During some recent presentations on innovation and technology trends, I’ve been asked for day to day advice, techniques and tips for creative or innovative thinking at work.
In summary, creativity or freshness comes from breaking habits, which are often unconscious behaviours – those things we do without even thinking about it. So here are 10 ideas for breaking habits to foster more creative or innovative thinking at work:
1. Meet customer facing staff, e.g. sales, front line support. Carefully listen to their anecdotes. If you don’t usually speak directly to customers, you’ll probably find the stories revealing. I’ve seen CIOs’ jaws drop when listening to customer service staff.
This morning I went on a tour of Plexal with a few colleagues from Endava. Plexal is an innovation area based in part of the former Media Centre originally built for the London 2012 Olympics.
The CEO of Plexal, Claire Cockerton, took us around. Claire founded Innovate Finance after working at Level39, the Fintech accelerator.
Plexal has been designed around the metaphor of an ‘Innovation High Street’. You walk into Plexal half way down the ‘High Street’. The reception desk transforms into a bar in the evening. The High Street has several glass fronted offices on the ground floor, intermittently separated by open desk areas acting as communal areas. Offices range from large (a couple of dozen desks) down to one-person pods the size of old public telephone boxes.
Communal areas also serve as fixed, large desks for organisations wishing to rent a permanent desk and leave a few monitors in place. There are coffee machines and kitchens dotted around, essential for start-ups. The whole place is designed and finished immaculately (the offices which are not still under construction). Once finished, Plexal will cater for 800 people. At the moment it’s just over half full. Continue reading Our visit to London’s latest innovation area: Plexal→
Modern businesses need to become more engaging, responsive and efficient. To achieve this, they need to focus on stronger digital deliverables, agile processes and automate much more than they do today.
Many businesses still struggle to define what digital really means, so we have come up with 12 “best practices” which include:
Business Focussed Solutions (not technical)
Self-service (for everyone)
Try stuff (Fail fast/ learn quickly)
(Very) regular releases
Easy to use and regular multi variate testing
Easier integration (e.g. APIs)
New business models (e.g. marketplace, sharing economy…)
There’s lots of publicity from technology companies like Google, Apple and Tesla about their vision of the self-driving cars. Time for some research on what traditional car manufacturers are looking at…
I’ve looked at the manufacturers’ websites and YouTube channels to get their official view – rather than a sneak preview clip from a cunning motoring magazine.
Technology in the car industry seemed to stagnate for a few decades until Google and Apple shook up the existing manufacturers. We can now see a range of innovative ideas and themes across the industry.
“Two, three or four years ago we could not have imagined building such a complex vehicle which is capable of doing so much.
“We are driving backwards. Absolutely incredible driving because it’s now like sitting in a train or a private Learjet.
I think that’s a good comparison.”
BMW – the 7 series
Not a concept car here… the latest BMW 7 series with remote control parking… it can drive into and out of a garage without anyone inside. Plus gesture control (i.e. touch-less) for the dashboard. Not sure about the fragrance control though.
I went to a few of the presentations, but only two of them are worthy of any mention (one, which I won’t name, didn’t have a presenter… the technical support guys simply played a video in the theatre – it was one of the oddest ‘presentations’ I’ve seen).
I recommend the organisers arrange fewer presentations next year, aiming for quality over this year’s huge quantity.
I went to the Smart IoT (Internet of Things) event today in London’s Excel centre. The programme of presentations over the two days looked great, so I signed up a while ago. This post is to share with my colleagues and for anyone else who couldn’t make it today.
I’ll start with a summary and then go into detail, because I made lots of notes during the presentations.
Summary of Smart IoT 2016 Day One
On the content:
There were some thought provoking content (which I’ve covered below) mixed in with some below-par presentations.
I didn’t see any presentations where payments were discussed. I.e how IoT devices will transact with one another/ a service/ a person.
I’m in Romania this week presenting a variety of speeches, including the keynote of MobOS entitled The future of mobile. It’s been a challenging speech to prepare for – and was considerably harder than I originally thought. Not least because in technology terms, “the future” means different things to different organisations. One organisation might think some future of mobile concept is way-out-there while another may have already been using it for a year.
I promised the audience to post the script of the keynote here…
I’m going to talk about four areas on the future of mobile – context, the number of devices we use, mobile user interfaces and the central hub concept. That will set some foundation for some ‘left field’ concepts that we have for the longer term future of mobile. Continue reading The future of mobile→
This morning I went to an event at Tech UK called “The Connected Home: Empowering the consumer through the Internet of Things”. Here are my notes which I managed to quickly scribble down.
Jeremy Green from Machina Research was the chairman for the morning.
In the energy retail market, smart meters increased conversion rate from 12 to 48% through more intelligent offers and improved proposition
Internet of Things (IoT) is about getting data to a user’s smartphone to view analytics and make a choice of what to do 20% of energy bills are ‘background use’ – which is background energy being used while sleeping, or not even knowing a device is on.
The topic was highly focussed on Smart Meters, mainly because of the panel at the event (smart meter suppliers). Unfortunately there was nothing about changing business models and it led to some government bashing.
Last night I sat down with Mrs H last night to watch Kingsman (an except film, highly recommended) on Google Chromecast. The film was pay per view, which was selected on my smartphone and then ‘transferred’ to Chromecast.
I noticed a new feature last night – while the film was playing I looked at my phone and the screen showed the characters and actors currently on the TV screen, as well as the music soundtrack. It was like Shazam on steroids!
How many times have you been watching TV and wondered who a specific actor was? If this happens to you regularly, you’ll love the experience.