Archive for the ‘Digital Transformation’ Category

Disruptive Minds Think Alike

work like da vinci

I started thinking about this while I was reading “Work like Da Vinci” by Michael J. Gelb. It hit me like a rock, it just happened.

It became clearer when, about 7 years ago, I was doing a presentation to some former colleagues. The presentation was about applying what I learned from that book to our work, our job roles, our goals.

I was mostly astonished by two things:

1) Realizing that it wasn’t what people wanted to hear

2) The passion and the belief I had it was the right (or, the one right) course of action.

When you work in the corporate world, you hear a lot of “being agile” without actually being such. Why? Because corporate policies are required to keep things in order.

Order, that is the exact word. Order is necessary in some environments because you need to control a lot of things including budgets, regulations, internal policies but also behaviours, attitudes, mind-sets and even relationships.

I’m not saying these are bad things as sometimes you need a certain environment for people who need boundaries. It’s just human nature.

But Order and Control are what keep you from being creative, or better, disruptive.

Disruptive Mindset
Developing a disruptive mind-set is not something you learn to do overnight. You need to re-learn, or “un-learn” several things in order to follow this path.


And not all the people want to do that. Because it’s risky, it can lead to challenges and failures and who wants to fail nowadays? Sometimes you don’t even have the luxury to do that.

But, you need to start from something, somehow. And I personally started with that book, although my path that led to it started many more years before that event.

Looking at things differently, this is what I would suggest to anyone who wants to embrace the uncertainty.

It’s so obvious but in our everyday life we are so concentrated with the things we have in front of is that we just don’t do it (or we don’t find the time to do it).

Because sometimes it seems a loss of time, because it doesn’t seem worthy, or simply because our perception of “concrete doing” reminds us this is not productive. Wrong, very much wrong!

If you want to start your “disruptive journey” you need to look at things differently.

New Mindset

I was talking with a colleague and a friend, a few days back. We talked about how Companies in the past tended to be product-oriented. And this is still the case for many Companies, and people.

“Leads, leads, leads” is their motto and “product, product, product” is their focus. You can’t argue with that of course because, in the end, you are there to produce revenues. Are you, really?

Why, instead of looking at you and your role like that, don’t try to look at yourself differently? Why don’t you start thinking that, maybe, you can produce much more than just revenues?

What if you can really change the mind-set of the Company you work for, a team you’re part of, or your manager’s beliefs, from the ground-up? What would the outcome be? Uncertain, for sure.

But maybe a lot more productive and successful. Because it will change you as well while doing so. And that’s definitely something you can’t ignore.


Logic VS Creativity

Here in IBV we tend to do things differently. We meet, every week, and we do a few exercises. I call it: Balance between Logic VS Imagination (Concrete VS Creativity).

We sit together in a “creative room”, start CollaBoard on a Surface Hub and all our Surface devices and we share a project altogether.

Of course we look at the data and talk about goals/strategy/tactics/timeline using a sort of S.M.A.R.T approach (Logic). And then, we disrupt it (Imagination). (I’ll dig into this in another post when talking about Data). Everyone looks at the data provided in different ways, or better, in their different ways, and we start building a “bucket of ideas”. Ideas are the ones who bring creativity into motion.

We create our own content and put them into libraries and then we discuss them. Remember: even the silliest idea or the silliest question can be the most brilliant one. The tools we have at our disposal help us to create this agile environment where people can express themselves and bring their inputs into actionable items using their creativity. When we finish our exercise, everyone has at least 2-3 action items based on the things they saw, we shared and they experienced.

After a few days, you will really see people thinking differently, get more familiar with the “uncertain” and be bold enough to take actions.

Even the most logic and structured mind is, at an unconscious level, pushed to look at things differently.

That is what I call a real brainstorming and that is a good starting point when you want to start to embrace the change!

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): You

BYOD, an acronym we heard several times in the last year or so. Now it seems a bit obsolete because, as we very well know, technology runs faster than the blink of an eye (or maybe because marketing did a darn good job at the time!).

A “buzzword”, or a cool word, that has been used several times to apply something that was so obvious for a lot of people but somehow it was not really happening in the business world. Bringing your personal device, from home to the office, and connect it to the domain/active directory or whatever you have/had in the workplace. Why? Because it’s easy, fast, efficient, …. (fill in the blanks with any other powerful word you can think of!).

Time Magazine

When I was working for Microsoft, it was even more obvious to me that we needed to bring our own device and configure it as a personal/business device (and I’m not talking about those nice-keyboard-but-very-hard-to-configure Blackberry devices). It didn’t happen a few years back and then Microsoft, and many other Innovators, realized that.

But why starting a blog post with something like this? Well, it’s not really about this buzzword I want to focus your attention on. The attention is on two main points: “You” and “Personal”.

These 2 concepts are part of the Evolution, or better Re-volution (Re-Evolution), that we are experiencing right now. Not of all us really understand what’s happening (lack of knowledge, or simply disinterest) and I’m definitely not calling myself an expert on this field. But there is this wind blowing, this fresh air you can smell, and that’s happening right now. You can feel it, at least heard about it, and, not only that, this will have an impact on us and our children for many years to come. There is no turning back.

But what is this Re-Evolution and why this is somehow related to the Personal Technology?

Everything is personal, even if it’s loaned or temporarily provided it to you by the Company that hired you. Think about iOS or Android: everything that it’s in there is personal (although the “Data” you digest, in and out, are not really yours but that is another story). You have all these services and tools that are tailored to your needs. And here the Cloud concept played a huge role affecting all of us, business or leisure-related data or service you can think of. There is no difference anymore; these 2 things are not completely separated anymore. And, whether you like it or not, that’s a key difference from the past.

People want to embrace the “personal” and the “business” because it’s easy, because it makes sense and, why not, because it’s even fun sometimes.

Personal Technology. The BYOD concept was about bringing your personal into the business, now you don’t have to do it anymore. Because YOU are the technology and there’s nothing more personal than you, right? 😊

Wearable glasses, virtual reality, more personal computing (and yet another buzzword): put all these things together and you got yourself what? You. We are experiencing all these revolutionary technologies that will change our lives forever and the best part is that they are all “You-Centric”.

Think about all the devices you have: your laptop, maybe a PC at home, a couple of smartphones, a GPS in your car. You won’t need all of this anymore because the technology is (and will be) all around you. Devices that are always on (like the Amazon Echo), lenses that communicate with you, holograms that come out from a display (HoloLens in-primis), watches that measure your pulse and who-knows-what in the near future. This is the big step forward I think human kind did since the Invention of fax machine (maybe bad comparison but gives the idea 😊).

HoloLens in action

Why do you need to type when you can use your most natural gestures? Why do you need to click when you can speak? And why do we need a computer when this fast-changing world will be able to “compute” itself?

This will be your Personal Technology: something which is always on, something which is always there whether you turn left or right. But it won’t be you that will have to learn how to use an application anymore: the application, or more in general, the technology will be around you.

So, prepare Not-To-Bring-Your-Own-Device anymore because you will be already in it 😉

(Link to the original article)