Inspiration, anyone?

Remember the movieclip of the advertiser and the consumer, sitting in a restaurant and talking about their relationship? The makers of the commercial 'Bring the love back - The Break Up' won already four awards for this creative, inspiring, but most of all funny movie. Right now their second movie is presented on the Internet. He is still an advertiser, she is no longer a consumer. Does he have a plan? And will she buy it? I would invite you all to see this 'Inspiration, anyone?'.


Innovation for Hard Times

On businessweek.com i just read the text beneath. To make sure that i will not invalidate or take the edge of the text i shamelesly copied it. I want to stimulate you to read the rest of the text on Businessweek.com

The article is written by John Hagel and John Seely Brown. They are co-chairman and independent co-chairman, respectively, of Deloitte LLP's Center for Edge Innovation. John Hagel writes a blog at Edge Perspectives. Their monthly column, Innovation on the Edge, explores what executives can learn from innovation emerging on various forms of edges, including the edges of institutions, markets, geographies and generations.

(I added the link of his blog in our blogroll)

The intro of the article:

Innovation for Hard Times

"Cutting staff or programs while demanding more of your workers will yield diminishing returns. Executives should seek leverage to create economic value

By John Hagel and John Seely Brown

Everyone is familiar with financial leverage. It is a powerful way to improve performance when times are good. The danger, of course, is that financial leverage magnifies the impact of downturns in demand as well. It can literally kill a company, as we are witnessing in the financial-services industry.

But there are other forms of leverage. And executives should be searching for them in order to navigate the current crisis and allow firms to continue to create economic value, rather than becoming a victim of the destruction in value unfolding around us."


Effectively harnessing capability and learning leverage requires another form of innovation—institutional innovation. Companies will have to redefine governance structures as well as the roles and relationships required to effectively mobilize and coordinate activities of large numbers of firms. There's significant complexity in trying to scale the number of participants in networks and conventional rules might not apply.

This institutional innovation should be pursued in rapid increments. Rather than reimagining from the ground up a fundamentally different way of organizing activities across thousands of participants, companies need to find pragmatic ways to move from where they are today in ways that generate near-term financial returns. The well-known case of Procter & Gamble's (PG) "Connect and Develop" program illustrates some of the opportunities that can be reaped by building broader networks to source promising product ideas. Nearly 50% of P&G's products today have benefited from some form of external collaboration. Other companies might follow this example to position themselves to pursue even more powerful forms of capability and learning leverage, especially once the economy recovers.


Business model innovation

With great pleasure i read the blog of Bas van Oosterhout (basvanoosterhout.com). Earlier this year he presented his thoughts about business model 2.0; manage your value chain. I found this particulary interesting because Bas is a consultant at capgemini and i was very pleased to read that they adopt these kind of thoughts which are closely related to imagineering.

Hereby, the presentation he made about this topic.


Self-scanning at Albert Heijn (Kaatsheuvel)

Some of you might have heard of the self-scanning system in the Albert Heijn. Since 2006 the organisation of Albert Heijn has been focusing on a new innovative ways of shopping in supermarkets. Since the end of this year’s some shops in Utrecht, Eindhoven and Helmond have used this system and after a lot of adjustments to the method it is now being implemented to other smaller cities in the Netherlands.

As I knew some of you have heard about it but haven't seen it yet, I decided to go to the Albert Heijn in Kaatsheuvel. Here the system has been implemented a couple of weeks ago while the store got totally renovated.
I brought my camera and made some pictures of the system, I have also been able to talk to the supermarket's manager to discuss the efficiency and use of the system.

In general this is how the system works. When you enter the supermarket you bump into a wall full of scanners (see above). You have to put your own bonus-card in front of a big company-scanner which will activate one of the hand-scanners. This way the hand-scanner is linked to your account of Albert Heijn. (You can only use the system if you have a bonus card.)

Once you have your hand-scanner you can walk through the supermarket with both your trolley and hand-scanner to run your errands (see below). While you grab a product you scan it yourself and it will be added on a list which is shown on the hand-scanner (see photo). It is an easy to use system, you can add things easily and can erase products as well. (btw, don't worry about me harassing ladies in the Albert Heijn, she volunteered to be a model..)

Once you have scanned all the items you need, and placed them in your trolley, you can go to the final stand which contains again a company-scanner which is able to make a total list of your errands. Your discounts will be subtracted and you can pay by using a chip- or regular bankcard.(see below)

This system has a lot of advantages for the people who don't like to spend too much time on running their errands. Employees of the Albert Heijn will still be present near the scanner-walls to answer any of your questions, but as these questions are far less than the regular personal attention at a register, the amount of employees which are needed to help the customers have decreased immensely.

Also employees will check some of the trolleys on a sampling basis to make sure people stick to the system. Then again, the management board is aware that even though some people might forget to scan any of the items, or may steal them on purpose, this is an neglect able amount as it does not even come close to the regular costs for personnel at regular registers.

In general an interesting system which could be an incredible efficient system. The only problem that the supermarket experiences so far is that it takes a while to convince everybody (especially the elderly) to use the system. Therefore they are obliged to still use the same old-fashioned cash registers as well. Ah well, maybe it just needs some more time.. Actually I am quite a big fan of the system so far..


Geek Squad

A good example of using people's common perspective on computer experts, in an appreciative way. This company at the moment is a well-running organisation in the USA and also started new agencies in Spain, UK and Canada.


British Futurist / Futurologist Patrick Dixon

Some of you already heard of this movie, but I would definately recommend everybody to watch the movie if you have the time.

In the movie Patrick Dixon speaks about the future consumers, lifestyles and online communities - impact of new technology, communications, wireless networking on business and personal life.

In my opinion, pretty in line with what we have been working on the last couple of weeks..

Power of perspectives..

After the classes of Vincent Platenkamp I started thinking of some other examples which could explain the relevance of different perspectives..

Need of multiple perspectives

As I mentioned during class, one good example of a movie which gives you a good insight in how important different perspectives are is; vantage point. This movie is based on the principle that you need the perspective of all the people involved in one single scene (the assassination of a president) to get the complete picture. Underneath you can find the trailer of the movie. (If you have the time, I recommend you to watch it. If any of you needs a copy of the movie let me know.)

Trailer of the movie 'Vantage Point'

Power of using just one particular perspective

In contrast to this movie, I wanted to show you some pictures of an amazing artist callad Julian Beever (or also called; the Pavement Picasso)

Painting of the Pavement Picasso, made with crayon. As you can see it looks like a nice 3D drawing of our planet, sketched on one of the most busy places in Edinburgh city. His art is amazing as you can see, the only thing is that people can only view his art from one perspective. As you can see in the next picture..

This is just one of his great drawings, for more examples please take a look at the following website; http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm


Imagineering Startpage

I wanted to inform you that during summer I designed my own startpage on the internet which contains all relevant information on imagineering related subjects. Reason that I started this homepage is that I thought it was pretty difficult to find any platforms that have combined some of the elements of Imagineering the way we know it.

Please have a look at the webpage; http://imagineering.startpagina.nl

(picture above is example of one of the items on the startpage, an office building of Longaberger Basket Company, Newark/Ohio..)

Unfortunately it is in Dutch, but some of the links will be self explanatory even for the foreigners amongst us. Thing that I like is that this startpage contains quite a lot of practical examples on companies that have thought outside of the well-known box.. (or reshaped their box like whe have learned could be an interesting perspective as well.. ;) ) I also included a list of nice buildings/concepts to see when you go abroad during trips. Some of these companies are well known, other ones I bumped into myself during some of my trips.

Most of the items posted on the startpage are found during my own research, or I got inspired by books. I would like to ask you, if you could keep your eyes open, and if you would have any advise on things that could be added to the website to let me know, It would be a nice place to get some sort of an overview on Imagineering related topics for both us as future (imagineering) students.


Google.org; searching for solutions

Companies nowadays include the wellbeing of the (global) environment in their objectives to spread positivism around their brand(s). Today i read an article about how Google (via google.org) tries to prevent people from getting the flu by letting them know when the risk of being 'infected' is the highest. They are actually not measuring how much people have the flu, but they make conclusions based on the searches that have been done on topics related to the flu and the outcomes are strikingly accurate.

This flu-initiative is one of the outcomes within their overall 'global challenge' aspirations via five major initiaves which are mentioned in the text below.

They state:

Google.org aspires to use the power of information and technology to address the global challenges of our age: climate change, poverty and emerging disease. In collaboration with experienced partners working in each of these fields, we will invest our resources and tap the strengths of Google’s employees and global operations to advance five major initiatives: Develop Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, RechargeIT, Predict and Prevent, Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services, and Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

You should definetely take a look at their website if you want to learn/know more about it, because they have a lot of initiatives that can boost the wellbeing of the earth (people as well as the environment)


The American Human

This is not a rant or rave about the shortcomings or greatness of the United States. It is actually a post made because I have found some interesting things on the country and it's position in the modern era and I would like to "spread the wealth around" (little campaign humor) with you all.

I will present you with contrasting views on different subjects and leave things free for interpretation:

First, I would like to present to you a magazine: Adbusters. Written with a, sometimes nauseating, pessimistic editorial line, it likes to critique modern western (mainly American) culture, sub-culture and counter-culture.

The first article has been much talked about and is quite interesting. I highly recommend reading the comments as well.

Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization

Other interesting articles are:

America’s Slippery Slope


Quit Facebook

I recommend you surf around and I'm sure you will find interesting things, you may not necessarily agree on, but will give you a different perspective on a couple of things.


In contrast, I would like to leave you with a couple of articles about the election that recently took place. Find the links to imagineering, you will undoubtedly see obvious cross-over themes.

What Have We Created?!

How He Did It

An excerpt from an article:

Obama’s Third Way

"If he truly wants to mold the future, Obama will have to demonstrate similar leadership. His favorite thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote in 1841 that "the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation ... have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made … Innovation is the salient energy, Conservatism the pause on the last moment." To create a new governing majority, Obama must now embody the idea of innovation."

And finally the video of the speech, a great speech, where the tone themes of co-creation, dialogue, innovation, the view of others not as competition or rivals, a great purpose, "big hairy audacious goals", etc. are played in to really connect and get people behind you.