October 10, 2010 at 11:33pm
What will attract and keep management innovators in the MIX after the M-prize is awarded? How can we create a community that generates breakthroughs in management thinking and practice? One way could be to learn from Tongal and Top Coder and re-organize ourselves around responding to real-life challenges from specific companies and teaming up to produce real-life solutions.
The introduction of the M-prize has certainly been an effective way to get "MIX alpha" going. But what will happen to the MIX once the M-prize is awarded? Can the MIX function based on the notion of "reputational capital" alone? I am sure that the MIX Mavericks have a plan. The intention of this hack is simply to throw a few MIX inspired ideas in the mix.
Here are my observations about two features of MIX alpha that triggered these ideas:
Generalized management challenges
Today the moonshots are framed in abstract and generalized form. They are generalized aspirations grounded
in the collective real-life experience and understanding of organizational reality (mostly in the developed world). They are great because they condense the issues into succinct broadly-applicable definitions. They make it easy to fit and share ideas I have already implemented or am already developing for a specific purpose unrelated to the MIX. What they don't do is make me want to engage with the moonshots that don't already have something to do with my day-to-day professional pursuits. This is mostly because they are generalized aspirations, they don't have the color/smell/drama & suspense of reality, specific issues on the ground that a specific organization is struggling with. On a timeline. With no clear line of sight from engaging with a moonshot to making a real difference in an organization's life and potentially scaling the idea, it's hard to make a compelling case (to myself) for spending time on the MIX.
The current format for posting hacks and storied works well for MIX alpha and has been improved significantly over the last few months. What it does not yet enable is real-life collaborations. It's great people can offer their suggestions in the comment section but ultimately there is only one profile owning the content of the hack or story. So the collaboration format becomes more of a "I will help you build yours (if you help me build mine)" rather than "let's build something together." I have met several people on the MIX with whom I share common interests but in all cases we have had to take our joint pursuits off the MIX because the format was not conducive to "let's create something together" collaboration.
- Bring real life managers from real-life companies posting real-life challenges.
- Create a platform that allows different MIXers come together and collaborate while competing against other teams of MIXers.
Perhaps, this is obvious to the MIXteam and you guys have already considered this path - in which case it would be great if you can share what your current thinking is. If not, perhaps, the MIX community could use this hack to share their reactions, ideas, and we could fully develop this hack together. etc.