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Week-19 of Delicacies: Lots to choose from this week. But no mercy: max 5 articles that i found interesting and worth re-reading. Handpicked, no robots. Minimalism in curation. Enjoy!

Week-18 of Delicacies: max 5 articles that i found interesting and worth re-reading. Handpicked, no robots. Minimalism in curation. Enjoy!

Week-17 of Delicacies: max 5 articles that i found interesting and worth re-reading. Handpicked, no robots. Minimalism in curation. Enjoy!

As many of you know, my “night-job” is Corporate Rebels United, a movement to unite Corporate Rebels worldwide to ensure that true change happens virally from deep within the fabric of our organisations.

Every month we celebrate a Corporate Rebel who went the extra-mile: in helping our movement, in completing a hack, in pulling together a value practice, or doing something really awesome in the organisation they work for. “Rebel of the Month” is recognition for a Corporate Rebel exposing the sort of behaviours we would like to encourage in our movement.

Our “Rebel of the Month” for April 2015 is Steve Jennings from Malmö, Sweden.

IMG_1944

I got in contact with Steve in July 2012 when Tom La Forge, Global Director, Human & Cultural Insights at The Coca-Cola Company – and like myself member of Jerry Michalski’s REXpedition – suggested me to get in contact with Steve. Since then we had regular Skype-calls to chat about our rebellious ambitions, our doubts, our difficult moments, and when needed energising each other to keep fighting for the good cause.

Steve is high-energy. He walks and talks fast. He acts fast. He dares to be great and take on big bets. He is for good and for better.

Most people associate Steve with business and social entrepreneurship, but in reality he’s probably more of an artist and adventurer, who most of the time just happens to be creating art and adventuring in a business context.

Steve’s background is varied and original. On the surface it may appear as if he’s had 9 different careers. The one constant in everything that he does is that it’s an extension of who he really is deep down inside. For Steve, it’s never been about a job or a career, it’s more about a calling.

Steve grew up in Hull in the north east of England in the 1960’s and 70’s. His journey has taken him from studying to be an engineer, to realizing his boyhood dream of becoming a professional road racing cyclist, to working as an investment broker with Lloyds – TSB, to founding Maxim one of Europe’s leading sports nutrition companies, to helping found the Canadian open-source non profit organization Bicycles for Humanity, to becoming one of the founding members of PepsiCo’s global good-for-you nutrition innovation team, to founding the youth empowerment initiative zyOzy Foundation, to developing GoodCred a complimentary currency platform, to co founding Better Ventures a company focused on bringing crowdsourcing innovation, marketing participation and intelligence commercialization to companies and brands with a global footprint.

Steve is very excited about ethical use of personal data and wonders whether we we can democratize data by igniting a crowd powered global movement with the aim of building a collaborative social fabric-enabling layer across diverse cultures and markets. Here is his talk of last November at Oredev Con 2014.

There is also a great recent write-up about Steve here:

Steve Jennings Young Biker

Steve is the entrepreneur in residence at Lund Universities Open Innovation Center, where he’s focused on developing new models aimed at bringing about the radical change in attitudes that are needed during times of unprecedented social, economic, environmental, demographic, and political uncertainty. In addition to this role he also mentors students enrolled on the Masters of Entrepreneurship program at Lund University.

Steve’s personal mantra is; build paths for others to follow, share what you’ve learned and think like a pioneer.

“I create moments that give me a lot of freedom; physically, emotionally and creatively. The only way for me to remain relevant is to consistently help other people and companies to create value. For this to happen, I need to be out and about in the world, travelling, meeting and talking with a wide range of different and highly diverse people. It is a way of thinking, and a way of being as a person.” – Steve Jennings 2015.

When he is not travelling, you can find Steve in his home in Malmö in the south of Sweden, or online at the following destinations.

Please join me in congratulating Steve for being chosen as Rebel of the Month.

Week-16 of Delicacies: max 5 articles that i found interesting and worth re-reading. Handpicked, no robots. Minimalism in curation. Enjoy!

I was invited at the 7th Banking Innovation Forum in Vienna to speak on Innovation. The title of my talk was “Innovation: from tactics to strategy”

I have posted the deck on Slideshare

It was an interesting audience, with most people coming from Central and Eastern Europe, with some interesting case studies from Paolo Barbesino from UniCredit in Italy, Carlos Gomez from Activo bank in Portugal, Marcel Gajdos from Visa Europe Czech Republic/Slovakia, Efigence in Poland, and Wojciech Bolanowski from PKO Bank Polski. I made quite some notes, and if i find the time to make a post on it, i will.

Luckily, my fans are out there to help me. I planned write something about my talk as well, but Wojciech Bolanowski already did that in his great LinkedIn Post here. I have cut and pasted his post in its entirety, as it captures well what i was trying to convey in that presentation. Thank you so much, Wojciech, much appreciated ;-)

+++ Start post Wojciech

Inspire other people, think differently, create spaces where people come alive, ship to customers; as well as bravery, prototyping, events, capabilities and clarity – these are ingredients for successful innovation within big organization; at least according to excellent speaker and Innotribe Co-founder Peter Vander Auwera.

How to innovate in the shadow of behemoth?

marriott

Peter spoke on the first day of 7th Annual Banking Innovation Forum by Uniglobal in Vienna Marriott Hotel (as pictured above). He was keeping the audience extremely focused and interested. The subject was complex and of great importance: how to make really BIG organization innovative. As Peter put it in an outstanding rethoric figure: “how to make babies”. I would like to add: how to make the babies when you are well-known, established, serious and successful one with huge legacy and obliging history.

The questions are (usually) much more important than particular answers, so there is not my goal to report Peters’s solution in details. What I would like to point out is the question itself. Today, in the fast-running world of fin-tech start-ups and quasi-banking innovators almost every bank is big enough to raise this question to itself. Is it enough to inspire other people with your disrutptive ideas? Is such inspiring even possible in organization too big to change itself spontaneously? What could possibly happen if you think differently from dominant thinking styles?

Obviously, being innovative within mammoth-size organization is a big challenge and requires specific attitude and social skills. As I understood one of the Peter’s suggestion is to create appropriate team which become the centre and engine of the process. The brave, capable team with clearly set culture of “rather be failing frequently than never trying new things” to quote Peter’s presentation. Some important tools to do so are special workspaces, integrating events and ways of building true alignment.

Bravery – the slide of the presentation. Source: Uniglobal

How to gain executives’ support?

The presentation was full of insider stories with some of them concerning interactions between innovators and the board members. Those were a great lesson of struggle which, I think, at least to some extend, any innovator should expect and be prepared for. The very useful take-out was about prototyping and commercial launching of innovative products. The prototype should be, according to Peter’s best practice, as vivid and identical with the final product as possible. No more “Power Point Prototypes” unless you would like to fail. What’s even more – prototyping is just a step to the real strategic goal – to deliver real, commercial product and give it to customers. “Go out of the sandbox” is another great statement I heard from the speaker. Indeed, today environment of fast growing and alternating product propositions demand being “on market”. The Grand Jury of customers has no time to screen through pilots or prototypes; every company should be ready to risk and show its innovation as soon as it is delivered. In my opinion this is extremely important to realize. Shipment to customers what is already prototyped is the crucial part of execution process in innovation. I feel it is striking and true, therefore I tweeted this immediately with hashtag #BAIF2015!

What about the reluctant middle-level-managers?

The next splendid remark is about mid-level managers’ attitude toward change. For them the main goal is “too keep any changes far away of the plan”. It is understandable and rational. For manager’s KPIs are target-related, they try to keep organization on the course to achieve them. However, any innovation process within organization creates the risk of change, which, possibly, could alternate plans and goals. This is the real challenge – to execute innovation in organization which mainly consists of medium-level managers. And execution itself is much more difficult and lasts much longer than whole creative process of gathering ideas, evangelization, internal promotion etc. What Peter stressed, and I agree fully, is thatin context of big organizations idea management process is easier and shorter than its incubation and implementation. In start-ups world there is exactly the opposite relation.

Start-ups as indicators

Start-ups in financial sector (dubbed fintech recently) occupied a lot of Peter’s presentation as he is involved in the well-known Innotribe@Sibos program. The event has attracted more than 340 participants this year. It is quite nice sample to show what’s going on in innovation. With four continental semi-finals (NYC, London, Cape Town and Singapore) it gives global overview and prime selection of activities. This could be a useful indicator for big companies to track the start-up trends and pick up something valuable from. For example in 2014 the leading areas of start-up activity were (despite a broad category of corporates/business services) investment management, lending, big data and personal financial management. It is a clear message to banks: there is innovation coming to your core businesses and it is technology-driven.

This post is inspired by presentation shown on of 7th Annual Banking Innovation Forum ; there is another one of this category, in case you are interested:

Collateral damage of 2008 – card revenues in CEE

Peter Vander Auwera on stage in Vienna. Source: Uniglobal

Linguistic disclaimer

I have written this text in English and I know my limitations. It is possible you find this post illogical, offending, unclear or too simplistic. It does not mean to be that way, so please blame it to my imperfect English skills. I am neither native nor perfect English speaking person . If you want to be helpful, do share your grammar, spelling, style and any other remarks with me. I would appreciate any contributing comment, especially if it came from native speakers.

+++ End post Wojciech

INVITATION TO SPEAK

24-Hour Online Rebel Jam: Stories of Change > Friday, June 26, 2015

Calling all Corporate Rebels and Change Agents Worldwide to step forward to speak at our second edition Rebel Jam.

The intent of our second 24-hour Rebel Jam is to share what people around the globe are doing to try to create positive change at work.

Rebel Jam PNG

Artwork by Jodi @JodiOlden

All interested are invited to speak. All we ask is that you tell a story about something you tried to do, what happened, and what you learned. (And, of course, speak as much from your heart as from your head. Folks want passion not perfection.)

You can talk, sing, rap, use slides (or not), or show a video. (Hey, we’re rebels; creative expression is encouraged.) Here’s the link to the Google spreadsheet to sign up for a 20-minute slot.

Details on dial-in numbers and logistical information to follow. Spread the word.

Questions? Contact Lois Kelly, lois@rebelsatwork.com, Peter Vander Auwera, p.vanderauwera@gmail.com, or Simon Terry, idlechatter@hotmail.com

Hosted by: Rebels at Work, Corporate Rebels United, and Change Agents Worldwide.

PrintCorp Rebels United jpegChange Agents Worldwide

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