Innovation Builds on Innovation


Image by fdecomite

March has been a really crazy month, I’ve started at the Hub and also trying to get few new concepts forward. As I’ve flown through the month, I’ve learned many new and also old lessons about creativity, innovation and collaboration. Here’s some of them for you to chew on.

1. Innovation builds from innovation

When you have an ecosystem which feeds from innovation you have much better chances to get more creative things happening. Environment which is cynical, slow, stuffy, boring and joyless won’t create innovation – who would have guessed!

I believe the Hub and the whole building at Finlayson is becoming something of an innovation ecosystem, if we just allow and nurture it to become it.

In this we need collaboration between all the people there. The worst thing that could happen, is that different departments just started doing their separate things without knowing what the others do – I’ve seen this happen in many places and it’s dumb, yes D.U.M.B.!

For example one of the reasons Silicon Valley is like Silicon Valley, is that it has slowly but steadily become an ecosystem of innovations where the people from the fields of business, education and tech have a beneficial environment and culture.

2. You have to really want it

Those really innovative ideas sound stupid or hard to carry out. Actually that’s the whole point of it, we would have too many of them if they were that easy to do (or not exactly, because the level of what is innovative will always rise based on what is innovative at the time).

But the key point is in that you really need to want to do them and it takes time. Lately I’ve heard so many times that old sentence (read: an excuse), like a broken record, “I have this great idea, but don’t have time to do it”.

Well, get time or stop dreaming about it! We all have great ideas, those who will execute them are the ones who are the innovative ones. Without the execution part you’re just a dreamer and we have plenty of those.

3. You need others to make you fly

We have a problem of looking up to guys like Steve Jobs and thinking that everything they have achieved is single handedly made by them, that their success is all about them doing it and they are something of a superhuman.

Of course these are extraordinary people (and Steve could be a superman) who have a passion and energy towards the things they focused on, but they are also people who knew to skate where the puck would be next. Still, they have always needed other people to make their ideas fly.

When you next time visit the Finlayson area, say hello to someone you don’t know yet. Maybe something great will come out of that conversation – I’ve seen that already happen many times.

So for the love of God, please network in the real way if you ever want to achieve anything great!

4. See opportunities in everything

When you meet new people and they say, for example, that their current project is to meet every person in the world, you don’t grin, you ask them how?

It is your duty as an innovative change agent to make sense about other people’s ideas and understand them. If something sounds too over the top for you, well, level up!

In these cases I always like to think about the idea about an aeroplane: “We want to put 1000+ kg or iron in the sky and 200+ people in there with single packed food and movies for everyone in their own little TV screens”. So what do you think would have happened if the other person said “Sure you do” and went on its way? Nil.

Short lesson in seeing opportunities and grabbing them before they smash you in the face:

  1. Listen to people, really listen to them
  2. Get over of your old schemas, they prevent you from leveling up.

Nuff said, stop reading about it but go and free your mind.

Just Be the Best that You Can

Aim and focus are the cornerstones of success in life. Endurance is the plaster. Staying average is a choice. Stop reading here, if you have chosen to be average. The rest of you, read forwards.

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From where do you think the people creating video games where characters have to face obstacles in order to level up and gain more powers, knowledge and skills, get their ideas? The ideas are merely a reflection of life.

Think what you want to achieve and figure out the steps – it most likely needs more than one iteration though. If you don’t currently know what you want to do, do at least something.

It’s best to do something to evolve and “stay in shape”. Everything you do in life adds up and you never know where you may end up using and combining the things you didn’t want to do. Just staying home whining and blaming the world or the society isn’t taking you anywhere, you are responsible of your life, not your mommy.

It can take years to find out what you are here for – and as if it always stayed the same throughout your life. Hopefully your thing ends up being a weird combination of different things that gives birth to something totally new.

To really evolve and to be the best that you can is to see opportunities everything; in situations where life throws you, in meeting people [new AND familiar], in helping someone, even if it looks like you don’t get any pay or thanks from it in the beginning. And the most important thing is to see an opportunity in the midst of despair.

Life is a game, determine your own rules. It’s for you to decide which one are you, an advocate or an adversary? Here’s a video for you to watch. Hopefully it gives you determination and hope.

Hockey Teams Let Their Players Shine – Why Shouldn’t You?


Image by nac888

Sometimes corporations try to shut their people up. Why?

Do you happen to know ice hockey? Well, who are the ones always interviewed and who create the name and value for the team? The key players, the stars.

What do companies do? They let marketing people or some of the boring executives do the talking with their same old, heard-this-a-thousand-times key phrases. Of course there are differences in execs, some of them are even inspirational like largely praised Steve Jobs of Apple, but we could say that in many cases they are mostly boring.

Why instead not throwing your greatest players out there once in a while and let them shine? Give them the mandate ans let them do the marketing. Do you happen to know anyone who don’t want to be praised and have recognition about what they do at work?

So what if someone tries to buy them out from your team? If you have enough challenge for them, a good team like family and a good pay, why would they even leave? If these areas aren’t in harmony, they would most likely leave in some point anyway – so you people out there still sticking with your jobs you don’t like, think about it for a while, yes? So eventually, what are you going to loose?

And in the end, so what if they leave? They could take your key customers, they could take their expertise, but in a way, isn’t it your own fault if your company tumblers and falls because of this. And if this happens, well, sleeves up and start building a new one. The world won’t miss one company.

I recently read Ross Dawson’s blogpost which discussed about who should be allowed communicate in companies and why not to let them blog. I don’t know why, but I just needed to compare this to ice hockey.

EDIT: Here’s also what Jari Parantainen has said about this topic (in Finnish) http://sissimarkkinointi.fi/2009/07/07/guruopisto-osa-4-eiko-guru-ole-henkiloriski/

Thanks to @khuhtanen for providing the link!