This has been a very tough two months for me in terms of time and I have not been spending much time writing my blog as much as I used to. It is getting a bit difficult to find the time as we were going through a reorganization, adding new offices, putting new management system in place and at the same time trying to finish my two books on the weekends which will be published in May and Oct this year.
I am excited about my new Design Thinking and Strategic Innovation book that I hope to fill a gap in the market place. And management of the company is taking more and more of my time. So the time I can afford to touch projects is shrinking, I think I only spend 25-30% on projects these days instead of 40%. And people think I spend a lot of time on my MISC magazine, the reality is it is less than 2% of my time. I have a great team helping me with that. I only pick the theme, cover girl and the designs.
We have always designed Idea Couture to be a company that is agile, high style and deserve great love. But we recognize this is an ambitious goal because we want style, speed and substance. Not everyone can make it. I remember someone said something like "Out of difficulties and impossibilities grow miracles." Perhaps we’re naïve. Idea Couture is not a place for small thinkers or people with big egos. It is place for people who believe in being AWESOME and won’t spend time fighting for excuses.
I take pride of seeing people that I mentor growing everyday. We’ve come a long way since launching what we called an innovation firm – whatever that means. It is not a design firm with MBAs; or management consulting firms with some designers or digital agencies calling themselves innovation agencies. We are built from the ground up to do what we’re supposed to do – we work with organizations to uncover innovative ideas that sustainably grow market share or create new markets through powerful customer experiences innovation. We are close to the completion of our reorganization and I am very excited to wait for more new people joining us every week.
Our technology team is amazing and we’re now adapting new methodologies so we can deliver better and faster cross-platform solutions. Our strategy team is growing and growing and have so much untapped potential (unsolicited resumes are flying in dozens everyday).
Our design team is world class and I personally make sure they will remain the best all the time. They not only produce great work, but also open minded and egoless, and fun. At Idea Couture, design is at our very core, not the surface. Design here is under transformation and it is not done within a studio, it is done in the real world in future tense. Design is where technology and art breakeven and where love and logic intersects.
Our insight team is AWESOME with all capital and it is our intellectual powerhouse. When the company advanced forward to a new stage, our foresight capability was not meeting the standard that I required both in terms of strategic knowledge and professionalism. So we needed a full upgrade. Now we have a new global team and a plan to fully integrate that into our innovation process.
We have no time for amateurism. People are committed to giving their best. We just launched our idea couture culture page, which is my personal most favorite part of our site that best represents us. It shows us who we are as individuals which really what this company is all about. People are here for a reason, not for a job. They find their best and it is our job to bring out their bests. It is not always easy. It is how they find meanings. There is a strong correlation between job satisfaction and meaning.
We refuse to act like a “think tank" as we don’t just think, we do.We don't just produce report, we ation on them. We use visual output for sensemaking and mobilizing change that increases organization adaptability and agility.
We refuse to accept any "best practices" as we are the one who invent “next practices”.
We refuse to accept that “amateur foresights” is better than no foresights. Actually it is better to have no foresights than wasting time on amateur futurists.
We refuse to accept that "ideas are everything", in fact ideas don’t worth much. They are cheap. There are no shortage of people with ideas and can never execute anything. The art of jump starting innovation is strategic commitment and it is more valuable because nothing happens until someone do something.
We refuse to accept people with "big egos", it is simply not part of our culture. But there is one nice thing about egotists is that they don’t talk and think about other people at all.
Idea Couture is a working prototype and will remain a working prototype in time to come.