AMPLIFY

Losing my virginity: Review of my first TED live at Oxford, England, 2010

Good morning at 200km/h on board the 7:30 am Oxford to London train. I am
meeting ( on a Saturday morning no less!) the lovely @annemcx  for a quick
champagne at the refurbished St Pancras station that I hadn’t seen since
its opening. Then its onwards to Heathrow and Bangalore, India.

This is a rare hour of fasting after a bloated week of
intellectual gluttony at the table of TED. But the city of Oxford with it’s
breathtaking natural beauty, magnificent architecture and centuries old
culture in pursuit of knowledge equally contributed to the Epicurean
overload. There is only so much a girl can absorb, so I have had to pace
myself carefully – I still have 12 days to go and India and China lie
ahead!

To summarise, TED is FULL-ON!

I am nor sure they have perfected the formula yet, but given how profitable
TED is, it is clearly a highly successful recipe. Even so, they are open to
feedback, and here are some of my observations.

I had a stimulating experience, met interesting people outside of my usual
swimming stream ( everything is outside my usual swimming stream given
where I usually swim in the South Pacific) , expanded my perspectives and
insight into a few areas and picked up a few ideas to introduce for
Amplify.

Was I blown away? Afraid other than the live performance delivered up close
and personal by Annie Lennox, I didn’t get goosebumps or cried or laughed
till it hurt, but then again, I am quite hyper-connected and insatiably
curious already. As most innovators say, there’s nothing new under the
sun, just new combinations. On that score, a Dutch lady researching
products involving pigs was amusingly revelatory.

As far as conference logistics go, I found the sessions too long and my
attention wandered. Each session runs around 105 minutes or 1&3/4 hours and
includes 5 back-to-back slots with a LOT of slides( 1 is sometimes music).
There are 4 of those a day, sandwiched between good long conversation
breaks, too long lunches and just long enough nightly feasts groaning under
the bounty of plentiful so typical of wealthy societies.

So, in a day, you hear from around 20 different presenters, see about 200
slides and film clips, meet about 50 new people, and this carries on for 5
days in a row! If every speaker delivers 3 key messages, that’s 60 per day,
or 300 for the week….not counting the ideas sparked in the conversations
with the countless very bright people, or the 10 books you may buy to
supplement your reading. Can you see why I was not adding to this cerebral
load by trying to maintain a constant Twitter stream and blog beyond
session 1- my RAM was having a helluva time processing just what was coming
at it.

Sitting here now trying to recall the session highlights week, it’s become
a bit of a blur already, and in 3 weeks from now I know my recall will be
even less. But does that really matter as long as my subconscious mind has
absorbed and connected these messages into my neural pathways? Or perhaps
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, is right- my online habits have
shrunk my attention span? Or maybe Jonah Lehrer is right- maybe my parallel
processing capacity has expanded thanks to our increasing digital
ambidexterity. (I am not sure what it was prior to the Internet era, I
didn’t baseline it!) I reckon having those two speakers side by side at a
TED line-up would make for a provocative experience!

The theme of TED Global 2010 was “and now for the good news”. Maybe that’s why
newspapers don’t report it- it has low impact on us! I liked the first
session the best out of the whole day conference because it’s underlying
message about the pervasive narrative in our heads that drive our behaviour
is one that I totally subscribe to. A highlight from the week was a
continuation of a theme I picked up at the Aspen Ideas Festival from the
@gregmortenson talks, and that is: We need a new narrative for many things. What could
the world look like if we changed the narrative around power,
inter-cultural collaboration in living on a finite planet with finite
resources, and tolerance for difference and styles of engagement with
Islamic nations.

The ideas presented by the 5 Middle-eastern speakers had the biggest impact
on me. (See program guide here)  They were:

  • Naif Al-Mutawa, Creator of The 99. (Watch this when it goes live! )
  • Elif Shafak, a novelist ( she told a beautiful story about the stories that separate and connect us)
  • Jamil Abu-Wardeh, a TV producer with a wicked sense of humour
  • Maz Jobrani, Iranian American stand-up comedian and social commentator
  • Zainab Salbi, a woman survivor of war, activist and social entrepreneur

I also found Sugata Mitra, an Education Researcher delightful to watch and listen to. A man totally in his element and exuding passion for life and fun.

Its a bit unfair picking just 6 out of the line-up, but what use would a review be if it praised all equally? The standard at TED is high and getting ever higher due to the open sharing of events like these online, a point that curator Chris Andersen made in a talk he gave titled: “Who’s the teacher?”

The Oxford Playhouse is a challenging venue. A dark theatre and the lack of
air conditioning in a venue filled with 750 bodies, stage lighting and a
ton of digital equipment combine effectively with lingering jet-lag to
transport you to the Land of Nod with alarming regularity. Mercifully, free
coffee flowed all day and I found the simulcast lounges adjacent to the
Playhouse a welcome alternative. But you have to wonder about traveling
that far at great expense to watch these sessions on a screen…so I had to
fight feelings of guilt when I used them instead.

The evening events were very well designed and executed flawlessly though I
thought they could have benefitted from a bit more variation- it was the
same formula and even exactly the same wines every night (no champagne???). A few games, some
music or entertainment would have been good? I was a bit cocktailed out by
the end and didn’t go the farewell BBQ and river boating and opted for an
afternoon blitz around the historic Cotswolds instead.

Now to the people. A good international blend, probably 2/3 rd from the UK
and North America, with a sprinkling of the well-heeled from Asia-Pacific,
Oceania, Central & South America, Africa and the Middle East. Largely Gen X
and Boomers, not any Gen Y or millennials except for staff. It looked like
the sexes were reasonably evenly represented though I’d put men at 60% and
women 40%. The most significant common factor would be social status and
income brackets – these are the influencers and decision-makers and it seemed 
largely private sector.

An observation though…polls by show of hand and audience reaction to
ideas revealed an alarming degree of uniformity in opinion. Is it
self-selection whereby only people of a certain demographic are drawn to
these events? Is it because only speakers of enlightened and liberal views
participate? Or dare I say there is a touch of group-think in “the TEDster
culture” as the organizers proudly refer to their followers. Where are the
outliers, I wonder, and how do you bring different voices to this hugely
influential platform where more than 500 million pairs of eyes have
participated in live webcasts or downloaded video content?

Another observation is the fact that from the podium we preach sustainability, growth without impact, over-consumption, etc…but then we add to it by gift bags full of stuff we really don’t need. My challenge to TED organisers ( and all those who emulate them) is…re-think goodie-bags! We all have more than enough shit in our houses alreadty! This is hypocracy in its worst form. And another suggestion: Could the next TED be completely plastic free and use only glass containers and aqua fountains and porcelain cups please?

Will I rush back and do it again? Yes, but not before I have explored other
conferences that are a bit less mainstream and more edgy, like The Singularity Summit. 

I actually think that I enjoy the Facebook Sydney TED Salon  experience more.
This is not a TEDX, but a random group of 15-25 people who formed 4 years ago,
meet at someone’s home once a quarter to watch TED videos selected by the rotating
host, which ensures diversity of taste, and projected onto a sheet ( or a big TV) and then discussed over BYO
wine and finger food. We watch about 4-6 TED talks a night, muse over them, debate pros and cons and check in on who
is doing what, and thus link our respective work and interests in Sydney. It’s great!

So, in conclusion, if I rank the conferences I have attended in the past 3 years in terms of my favourite inspiration for the AMPLIFY Festival that I produce in Sydney, they are:

  1. Picnic in Amsterdam, who ties with
  2. PopTech, Maine USA
  3. TED Global who ties with
  4. Business Innovation Factory, Providence Rhode Island

OK, any contrarian views, questions or comments?

Boom chicka wah wah of fabulous women by Jane Copeland

written by copingwithjane.com

Imagine doing work which involved being a connector between the future and the present. It is quite apt that as my first subject, the woman whose boom chicka wah wah I will be sharing with you, is the unique and extraordinary Annalie Killian.

Killian’s keynote presentation on ‘Being Helpful is the New Black’, or as it was titled on the AITD National Conference program ‘Emergence of a participatory culture to accelerate organisational learning’, is when the penny dropped. I discovered that there is a new sort of quid pro quo emerging, called social capital. It was the catalyst that catapulted  this former social media phobic Gen Xer, into the world of the new digital networked community of social media. I have just mentioned the word catalyst without even realising that it’s Killian’s official title at work: a catalyst for magic. It’s a big statement, and well in fact she is. Director of Innovation at AMP, Killian’s work focuses on building a culture of collaboration and innovation, a place where employee creativity is nurtured and channelled.

What is your boom chicka wah wah? “Being totally at ease with who I am.”

Follow Annalie on twitter

What is really significant about Killian, is the innovations she has been responsible for. In the workplace, Killian is a champion and driver of the adoption of emerging technologies in the web and mobile web space, social networks and social media. Some of the more unique, and some would say slightly left of center initiatives, include:  creativity challenges for user-generated content on the AMP Intranet, social media cafes, a creativity bootcamp, and a creative challenge to IT professionals. However the major initiative and a project sited as her favourite, is  AMPLIFY -a thought leadership festival that explores the intersection of technology, science and art with society. AMPLIFY  draws global experts to Sydney to discuss and bath in all things innovation.

Really what Annalie is doing is mixing things up, rocking the boat so to speak. New thinking and new ideas mean change, and as you can appreciate as wonderful as it sounds, challenging the status quo can’t be easy. To be an innovator is to be different and this comes with its fair share of hurdles. And that is what is appealing. Having an impact on the way we do things, must have taken such strength, self belief and passion to drive it forward and continue to do so. Enormous in fact. True to her twitter name @maverickwoman, Killian is indeed a transformational change agent.

So here’s my interview where I try to uncover and share the special ingredient, the essence of my first modern day Heroine, so that you can take it away and create your own magic.

What is the best magic you have created to date?

While I love to create stuff in the physical sense with my hands, I seldom do these days. My creativity is much more applied at a macro-level. I enable creation by others, I make opportunities possible, guide the process, and remove obstacles and barriers so the magic that’s already there, can flow freely. It’s a funny fragile thing. It requires a safe space for a bit of risk-taking and vulnerability, and that’s what I try and carve out. I can’t tell you how many times IT geeks, accountants, corporate folks- essentially NON-artists, have left me speechless by coming out with work that is far more creative than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams- despite being labeled “a so-called creative type.” That definitively proves what is a fundamental belief I have….ALL people are creative. It’s not a special kiss from the gods that singles out some folks and leaves others with “uncreativity”.

Has there been anything significant that happened in your life to make you take the path that you took?

It’s an interesting question. I’d have to say no, I can’t pinpoint any conscious event that triggered this route, I have just fallen into every role I had except for my first 5 years at Deloitte. I did learn something when, as a city girl, I ended up with Deloitte in Zululand, desperately unhappy in a small town and disengaged with my work and community but feeling trapped by marriage. I was very unhappy, but I eventually realized that the only thing I could do was leave (at the time a price too high to pay), or stay and look for ways in which I could make my world a better place. When I stopped focusing on myself and sought opportunities for making a difference for others, my whole world changed forever. It’s the most empowering thing ever to know that one person CAN make a difference – and you never look back from there, you just want to keep taking on bigger and bigger challenges.

What does an average day look like to you and how important is your time management?

I don’t have an average day. But I do struggle to contain them because I work in a totally seamless way. There is no separation between life and work. I love my job so much I would probably keep doing what I’m doing regardless of the financial rewards of pay. The satisfaction and meaning comes from the work and impact and challenge, not the carrot or stick. So, you can see in what camp I am philosophically when it comes to what motivates people. It’s doing meaningful work that makes you feel worthy.

How do you engage the imagination of young girls in technology?

I have wrestled with this one for a long time and I think that’s because technology jobs are stereotyped by media as the socially inept geeky types writing code in solitude in the basement. I think we have to fish where the fish are….where are young girls hanging out, and what do they use. Then paint a career in technology as an extension of what they are probably already doing, which is probably online shopping or messaging their friends on social networks!

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were 15 years old?

That I would have about 5 careers by the time I was 50, and that it’s more important to try lots of things at 15 than obsess about one thing. I had a lot of angst because I didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted to study. It doesn’t matter- just study something and get good at it. Work at it so you can master it, but consider that a starting point to a beautiful meandering journey that may sometimes take you down blind but interesting alleyways, or occasionally, take the fork in the road…..your career choices at 15 are not an end point.

In terms of your personal style (physically) what would you say your signature item was?

Clothes wise I think its eccentricity- creating a contrast or going for the unexpected. I have a great love for accessories and used to wear hats a lot in my late teens/early twenties- everything from berets to elaborate statement pieces with a dramatically long feather- stuff that literally stopped people in their tracks.

“When I stopped focusing on myself and sought opportunities for making a difference for others, my whole world changed forever.”

If you had to describe yourself as a pair of your shoes, which pair would they be?

Definitely my black Gortex Ara boots – totally plain with a comfortable 2 inch heel. They always keep me dry and warm in even the wettest, iciest conditions but look elegant. I can even walk in them…for miles!

What do you want to see more of?

I want to see a focus on beauty as well as function. I think aesthetics are neglected and it is a psychological driver for sustainability. Beauty has enormous worth and we should actively pursue it in all the consumer choices we make. Choose one beautiful thing and treasure it instead of buying many cheaper utilitarian but uncherished products that you may throw away because they don’t have enduring value.

What would you say to young women who want to create magic in their lives and for others?

What are you waiting for? Everything that will happen in your life, for the rest of your life, is up to you. Own it.

Penny for YOUR thoughts.What did you get out of this post? Do you think everyone is creative? How do you define innovation? Leave a comment and be part of the community.

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Announcing AMPLIFY11: “EVERYTHING CONNECTS” Sydney, 13-17 June 2011

 

Amplify_document_banner

About AMPLI FY 11, 13-17 June 2011, Sydney, Australia  

“From a humble experiment in knowledge exchange in 2005, AMPLIFY has grown into a week-long biannual festival enjoyed by more than 3500 employees, leaders, board members and invited guests, and that’s not counting the online audience. This unique learning event has become a powerful amplifier of our organisational thinking, learning and culture. This is one of many reasons why the AMP Leadership Team continues to invest in and grow AMPLIFY year on year. 

For our people, AMPLIFY creates a powerful ‘knowledge market’ where we can openly exchange ideas with the foremost thinkers in the world, dabble with futuristic concepts and experiences way beyond our comfort zones, and experiment with emerging technologies to understand how these could add value for our customers and our business.”  Lee Barnett, CIO

Link to AMPLIFY 09 here  http://www.amplify.amp.com.au ( Website for AMPLIFY 11 is currently under construction)

Theme for 2011: EVERYTHING CONNECTS

Following on the 2007 theme of Collaboration, and the 2009 theme of Convergence and Emergence, AMPLIFY 11 will be themed “EVERYTHING CONNECTS”. AMPLIFY 11 will explore how ubiquitous and pervasive connectivity, real-time streams of data, mobility, networks, relationships and data visualisation, augmented reality and the “internet of things” are transforming human interaction, services and transactions and redefining business models. 

AMPLIFY 11 will examine these trends through the lens of our business as pre-eminent Financial Services and Wealth Management company in Australia.

Who speaks at AMPLIFY?

AMPLIFY attracts an enviable blend of the foremost thought leaders from all over the world and across a range of disciplines to share the cutting edge of research and technological evolution, and implications for financial services. Past speakers ( a small selection shared here) include:

  • Jamais CascioResearch fellow at the Institute for the FutureSenior Fellow for the IEET, Foreign Policy Global top 100 thinkers
  • Dr Jane McGonigal, Director of Games Design, Institute for the Future- a global thought leader in future scenarios forecasting and mass collaborative problem-solving
  • Michael Schrage, Author “Serious Play”, Research Fellow MIT eMedia Lab
  • Chris Shipley, Executive Producer of DEMO, co-founder Guidewire Group
  • Dr BJ Fogg, Researcher, Innovator, Founder Persuasive Technologies Lab, Stanford University
  • Dr Richard Satava, Programme Manager bio-medicine DARPA, Prof of Surgery, Washington Univ and Medicine Futurist
  • Dr Peter Gloor, Research Scientist, MIT Centre for Collective Intelligence
  • Pete Williams, Partner & Chairman Deloitte Innovation Council, CEO Deloitte Digital
  • Dr Amantha Imber, PHD in Science of Creativity, Chief Inventologist and Inventium
  • Dr James Gardner, Author “How to Future-proof a bank”, Chief Technology Officer for largest Public Service Dept in UK, Thought Leader Gov 2.0
  • Spike Jones, Social Media Strategist, Storyteller second to none, Board of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association of America)
  • David Vaskevitch, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Corporation

Beyond the keynote presentations, we also offer a number of workshops for those wanting a deeper learning experience, and the popular EXPO on Friday 17 June will again buzz with emerging technologies and face-to-face experimentation, many of which ultimately make their way to adoption by our organisation.

Who attends AMPLIFY?

AMPLIFY is pretty unique. It’s NOT a commercial conference and AMP does not run it as a revenue exercise- its an investment in our organizational learning and an “open innovation exercise”. We offer this rich land immersive earning opportunity to everyone and anyone of AMP’s 3500 leaders and employees, our 2000 Financial Planners, our clients and business partners. Anyone can register, and sessions run throughout the day- from pre-work hours through lunch times till after hours –providing freedom of choice and flexibility, with some repeats. About 300 places are made available to the public on an application basis.

We converge both the physical and the virtual AMPLIFY through our website where anyone can subscribe to and participate in blogs, video content and twitter conversations throughout and beyond the AMPLIFY Festival, no matter where they are in the world. We plan to link up with the TEDX programme in 2011.

Curatorial approach to AMPLIFY

The programme is designed to engage both heart and mind, logic and emotion, theory and practice, serious learning and fun. Here is what we typically offer in the mix:

  • The Speaker Stream offers 45-minute keynote presentations followed by Q&A, supplemented by live streamed audio-casts and twitter streams
  • The one-day EXPO transforms AMP office common areas into a vibrant market of ideas and emerging technologies for participants to try out – presented by employee teams, partners, vendors, entrepreneurs and R&D institutions.
  • Deep-dive workshops with specialists in selected areas of particular interest to our business.
  • The Technology on Tap pub night offers after-hours infotainment as Australia’s leading PhD researchers explain what they’re studying, why we should care and how it will help make the world a better place-in 2 minutes! Audience votes determine a cash prize to help fund ongoing research.
  • We actively partner to amplify AMPLIFY, and in 2011 we will by partnering with the Lowy Institute and the Vivid Sydney and Creative Sydney Festivals produced by Events NSW, The City of Sydney as well as the Lowy Institute.
  • Creativity Tapas offering hands-on learning workshops looking at cultural trends, decentralised production and creative execution enabled by mass collaboration technologies, and immersion in creative pursuits, eg music, crafts, art, multimedia
  • We also offer sponsorship opportunities for brands who want to be associated with specific elements of the programme or the festival at large. Past sponsors include CSC, KPMG, Microsoft. For 2011, we are also in negotiation with Events NSW, Tata Consulting Services, Cisco, and TEDX.

My research interests

Given the theme of AMPLIFY 11 as “Everything Connects”, I am interested in how emerging technologies are opening up new ways of doing things, interacting, connecting, communicating, transacting, sharing, collaborating, creating, producing, learning, working. Particularly, the way this shifts and disrupts social constructs like privacy, choice, control, security, methods of production, organization of labour, corporate structures and leadership models, geographical boundaries, intellectual property, competition, community and civic participation, design of physical spaces,  governance, and behavioral economics.

The advances in search (speed, sentiment, scale, filters, type of content, real time news streams), storage and secure access (cloud), and connectivity via networks in real time from any device anywhere anytime and anyhow – and the ability to track that connectivity visually, as well as nano-and bio-medicine and synthetic solutions have application to our business in the following areas:

  • commercial building & shopping centre management,
  • actuarial calculation of risk, design of new financial products and services,
  • value and speed of information and speed of share market trades for our trading rooms,
  • re-imagining distribution channels,
  • bundling of services with other industries,
  • design of business models
  • how we design and organise work,
  • how we attract, re-train and retain the right skills,
  • how we operate for scale advantage AND for agility and speed to market.

I am interested in seeing how some of these ground-shifting technologies work, and in discussing these with social scientists and anthropologists to understand what it could mean in terms of social impact and our business, as well as venture capital firmsIn the context of the above explanation, specific R&D themes include:

  • computer-assisted persuasion,
  • eHealth solutions, nano-medicine, social health networks
  • human + machine intelligence and interaction,
  • algorithmic analysis of streaming news, social and location-based networks,
  • data mining and visualisation and real-time intelligent search,
  • innovation in devices for interaction eg mobile, speech recognition, sensing, haptics, speech indexing and enhanced human-human interaction,
  • automation of low value routine tasks

My research trip: 30 June to 27 July 2010

I will be visiting San Francisco, Seattle, Aspen (Ideas Festival), Boston (World Future Society Conference) , London, Oxford (TED Global), Bangalore, Chennai, Beijing and Shanghai (World Expo). I have opportunities in my schedule to meet up with our existing business partners, Thought leaders, visit R&D Centres and universities.My itinerary can be viewed at http://www.tripit.com/trip/public/id/A604F3B98AF1                                                                       

About AMP 

More at www.amp.com.auAMP is a leading wealth management company operating in Australia and New Zealand, with selective investment management activities in Asia (through AMP Capital Investors) and a growing banking business in Australia. AMP has two core business units:

  • AMP Financial Services which provides financial planning advice,superannuation, retirement savings and income products, investments, risk insurance and selected banking products; and 
  •  AMP Capital Investors which manages investments for clients across all themajor asset classes including equities, fixed interest, infrastructure, property including a number of shopping centres, diversified funds and multi-manager funds.

In Australia, AMP is a leading provider of retail and corporate superannuation and retirement income products. We have one of the largest planner forces in Australia and New Zealand. AMP is one of the region’s largest investment managers, with more than $114 billion in assets under management (as at 31 December 2009). AMP has:

  •      around 795,000 shareholders
  •      more than 3.6 million customers
  •      more than 3,500 employees
  •      more than 2,000 financial planners in Australia and New Zealand.

About my role

I specialise in change. Specifically, change to achieve a quantifiable shift in an innovative business culture, employee engagement and business performance and growth. Through the AMPLIFY Innovation & Thought Leadership Festival that I curate and produce every 2 years, we set imagination on fire with fresh and futuristic thinking. This is a major catalyst for change leading to business innovation, adoption of emerging technologies, entrepreneurial growth.

Through the Idea Frontier employee innovation programme, employees can effect change by planting their ideas into a smart system where they can grow, be pruned, expanded, bundled, propagated, weeded, harvested and/or taken to market by tapping into the collective intelligence and joint efforts of the entire organisation.

Through social media inside the company we ignite new relationships, collaboration and productivity. Change is catalysed through early experimentation with emerging technologies eg hardware/ devices/ interfaces and software eg Cloud-solutions, SaaS, Twitter, Yammer, wikis, blogs, team collaboration spaces, podcasts, and other community-based initiatives including Social Media Cafes, Blogger meet-ups, barcamps, innovation campaigns, employee short film festivals and other User-generated Content campaigns.

We set hearts and minds on fire by providing immersive experiences for creative learning, team bonding, personal growth and skills development. Examples include storytelling workshops, music jam sessions, group collaboration challenges, painting, scuplting, dancing, improv theatre and rich media production. This creates a change of heart!

We douse the skeptics with measurable ROI- the adoption of new strategy, implemented ideas, new products and services, business process improvements, our innovation pipeline, and a 43% positive change in employee engagement and culture over a period of 10 years to a high-performance culture benchmarked to world’s best companies.

In a nutshell, we catalyse a little magic every time.

My contact details: 

(My LinkedIn profile is here: http://au.linkedin.com/in/innovationculturechange ).

Annalie Killian, AMP, Sydney, Australia. Tel: +61(02) 92575000 email: annalie underscore killian at ampdot com dot au

 

Being helpful is the new black

Some months ago, I read this great line on the “Conversation Agent”blog of Valeria Matoni, and I loved it- it instantly conveyed to me the essence of social capital that is circulating so freely through the new digital and networked economy. Later that same morning, I had a meeting with Paul Dumble, CEO of the Australian Institute of Training and Development, who had heard about my work at the AMPLIFY Innovation Festival. Paul then asked if I might be available to speak about the practices that we lead at AMP around nurturing a collaborative culture at the AITD National Conference – and I was very honoured and so I agreed. 

That conference was today and it was a great deal of fun- and a lot of late nights because there never is time during the working day to do these sorts of things- to sort through and structure one’s thoughts- and then- to do a slide deck, or not. In the end, I decided to do it…..because I wanted to make visible the “online” manifestations of our thriving social media world behind the firewall of AMP.  But, in mid-presentation….the deck just died! All these beautiful slides just went blank…..

Speaker’s nightmare, but luckily, I had a print out of my pack, and it helps to know your subject really well!  (I have a suspicion that the Macbook Pro that I borrowed didnt have sufficient memory….even though I tested it all before the time and it was all good and well then!) 

Seeing a lot of what I talked about was self-leadership, experimentation, emergence, living in ambiguity and letting go of control….it was a perfect test ….and, I passed with flying colours- some even saying that my talk was even better without the slides! Thanks guys…very kind of you!

I promised I would share them online via SlideShare, so here it is:

<div style=”width:477px” id=”__ss_3816081″><strong style=”display:block;margin:12px 0 4px”>Being Helpful is the New Black: Building a collaborative culture and accelerating organisational learning and strategic renewal</strong><div style=”padding:5px 0 12px”>View more documents from maverickwoman.</div></div>

 

 

 

 

 

AMPLIFY – researching in Europe and the US 2008 (Part 1)

I have just returned from 10 days in Europe and 3 weeks in the USA as part of my research for the 2009 AMP Innovation and Thought Leadership Festival, which will operate under the brand “AMPLIFY” in future.

Many people asked me to blog my trip, but I decided not to take a laptop- I didnt want to suffer continuous partial attention deficit disorder– a Blackberry already creates enough of that with its constant stream of work emails!

I wanted to fully immerse myself in learning and soak it up like a sponge.  But, for those of you who are interested in what I did, where I went and who I met, this post is part 1 of a 2 part series providing a quick rundown.  

In London I met with or visited Barcamp 5, The London Business School, Shaping Tomorrow founder Michael Jackson, Dr James Gardner, fellow Aussie and Head of Innovation and Technology at LLoyds TSB and author of the popular blog Banker VisionRational Madness founder Paul Levy, Prof Bruce Lloyd, Professor of Strategic Management at London Southbank University, Dr Tim Jones, principal of Innovaro, and had lunch with Intranet Managers of France Telecom/ Orange, BBC and RBS as guest of Paul Miller, CEO of the Intranet Benchmarking Forum, of which I am the founding Board Member for Asia Pacific. 

This was followed by an exhiliarating and stimulating 3 days at Picnic 2008 in Amsterdam.

I also had an amazing conversation over dinner with Hennie von Egmund, Senior Executive of Culture and Transformation of Rabo Bank and visited Dr Paul Iske, Chief Dialogues Officer of ABN Amro at Dialogues House in Amsterdam, where I learnt about his innovative brainchild, the Institute of Brilliant Failures. This is all about giving entrepreneurs who have failed once in business a second chance- and the logic is just BRILLIANT- they are a 50% safer bet than first-time entrepreneurs! 

What I found MOST fascinating about the trip was the contrast between the European and the Anglo-saxon business cultures and the approach to science, innovation, arts, creativity and business.  In Europe, they are indistinguishable and naturally part of the ecosystem.  In the UK, business was definitely in one box, art and creativity in another and science in a third, with innovation desperately trying to straddle them. 

I rushed back home for a blurry week of bad jetlag, steering another Ideas Playground business growth campaign I was running at the office, picked up a fresh change if clothes and took off again for the USA.

But more about that in part 2.