In praise of improvisation

It’s about discovering that inner child…I was going to write a post on customer service in a recession but then I got distracted by a great article on improvised theatre posted on Innovation Tools. It made me realise that my original impulse – to post a piece on the recently-ended London Jazz Festival was the best one to go for as both the article and my experiences at the festival were inspirational and, yes, they do provide useful lessons for customer service.

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Could you stop using e-mail?

E-mail - consigned to the dustbin of history?Just back from a great evening of stimulating conversation about the pros and cons of e-mail at a Knowledge Cafe organised by knowledge consultant David Gurteen. Luis Suarez of IBM kicked off the evening by proposing that e-mail was a very poor tool for collaboration and there were more productive ways of communicating. Luis has not used e-mail for around 8 months now and seems all the happier for it. Through talking to a range of interesting people – the Cafe is structured Continue reading “Could you stop using e-mail?”

The God of Carnage meets customer service

“Come down late again and I’ll wrap this round your head - nah, only kidding mate!”Recently I spent an evening at the theatre seeing Yazmina Reza’s new play God of Carnage. It’s got an excellent cast (perhaps the only time you can see DI Rebus, Voldemort and Debbie Archer in the same bill) and only detains you for about 95 minutes. Its central, rather bleak premise sparked thoughts about the conditions under which superior service flourishes.

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Business innovation 5) What’s your innovation mythology?

Mythic creature - possibly found in some organisationsI was in a meeting with one of my clients recently where we were reviewing a document that dealt with how to get the voice of the customer more embedded into their project methodology. Following a battle with Microsoft Word’s spell-checker the document referred to a project mythology. Laughs all round but this got me thinking: methodologies are all well and good but it’s an organisation’s mythology that can make all the difference between successful innovation and unsuccessful stagnation.

Why so? Well, let’s look at myths and what they mean. Continue reading “Business innovation 5) What’s your innovation mythology?”

Business innovation 3) Innovation and creativity – part 2: practicalities

Artist’s original workMost organisations suffer from a wariness of creativity stemming from the myths that I outlined last week. As a consequence, organisations typically don’t set out in an intentional and systematic way to build and maintain their creativity – and this is a wasted opportunity.

This fear of creativity Continue reading “Business innovation 3) Innovation and creativity – part 2: practicalities”