innovation

A 16-post collection

Technology4Directors: Boards need the capacity and capability to oversight technology and digital strategy

Last Friday I moderated a most insightful and highly experienced panel of Elizabeth Proust, Graeme Samuel, Doron Ben-Meir and Andrew Walduck to guide an important gathering of board members and senior executives through the complex issues facing enterprises in applying technology to achieve goals in today’s globally connected world. It was a joy to work with a panel that had decades of experience on major company boards, directing the technology and digital strategies for major corporations, regulating Australian companies, experience in startups, entrepreneurship and government innovation systems. The lunchtime session was put together by Michael Alf and myself to examine why major technology projects too often fail to achieve the goals that were used to justify the investment, run...

When Smartphones Meet Big Data

The amount of information circulating every day and that is made easily available via smartphones has created an augmented reality that has in turn created a very different way of living at the beginning of the 21 Century. This information abundance is both a blessing and a curse. But innovation is creating new services previously unimagined such as aggregating the photos and videos shot by thousands at the same major event to create a better record of that event than any one of the people could create on their smartphone by themselves. People can forget things now because it is so easy for technology to remind them later. The glory that was once credited to memory is stolen because technology...

Innovating on Innovation

Last month I spoke at the AICD Company Directors National Conference in Hamilton Island on the Digital Disruption Panel where I developed the theme of Innovating on Innovation. The panel was well received and I would like to summarise those ideas in this Blog. Smart enterprises innovate on innovation to drive disruption to their markets rather than waiting to be disrupted. Each new wave of innovation builds on the previous one; people and enterprises build capacity and capability wave by wave. In this scenario, learning is more important than strategy. What we need to learn is to position people and enterprises to take advantage of emerging trends and strategies. Consider the establishment of the canals between Chicago and New York...

The Death of the Salesman

In the late 1970s IBM was in full flight as the world’s most profitable company with a sales force envied by all its competitors. As a product of IBM sales training I was in New York in 1984 guiding my customer BHP on an investigation into best practice in steel information systems which gave me the chance to witness an unbelievably great performance by Dustin Hoffman in Arthur Miller’s iconic play Death of a Salesman. Miller saw his play as setting forth what happens when a man does not have a grip on the forces of life. Today buyers are globally connected and are engaging with other similar buyers as well as with experienced users on case studies...

Is Technology a Top 10 Board Issue?

Technology has changed how people communicate, collaborate and behave, creating better ways of working, learning and living which in turn is changing how organisations can be designed. Consequent changes to the economy and society are profound. Boards of many organisations are ill equipped to meet this challenge. Just as decisions on war are too important to leave to the generals, in today’s world decisions on technology are too important to be left to the CIO and external consultants. A good board must have a real understanding of the opportunities and threats, and increasingly directors must have either a technology background, or had a senior executive role that developed a working knowledge of technology issues. A corollary of this is...

How Will Social Media Shape How We Communicate and Collaborate?

When human beings came down out of trees they had few advantages over their predators other than they could think more deeply, communicate their thoughts to each other more effectively and run for longer. It was a miracle that we survived long enough to allow us to dominate this planet. But dominate this planet we have and that has been achieved in no small part through communications technologies that develop ideas to improve our productivity which in turn gave us the power to harness our environment for our own benefit. This current change in communications technologies enabling social media is likely to drive changes of a type and magnitude not seen before. I would like to explore some of those...

How to Fix the Copyright System

In many of my posts this year I have been calling for a radical overhaul of the copyright system for the digitally connected economies of the 21st century. The complexity of this challenge is daunting. But despite that the task is daunting it is important to describe some practical ideas to fix the problem. Those who create new things, whether that is music or memes or stories or services and establish trust should be rewarded by the society. To do this we need to give our innovators and inventors the power to control their innovations and inventions, to set their price and the conditions that apply to their creations. Modern technology gives us almost unlimited choices in how we might...

Bringing Us Together Enabled by Technology

I just listened to Eric Whitacre conduct a choir where physically present voices were in the moment enhanced by 32 voices from 32 countries creating a cacophony of wonderful sounds that emotively, powerfully, illustrated how artists have inspired scientists to work with engineers to create something that really has the power to united us. http://www.ted.com/talks/ericwhitacrevirtualchoirlive.html Composer and conductor Eric Whitacre has inspired millions by bringing together “virtual choirs,” singers from many countries spliced together on video. In the above link, for the first time ever, he creates the experience in real time, as 32 singers from around the world Skype in to join an onstage choir (assembled from three local colleges) for an epic...

Copyright must address modern ways of working, learning and living

Last Friday’s decision of the full bench of the Federal Court must be appealed to the High Court and the High Court should over turn this poor decision. I established one of the first multimedia development companies in Australia in 1985 and since then I have had to address the many practical problems caused by copyright law in building innovative products using multimedia technologies. It is never good for the wider public good when monopolies use the law to protect their lucrative revenue streams which is what the AFL is trying to do in this case. The law was sensibly changed in 2006 to allow recording of free to air broadcast content for later viewing and as there is...

Stop Being a Bully Mr Demetriou

Sorry Mr Demetriou there is no such thing as a simple change to copyright laws our copyright law is broken and needs to be fixed properly to reward creation and innovation in a digital world where billions of people are connected to trillions of devices. Cries to protect consumer interests are not a furphy as Demetriou thundered last week. Like most bullies he attacks his opponents personally, not the substance of the debate by saying “This is a nonsense that Optus are peddling, that says that this is a win for the consumer is complete garbage.” At the core of copyright and intellectual property law is that our society is granting the creator or inventor a monopoly for a limited...