Last night, courtesy of my friend Kevin O’Malley (thanks again Kevin!) I went to a Commonwealth Club program on The Power of Pull – John Seely Brown and John Hagel in conversation with Michael Meyer, CEO of Adaptive Path. I haven’t read the book (full disclosure: I’m not a huge business book reader; I’ve read the first 1/3 of dozens of biz books which generally gives me the gist… admit it, you do the same), but I’m definitely inspired to pick it up after listening to these guys.
Key take aways:
- Companies need to consider reverse mentoring – the young own new ways of communication (mainly via social networks) and have an innate facility for new technology that seasoned execs can learn from.
- Platforms can be created that foster serendipitous connections (luck) and events that can inspire new ideas.
- Pull platforms can bring ideas on the edge more quickly to center, accelerating innovation. The game has already changed and change is continuing to accelerate. We need new methods to stay competitive.
- Lastly, and most importantly, you must have passion for what you do. And if you don’t, then you need to figure it out. Accelerated change will burn you out if you aren’t fully immersed, and you can only be fully engaged in something that you have passion for.
What’s my passion? I think that’s one of the most difficult questions to answer, but after much pondering I’d definitely say that it’s figuring things out: untangling a messy load of information to create something that makes sense, figuring a new program or the best way to deploy a campaign, or just making something work.
Case in point… my 30 year-old sewing machine foot pedal broke a couple weeks ago – a busted spring. In a MacGyver fit of inspiration, I disassembled a few old pens until I found a spring with the right tension, cut and bent it, and for the cost of 2 new screws (40 cents) to secure it back in place, I was back in business. My next challenge… figuring out how to inspire some viral visibility for a new Cheskin Added Value offering. Stay tuned