World of pain

Actually the double events of the World of Learning & Festival of Innovation, both at the NEC, both today. Separated by a hundred yards but with so few attendees that you could happily walk around them in less than 30 mins and then circle back to the relevant companies.

ION – innovation owners network. Prof Adrian Cole started the lunchtime session with the rather provocative ‘Do we need Chief Innovation Officers’? Provocative because for a network about innovation and high level buy in the answer was a resounding, maybe, but they also come with health warnings. There was a very light touch plug for the network.

Personally, I would say that if innovation isn’t already (or any longer) a core part of what each C-level exec is doing then it’s probably a good idea; if only to kick people into action. However, innovation is a hygiene factor for success that should be part of each C-level exec’s portfolio.

Keynote from Michael Perrault (recently the Manager of the Personal Leadership Development Team at Intel Corp) – very impressive. Mike presented two sets of analyses frameworks. Michael introduced and explained a 3-day course in human dynamics in about an hour. You wouldn’t want to try and implement but there was enough there to know if you should.

The first framework considered decision styles and separated out amount of information used in decision making (satisficers and maximisers) from the solution focus adopted (uni-focussed and multi-focussed). This gave rise to the ubiquitous consultants 2×2 matrix with decisive, hierarchical, flexible, and integrator styles. To this Mike added a fifth style of systemic which was a combination of hierarchical & integrator (apparently very rare and difficult to work with). He further nuanced this picture by identifying the leadership role (public facing) from the thinking role (private) in decision making.

Mike also talked briefly about the Facet5 framework of personality assessment (from University of Edinburgh and building on the Big Five). Four main axis (will, energy, affectation, and control plus a fifth in emotionality which acts as a conditioner on the others). This boiled down to team roles, approaches and the suitability of a mixed team with different personalities within it. The Facet5 assessment was being used to identify the causes of conflict and suggest routes to resolution.

Unfortunately I didn’t stay for Darrell Mann, but they gave out the book & slides. Even more unfortunately, the paradigm shifting talk I left to attend wasn’t.

However lots of good innovation and showcase for the SPEED entrepreneurs from the Universities. It was a bit of a shame that the conference hall was nearly empty every time I popped in.