Welcome back dear friends of CompanyPirate. This is my 50th treasure and an anniversary edition, so to speak. To celebrate the day and as a thank you for your loyalty, this time I’m offering a double dose of nuggets on my core themes of innovation and remote work.
Conny Dethloff, who was last represented in Schatzkiste 43, excavated one of his older articles on innovation this week. I like Conny’s simple definition of innovation: something is new and creates added value. I also find it laudable that he does not limit the “something” any further. Because I keep noticing that people only think about products when it’s about innovation. Innovation in services, methods and processes can be just as valuable and challenging. What is the manager supposed to do to promote innovation? Best he does nothing. Yes, you read right. Because the use of classic management tools usually harms innovation. Even better, of course, is to leave things out. Do you really need the Jour fixe or do you prefer to dedicate the time on Slacktime (see Nugget #4)? Even the application of key figures such as 10 innovations per quarter does not add up any value. You will surely know many more examples.
Innovation 2.0 – Can innovations be managed? (5 min, text, German)
Those who like it more visual will certainly like Nugget #2, a TEDx Talk by Prof . Dr. Christian Bluemelhuber. At this point a big thank you to Heiko Bartlog, who advertised the TEDx Talk. Christian Bluemelhuber’s thesis is “One cannot plan for the future. You can only play it!”. The talk is a perfect fit to Nugget #1, because it starts with the question of what management actually does. “A manager shapes the future.” This is usually done using the APIC cycle (Analysis, Predict, Implement, Control). In a time that is changing ever faster, however, it is unfortunately often one step too late. Here I felt caught, because this procedure is unfortunately strongly programmed. It is more effective to “play” a future, to challenge luck, to remove blinkers and to recognize miracles. Bluemelhuber manages to pack scientific experiments, book tips and unusual concepts such as “alpine management” into a very entertaining lecture. Have a good time! (17 min, video, German)
Less entertainment is Nugget #3, but the theses are at least as exciting and valuable. At ChangeX, core theses fromWolf Lotter’s book “Innovation. Dispute writing for barrier-free thinking.” are summarized. I already mentioned the book in my last article. At the beginning of the essay, a topic is addressed, which I have often observed. Classical organizations are built to maintain their existence. Unfortunately, this is not compatible with innovation at all. I fully agree to this statement: “But the bureaucracy is the nuclear waste of modern organization.” So how can we create organisations that are at least less hostile to innovation? How can we give the creative interferers a shelter? It takes facilitators, and that’s who I want to be. I want to take away the fear of making mistakes, encourage experiments, promote diversity and irritate and question the organisation. This is not always easy, because you also get headwind and sometimes you fall back into old patterns and behave in accordance with the system. However, the essay confirms that this is the right way forward. A long read worth every minute. I promise!
The Innovation of Innovation (13 min, text, German)
For the podcast fans is my Nugget #4, the Firmenfunk podcast is at the top of my favorites list and I have already been a guest twice. In episode 30 Robert Lippert from Mayflower is a guest of Leonid Lezner. At the beginning the term Slacktime is clarified, of which some may already know 20% time or the FedEx Days in connection with Google. At Mayflower, who offer consulting and development for web projects, 10% of the time is reserved for Slacktime. To better synchronize project time and slacktime there are the so-called Maydays. By the way, what the employees work on is not regulated. I particularly like the example of an ATARI emulator, which has nothing to do with Mayflower’s core business. However, the project has improved the coding skills of the developer and was eventually used in recruiting. I bet the ROI is higher than with some traditional training. This episode is also about financials and how to convince sponsors.
FF030 Slacktime for more innovation in the company (46 min, audio, German)
A “Quickie” about remote work is Nugget #5, via Stephan List I became aware of the Remote Only Manifesto. Even if I use the tag #remotework myself, I prefer to talk about remote co-work or even better remote collaboration. It only becomes interesting for me when the cooperation is just as successful as working together in the same place. In German, I would probably speak of location-independent cooperation, but even that sounds a bit unwieldy. Like Stephan List, I do not quite understand some of the theses. A widely used asynchronous communication medium is e.g. email. If everyone exchanges their weekly phone call (=synchronous) for emails, this certainly does not lead to better communication and cooperation. The advantages, which are listed by Remote Only, I sign again to 100%.
Working, always everywhere: The Remote Only Manifesto (2 min, text, German)
If you want to work completely remote and fancy the perspective of a digital nomad, you’ll find it in Nugget #6. The #Freuberuflerin Sandra has written a “manual” for digital nomads. There are quite different variants of digital nomadism. From the classic way around the world to the occasional time out, where you can work from any location, everything is possible. After the introduction Sandra describes three prerequisites for a digital nomadic life. First of all, you need a job that can be done from anywhere. Even better, of course, is a passive income such as a blog. And then you need the right equipment in the form of a laptop or smartphone and a backpack. I really liked the tips on luggage.
How to become a digital nomad: Work from anywhere (9 min, text, German)
At this point again many thanks to the loyal readers and the positive feedback I got over the last weeks. Share the treasures with your friends, acquaintances and networks. Sharing makes you rich! Have a nice weekend and I am looking forward to the next 50.