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I spent last weekend in the wonderful city of Lisbon, under a blue sky, lots of sunshine and an pleasant spring-like 18°C! The atmosphere in the city is super-relaxed, the best description I heard was “like Barcelona on tranquilizers”.

A couple of months ago, Venessa Miemis pointed me to the website of SandBox, a movement/network of young entrepreneurs < 30 years old. I am almost double that age, and was very pleased and humbled when the organizers accepted me as one of their elderly guest at their first Sandbox Global Summit.

A few weeks ago, I had a Skype call with Laura Merling from Alcatel Lucent in San-Francisco in the context of our crazy Corporate Rebels United initiative, introduced her to the organizers, and she was accepted as well to attend. Here we were: two corporate rebels together enjoying the energy and enthusiasm of 200 highly energized young folks.

Sandbox is all about incubating people versus incubating projects: I love the idea of building a strengths based society on the energy of this young generation. Sandbox is now a community of 700 young leaders. About 200 of them were present at Sandbox Lisbon (twitter hash tag #lisbox12).

The event site suggested something that would be anything but a traditional “conference” and without any “keynotes” as most of the participants were each keynoters on their own right. I was indeed quite impressed with the quality of the audience.

The event formula was in essence a un-conference format, but where the session owners were pre-listed with their subjects before the event.

The event was really very well executed: personalized welcome for all participants at the airport, great catering, breakfast you don’t even see at sibos, excellent ice-brakers for speed-dating, many ways to mix up groups, well managed serendipity, trips in town, speed dating, collective raising hands to call for silence, and at the end a crowd-produced playbook:  a post-event testimonial guidebook for change-makers, with Bloomberg Businessweek co-production.

All this smells very Innotribe of course, and that’s great! We have a bit different emphasis on design, facilitation, immersive learning experiences and performance and it would be great exchange ideas and to explore with Sandbox some sort of co-production at one of their or our events.

Some other ideas of collaboration that crossed my mind were:

  • Having some Sandbox representatives in our corporate rebels united group (see later)
  • Let some Sandboxers present at Innotribe Sibos, topics abundant in anything that has to do with corporate culture and innovation
  • Co-produce Innovation Gardens for our customers: some Sandboxers already do this ad-hoc for corporations

What was really very cool at Sandbox was the decoration by cardboard company Oupas! Design: its amazing to see how many shapes in cardboard one can built in no time. The whole event took place in the former HQ of a Portuguese bank, now Museum for Fashion and Design of Lisbon, close to the Plaza di Comercio.

Sandbox had “occupied” the third floor, which was just an empty space 5 days before the event.

During the opening session, the core group of Sandbox explained what they were all about:  young do-ers with a passion for change, a passion for impact, and together on an “expedition” to become the leaders of our world in 20 years. What if they would meet and connect now when they are <30, and not when they are in leadership positions when 50+.

What could happen in terms of

creating relationships

and deep circles of trust ?

The organizers made clear that this event was NOT about networking or exchanging business cards. They also had a “no-wifi” policy to maximize real people connections:

connecting by disconnecting

They also had some big name sponsors: Bertelsmann, Siemens, and Bloomberg Business Week. It was a nice coincidence to see that the edition of Business Week where our Innotribe DAG incubation project was covered, was one of the giveaways at the event.

I have rarely seen such a concentration of young brainpower, and any smart company interested in recruiting from this well should not hesitate in sponsoring this organization.

And the core-group is quite ambitious for 2012:

  • Growing the community from 700 to 2-3000 members: in my opinion they will have to monitor very closely the quality of their members, if not the whole concept will dilute very quickly.
  • They want to increase the focus on incubation of projects
  • They think about a venture fund. It was indeed interesting to see how many of the Sandboxers were entrepreneurs and start-ups with strong ties to VC and Angel community. Some investors already “infiltrated”

I don’t know: it seems to me difficult to maintain the deep circle of trust concept when commercial and investment interests start to mingle. And I would like to see some of the “un-polished-ness” and “free-flow” nurtured and maintained for some time. The risk of wanting to grow too fast, you see?

Over the 2 1/2 days, there were 4 times 14 parallel sessions, all interesting and inspiring! Here is a couple of sessions I attended:

What if robots take over, and all jobs disappear?

  • My biggest learning was about how to lead a session. One participant made a great move. In stead of cutting if the creative flow he asked for your first name, and then asked a clarifying question, really inviting, and with great sensitivity for relationship building
  • It seemed to me that the participants in this session were in search for “better”, for “the unnamed quality”, something that resonates with the shift from finite to infinite games, the shift from money to wealth, the shift from having to produce something to the search for deeper relationships. It was as if they all wanted to grow on the Spiral Dynamics tornado of Don Beck.
  • The greatest question came from Lina:

“What makes you so afraid?”

Looking in the eyes of the session facilitator,

I saw the fear for loss of power,

not being part of the elite,

the fear for the loss of the ego.

Bank/finance 2.0

This was an incredible session with +/- 20 participants, lead by @marcpbernegger.

I was truly amazed how much they knew about this subject. One guy even made a PHD dissertation on banking/finance 2.0 in Switzerland. Some salient points of this session:

  • Most of the innovations spotted in financial services fall in one of these categories:
    • Front end innovation
    • Moral banking (Triodos, etc)
    • Financial crisis leading to more transparency
    • Alternative currencies leading to a redefinition of value/wealth
    • I also heard some very relevant statements/observations:

Why is it such a hassle

to care where your money is invested?

Why is it so difficult

to open a shared account?

This group was so powerful that I invited the session owner to open their closed Facebook group to the Innotribe Community.

Pirates session by Peter (@petervan) and Laura (@magicmerl)

As mentioned before, Laura, Mike Maney, myself and several Innotribe team members have been playing with the idea of “Rebels United”. During Sandbox, Laura and myself animated a session on this that was well attended by about 15 young people, 3 of them from a large corporation.

We asked the 3 ladies from Upash to make some cardboard props to announce our session. Here is Laura and me with our Pirates outfit:

Below the input we received:

  • Everybody thinks its a very cool idea
  • To succeed, we will need an inspiring vision, a shared belief system versus a generic and  fluffy “we are going to change this place”
  • A good way to get to that vision is to answer the question: “What needs to change in big corporations to get these young people willing to come to work for them?”
  • We should be looking for processes and best practices for efficient pirating in corporations
  • We have to be clear whether we want a “Movement” or a “network”
  • We need a budget to experiment
  • The metaphor of “How to make Babies” was very much appreciated and lead into a discussion on co-creation and ownership
  • In terms of ownership we should evolve from “my vision” towards “our project”
  • We have to get OUT physically of your normal corporate environment to meet in outside environment
  • Any movement of this kind will need executive sponsorship, but there is a reciprocal value of offering reverse mentorship: how can rebels inspire the current executive leaders?
  • We have to recognize and reward rebels’ success, show it can be a career to move up the ladder
  • We also introduced the concept of “The Castle and the Sandbox (or the Garage)”.

There was a lively discussion that still resonates with me. Is it really such a good idea to isolate innovation projects in a separate “garage” location? I got even more inspired by the Lisbon City tour that brought us to the “Villas”. The “villas” were actually houses for the poor that were build INSIDE the patio of houses of very rich people. Below picture of the inside of Villa Sousa that was part of our tour.

It got me thinking and I was getting more and more confuzed by the polarization effect of the castle/sandbox pitch we like to use so much in Innotribe.

Instead of separate innovation ghettos, we might be better off thinking about incubation “floors”, zones, islands, meeting points, plazas, patios, “Villas”, planets, etc, where anybody of the company can look over the shoulder, get interested, and get infected by the innovation virus.

The same way we should plant and nurture innovation angels/flowers/rebels deep in the fabric of our company to create innovation from within and thus

creating viral waves of change

To push the metaphor of “babies” even further: once the rejected baby comes out of the incubator, find an adoption family or zone that going to take care as if their own baby, in stead of creating special-character camps – garages – ghettos, where the kids will come out like non-adaptive aliens, prone to development of criminal behavior and ending up in jail (exaggerated pun intended, but you get the idea :-)

Other suggestions from our crowdsourcing session included:

  • Make failure affordable: organize “failure-fairs”
  • Create “safety nets” for Corporate Rebels
  • Offer case studies
  • Declare and organize a “Worldwide corporate rebel day”
  • Reward and celebrate corporate rebels
  • Rebels competition
  • Exchange programs to inject rebels in organizations wishing to experiment with the idea
  • Go undercover, build in some secrecy, have a little pin, a secret code

There was also some discussion on the word “Rebels”

  • It has connotations with subversive, disruptive
  • Better would be to talk about the “Supreme Head of Internal Innovation” (pun intended J
  • Don’t be shy, don’t try to hide from the start: just call what it is. Certified corporate rebels
  • Go further: provide formal corporate rebels training
  • Check out “The Unreasonable Institute”(see closing dinner speaker Robyn Scott)
  • Organize a “Rebels Bootcamp”
  • Don’t get hang-up on the word “rebel”: allow for different styles adapted to the specific situation: rebels, shakers, igniters, instigators, champs, angels, corporate tree shakers

Lots of the throughts about Corporate Rebels are captured in my Prezi on the Soul of Innovation (which since begin Jan 2012 almost got 1,000 views) and Jennifer Sertl’s post/reaction on Google+:

“I sense some

tipping point moments

due to your curation”

She also contextualized her feedback with a quote from Malcolm Gladwell from The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference:

“A tipping point is that magic moment

when an idea, trend, or social behavior

crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

A wildfire, I love it. While we are getting organized to more formally set up our movement, get further inspired by a curation of resources I have been compiling for a while now via Scoop.It

Enjoy !

By @petervan from Innotribe

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Not many people know this, but in the 70ies, 80ies, I was a quite successful DJ, and me and my friends toured under the brand “Celebration”. Life was – and still is – a big feast.

Embarrassed to say, but my first record bought was “Paranoid” from Black Sabbath. The paranoid thing probably haunted me for the rest of my life.

But I also have the original “God Save The Queen” by the Sex Pistols, on the EMI-label that rejected them before they became a huge hit, part of the disruptive album “Never Mind the Bollocks”

 

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Watch the metaphor of the “flag”.

With “Celebration”, we did everything ourselves:

  • We built ourselves the PA system, the lighting system, made our own jingles, we cut out our own slip-mats in cardboard (this was before the first fast-starting Technics turntables)

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  • printed our own posters to announce the show
  • distributed at parties all sorts of gadgets to attract audience to our next gig. A famous example is a small plastic bag with 2 sugar cubes suggesting the energy that will be required at the next party.
  • We begged for the small lorry from the grocery shop to be able to transport all that stuff and records from one place to another.
  • A lot was manual. And heavy. Vinyl records are heavy. Especially if you have a couple of thousand and you live on a 5th floor apartment with no elevator, stairs only.

It was a network of friends. We went out on our scooters to paste the posters on the ad boards in the villages around, we borrowed each other’s records. It was the shareable economy avant-la-letter. We played for fun, later for a crate of beer, and much later for a couple of 100 Euro per night. That was for gigs for 3,000+ people. No prima-donna behavior like today’s top-DJ’s like Tiesto and others. Everything was new and innovative.

 

We wanted to shock

We felt like pirates

 

Later I joined a group of crazy enthusiasts who founded one of the first free and – at that time – pirate radio station FM-Bruxel. That was with guys like Gust Decoster, Luckas Vander Taelen, Dominique Deruddere, Ray Cokes and Marcel Vanthilt, most of them still playing a prominent role in the local media and film industry.

We really behaved like pirates. We also had our flag and our own logo. Can’t find it back: if somebody from the original gang still has a picture, please mail it to me. I will be grateful for eternity.

And years later, some of these guys found each other as founders and managers of one of the most famous nightclubs of Belgium “Le Beau Bruxel”. Our party animals were from art scene and musicians. I did that for 2 years. And I can tell you, I saw a lot of “characters”, learned a lot about human (non)-behavior. We closed the shop because nightlife became too dangerous in Brussels.

Fast forward many years to 2011: I am having a telephone conversation with a potential speaker for Innotribe at Sibos 2011 in Toronto. And I describe the Innotribe space we had in Amsterdam last year.

My speaker reacted: “wow, that sounds cool! The only things you guys are missing is a pirate flag!”

 

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Indeed, with some – a lot actually – imagination, you could see our 600 m² Innotribe space at Sibos as a flagship, with the front part for the keynote presentations as the “prow” of our ship, the lab-space as the “galley”, the tower with the projector as our mast, and the projection screen as our sails.

Imagine a ship like this sailing in the middle of the exposition hall of Sibos, creating havoc – positive inspirational havoc – throughout the week. The only thing that was missing was the pirates flag on the top of our mast.

 

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The pirate flag.

Two days later – completely by coincidence – I started reading “The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism” (Amazon Affiliates Link) by Matt Mason, also author of “The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Hackers, Punk Capitalists, Graffiti Millionaires and Other Youth Movements are Remixing Our Culture and Changing Our World”

 

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Fantastic read. Some parts you can skip if you – like me – have been inherently part of the punk and new-wave culture of that period. The names of bands generate a lot of nostalgia!

Some really cool quotes from this book:

changing the very fabric of our economic system, replacing outdated ideas with the twenty-first-century upgrades of Punk Capitalism

Disruptive new D.I.Y. technologies are causing unprecedented creative destruction

D.I.Y. encourages us to reject authority and hierarchy, advocating that we can and should produce as much as we consume

Youth cultures often embody some previously invisible, unacknowledged feeling in society and give it an identity

Building a community of pirate entrepreneurs

 

In Chapter 2, the author introduced the “Principality of Sealand”, a pirates home in the middle of the English Channel, in waters that are un-sovereign.

 

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And have a good look at the intro about “Principality of Sealand” in Wikipedia:

Since 1967, the facility has been occupied by the former British Major Paddy Roy Bates; his associates and family claim that it is an independent sovereign state. External commentators generally classify Sealand as a micro-nation rather than an unrecognised state.[3] While it has been described as the world’s smallest nation,[4] Sealand is not currently officially recognised as a sovereign state by any sovereign state. Although Roy Bates claims it is de facto recognised by Germany as they have sent a diplomat to the micronation, and by the United Kingdom after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand, neither action constitutes de jure recognition as far as the respective countries are concerned.

Maybe that is what innovation teams have to do: create their own sovereign state, micro-nation, governed by its own rules, taking unclaimed territory, and… act like pirates.

The pirates metaphor also came to mind when I saw last year Laura Merling from Alcatel-Lucent (@magicmerl on twitter and describing herself as “API Strategist, Marketing and Business Dev, Developer Community Geek”) gave a speech at Defrag 2010 in Boulder, CO.

Her talk was titled:

 

“On Being A Corporate Renegade”

 

Depending on what dictionary, a “renegade” is a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another or an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior. That’s what I would call a pirate.

You haven’t seen Laura. She is a bit skinny, long rave-black peaky hair, and some really cool belt. A bit like the one below, but much cooler. Since then I refer to her as the “belt-woman”.

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Her talk went more or less like this:

When I got hired as manager of the API start-up within Alcatel Lucent, my CEO gave me 90 days to deliver V1 of the platform. 90 Days !

I did not have resources nor budget

I hired 6 mercenaries, good friends with specific proven strengths on marketing, coding, program management etc

We did it for fun and for the challenge

Next meeting with my CEO was on my role as change agent

He said: “Laura, you are successful when in 3 months time there are 70,000 people at my door complaining what this bloody women is doing in my company!”

 

That’s what I would call a CEO Innovation mind-set ! Maybe the Laura’s story is a bit romanticized, so what ? She gets the story across.

That’s why we invited Laura and her team when we were doing the Cloud Computing study tour earlier this year. This time we had her full team – 15 young and brilliant folks – who could interact with an executive audience that could compete big time with what you sometimes see from incumbents like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, you name them. Very impressive. And what an energy from this start-up groovy team. So inspiring.

So when Laura was in Europe for business a couple of weeks ago, we asked her to come and meet our innovation team in La Hulpe. Inspired by the culture story, the idea emerged of teaming up together more regularly.

Quickly back to The Pirate’s Dilemma book:

What pirates do differently is create new spaces where different ideas and methods run the show

Pirate radio is an incubator where new music can mutate. Initially, the new strains of music it produces are seen as too risqué for the mainstream to touch, but once this music reaches a critical mass in popularity, anthems from the pirates start hitting the pop charts, pirate DJs become crossover celebrities, and the scenes created by these stations grow into cottage industries and worldwide exports

I started reflecting on this.

Why not create a community of pirates, of rebels with a cause, of innovators. By positioning our Innotribe space at Sibos as the Pirates’ Mother Ship, and like Matt Mason suggests:

 

“By giving a community

a new space

that was not previously available

to them,

you can empower them,

and they in turn

will propel your idea forward”

 

A group of people who are relentlessly challenging the status quo, breaking the rules, saying the unsaid, spreaders of the innovation virus and of tribal energy. No fear. Rebels with a cause. Leading by being our true selves.

And with the Innotribe Logo as our Pirate’s Flag and declare sovereignty.

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SOFA stands for SWIFT Operational Forum Americas, a yearly event targeted at a typical operational audience. This year’s SOFA is on 8-9 March 2011 in NYC. The theme for SOFA 2011 is “Defining the next generation of financial services”.

 

marriot marquis NY

 

Innotribe is SWIFT’s innovation initiative. Innotribe’s mission is ‘Enabling Collaborative Innovation’. Part of our activities includes events: existing SWIFT events like Sibos and SOFA, third party events like CPA in Canada and EPCA in Europe last year. It usually translated into a “special” session, with lots of professionally facilitated interactivity.

 

Print

 

With Innotribe events we have the ambition to “unpack” stereotypes, myths and hypes. These Innotribe Events are an energizing mix of education, perspective, collaboration and facilitation. Our success factors for this new type event are organized along the following three axes of “opening-up” our traditional ecosystem: audience, content and brand recognition.

So, what’s up at SOFA this year ? We have two things going on:

  • At the end of day-1, yours truly will give the presentation “How to make babies” a strong metaphor for SWIFT’s Innovation Framework. Prezi version of this presentation is here. Tip: set sound “on”
  • At the end of day-2, our innovation team will animate a Special Session “The New Thinkers”

Building on the Innotribe @ Sibos tradition of exploring “Tectonic Shifts”, this Special Session will be an energizing mix of education, new perspectives, collaboration and facilitation.

Our goal is to stimulate the generation of new ideas by bringing together a powerful mixture of audience members and by enabling freedom of discussion – allowing the conversation to take the participants into any and all areas that open up on the day.

 

We believe strongly in the potential

of unexpected encounters,

and the magic that can happen

when people from

different background

are brought together

 

So the innovators and change agents of our industry will be invited to join the SOFA audience (and also to join us in Toronto for Sibos 2011 in September), and we hope this will foster exciting new discussions between them and the traditional SOFA attendees.

 

skyscraper lunch

 

Ideas do not typically come out of the blue. Rather, they are usually variations of existing ideas. Sometimes, simply looking at a familiar idea from a different perspective can spark a new idea or the combination of existing ideas to achieve new goals and create radically different value propositions. All the topics we propose to discuss during this Innotribe Special Session at SOFA are also potential subjects to explore in Toronto – but we are looking for your feedback to tell us if these are the right ideas to stimulate your creative thinking!

Presentations from five great modern thinkers will culminate in an interactive exchange between the SOFA audience and the speakers, led by Innotribe facilitation champ Mariela Atanassova. The audience will be able to drive the discussion according to the themes that most interest them – ensuring everyone will have an opportunity to collaborate in the innovation we hope this session will stimulate.

Here are The new thinkers:

introducing_miemis
Venessa Miemis
(http://emergentbydesign.com/about/): Free agent, Master in Media Studies at the New School, NYC, futurist and digital ethnographer, researching the impacts of social technologies on society and culture and designing systems to facilitate innovation and the evolution of consciousness. Venessa will update us on The Future of Money project (world premiere at Sibos 2010) and The Future of Facebook, a new research project sponsored by Innotribe as Corporate Patron.

 

 

rushkoffbiosm

Douglas Rushkoff (http://rushkoff.com/bio/): thought leader and provocateur. Author of best selling books Cyberia : Life in the Trenches of HyperspaceLife, Inc, and Program or be Programmed (all Amazon Affiliate links). Doug will give a talk about New Capitalism, and introduce his latest project on a Summit he is organizing in NYC on 20 October 2011 called “Contact”. Contact Summit will seek to explore and realize the greater promise of social media to promote new forms of culture, commerce, collective action and creativity.

 

 

brianzisk

Brian Zisk: organizer of the Future of Money & Technology Summit in San-Francisco (www.futureofmoney.com). Brian will summarise the findings of the Summit that took place on 28 Feb 2011. Psssst ! If you still want to go to Brian’s event, go the the registration page at ttp://futureofmoney.eventbrite.com/ and use the discount code “Innotribe”.

 

 

stoweboyd

Stowe Boyd (http://www.stoweboyd.com/ ): probably THE authority on Social media, Stowe is a Social Philosopher and Webthropologist from NY. His work focuses on social tools and their impact on media, business, and society. In 2011, Stowe is focused on a new line of research: Social Cognition. This research is co-sponsored by Innotribe, and we hope to share the final results at Sibos 2011 in Toronto.

 

 

kevinslavin

Kevin Slavin (http://about.me/slavin): also from NY, Kevin is founder of AreaCodeInc (recently acquired by Zygna, the undisputed leader of Social Games). Kevin will talk about the New Future and “Those algorithms that govern our lives” – including our personal finances!

 

 

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(picture from Dave Gray’s blog)

For the interactive part, we will organise the session around the organic growth aspects of cities. I have written about this before in my post “How to make babies”, and recently there was a fantastic post by Dave Gray on “The Connected Company”.  We invited Dave to SOFA as well, but he unfortunately could not make it.

Dave’s post is a fantastic post – and as far as I am concerned – one of those game changing post already for 2011, and I will definitely come back to it later.

Dave for example says:

And today, thanks to social technologies, we finally have the tools to manage companies like the complex organisms they are. Social Business Design is design for companies that are made out of people. It’s design for complexity, for productivity, and for longevity. It’s not design by division but design by connection.

He is also author of “Gamestorming, A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebrakers, and Changemakers” (Amazon Associate Link)

 

 

Looks like the book is very much about the principles that our team applies for interactive session design.

And gamestorming

is exactly what we’re going to do

at SOFA

during this special session

 

What: Innotribe Special Session at SOFA 2011, NYC

When: From 2-5 pm on 9 March 2011 at SOFA (http://www.swift.com/events/2011/SOFA/index.page

Location: Marriott Marquis, Broadway, NYC

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It’s quite some time ago i did a post with brand new content. It’s partly because i also have a family and a job, but mainly because i only feel the urge to blog when i have real content to contribute.

These days i also share an awful lot via twitter: that’s where the day-to-day action is. So if you are interested in my lens on technology and values for the 21st century, you can also follow we on twitter @petervan . There is an almost daily stream of tweets on these subjects.

I “reserve” the blog to share some more elaborated thoughts on stuff that keeps me going or that touches me one way or another way emotionally, in the way i am.

This time, the post is about

 

People, Culture, Excitement and

Sculptural Integrity

 

And I’d like to share what happens if you truly stand for who you are and have the courage to stand up and stick out your neck.

The title of this post is of course a word-spiel on get-a-life and get alive. The discussion was part of an off-site recently attended in the wonderful city of Barcelona.

It was about 20 years ago i was in Barcelona, and the only thing i remembered were the ‘”Ramblas” and the “Plaza de Espagna”. Given my education as an architect (non many people know this ;-), i of course knew that Barcelona was the city of the Sagrada Familia of Gaudi.

The off-site was facilitated by Dan Newman and his team from The Value Web.

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The off-site was our reflection moment about our company for the next 5 years.

Dan really “got me” with his opening speech: he used two words that deeply resonated very strong with me – at an emotional level.

The architect aims for

 

“Sculptural Integrity”

 

Especially in sculpting the old with the new. Old game and new game. And that the old and the new should be connected by more than just a link or a tunnel. That the end-result should show a deep sense of unity. And that this “sculptural integrity” and other architectural thoughts were the also the basis of facilitation work and techniques of the Value Web, because that was also how group dynamics could be looked upon.

The words entered by body and mind, as they reminded me of a piece of my true self and my youth 30 years ago when i was making drawings and sketches myself of the most bizarre and bold architectural designs.

Dan mentioned also a book: “The Timeless Way of Building” by Christopher Alexander.

The real and ultimate question in this book is:

 

What is it that makes a building “work” ?

 

When you see something that works, you just know it. And it’s something that has a timeless quality.

I was intrigued by the subject, and kept researching, and quickly discovered the site of Tomorrow Makers.

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And especially the blog post titled “Happiness Pandemic (HP101) Hits Worldwide”. Just read and internalize the first two bullets:

The tendency to let yourself be guided by intuition instead of acting under pressure of fear, forced ideas and pre-conditioned behavior.

A total loss of interest in: – judging others, convicting yourself and preoccupation with things that create conflict.

During the off-site, Dan did something else that was brilliant. He took us out of the hotel into the city. In our case we went to the CosmoCaixa Barcelona, the Museum of Science.

Panorámica CosmoCaixa

Besides being a perfect metaphor for blending old and new with “sculptural integrity”, it also put all of us in a different context and mindset to look in quite different and innovative ways to our off-site subject.

I don’t know what happened exactly, but when we returned to the conference hotel, we were looking for topics likes

space

freedom

excitement

playfulness

culture

people

At a certain moment, we could form a small group of people, sort of a tribe around a subject that was not yet addressed.

I put the word “excitement” on a post-it, and look: 10 min later, we had 7 or so colleagues interested in discussing the subject.

I asked a simple question: “how excited do you get by the work done so far at this off-site” and rate it on a scale of 1-10. To my astonishment, the average rating was 3.

So we then looked for the root-cause of this score. A lot had to do with company culture, but also by the need for a new vocabulary, and not just words, but a vocabulary that was inspired by the value set that is needed for the 21st century.

In a follow-up session on people and culture this topic re-appeared in full force.

Although initially we were looking at symptoms and superficial quick fixes, it suddenly dawned to us that

 

the real root cause was about

the openness of

our minds, hearts, and minds.

 

I have used the following slide many times in my postings.

In black the old game: full of macho behavior and Machiavellian attitudes and states of mind.

In white the new game. With true, genuine interest in the other and the true self – not based on tricks or quick fixes.

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The discussions on these topics were deep and full of enthusiasm. We were looking at talent development, both the professional skills ànd the Personal Development side of it.

And i keep on fighting that “Personal Development” is NOT about “soft” skills.

 

It’s really about having and keeping

cutting-edge “good” people

on board

 

and nurturing them so that they can function optimally in today’s highly connected networked society.

You need to “train” and get exposed to a number of essential hard skills and values for the 21st century.

In this context, i get very inspired by the work of Vanessa Miemis, a Gen-Y student with a fantastic blog “Emergent by Design”. Look for example at her latest blog entry “Essential Skills for 21st Century Survival: Part-3 Network Weaving”

Or the post “Framework for a Strengths Based Society”

Do you feel how powerful this is ?

 

“Strengths Based Society”

 

Should we not invite her to Sibos ? To be part of Innotribe at Sibos. As part of our “Gen-Y meet Bankers” Face-to-Face interactive workshop ? Maybe with the help of some strong Gen-Y-power, we will be able to keep the sharpness of our ideas and dreams.

Because at the end of the off-site, each team had to boil it down its ideas to a pitch of 5 minutes and I was surprised to witness how in this pitching work, we lost quite some of the “cutting" edge”. Also surprised on how fear creeps in when people are volunteered to deliver the pitch to the executives.

And a strange behavior of watering down the message, and even scratching the most provocative words in the end deliverable.

 

We seem to have lost

our desire for

boldness

 

We also “frame” too conservatively. So, in order not to loose some of these more provocative statements, here are some examples:

  • In 5 years time, 10% of our workforce should be Generation-Y folks
  • By 2015, our company should be in the Top-10 of best companies to work for in the financial industry. Worldwide.
  • Gen-Y should drive the composition of the Leadership council of the future
  • 90% of the people in the 2015 leaders team should be new. Only 10% of today’s group should be the same
  • Doing things 10,000 time better rather than twice as good
  • “Do no evil” is not good enough anymore. “Great to Good” is the new paradigm.
  • “Get-a-Life and Get Alive !” Was the original title of our pitch. Somebody changed the title to the more boring “people and values for 2015”
  • Chief Corporate Activist
  • About framing: from “our company is 37 years old, are we in a mid-life crisis” to “our company is 37 years old, we are just-born, who do we want to feel “right” or “it works” in 500 years from now?”

At this moment, I decided to have a short break in my blogging activity, and go for my Sunday trip to the bakery. I bumped into a friend, who shared me a wonderful story about going for your dreams.

The story was basically about context. Of not waiting to be called. Of doing what you intuitively know is right. What works. In his case it was about seeing a wonderful motorbike, feeling it was just designed perfectly, and following your intuition and impulse and buying the motorbike. It happened to be a Can-Am Spyder Roadster. This was not just about buying something desirable. It was a story about contextual living. About flow. About following your compass. And not delaying your dreams till when you’re dead.

image

The story reminded me of the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

You can find “flow” is everything you do. From the most banal activities like cleaning or motorbike maintenance to writing an inspiring blog and making a pitch that makes others dream and wanting to go after their dream.

When i started this blog in April 2009, i wanted it to be in line with my purpose in life “Inspire other people to dream” – and execute their dreams. I hope i have not disappointed you so far.

Last week, somebody said i should start writing a book. Maybe i will do that. Maybe using the funding model experimented by Stowe Boyd fro writing his report on Social Architecture: Microstreams In Business.

Last week, somebody gave me the greatest compliment somebody can give to a man of the 21st century:

 

“you have the most feminine mindset

of all the men i ever met”

 

Let’s eradicate the macho culture of judging, being cynical, and control freaks.

Let’s build a culture based on open mind, open heart and open will.

Are you also fed-up waiting on the side-line and do you feel the hunger to join me on the drawing board to help us sketch the “sculptural integrity” required for the 21st century ?

Then please use abundantly the comments feature of this blog.

Doing what you want to do, not waiting to be called. Stand-up and stand as you are. In your true self. Without fear. Living your dreams.

 

Get-a-Life !

Get ALIVE !

 

If you feel energized by this blog, you can get an extra doze at following previous posts:

No more collateral damage

Who am i really ?

Great to Good: New Value Kit

Broken Will

Our company is infected

Ethical Re-Boot

The Holy Fire

Emotional Zombies

HR and Innovation

Brand, Workforce and Innovation

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Mandelbrot 3D Fractals

Enjoy at Real 3D Mandelbulb.

image

Read Full Post »

http://www.ted.com At TEDxUSC, computer graphics trailblazer Paul Debevec explains the scene-stealing technology behind Digital Emily, a digitally constructed human face so realistic it stands up to multiple takes.

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Just had a really lazy sunday morning brunch served in an a-typical techno fashion.

Fun found via Josh Spear’s Today and Tomorrow.

Link to the video here.

The comments (in dutch) are also funny: “it’s a strict-continental breakfast”, or “it’s all about solving problems, not about delivering a fantastic breakfast”.

This is a really good example where my boss would say: “Looks like toys for boys, Peter. But what business problem are you trying to solve ?

Read Full Post »

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