Few companies organize to walk multiple paths to re-invent themselves.
Note : if you have a strange feeling of augmented "Deja Vu", or "Synchrocomplexity" it is absolutely normal, and you are fine. Innovation is also in this cross-nurturing and entanglement experience between different stories and extensions.It is innovating on innovation illustration by mutations.
Few companies set up the environment for individuals to keep moving regardless of economic conditions.
I interviewed a guy who experienced 18 laps race event into the innovation pool into the same company.
Some kind of initiatic workout for innovation talent development.
This story is 100% facts based. It describes more in details one specific lap. This is Lap 15.
Innovative companies need to develop new protections and augmented reality tools to smooth the effect of environment turbulences to release the tension of short term goals on the individuals or teams working into the innovation pools and open waters.
This story attempt to open minds about the opportunity and the value of addressing this need.
We are talking a 20 years period. Lap15 is a permanent challenge that goes over the years. The company hosting this weird swimming workout has grown from 5 to 50 thousands employees in the time. Regional to global status. Although this organization is considered innovative, no official program has been set up for such long distance and augmented reality experience dive.
The flash interview has been inspired by the Mix Challenge.
Real field experience is analyzed as a stand-alone testimony among a chain of 18 stories. However, smart readers will also find out a series of related hacks.
Abundant food for thoughts.
A recurrent quote is that the core trade basics require "5 years to learn how to float".
With few written materials in a time preceeding ISO certification programs, coulpled with a fast expanding company and individuals scopes, the guy interviewed rapidly understood that problems will come up quickly without any troubleshooting guide.
This was not about firefighting. Young recruits were feeling like scouting on a "Terra Incognita". Draft maps provided not representing the territory.
Many would prefer "18 holes" for a title and the story could lead through a nice golf course. Especially our Mix Guru.
Appealing outdoor demanding exercise. Concentration and precision skills development drive. Diversity in the landscape. Time for mind simulation and computation. Sorry, the journey sounds quite more repetitive, breath-taking but for no gorgeous scenery. Against the clock. And bouncing back on a wall.
Our recruit is describing his professional experience as a swimming workout. Here is a key innovative loop with with the L1 and L8 laps. Stretch goals and time management are very helping preparation drills.
Here is the number 15 out of the 18 Questions & Answers giving details of the experience :
Q15. How do coach(es) and sponsors inputs help you to better manage the tension between short-term operational goals and medium-term innovation goals?
Freestyle John Linchpin: That’s another goggle augmented reality check. See how hot water pools are quite foggy in the start of the day: you are somehow forced to concentrate on each and every of your crawls in order to avoid to end up with your head underwater, before you even have reached the winning line a few feets ahead of you.
The coaches will tell you that you need to always keep in mind the level of competition you’re training for in the coming days, and to adapt your workout exercises in accordance. It’s a multi-crawls preparation phase. That way you won’t swim blind. You will not go too fast to hurry and reach the very next line ...and then feel exhausted before reaching all the upper steps that will take you on the innovation path.
Foggy rooftop open water spot: blurred innovision (missing reality goggles)- Credits Ac Depeige
In my point of view, foggy strains and optigoals are tightly intertwined: as a high-level swimmer, the main challenge for you is to find the right balance between the closest red string (or flag in open water) on one side, and the waves moving towards a new horizon on the other side. Not always easy as submarine world brings its own share of unknown living things. That’s why it’s better be equipped with real anti-fog goggles to remove the endangering blur!
If the water is quiet you still have some chance to reach the other side by swimming straight.... but one’s should remember that sharks are never too far and can catch you (very) easily if you don’t look around...Sometimes you can see them coming...but beware they’re always faster than you might think.
Sacred Ripples Watch - Credits FJ Leconte 2012
Sharks are following your moves in the water, below the surface, always ready.
This is for instance competitors trying to get advantage of you ignorance of the patents regulations. I had to bring proof in front of courts that an innovation was presented into a professional fair to oppose anteriority claims. And the exact reverse too!
Sacred creatures are following from the bench. I have to admit that we once named a team of dissenders " The 12 Monkeys army", where the leader was not Brad Pitt but the now retired CIO of the company, encouraging free minds managers around the world to shake the tree of the established knowledge. But I will never call Coach or Sponsors : monkeys. I would end up with exhausting extra laps penalty!
The question I am asking to myself is: how much is it the job of the coach on the side to balance the effort, at a given moment? I mean : in action.
Sure the job of the coach is to balance the season, in order to select the workload periods, peaks and valleys (of despair?) where you develop muscle and flexibility, as well as techniques and mind-set for pressure control, or the sharpening time where you prepare to deliver with rush and sprint tuning.
This part is the bridge with a Lap 8 kind of management (carving space in the midst of the "busyness").
However, my experience is that despite the support that you might get from a Lap 8 smart coach (or sponsor by the way), at every moment the actor working on innovation is the only one who can fine-tune his efforts and decide if he is working on the long-distance and techniques, or pushing to deliver urgent results. Engaging or mortgaging, that is the question !
I did not encounter yet any observer able to monitor such tuning from the side. But technology innovation may enhance captors and senses.The use of the sub-marine videos brought new means to the guys on the bench, now equipped like (friendly) sharks from under. Our company released in 2011 a brand new category of nano-coatings capable of getting rid of "foggy moments" caused by thermal and humidity shocks.
We swimmers and innovators would definitely benefit from processes able to get such protection and "reactors", that clear out any midst raised by a sudden change in the economic environment for instance. Sponsors able to clarify uncertainty in times of troubled waters or hot and humid air waves, and confirm or re-inforce in a glance the funding and priority for innovation efforts, when it is so easy to reduce speed. This is what augmented reality means and look like. You can see through and keep your momentum and focus, by getting instant reactive information and operating procedures while in action and without getting out for briefing time.
Far & clear innovision (optigoals through ultimate goggles) - Credits Ac Depeige
Benefit 1: constant focus from near to far vision almost instantly, with stretch goals frame.
Benefit 2 (indirect from #1): ensure several laps advance in the innovation race & learn to anticipate hidden (and more visible) sharks’ catch points.
Benefit 3: understand the means (and limitations) you have to plunge into action
It is not so much at work as of today, but this a very promising and necessary lead.
Changes in the environment conditions are causing effects on the surface. Ripples or even shaking waves.
A company betting on innovation must develop protective coatings, or live information loops that can neutralize turbulences and foggy moments.
Optifog® video credits Essilor International