Innovation is nothing without a world worth living
Granted, innovation has become a buzzword. But there is a reason for that! Never has it become so important to anticipate the future, as changes are erupting so fast… And if we want to tackle the challenges of the 21st century and achieve progress, we need to embrace innovation that will change the world for the better.
The former Leader of design thinking firm IDEO Europe on innovating yourself
Alan South, former Leader of the Design Thinking firm IDEO Europe, revealed 4 particular tensions leaders experience when trying to foster innovation:
- prefering certainty on the expense of necessary experimentation,
- challenging bottom-up entrepreneurialism by allowing too much top-down direction,
- applying a single technical solution to an issue that actually needs adaptative change,
- and finally, juggling between the „exploitation“ and the „exploration“ part of a firm.
For a leader, it is all about finding the „sweet spot“ in the tensions…
Former Leader of design thinking firm IDEO Europe on Design Thinking
The former leader of IDEO Europe also explained how Design Thinking, an innovation technique developed by IDEO 30 years ago, is still relevant today when it comes to innovation. Design Thinking has understood a long time ago that customer-centricity plays a central role in the innovation process – indeed, design thinking starts with an observation phase of the target customer, resulting into a productive ideation of possible solutions. Applying Design Thinking is quite challenging for a leader, as it a known process, but with unknown outcomes – and the leader has to know when is the right moment to stop brainstorming, and start focussing on the synthesis and final choice of ideas and solutions.
A Cyberarchitect on how he re-invented himself to innovate architecture
James Law, as founder of the Cybertecture philosophy, has become a renowned architect. It took him years to conceive that particular philosophy, which consists in creating a better architecture -and thus better future- by embracing the new opportunities of the world. There are no limits to his imagination and ambition: flying houses, stackable and modular pods, a whole district contained in a mega-sphere… anything is possible for him! And this open mind-set should be embraced by any leader who wants to achieve great things, despite the challenges and stress that come with it.
A Harvard Professor on why Leadership is over-rated
Barbara Kellerman, as Harvard Professor on Public Leadership, focussed her keynote on leadership in particular. Or rather on leadership, followership and context, as she believes that these aspects are equally (!) important. Especially in the 21st century, we observe a tremendous change of dynamics, followership being empowered by social media amongst other. And context plays a role too – the election of Donald Trump is in fact due to a particular context in he was candidating…!