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chris-grams's picture

There is still time to enter to win the HCI Human Capital M-Prize

When the folks in charge of the MIX told me a few months ago that their next M-Prize would focus on the enable communities of passion moonshot, I was pretty stoked. In our little corner of the MIX, we're always looking for new ideas on how to inspire and build more productive communities. A little competition never hurts when you are trying to get the ideas flowing.

As I write this, the Human Capital M-Prize has received almost fifty entries. But there are less than ten days left until the deadline, January 20, 2010.

A quick reminder of what the organizers are looking for:

The MIX and HCI are looking for the boldest thinking, most powerfully-developed vision, and the most cleverly-designed experiments for unleashing passion in our organizations. What is your bold new idea or radical solution to the lack of engagement and passion in our workforce? What game-changing story or hack can transform employees everywhere into more engaged, motivated and productive contributors?

There are some great ideas stories and hacks already in, but if you have one you've been thinking about entering, now is your time. As a bit of inspiration for you, I'll point you to a few of the submissions I'm really digging: 

Doug Solomon, CTO of IDEO, is probably the rock-star entry into the contest so far with his story The Tube: IDEO Builds a Collaboration System that Inspires through Passion. This entry is a wonderful case study from a company that already understands how to innovate better than almost anyone in the world, yet is still finding ways to improve the infrastructure of collaboration used by communities within their organization. 

Alyson Huntington-Jones submitted an interesting story called A Company Run By Self-Managed Teams that takes some of Gary Hamel's concepts from The Future of Management and puts them into practice within a real organization. 

Want another case study of what it is like to build collaborative communities in the real business world? Check out this one from Patricia Romeo.

I really enjoyed the Peter Robbins story, Making sparks fly: Stimulating regional innovation in a global consumer products organization, about a community inside GlaxoSmithKline called the Spark Network where key people collaborated on ways to innovate in and around core company brands. I especially loved what they began calling community members: sparkies. Classic.

The Drew Williams story Restoring Faith in the Institution: How Mission Shaped Communities Revitalized St Andrews may not be a business story, but I expect many of the lessons Drew learned while shaping community strategy for St. Andrews could be incredibly relevant for your organization.

In a hack entitled Brainpowered Tools to Build MBA Communities of Passion, regular MIX contributor Ellen Weber highlights a new MBA leadership course she'll be unveiling later this year. It looks like an attempt to rewire the brains of MBAs so they employ leadership approaches that may be friendlier in community-centered organizational environments. A move from leading by critiquing and correcting to collaborating and creating, perhaps? I'll be interested to hear updates on her progress.

These are by no means all of the great entries, but just a few that stood out to me. 

Do you have a favorite? Feel free to mention it below. And if your favorite story or hack is the one you haven't submitted yet, well get to it then!

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ellen-weber's picture

Thanks for your kind mention here Chris, and for sharing the many cool ideas being generated at the MIX. Imagine the difference we could make as a group!

This week I'm especially energized by the wonder of a strong supportive community to help build innovative designs that work! We held our very first MBA Leadership course this week LEAD INNOVATION WITH THE BRAIN IN MIND - and the class list grew after 1st three-hour session  ended and word spread:-)

The course uses the Mita Brainpowered Method of leading and learning - which starts with a question, bypasses lectures or talks, engages multiple intelligences, and ends on Feb 24th with a Celebration of Innovation.  The celebration could be described as an interactive trade show of sorts. Participants invite from 3 to 5 guests to engage in their innovative initiative, and are scored by specific, negotiated  criteria. We are racing to write the text - and posting completed chapters on Blackboard so students can keep up.

So much work, so much adventure, so much appreciation for leaders like you and the MIX gurus - who support innovative initiatives!  All to say thanks for you and each person here!

Innovation may take a lifetime to mature, and it may not always make one rich - but as Helen Keller said: Unless life is a daring adventure it is nothing at all!