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Executing Today While Planning for the Future

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By: Christina
Gerakiteys, CEO/Creative Director, Ideation at Work 

What most excites me is the return to 'humane ' ity'. As
speaker after speaker brought their messages, methodologies and experiences to
conference delegates, it was constantly with the intent of creating a better
This conference wasn't about innovating the next Hyperloop
or autonomous vehicle. Nor was it about the role AIs will have over the next
decade or so. That the crazy stuff will happen and that AIs will play
increasingly important roles are both givens. To this audience anyway. Rather
the conference was about executing today, while simultaneously ensuring that we
plan for the future. And in order to accomplish both goals, people need to come
It's no secret that a happy workforce is a productive and
creative one. It was the strategies that the speakers delivered that will allow
delegates to become the change agents they need to be in order to make 'stuff
happen' back at work on Monday. If they are brave enough.
This was a message that Chair, Soon Yu from VF, kept
repeating as he wove a thread of consistency between the speakers. Many
organisations struggle with innovation. They know they should be doing
it/supporting it/encouraging it, but they are also scared of 'it'. Dan Heath,
best selling author of Switch, believes we can lead organisations into
innovation by appealing to their emotive brain first. Invoking change becomes
easier if we can see the change that's needed. We will be able to feel the
effect it will have, which makes the action to change a given.
Inevitably roadblocks pop up as we try to instigate change.
Fear of failure, resistance to change, ego and financial restrictions all got
several mentions over the three days of the conference. Per Kristiansen from
Lego Serious Play, runs corporate programs with Lego Bricks that offer tactile
methods to connect with these fears and build pathways around resistance. Through
the use of imagination and metaphor, Lego Serious Play offers a way of
expressing and identifying emotions. Once these have been identified, we can
start to build solutions.
Perhaps the best advice was articulated by Karen Hershenson
from Procter and Gamble.  To be
innovative we need to 'subtract what detracts', especially technology. To be
truly effective, we need to think and feel. We can't do that unless we have
space. That space is constantly being invaded by phone calls, txts, pop up
messages, social media and the email that demands a response immediately upon
If we are to be creative in our problem solving, if we are
to encourage innovation and execution, we need space.  We also need to develop and grow personally, mentally
and spiritually. Just as innovation is crucial to the survival of businesses
and organisations, personal development is crucial to the survival of each and
every one of us. Mindfulness, wellness, meditation and yoga aren't increasing
in popularity because they are easy fads. They all require discipline and commitment,
perseverance and determination. Just like any successful business venture.
Brining the conference to a close was Brian Singer. He spoke
about becoming rich through his design. Filthy rich. And the richness he spoke
about is achievable by anyone and everyone who chooses to enrich the lives of
others along the way.
So that's a wrap on FEI16. Inspired? Yes. Motivated? Always.
What's important is I have just increased my resource kit to make sure more
stuff happens.

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FEI USA: Front End of Innovation

08 - 10 Dec 2020, Boston, MA
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