Sunday, November 25, 2007

Radio Interview and Elevator Pitch

I recently "elevator pitched" OpenTeams at the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship IT/Web 2.0 Forum. If you'd like to hear the two minute pitch, they recorded it here. I'll admit I was a little rough at first as I tried to avoid using my notes much, but I soon realized I was running out of time fast (they had a 90 second countdown timer), and smoothly finished out by reading straight from my notes. Not great speech etiquette, but I had to hit a lot of their checklist items in a very short time.

The pitch caught Russ Capper's attention from The BusinessMakers Radio Show, and he very generously asked me to participate in a longer interview at their studios about OpenTeams and my background. I'm used to communications where I have ample editing time (email, blog, documents, Powerpoint, even speech writing), so real-time, live-recorded Q&A was a bit nerve-wracking. But it went surprisingly well, and they did a fantastic editing job, cleaning it up into a very tight 18-minute segment you can hear here, or even download it as a podcast.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Opportunistic Innovation as Strategy

Caught this book review of "Strategic Intuition" in the Wall Street Journal, which is a great fit with what OpenTeams can do for your company:

Set big goals. Do whatever it takes to reach them. These muscular sentences form the core of commencement addresses, business-advice books, political movements and even the United Nations approach to global poverty. In "Strategic Intuition," a concise and entertaining treatise on human achievement, William Duggan says that such pronouncements are not only banal but wrong.

Mr. Duggan, who teaches strategy at Columbia Business School, argues that the commonplace formula has it backward. Instead of setting goals first, he says, it is better to watch for opportunities with large payoffs at low costs and only then set your goals. That is what innovators throughout history have done, as Mr. Duggan shows in a deliriously fast-paced tour of history.


One of the insights of "Strategic Intuition" is that business makes progress by following the opportunistic innovation model, while governments and international-aid agencies aim repetitively at rigid social goals.


If there are still businessmen who feel compelled to follow a fixed-goal plan -- missing out on the profits of opportunistic flexibility -- then at least there is the free market to punish them. Market feedback is surely one big reason that we have so many innovative entrepreneurs.

Of course, OpenTeams is a great environment for sparking and developing opportunistic innovation options by tapping the wisdom and insights of employees at all levels.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The case for collaboration software over email

The St. Edmonds Lab at NetX blog has a nice plug for OpenTeams, but what's great about the post is their creative articulation of the need for collaborative software instead of email (specifically in the context of a creative ad agency). This graphic hilariously makes the point:

Here's a scary statistic:
Research shows that staff source between 50%-75% of information relevant to their work from other people. It also shows that more than 80% of an organisation’s digitised information resides on individual hard drives and inside personal files. This means that individuals - rather than the organisation - control the bulk of essential knowledge within an agency.
And a very pointed conclusion:
The need for better knowledge management in creative processes is evident. Campaigns are becoming more and more sophisticated to succeed in a fragmented media environment. If agencies don’t learn from mistakes and successes, they can never be better than their current workforce allows them to be. And since any key person leaves an organization at some point, they take with them a wide spectrum of extremely valuable knowledge, including industry and target group insights, confidential data and relationships. If the agency’s creative knowledge then only consists of static files on servers, a bunch of emails and the rented brains of the current employees, it isn’t much more than a name with a reputation, a building and a fancy coffee machine.