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Archive for May 11th, 2010

Making Innovation an Expectation & Celebrating Failure as Learning

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Try this at your company…

At the end of every meeting the chairperson should set aside 15 minutes for anyone who is exploring a new idea.  If no one has anything to say they are told that they are not doing their job.  This process, followed consistently, produces a stream of new ideas and creative thinking.

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE,  used to insist that every meeting include an exchange of new ideas or new techniques.

A “forgive and remember” learning culture…

We celebrated mistakes at a management gathering with 1,000 people in the room. A manager would get up and say why the environmentally sensitive light bulb or whatever it was…had failed…Then we’d give them $1,000 or a TV or something, depending on the scale of the thing. The point was to share the learning and get smarter as an organization. – Jack Welch

An early experience…

Kirsty Wark: “I understand one of the first things you did at GE was blow up the plant you were working in and that it had a profound effect on you. Can you explain?”

Jack Welch: “I did accidentally blow up the plant, yes. I was about 25 and had been experimenting with a different mixture. There was an explosion. I was scared stiff when I went to the manager. But, he was mainly curious as to why I had done what I had done and what I had learnt from it. ‘Would the process I was trying have worked,’ is what interested him!

That real encouragement to get it right rather than a punishment did have a profound effect on me, yes.”

The Innovation Machine at Google

Given the strategy to let a thousand flowers bloom, many products are bound to fail. However, Google executives appear to be undeterred by failure. In fact, Schmidt encourages it: “Please fail very quickly—so that you can try again” is how he described his outlook to the Economist. Similarly, Page told Fortune that he had praised an executive who made a several-million-dollar blunder: “‘I’m so glad you made this mistake. Because I want to run a company where we are moving too quickly and doing too much, not being too cautious and doing too little. If we don’t have any of these mistakes, we’re just not taking enough risk.’” Needless to say, that level of risk tolerance is rare in corporations, despite the widespread belief that error and innovation go hand in hand.
Reverse Engineering Google’s Innovation Machine, Harvard Business Review April 2008

Written by frrl

May 11, 2010 at 4:05 am

National Public Radio (NPR) does Lady Gaga

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Certainly it is a sign of Cultural Icon status when a staid organization like  National Public Radio does one of your hit songs.  Such is the status of Lady Gaga’s hit song “Telephone”.  This evening, Monday, Bill O’Reilly admitted that he is also a Gaga fan while a day before on CBS 60 Minutes Andy Rooney admitted he didn’t know who she was.  O’Reilly’s message for Andy was, “No, Perry Como is no longer in the top 40”.   This exchange suggested to me the inevitable “hand-off’ of the generations.  Why does being as old an Andy Rooney necessarily mean that you have to be out of touch with the popular culture?  Must it be so?

Here is the staff of National Public Radio doing “Telephone” by Lady Gaga.  Good for her; good for them!
Nina Totenberg?  Heaven help us!

Lady Gaga has become the first artist to have her music videos watched over one billion times online.  It seems the Fame Monster, as she calls herself on her album, has become an unstoppable beast.  Her outrageous, often obscene style and her synthetic dancefloor pop has gripped the attention of the music world since her debut single LoveGame in 2008. 

But it is her videos that really allow her to express her vision of herself as an in-your-face, other-worldly star. Her success has been helped by savvy marketing such as the Facebook organised National Gaga Day. 

She also advertises products in her videos and has taken a post as a creative director at Polaroid.

Written by frrl

May 11, 2010 at 3:14 am

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