speakers and participants accepted this with good nature and even welcomed the interaction it generated. The presentations and sessions became richer through a more interactive and less broadcast format.
I would like to see more follow up from events like this Summit. There should be a knowledge gardener and someone responsible for knitting the learnings together, sharing that and building something. What we really walked away with were new relationships or confirmations of older ones. I guess what people choose to do with that is their own prerogative.
24 May 2006
Expertise in this area is no longer about PR or advertising, but in how to competently express an idea and how to align that idea and share its expression with compatible communities. How we share and build the story in those relationships will set the scenario for how those communities continue to share it with others.
Meaning and purpose play the greatest role here. Social media campaigns position and profile our ideas by connecting the purpose to people with great meaning and context.
We see ad agencies and even new media agencies trying to build social media campaigns based on the old tradition of “selling” product. Don’t you find that an intrusion in a world where you’re sharing ideas?
What works best for you when someone wants to share the value of something or sell something? Is the real difference the sense that something seems either authentic or contrived? Or, does it have to do more with something else? Share some of your stories about what works for you and what doesn’t.
21 May 2006
These prospective new clients came through my personal relationships that have developed over time, through a conference, and through my blog. What I found surprising is the depth of discussion with each person. Social media not only gives us tools and new ways to connect, but it also sets the stage for more meaningful conversations and experiences...even in business.
If you are also exploring innovation as a culture, I would really enjoy hearing about your thoughts and experiences.
17 May 2006
I was in Barcelona last week with Gil Agnew, one of my partners in The Institute for Collaboration Creativity & Culture. We were bringing two great guys together. David Steele is Dean of the business school at Florida Institute of Technology. Pep Escolando is developing B-Tec in Barcelona.
We all had a great time together. The discussions were rich, the food and drink satisfying, and the sphere of the whole city was a delight. Check out the photos from Barcelona.
The week before that I took part in the Summit for the Future 2006, which I still want to review. You can see the photos from the Summit as a preview.
I'm going to take some time this week to catch up and share what's been going on with my work.
8 May 2006
After quite a long time searching for the right development partners for my Networks of Meaning project, I finally hooked up with Valeri Soukhov and Alex Demenshin, both Russian. Valeri is a TRIZ expert and Alex's focus is the technical side of ICT.
We've agreed to build a proto-type of the concept. Ultimately, we want to build visual models of concepts with personal and cultural filters that will aid people in visually communicating meaning through The Networks of Meaning project.
Now we have to assemble an image data bank.
1 May 2006
Leaders today face a world where strategy and value play a greater role than ever before. They need insight into evolving business models triggered by paradigm shifts in technology that have affected every area of life. The internet has released a knowledge revolution that has triggered another revolution - how we create and sustain value. This has happened in such a short timeline that leaders are struggling to find the coping strategies needed to explore how to deal with this phenomenon.
Life is a journey, not a destination. Leadership is much the same. When we take on the responsibility to lead others, we must learn to serve our constituency - much like the government statesmen of days gone by - by clearing the path forward to generate the expected value needed to grow and sustain a prosperous life in the context of all the conditions and contradictions that face us.
In the 21st century, we must learn statesmanship, how to steer our business constituency through a dynamic, ever-changing, multi-cultural world. This requires a different strategy than the typical political style adopted by many business leaders in the 20th century. Why? We are no longer followers. We are no longer consumers in target-groups, waiting for companies to tell us what to buy and pushing their products at us through broadcast channels. Our collective and individual role as consumer is evolving into our collective and individual role as citizen in numerous community contexts created online and off. This requires a different kind of approach in leadership to truly connect with us. It requires an understanding of community.
What does it mean to be a leader today?
How do we evolve our role as a leader? First, we have to re-think value creation. We have to realize that value creation is more than the exclusive bottom-line focus and generating shareholder value. What does that really mean? If we have traditionally focused on squeezing the most out of consumers, how can we create value in a new ways that are more inclusive of all levels of capital creation? These are the kinds of questions that open new discussions and lead to the kind of dialogue necessary to evolve our leadership roles. There are no fixed answers.
As in a journey, evolutionary leadership is about discovery - and creating value at every step along the way. It's about people and culture and the unexpected value that comes from engagement and conversation.
As today’s leaders, we have to face the task of managing expectations on this level that world leaders like Churchill and Ghandi faced at a different transitional moments in time. The Internet has given us a global reach and with it, the responsibilities to lead social as well as economic development. We cannot change the course of this direction. We cannot continue to prepare leaders with skills that serve the past. Leaders need skills that serve the present and the future. We need to broaden the scope of our dialogue to include people in community with one another, and not just as consumers in a sellers market. Different game, different context, different focus, different requirements, different expectations.
What are you doing to create value in new ways in the context of people as citizens and not just consumers? How do we establish the new value parameters as we transit from an economy driven by money as the major currency of trade into an economy driven by knowledge as the currency of trade? What is the real identity supporting this new face of business? What is the identity of the new leaders today? Until we figure this out, we don’t know how to engage. We also don’t know whom to follow. How do we develop strategies to cope with this fast speed of change?
The impact of this means we have to focus on the health, education and welfare of our citizens and not just on those who can afford to buy something. Knowledge as currency changes everything. Knowledge as currency changes the whole game.
Could it be that each of us becomes responsible to become an evolutionary leader in each of own communities, sharing our expertise and opening a new kind of dialogue?