Monday, 27 March 2017

How < not > to do Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is our current NEXT BIG THING.  Only it's not.

In most instances it is simply adding cost complexity and confusion to our already complex lives.  Here's an example.  This is a message I received.
It's obviously supposed to improve my customer experience and has been generated automatically probably via some sort of 'Internet Of Things' capability, where my parcel has informed the system of where it is!  

This would be amazing but for two things.  

Imagine phoning a friend to say, "Hello.  You may have won the lottery today."  and then hanging up!  That would be pretty pointless. So, one word in the message, "attempt."   The word also tells me that their system is not joined-up or predictable and repeatable.  




Secondly, the message is sent from a 'no reply account' which means I can't tell them that I will not be in or suggest a better time for me.  They will therefore waste time and money trying to deliver the parcel anyway, even though I could have saved them the expense of a wasted journey.  I therefore know that the person who wrote the message, the one who signed it off and the one who set it up in a jumble of multiple fonts have not shifted their mindsets to our World After Midnight customer-centricity and interdependence.  I also know that they have not altered their behaviour in any way, probably just doing digitally what they may once have done with a card through the door or phone call.

This type of attempt to 'do Digital Transformation', I have fondly categorised as 'Accesorising' in my model MetaMorph(TM) in my upcoming book.  It misunderstands that Digital Transformation is Human Transformation enabled by digital opportunities and gets swept up by the technologies themselves or device fetishes

Unpublished studies show that many companies have seen a 8-10% increase in the costs of information and communications technology (ICT) and a significant increase in complexity, but without any positive impact on productivity. Published work by Forrester Research indicates that on average less than ~6% of organisations are gaining differentiation from their attempts at digital transformation.


Take a look at your organisation.  If you see lots of new scarves, ties bangles and excitingly coloured socks beware you are not Digitally Transforming




NEW TALKS FROM EDDIE OBENG FOR 2017:
UNCERTAINTY - The leadership and strategic mind-set and toolkit to help you navigate the current global uncertainty.
NEURO-COLLABORATION - Making the most of digital opportunities to allow human minds to collaborate and engage.
METAMORPHOSIS - Transforming your incumbent/legacy organisation to outperform digital disruptors.
AGILITY - Successful and fast delivery of 'foggy' change in a turbulent business environment.
PERSUASION - Innovative Leadership in Complex Times - A master class in how to get just about anyone to follow you doing something new.

HUMAN-MACHINE - Visions and strategies for the future of work in a world where machines are stronger and smarter than us.

Myths to Methods: Mobile to Money

I'm getting a bit fed up with urban-myths sold as fact.  "Remote working is impossible."  "People travel to offices because digital technologies can't replace face-to-face."  "You can't work virtually until you've met face-to-face."  The list goes on and on in ignorance.
Recently had a conversation where I was told in no uncertain terms that, 'You can't work virtually unless you had met face to face!'  I asked the speaker politely if he had ever tried working digitally or virtually first, or at all to which the reply came back, gruffly, "No! Because it wouldn't work!"

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.- Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), ca. 1895, British mathematician and physicist

Recently a Harvard Business review article by Carlo Ratti and Matthew Claudel caught my eye.  In it, they comment, “What early digital commentators missed is that even if we can work from anywhere, that does not mean we want to.” This is an incorrect observation. The truth is that most of us can’t WORK from anywhere. Work is often about human to human interactions, emotions, creativity and trust building or other relationships. Stop and think about it. I write a comment to this post. You read my comment and respond. Someone else responds to your comment and I read that… We NEVER interact as humans. You and I NEVER interact as human beings as we would in a real-life space. The bulk of the market for digital communication is not about human to human interaction. The digital communications which the authors go on to describe are about human beings interacting with data!  Here's a blog which expands and explains more.

I confess that in 1901 I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years. Two years later we ourselves made flights. This demonstration of my impotence as a prophet gave me such a shock that ever since I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions.- Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) [In a speech to the Aero Club of France (Nov 5, 1908)]  

My focus for the last decade has been on Enhanced Reality (ER)...ER is digital technologies put into action to re-create the human interactions with all the attendant emotions and physical spatial memories. ER then seeks to layer, on top of the human experience, features only digital technologies can enable such as: persistence, single points of view amongst several people search at a click, etc.  To my surprise we have created what I describe (and I  am biased) as a world beater...QUBE.  We are working towards making QUBE the world's most sought and bought productivity and education methods and behaviours.
In my Google Zeitgiest talk I explain how the daily commute has turned us into time travellers. (12 minutes if you have the time.) The authors are correct in their conclusions but for the wrong reasons. Over the past four years I have transitioned my organisation from offices to working globally via ER. Relationships are better, office politics has declined and most importantly productivity has risen by about a factor of five. I believe that we will continue to travel to offices until we transition from devices and digital applications which separate us from each other by making us interact with data to routinely making the technology serve us and enhance our human to human interactions.
And that's why slogans, for that is all it is like, "The world is going mobile." are so misleading.  Mobile means doing what we did in the 20th century and adding on digital opportunities simply as accessories!
Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value.- Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French military strategist, 1911. He was later a World War I commander.
So if you've never experienced the 'Heavier than air flying machines of the digital communication world' - Enhanced reality (ER), I'd like to invite you to visit and explore my organisation which collaborates incredibly effectively, although we are permanently geographically dispersed. My stipulation is that you write up what you discover honestly and post them to this conversation.
Connect to me via Linkedin or as @EddieObeng


NEW TALKS FROM EDDIE OBENG FOR 2017:

UNCERTAINTY - The leadership and strategic mind-set and toolkit to help you navigate the current global uncertainty.
NEURO-COLLABORATION - Making the most of digital opportunities to allow human minds to collaborate and engage.
METAMORPHOSIS - Transforming your incumbent/legacy organisation to outperform digital disruptors.
AGILITY - Successful and fast delivery of 'foggy' change in a turbulent business environment.
PERSUASION - Innovative Leadership in Complex Times - A master class in how to get just about anyone to follow you doing something new.

HUMAN-MACHINE - Visions and strategies for the future of work in a world where machines are stronger and smarter than us.

Violence or Enlightenment? How will you harness technology to your service?

"I think watching violent acts (in VR- virtual reality) is a violent act in and of itself." bemoans Will Self on BBC Point of View.  @WSelf draws no comfort from an alleged drop in violence in the real world, as he sees us increasingly expressing our innate tendency towards violence in the virtual and online worlds.

Even a simple smartphone screen, a virtual experience, at the low end of immersion, has the power to make people forget where they are, what they are doing and who they are with.   This has led to a death rate of at least one in a million per year in the US and rising. That is not my vision.  

My vision is to use VR, or rather it's "beefed-up" cousin, ER (Enhanced Reality - not to be confused with Augmented Reality - AR) to allow us to solve many of the challenges we face in organisations and businesses and to enable us to do many things which, without ER, are completely impossible, such as having an interactive brainstorm with colleagues from around the world without taking a step towards each other!
ER (Enhanced Reality) methods & behaviours give us ‘super-powers’

I want to use the same emotionally engaging, intellectually collaborative and physically immersive environment to:

- boost business productivity by the power of five*

- embed executive education by the power of five*

- give us more time to give a damn about our interconnected living environment - sort of the opposite of violence

#LetsBeHumanAgain  

I think working collaboratively in an educated way (in ER - Enhanced Reality) is an enlightened act in and of itself.

Find out more about how we are doing this 


Meet and connect emotionally with people again instead of interacting with data 

Find out what users say: 





  -------------------------------------------------------
So how does ER (Enhanced Reality) work exactly?
 ------------------------------------------------------

  • Real life/ normal way of doing things and the challenges it brings

ER (Enhanced Reality) methods & behaviours and how they give us ‘super powers’
 ------------------------------------------------------

NEW TALKS FROM EDDIE OBENG FOR 2017:

UNCERTAINTY - The leadership and strategic mind-set and toolkit to help you navigate the current global uncertainty.
NEURO-COLLABORATION - Making the most of digital opportunities to allow human minds to collaborate and engage.
METAMORPHOSIS - Transforming your incumbent/legacy organisation to outperform digital disruptors.
AGILITY - Successful and fast delivery of 'foggy' change in a turbulent business environment.
PERSUASION - Innovative Leadership in Complex Times - A master class in how to get just about anyone to follow you doing something new.

HUMAN-MACHINE - Visions and strategies for the future of work in a world where machines are stronger and smarter than us.
Meet and chat with people #LetsBeHumanAgain  http://QUBE.cc @EddieObeng @QUBEcc

____________________


'

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Virtual reality is the big thing in 2016? No. Really? I don't think so.



This was originally published by Prof Eddie Obeng on LinkedIn Pulse.

The BBC's Tech Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones @ruskin147 says, "Virtual reality's the big thing in 2016."

Source: BBC Radio 4 - Broadcasting House, Bluffer's
Guide to 2016 - Rory Cellan-Jones on Technology

"When someone says they can't imagine something happening it says nothing about the probability it will happen and more about the person's lack of imagination." - Anon
 
I hate to admit it but I can't imagine VR becoming the ‘Next Big Thing’. It is true that VR is pretty amazing.  It draws you in, you lose track of time, and your mind is in a different place from your body – that immersive experience is exhilarating. But when you get a real ‘Next Big Thing’ it is because 'the big thing' gives us real Value. iPads helped you look so cool in front of your friends that you didn't care about the price tag. Value is simply the sum of all the Benefits you get minus the associated Costs, both financial and emotional (for the geeks V=B-C).  VR will only take off if we get the Value right!
 
Even I am too old and stuffy to wear one of those 'silly', bulky VR face-headsets. How would that look in the office when the CEO puts one on and bumps into a wall because of a 'lack of vision'? To give me Value, the benefits would have to be pretty amazing. VR would work for me if it gave me something I couldn't do without VR, easily and cost-effectively. It would have to, at minimum, give me superpowers.
 
VR would work for me if it gave me something I couldn't do without VR, easily and cost effectively. It would have to, at minimum, give me superpowers.
 
Or alternatively VR would give me Value if we could reduce the Costs. For me the emotional cost is of looking silly in a 'face-headset' set. When I saw the new Star Wars movie in 3D, I was kitted out with a style-free, black version of the glasses Brains wore on Tracy Island. The film's images were more immersive than the plot. I know that VR can give you the same experience but turbocharged. But can we make the VR experience happen without the headsets? Yes we can. Do you own a sound player with stereo loudspeakers or a headset? Stereo was the big innovation which turned music into an immersive experience. Your brain is fooled into thinking you are actually surrounded by musical instruments playing. You can create an immersive experience with a screen which is big enough to capture your attention and three-dimensional sound. For me just taking away the bulky, face-headset would bring huge value.
 
 
I would be primarily interested in using VR to help my enterprise. For you as an executive or senior manager, I suspect you are interested in your goals. 21st-century business success is either about: Evolution – that means innovation, agility, collaboration and continuous learning - or Domination - gaining scale, global but seamless communications, resource utilisation and decision effectiveness. VR would only get my attention if it could help me do these things better, faster and more cost-effectively than I can traditionally.
 
I suspect that as powerbroker in your organisation you are also probably an 'oldie'.* (* My definition of an oldie is, "anyone who is older than Google or can remember when the internet happened".) For us oldies, Value will come if the design of the VR is aimed at us. It makes use of tech skills we already possess, it allows us to use our familiar tools like spreadsheets and powerpoints. Even giving us decent text sizes and making it not feel ‘gamey’. I would want to be able to forget about the software and concentrate on the goals. All of those would boost the Value to me.
 
Virtual worlds are real places where people can interact. Whether your strategy is to Evolve or Dominate, your people have challenges which will best be solved through interaction. So adding interaction to the immersiveness of VR adds more Value and gives it a better chance of becoming ‘The Next Big Thing’. I suspect many games will be built with this combination in mind. But if you remember SecondLife you will know that just interaction and immersion can lead to some very strange looking avatars and awkward situations.
 
...the sweet spot is the overlap between immersivity, interaction and integration.
 
VR can only be ‘The Next Big Thing’ if it hits the sweet spot. It must offer so much value that it is utterly compelling. It must do something which we cannot do without it. And it must do it in a way which is easier, more convenient and cheaper than we would anticipate.
 
I believe that the sweet spot is the overlap between immersivity, interaction and integration. Integration is when the designer has ensured that between participants, goals are shared, alignment is easy, people are enabled to collaborate or compete towards a real outcome, in a different & better way than they can do traditionally face-to-face or using pale imitations of face to face like conference calls, lync, Skype, webex, adobeconnect and other software packages.
 
When VR hits the sweet-spot it will be ‘better than life’. That for me would be the equivalent of VR giving me superpowers. And it would add real compelling Value. If VR hits that sweet spot Rory Cellan-Jones would have predicted correctly and it will definitely be ‘The Next Big Thing’ for 2016.
 
 
Cognition, Collaboration, Connection
About VR by oldies for oldies with a goal http://QUBE.cc

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Do you Talk Collaboration but Walk Alone?

Prof Eddie Obeng's most recent blog post is an update of an article he initially wrote for Project Manager Today Magazine

It explains why collaboration doesn't just happen and then helps you work out what to do about it by setting out five clear principles

More at http://imagineafish.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/collaboration-sure-yes-but-whats-in-it.html



Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Cutting through the myths: NHS Scotland and QUBE by Mark Blayney



18 months ago, NHS National Services Scotland embarked on a change plan called QuEST. This created eight core objectives for new ways of working, one of which was innovation. It was decided to use QUBE to set up a steering group to see how an innovation framework could be developed.
     There were several reasons for using QUBE. The first is geographical spread – people based all over Scotland are involved, and travelling times can be extensive. Added to this there is job spread; clinicians, operations managers, and other people who might not normally communicate with each other frequently, if at all. And thirdly, the NHS is under pressure to use space more economically. Office space is at a premium and managers are encouraged to find other ways to meet. That space can be hard to find; so QUBE offers a solution.

“We are made up of six distinct business units that don’t have much to do with each other,” says Dr Tammy Watchorn, Head of Service Improvement & Innovation
in Clinical Directorate, NHS National Services Scotland
. “None of the team knew each other and we wanted to test the environment.” One of the problems with meetings can be getting everyone organised to be in the same place at the same time. "With QUBE we use ‘drumbeats’ – you set the time and place and it happens, regardless of whether everyone shows up or not. If they don’t attend, we can update them later; all of the work done is on the whiteboards for them to see. After eight weeks we had a framework that built trust and quickly felt like a natural way of working. We presented it to the executive team, who were impressed enough to give approval to further projects after the pilot using QUBE.”

“You’re talking to an older user, and I’m not a particularly tech-savvy person. I thought, if I can use it, then anyone can!”


Generally, there are two key challenges that can inhibit take-up; one is cultural, and one is technological. The cultural issue is that it can be hard to explain QUBE unless you try it out for yourself; and there can be resistance from people if they think it’s merely a sophisticated version of conference calling. “Once people have tried it, however,” Dr Watchorn says, “they quickly convert. I don’t think there’s been anyone who really hasn’t bought into it.” Technologically, the NHS is a huge organisation with different directorates, and some were more positive about allowing the new technology past the firewalls than others.

“So it would be wrong to say there were no teething problems,” says Fiona Genasi, Nurse Consultant in Travel Medicine for Health Protection Scotland. “But once everyone is there together, the possibilities QUBE offers become clear.” For example, several of the contributors to the project agreed that the necessity of face-to-face meetings, as opposed to meeting on QUBE, is actually something of a myth. “The CEO of NHS National Services Scotland visited the team on QUBE,” Fiona says. “Because of the ‘spin casting’ – where you go round the room and everyone has their say – people said things that you’d never dream of saying in a formal setting. For many of these people it would have been the first time they’d been in the room with the Chief Executive.” Jane McNeish, Senior Nurse Epidemiologist for Health Protection Scotland, agrees. Face-to-face is good, of course,” she says, “but actually QUBE brings some significant advantages by actually not meeting face-to-face.”
   
Another myth is that the technology will not appeal to the older user. “You’re talking to an older user,” says Jane, “and I’m not a particularly tech-savvy person. I thought, if I can use it, then anyone can!”




Thursday, 30 April 2015

Provoke, Inspire, Educate, Facilitate, Enable....

Pentacle was established to fulfill a quest.  To make the world see the reality of our World After Midnight - the 21st century world where change happens faster than we can learn at a global scale across millions of people.  

In the latest post from Pentacle's Founder and Learning director Professor Eddie Obeng he uses a video to explore the challenge people have in unlearning and relearning a new way to look at things and operate. 

http://imagineafish.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/another-way-of-thinking-about-moving.html

What do you need to unlearn?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Q: How do you include someone who isn’t there? A: By using the fourth dimension with QUBE.

For nearly 30 years the University of St Thomas in Minnesota, US, has been holding The Forum on Workplace Inclusion, bringing organisations together to discuss issues of diversity and the best ways to make sure people at work feel included.

Last week the Forum faced the problem “how do you include someone who isn't there?”. Prof Eddie Obeng, the keynote speaker, was thousands of miles away at the time!

Prof Eddie Obeng, appearing as a qubot
with a live stream of his face, uses a
mirror in the qubicle to show the
audience what they look like on QUBE.
The answer was to think in the fourth dimension by adding QUBE, Pentacle’s revolutionary 3D learning environment. Eddie connected to the audience from a qubicle (virtual classroom) on QUBE, which meant that not only were they able to see and hear him present in real time, they were also able to interact and ask him questions throughout the session.

So did the audience feel included, even though the presentation was virtual? Here are some of the reactions:

If you want to know how going four dimensional can benefit your organisation, contact us or try QUBE for yourself.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Commuting Heaven?...or Hell!



Commuting heaven?  What tomorrow's urban transport systems might look like.  That was the header on the BBC News page yesterday.
The illustrations were stunning... but..


21st-century future - trains?

Really?

Commuting?

Really?



Yesterday during an NHS NSS review 'qall' on QUBE (http://QUBE.cc) Kerry Russell said, "Isn't it about time we began to think of a world post meetings"  "A world where we do things differently much better, learn new things, get the work done and make decisions?"  "This is what I liked about working on QUBE."



About a fifth of the energy we use is used for transport - mostly to move people from homes (with computers connected to the internet)  to and from offices or schools  (with computers connected to the internet) or to and from meetings.

Any serious plan to re-balance the world that doesn't involve a radical rethink about moving electrons instead of people isn't really serious.

About a fifth of the average worker's time is spent in meetings of which a quarter of that time is completely wasted, according to Management Today.  Harvard Business Review warns us that for senior management, it's more like four-fifths spent in meetings and that doesn't even take into account the time spent getting there and back!  McKinsey's warn about the wasted time.  But worrying about time is not enough.  In our fast-changing, complex world, without new learning, how good is the quality of any decisions taken in these meetings?  How good is the perspective of any plans made in these meetings?

Any serious plan to build a world-beating 21st-century business or organisation that doesn't involve a radical re-think about how to integrate continuous, collaborative learning and working into the core of the enterprise instead of individuals working independently and meeting up periodically to share 'past sell-by-date' thoughts isn't really serious.

Join us and experience what working and learning does look like in the 21st century at our open inspiration event  http://PentacleTheVBS.com/QUBE_IM_2015.htm or just contact us to find out more.



Sunday, 28 December 2014

Instructions for INNOVATION*

Innovation is nothing less than:
“The process of Turning (new) Ideas into Money (or social benefits).”

1- Innovation is change – so the Laws of Change** apply. But because it is (new) change, engagement must be more than logical – it must be emotional and/or cultural

2- The Sparq of an idea goes on a journey to end up as Money (Social Benefits) – as on any journey The Speed of Innovation and time taken is Determined by the Bottlenecks not the number of ideas which set off!In a complex system there are rarely ever more than half a dozen bottlenecks. Innovation has five potential bottlenecks:

  • Lack of opportunity to begin to innovate Create the Opportunity
  • Lack of focus and clarity on ‘why’ and ‘what’ we wish to achieve or is acceptable Achieve Focus
  • Lack of engagement of the people inside or outside the organisation (customers) Engage Commitment
  • Inappropriate scale or poor protection Make t Possible
  • Ineffective execution or inappropriate project management  Make it Happen

3- For every extra idea squeezed through the bottleneck you will have an extra innovation – so increase the throughput through the bottlenecks. All time and resources spent on nonbottlenecks will have no impact at all on the level of innovation achieved. Its’ not how big the funnel is it’s the size, organisation and use of the orifice!

4- Sparqs which originate outside the organisation, Pull Sparqs are at risk inside the organisation – Sparqs which originate inside the organisation, Push Sparqs are at risk outside the organisation. The closer to the end recipient the Sparq originates the more likely it will be accepted. The closer the Sparq originates to the capabilities of the organisation developing it the more likely it will be executed.

5- Because innovations change the world they enter, success is not just the impact of doing something. Success is the sum of the effect of doing something AND downsides of doing nothing!  This means that conventional business cases and value calculations are irrelevant

@EddieObeng


– Watch Eddie Obeng on TED global talking about innovation at https://www.ted.com/talks/eddie_obeng_smart_failure_for_a_fast_changing_world

* From the book Who Killed the Sparq? - Get the free ebook download at http://PentacleTheVBS.com/WhoKilledTheSparq_FreeDownload.htm
** From the book Perfect Pojects -Read it on Amazonhttp://tinyurl.com/oe8reb4

Meet, interact and apply this with Eddie Obeng and your work colleagues on QUBE
http://pentaclethevbs.com/inventtomorrow.htm
Read about other companies using Eddie Obeng's Innovation Accelerator 
http://qube.cc/accelerate-innovation-across-a-global-organisation-in-a-fast-moving-market/




Tuesday, 25 November 2014

“I name this app QUBE v3. May God bless her and all who work on her.”

Party goers put sticky notes on the
world map to show where they're
joining from
The latest iteration of QUBE, the world's most engaging collaborative learning and business transformation social medium, was released earlier this month. Version 3 improves almost every aspect of QUBE, which means more learning, easier to use, faster, fully integrating learning and doing real work and completely eliminating the difference between ‘being online’ and ‘being there’.

To celebrate the release and give people an opportunity to try out the new version, Pentacle threw a launch party. Of course, the party took place entirely on QUBE, so that people around the world could join without having to leave their own desk. The New World Café was decorated specially, and there was a virtually unlimited supply of virtual champagne.

Users chatting on the New World Cafe
lawn, in front of the main presentation
screen
Throughout the day veteran and new QUBE users dropped by to meet the Pentacle team, including professionals from AkzoNobel, Amey, Atkins, BAE Systems, Birmingham Community NHS Trust, Duke Corporate Education, Gower Publishing, Grant Thornton, Lexmark, Telefónica, Thomson Reuters, Vink, Vizeum and Wolters Kluwer, among others.

Many of the Pentacle tutors were on hand to demonstrate how working on QUBE increases engagement and makes collaborating with geographically-dispersed colleagues easy. Dr David Lomas spoke about some of the new features available in Version 3, and Prof Eddie Obeng outlined his vision for the future of executive and management education. Guests who had previously attended courses on QUBE shared their experience of how working virtually had enhanced performance in their organisations, and there were also video showings on the lawn screen, such as Eddie’s TEDGlobal talk.

Dr David Lomas tells some guests
about the new features in Version
3 of QUBE
By the end of the launch party, it was determined (using the handy Carbon Calculator built into QUBE) that a total of 42,479 miles of travel had been saved by everyone meeting on QUBE instead of physically. This means that all the participants would have had to drive for 21 hours (or fly for 6 hours) each, and 103 trees would have had to be planted to offset the carbon emissions!

If you weren’t able to attend the launch party, don’t worry. If you gather together a couple of your colleagues, you can have a “guided tour” with one of the Pentacle tutors, who will run a short workshop for you on a useful topic. To book a time, go to http://PentacleTheVBS.com/ContactDetails.htm

If you haven’t already downloaded Version 3 of QUBE, you can get it from http://QUBE.cc/Downloads . First time using QUBE? Go to http://PentacleTheVBS.com/QUBE_TryIt.htm to get an entry pass.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

When a nomination challenge is turned into fun & learning...

Eddie Obeng explains how he has accepted a Challenge to spread the idea in his TED Talk that "Most of us spend our lives reacting to a world that we recognise and understand but which no longer exists."

Link to the blog... http://imagineafish.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/ive-been-nominated-now-its-your-turn.html

Link to the TED Talk... http://on.TED.com/b0VdQ

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Eddie Obeng shares the challenge of Breaking Habits and Growing WAM Behaviours ...

In a blogpost, below, Prof  Eddie Obeng provides a rare insight into one of his own leadership challenges in developing a Pentacle global network who all instinctively work in a way suited to our World After Midnight.

The blogpost is reproduced from http://ImagineAFish.com

___________________________________________________

When Habit Trumps Innovation

If you know me , you'll know I like quirky, non-mainstream tech. At home I still have a "Pick up, tap, tap, tap  and shout 'Operator' several times!" phone and a Bakelite phone (both still work!).

In the late 1980s I decided to "splash the cash" and buy a cordless phone.  I'd seen it for sale in Tottenham Court Road in London but the stimulus, as always, was when I described it to a friend.  They laughed at me impulsively and asked why on earth anyone would need a cordless phone?  As a rule I use derisory laughter at ideas I propose as a sure-fire acid test of innovative change.  So I bought it, took it home and installed it.

I waited patiently for someone to call me so I could experience the freedom of walking to the hall, answering, and walking back to the room I'd been in and continuing what I was doing rather than as usual, being forced to sit chained (or corded if you prefer) to the phone in a freezing hall!.

I waited.  Then it rang.  Joy!  It was my mum.  I picked up the phone, sat down and fifteen minutes later was shivering as I hung up.  Yes. I had done what I had always done picked up the cordless handset and sat down next to the base on the bench we always sat on to make calls.

When the moment for innovation came, I simply forgot my opportunity to do something different.  My automatically learned actions kicked in. I didn't even consider not sitting down - it never came up into my conscious decision-making brain!  It took a pile of books on the seat and about a month of conscious hard work to create the habit of picking up and walking away.  (Developing the habit to put the handset back was far easier - I didn't have to unlearn anything.)

Despite my best efforts my habit subverted my conscious desire to innovate.

I was reminded of that story today when I came across a number of long email exchanges between several Pentacle tutors who've just joined the network.  Just like me, they had let habit overcome innovation.  As Pentacle tutors they now have access to QUBE the most powerful collaborative-social medium in the world - they could easily have resolved the discussion on QUBE with a meeting as qubot avatars or by working asynchronously or by leaving videos or snapshots to explain the details but instead they had resorted to multiple emails!

Despite our best efforts our habits sometimes subvert our conscious desire to innovate.