We’re still recovering from what we heard, saw and did at our last Ignition Bootcamp, but because we believe in networks, we wanted to share some of the magic that we experienced with this wonderful community of speakers and participants. So, in the course of this week, we'll present our impressions of the rollercoaster that took place between 14 and 18 November. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn so you won't miss anything!
Monday started off with the vision of author, thought leader and nexxworks partner Peter Hinssen, who dove right into subject of ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. According to him, most organizations are still stuck in the “denial phase” when it comes to the disruption of their industry and company, which is the first phase of the five phases that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross differentiates for dealing with grief. Peter saw an overlap with these 5 stages and the acceptance of change. Most companies have a long way to go before they will eventually accept their situation and start dealing with it accordingly. But the thing is: they don’t’ have any time for that.
Organizations in The Day After Tomorrow
The key issue, Peter explains, is that companies are too engrossed in the ‘here and now’ with, at best, a budget for the next year. They tend to grossly underestimate the (very) long term or ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ as Peter calls it. Companies tend to say that they would ideally devote 70% of their time to the ‘here and now’, 20% To ‘Tomorrow’ and 10% To ‘The Day After Tomorrow’. In reality, according to Hinssen, it’s more like a 93-7-0 ratio. And that’s not even counting the ‘Shit of Yesterday’, which actually creates negative value for companies. But it's essential to incorporate Day After Tomorrow thinking into our organisations, because that is where the most long term value lies.
The most innovative companies think about Today, Tomorrow AND the Day After Tomorrow:
The good news is that we are living in the best of times. The bad news, that these are “the worst of times” too, as Peter quoted the opening line of Charles Dickens’ novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’. Because we live in an age in which we can achieve incredible things but, at the same time, can become irrelevant at the blink of an eye.
Agility, and not speed, is the key to the future
In these exquisitely terrifying but beautifully embryonic times, Hinssen thinks we should ask ourselves four “Big Questions” which will resurface in his coming book (which has the working title The Day After Tomorrow):
BIG QUESTION #1: "Why is it almost impossible for large organizations to spot radical new technologies quickly, and develop their potential? What explains this organizational blindness for new opportunities?"
BIG QUESTION #2: "Why are large corporations so eager to acquire new startups, and why are they capable of screwing them up so profoundly in such a record time?"
BIG QUESTION #3: "How is it possible that large corporations - even when they understand their own challenges and the directions they need to take - are incapable of moving on their OWN, without external help and guidance?"
BIG QUESTION #4: "How can corporates accelerate their Day After Tomorrow thinking? Why do large organizations - who understand the fundamental challenges coming at them, because of disruptive technologies, business models or concepts - seem to be too paralyzed to move fast enough to respond?"
According to Peter, the answer lies in business agility. Not speed, but agility is what you need in order to gear up for the future. That should be the 'No. 1 issue' for organizations of today.
The Customer in the Day After Tomorrow
Up next was author, thought leader and nexxworks partner Steven Van Belleghem, who zeroed in on the Customer in the Day After Tomorrow. According to Steven, technology has a major part to play in that agility which Peter had touched upon in the morning. But Steven strictly emphasizes that people can make (or break) the difference here.
He refers to ‘Inside Out’ when he talks about this - the Disney film that revolves around five key emotions: fear, disgust, anger, sadness and joy. The first four – which are negative ones – should, wherever possible, be assimilated and alleviated by everything digital while ‘joy’ – the emotion with which you can create a ‘wow effect’ – well, that’s something that you need people for. One example Steven loves to use is the one of the Starbucks barista who, in her free time, taught herself sign language in order to give a regular customer - who happened to be deaf - the same service as all the others. It’s not a coincidence that this happened at Starbucks, Steven said, where this type of extreme customer centricity is deeply embedded in the company culture.
Change is inescapable. Once you realize that, you’ll also understand that there’s no time to successfully complete all five phases of change. There's no time for being angry about the startups or by fighting change by taking them over. It’s much too late for that: the only thing you can do, is to learn to handle change confidently. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish with our ‘Ignition Bootcamps’, which offer all kinds of tools and insights that can help to react quicker, better and more responsively than the competition.
Ignition Analog Bootcamp Network
After the Day After Tomorrow vision of Peter and Steven, our Customer Centricity Expert Nancy Rademaker developed an ‘Ignition Bootcamp Analog Network’ with the participants, to embed them into the nexxworks ecosystem that promotes the pooling of talent and the sharing of experiences between customers and business partners. At the end of the session, unsurprisingly (remember the theory of 6 degrees of separation!), it became apparent that everyone present was interconnected in one way or another and had much in common, which proved a great asset for bringing the group closer together on that first day.
The day was concluded in beauty by nexxworks' visual strategist, Axelle Vanquaillie who hosted a workshop session about supporting a message in a powerful visual manner. Drawing talents were uncovered, perspectives were shifted and some extra weird etchings were created (some unintentionally). As an example of Axelle’s exquisite visual talent, here’s the live drawing she created on the basis of Peter Hinssen’s session.
Inspired to join our next Ignition Bootcamp which will take place in Utrecht between 20 and 24 March 2017? Register now as seats are limited!
For those who are not familiar with our Bootcamps, they are insanely intensive 5-day perspective-shifting experiences. We organize them because we believe that you cannot “learn” innovation. It is not a theory. But you can pick up an innovation mindset by opening your eyes to the biases that (mis)guide you, by incorporating radical new trends, by looking outside your comfort zone of knowledge and experience, by talking to mind-mates (like soulmates, but for the mind) from different sectors, and by thinking and doing things that might seem counterintuitive to you.
Our innovation Bootcamps don’t “teach”. They want to embed participants into a network of intelligence. They move beyond knowledge and aim for cognitive agility as well as real impact on how participants think and solve problems. In short: they transform the mind-set. This is how we help our bootcampers lay the groundwork for change.