As I indicated, I’m experimenting with Twitter (@Quinnovator). I’m following a number of people who point to interesting things or make interesting observations. The benefits I’m finding with Twitter, I note, are random interesting thoughts that juxtapose with my own thinking, in addition to quick answers to questions. It reminds me of Dave Owens’ long ago system DYK, that randomly gave you some unix tidbits. It seemed to work, as many times it was irrelevant but every once in a while it was just the right thing. Same concept as the later ‘tool tips’ you could get on starting up PowerPoint.
This particular reflection was triggered by George Siemens tweeting a response to his presentation: “we’re taking small steps” problem is, small steps=falling behind. need that big leap :). Mark Oehlert responded with the title of this post. And it triggered the thought that I’ve heard Jay Cross articulate, that evolution isn’t going to keep pace with the rapid rate of change. (And yes, I’m name dropping, because you too can follow thought leaders through blogs and twitter!)
On the other hand, change is hard, big change exponentially so. What’s an organization to do? Yet change is coming faster. One of the ways we’ve thought to address this is an opportunity we’re offering through the Cafe’, getting some high-value external input on major issues in a lightweight way, a jumpstart to out-of-the-box thinking.
What I’ve been assisting organizations to do, and this is definitely a good thing, is to start with setting a long term vision (e.g. performance ecosystem), and making organization-specific short, medium, and long term plans to get there. However, I’m thinking that, in parallel, what’s needed is doing some ‘out of the box’ exercises where some more disruptive stuff is trialed. Maybe a ‘tiger team‘ for communication & innovation (and yes, I’m aware of the abuse of the phrase, but in lieu of another quick way to communicate the concept…).
The point is that you can’t just daydream crossing the chasm, and you can’t rethink in increments. Sometimes you’ve got to take a major rethink, and put it in place and learn from it. The best advice I recall on this is that you’ve got to have some experiments going on. A few well-thought out gambles that you’re willing to have fail. However, it’s not random mutation, but also not intelligent design; rather a hybrid. Taking a calculated risk.
Like trying out new technologies: the current experimental space is social networking for me, as well as the iPhone. But you’ve got to keep pushing your personal boundaries to have the awareness for pushing the organizational ones. So take risks and experiment yourself, and get your organization doing the same.