Liz's research shows that people who have experience in a subject matter, can have very small advantage over newbies who are determined and committed to succeed in a task. The rookies learn at very early stage they won't make it without help. They know almost nothing on that topic, so they quickly and openly seek for advise, insight and information from the best people they can find.
Having gathered the information, rookies can see new opportunities, where experienced people won't, because the paths to reach the target are already set. An experienced professional's mind will short-cut to the quickest effortless route for a given goal. But the mind of the newbie will be able to see new possibilities. Those insights, screened and reviewed by the experienced guide, can lead the rookies to their goals much faster.
The research Liz has gone through shows what many "continuous successful leaders" know – they have to be humble and "play with the kids", to be able and see something new.
That's also an important message for human resource professionals, regarding new venues for considering candidates.
I believe you have to be an optimistic and a bit of a risk-taker, but one who also looks for ways to mitigate the possible downfalls. People who are too rational and cautious, will focus on the many ways they could fail, and choose to avoid failure by walking away from the achieving the goal. If you are an optimistic newbie, you are more likely to jump into the cold deep waters, because you would probably not realize how much effort you would have to put in, to succeed. Then it is about your enthusiasm, humbleness, determination, desire to learn and sense of curiosity to "rescue" you into innovation and success.
What's your experience? How did you make it with a new territory, where you were the rookie?
In this Oracle World 2013 executive session, "What Steps Can Companies Take to Raise Their Digital IQ?" by Chris Curran from "PWC consulting", you can learn about the magic formula employed by CIOs and IT Professionals, working for the best performing companies.
But before you spend an hour of your time, here is a summary of what all those companies have in common, and how they did it:
1. Close relationships between the CIO and the CEO
2. A Multi-Year plan to anchor daily priorities with strategy, rather than urgency and un-directed drifts
3. Invest mostly on the risky new technologies
4. Deliver on time, on budget and within scope
5. Have the strongest digital conversations in the form of real strong problem solving discussions with peers across the organization
How to build your Digital IQ and powerful Digital Conversations:
A) Innovate by focusing on learning what is going on outside, then filtering what you bring in, according to our missions your strategy defined.
B) Get necessary agreement on our mission for innovation, as IT professionals, so people will indeed listen to what we bring in.
C) What you focus on and learn, needs to get updated through a systemic process based on the business priorities. The list of items to prioritize should include a long list of emerging technologies, which can then be purified to the few disruptive technologies, according to the strategies filter you have.
D) As you look at options, always ask yourself "What business problem are we trying to solve?" and make sure you filter in, only options that can address this business problem.
E) Don't rush to apply current concepts to new technologies, as successful as they have been in the past.
F) Ask yourself who will do the work? Innovation is work; don't trick yourself to treat it as a hobby.
G) The CIO and IT Professional role is less about controlling the operation, and more about becoming the best advisor about what is out there and how to best embrace it
Looking at this 2004 Fast Company article: If he's so smart …Steve Jobs, Apple, and the limits of innovation, it is very clear that the author looked critically on Apple's posture, which have been trumping technical innovation and excellence, while neglecting business process innovation, execution and profits. The claim was that Apple put too much effort on creating great products, without matching business execution strategy that is paramount for massive market domination and maximum profits.
Dell, Microsoft and others have benefited of Apple's technical innovations, by learning what Apple has done, and creating their own cheaper alternative, while focusing on achieving maximum profit through matching marketing, manufacturing, distribution, sales and customer support.
This article was published right before the iPhone/iPad age, which I believe, was enabled by the business process revolution within Apple. Without the focus on manufacturing, distribution, customer service and profit, mastered by Tim Cook, Apple would still be a dwindling company, creating magnificent products that other companies make huge profit by cloning them.
It is easy for you as well, to fall for the glamour of Technical innovation and excellence, but the powerful ingredient, many prefer to forget about, just because it seems to be tedious and require mastering, long term thinking and investment, is business innovation and execution…
Anyway, what are your thoughts on Technical Innovation and Business Process Innovation?
If you care even a bit about patents, you should be in one of those camps:
You want the current patent system to prevail, because for now, you enjoy its rewards
You would like the current patent system to massively change, at least for the software industry
I claim there is a third new option, that no one seems to talk about, and that it is not only fair, but has financial reward system built-in as well.
But before I reveal this other possibility, let us take a look at the real motivation for the patent system to exist altogether.
I am not a lawyer, so I'd like to provide you with a practical cause for patents to exist.
I'd say patent rules were created to reward a result gained out of massive effort or the creation of an unexpected possibility. In both cases patent rules were put in place to reward a result that is unlikely to achieve. Additionally patents rules were put in place to bring to halt, any attempts to make use of this unique result (patent), without rewarding the patent creator.
Lacking those rules, people were less likely to put their resources to find new better ways to make things happen, because others will make use of them, without putting any effort or rewarding the patent creator.
So patents were actually created to foster innovation…
It is my claim that it was also expected that this unexpected result (invention or patent) would have practical use. Otherwise, what is the point in discovering something that no one can (feasibly) use?
Those two sentences define the new direction patents should abide to.
Nowadays companies create patents that cannot be used by them and even patents that cannot be used at all. They do it, just so they can lock in that idea, and have others who believe those patents can be useful, pay them.
Previously resources were put in place to invent, but now they are also being massively deployed to block (others innovations).
This of course puts a stumbling block in the way to innovation. It seems impossible to break the vicious cycle, because it looks like too many people could lose money, if the current system gets phased out. As time passes, there is more money spent on patents, resulting in spiral damage, same as black holes aggregate energy, drawing any new innovation into their worm tunnels, leaving no escape route for new stars to thrive.
Here is my idea on pulling innovation out of patent black holes:
Let you use any patent you like, while you reward the patent creator, according to the sales or value you actually gain.
People should be able to use any patent created by others, as long as they pay a fee to the patent creator, based on actual sales or value gained for the product or service they created, in case this product was based on those patents.
Turning this patent wheel to the new direction I mention, will turbo-charge innovation, as patent owners will seek innovators to use their patents, since they get rewarded as well. Innovators will sip from the river of knowledge and will then create better solutions, bringing them to market, faster. Companies can re-direct their resources from blocking, to innovating. Lawyers will still be needed, to formally post patents, yet those patents will be used to innovate, rather than pull down entrepreneurs.
This road is not trivial as well. There are issues to resolve, but so far, each time I look at a challenge related to this new way of dealing with patents, I see those issues are already part of our lives. I refer to issues such as tracking patent use, figuring out how much people should pay for using our patent.
Bottom line, the new proposed system, is based on the concept of a universe of abundance, while the current system is based on a world of scarcity.
In which of those universes do you prefer to live?
Meanwhile, take a look at this new service, which allows innovators who try to find their way, and post a patent, to get some advice (crowd sourcing): Ask Patents
If you feel strongly about patents and read my post, you would not want to miss voting here:
I believe that even if you work in a big corporation, you'd want to hop into Ask Patents from time to time, and check out queries regarding patents that your company has expertise in, see what cooking in the innovation pot, before it hits the street…
We can say one thing for sure about Amazon: Amazon is going through a constant continuous improvement cycle, complementing its cloud service portfolio. This surely is attractive for IT professionals looking for a restless innovative solution provider, understanding that in many cases, the active improvement process is much more important than the "static perfectness" state others try to reach.
On the other edge of the spectrum, take a look at the vSentry end-user threat protection solution from Bromium, and what's interesting to me are their 2 core innovations:
Micro-Virtualization creating a transparent shield for any un-trusted application, which allows the user feel safe, and avoid irrelevant alerts, as the un-trusted application they use, can try and do harm, to find itself isolated, without any actual modification of user data. All the affects of the malware are cleaned up, as its virtual sandbox vanishes as soon as the application exits. That's based on the Intel VT technology.
This also enables the second innovation – Task Introspection. Since applications can do anything they want, be it as malicious as they can, as they are getting virtual rather than actual access to the system's resources, an attack can be recorded and reviewed, at will, saving forensics time and effort.
In this case as well, what's important to note, is the rapid exploitation of the opportunity to innovate, using current tools (such as Intel VT). Sure, this solution is not perfect, and will be circumvented at some point, but it does offer a pain-killer type of remedy, which IT professionals are likely to quickly grab.
I believe there should be a new term for us to use – Time To Innovate (TTI) – which is about measuring how much time it takes you to innovate, as soon as an opportunity is presented.
Are you rapidly innovating as well, or endlessly trying to perfect your solution?