Design Thinking on PMTV

We have been pleased to partner with Sam Neo and the team at People Mentality of Singapore, learning from them and hopefully working on some projects together this year. They have just launched People Mentality TV, a new show on YouTube, and their first interview is with Tim Schuurman of DesignThinkers Academy. Sam and Tim […]

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Allow People to Fail

If you say you want innovation, but you punish people for failure, you are sending mixed messages, and your employees will follow your actions more quickly than they will follow your words. By its nature, innovation requires people to try new, untested ideas and see if they work. Some will, some won’t. If you reward […]

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Are You Ready For Them?

A recent article from the World Economic Forum (the Davos folks) examined an OECD study of how well countries are preparing students for the workforce. An interesting result is that Singapore tops the list when it comes to collaborative problem solving skills among 15-year olds, a key metric in the study. What does this mean? […]

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When Innovation Isn’t Part of the Culture

Firms in Asia face a challenge their Western counterparts might not. I was giving a talk earlier this year when the subject of innovation came up. An employee from an engineering firm (in this case, a Western multinational’s operation in China) raised his hand and said, “In China, we were raised not to question things, […]

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Watching for New Opportunities

Fans of the Fox TV show Arrested Development — cancelled back in 2006 — were happy to see it reappear with a new season on Netflix in 2013. Though other cancelled shows have returned to television in the last few years (Family Guy and Futurama come to mind), Arrested Development returned online. That may set […]

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Bureaucracies Can Help—That’s Why We Have Them

Creativity and bureaucracy may seem like two completely different animals but, like monkeys and pandas, they can learn to coexist (Do monkeys and pandas coexist? Even if they don’t, it makes for a nice mental picture). You expect your employees to do the new things: create new content, design new graphics, imagine new products, come […]

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Have the Right Space

Earlier this summer the Designing Leaders team had a chance to visit a major creative technology firm in Shenzhen, China. Being such a large company you might expect them to have a pretty large, and they did. In fact, they had 8 of them. As we drove from the building for our meeting to the […]

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The Agility Challenge

Many organizations talk about the need for agility, and it’s not really a new concept. People have been talking about this for a few years, increasingly recognizing that the rapid pace of change is the new normal and companies that cannot operate in that kind of environment may not last very long. The difference between […]

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The Importance of Backups

OK, maybe this does not really seem like a leadership topic, but it can still be helpful, especially if you are leading creative, innovative people who like to test out new things. Keep a backup copy of everything that might change. When you are trying something new, make sure you are able to revert to […]

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Getting Back On The Horse

This may be a bit of an Americanism — cowboys and the Old West and all that — but the concept is universal: if you fall off the horse, you need to get back on it to keep moving forward. That’s important, because any organization that is going to try new things, to encourage innovation […]

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