Is Twitter Innovative? @biz at #wif10

June 11, 2010

Social Networking was well represented at the World Innovation Forum including discussion of Web 2.0 from former Amazon Chief Scientist Andreas Weigend, technology venture capitalist Brian Shawn Cohen and Twitter co-founder @Biz Stone.  At events, I use Twitter for taking notes (I’ll quote a few in this post).

RT @stephenshapiro: Biz stone from twitter on the stage. Surreal tweeting about twitter. #wif10 < surreal? no, flashback to 2008/9

5:36 PM Jun 8th via TweetDeck  [I also wrote a few blog posts about Twitter in 2008/9, and here I am again writing about it]

How do we innovate?

There are many ways that companies can innovate including internal development, crowdsourcing, and through acquisition.  Twitter has done all of these.  Twitter started as a very simple tool – broadcasting 140-character messages sent via SMS (text) or web for the world to see.  One of the most innovative things that Twitter did was not limit how users used the tool.  Several features created by users, such as hashtags and retweets, were eventually adopted by Twitter and built into the system.

@Biz at #WIF10 People are basically good and if you give them a tool to do good they will

5:36 PM Jun 8th by @KenMcArthur

Twitter has acquired a number of large pieces of the partner ecosystem including search (Summize) and an iPhone application (Tweetie).  They have also followed/copied ideas from other companies such as Lists (as seen on TweetDeck and Seesmic) and location/geo (many tools such as FourSquare and Gowalla).  I have wondered if we can really call Twitter innovative since so much of the improvements have come from outside.  When you consider that Twitter is a very young company (3 years) with a small staff, I think it is innovative that they have used all means possible to grow at such a rapid pace.  The community may be a little disgruntled form time-to-time, but that is even happening with Facebook and Apple.

Twitter had early fame, @biz concerned they don’t become like a crazy famous child actor, want to be like Ron Howard instead #wif10

5:38 PM Jun 8th via TweetDeck

People get all wide-eyed when you hear of the millions of people using the service who are sending over 65 millions tweets a day.  Twitter allows for connection of people.  Case in point of translating online to in-person: click on the tab of “Blogger Photos” at the top of my blog page.  Another example – I posted this question online at the beginning of Biz’s interview.

#wif10 @biz says that the starting point for Twitter is SEARCH – agree, but we need better analytics & access to more data

5:32 PM Jun 8th via TweetDeck

When we reached the Q&A, I ran down and asked Biz the question about analytics in person and got the answer:

Stone: We will provide a metric dashboard for twitter soon.#WIF10

June 8, 2010 5:57:50 PM EDT by @daniel_krauss

The Star Wars reference for 2010! RT @stevetodd @stu is directly asking @biz about Twitters search deficiencies. Brave, young padawan #wif10

5:58 PM Jun 8th by @InnosightTeam

In typical Twitter fashion, friends in person and online were excited that Biz gave me props for my @stu name (which I learned thanks to a RT by Hutch Carpenter of a blog from Jesse Stay).

Twitter Trends

This was the second year that the World Innovation Forum had a Bloggers Hub and there was a significant difference in the Twitter experience.  Last year only about half of the bloggers attending were active Twitter users, yet the conference trended worldwide twice thanks to lots of interaction from people around the world watching the stream.  This year not only were all of the bloggers on Twitter, but there was a lot of other very good Twitter content from the paying audience (which had doubled to 900 people).  There were over 3500 Tweets sent (you can see them all & download them from Twapperkeeper), yet the conference did not even trend locally.  Did Twitter downtime affect this – it was flakier this year than last, did the overload from the new iPhone launch affect the stability for the whole week?  Maybe it was just a mixture of other news and people being very busy (hopefully, with the economy picking up).  Sports, entertainment and news may dominate the trending topics of Twitter, but it is without a doubt that there are a lot of innovative communication going through Twitter’s channel.

RT @frijolita: Open exchange of information *can* have a positive global impact says @biz #WIF10 < such as getting together for beer!

5:48 PM Jun 8th

Stuart Miniman

Twitter: @stu


Seth Godin: Creating Tribes to Drive Change

June 9, 2010

Seth Godin, a prolific marketing blogger and author, spoke to the World Innovation Forum about innovation.  Much of his material was from his two most recent books – Tribes and Lynchpin.

Innovation is stuff that’s impossible, because otherwise someone else would have done it

Tribes is about leading the groups that already exist.  Communities in the past were formed around politics, religion or sports, now they can be for anything that can get people passionate.  As people get emotionally engaged, they can overcome fear of change by charging to the new way with a group of like-minded people.

In the IT world, convergence, virtualization and cloud are innovative trends that have the potential for companies to fundamentally alter the way that they do business.  Like any new idea, there is inertia and resistance to making this change.  For a couple of years, there have been thought leaders (including bloggers) that have been trying to lead this revolution.  This top-down messaging was a good start to allow people to become familiar with technology.  We are now starting to see field organizations from vendors adjust their structure to support cross-disciplinary offerings.  The prime example of this are vSpecialists from the VCE coalition – where there are employees from VMware, Cisco and EMC who are cross-trained on the full storage, network and server virtualization stack.  Enterprise IT organizations will also need to adjust to realize the operational efficiencies of the new solutions.  Nick Lippis had reported that some customers are creating a Chief Data Center Officer (CDO) for merging various disciplines.  J Michel Metz (Cisco) recently put a proposal out for a new SLAM (Storage and Local Area Management) Administrator to help with the bottom-up adoption of convergence.

Are you comfortable with the state of things today, or are you willing to help lead change?  I’ll leave with with a couple more words of wisdom from Seth Godin:

If you’re working for a big company, start with small changes, such as writing a blog or changing a meeting and these can grow into larger innovations.  Ask yourself, am I doing what I should be to make a difference or should I give my chair to someone else.

Go make something happen!

Stuart Miniman


Michael Porter: Changing the Delivery of Value

June 8, 2010

Michael Porter kicked off the World Innovation Forum at the Nokia Theatre in NYC today.  He spoke on healthcare – a topic which affects everyone – you can see a portion of this content in a video that was posted from Davos 2010.  There are also plenty of lessons around strategy that can be applied broadly.

Porter believes that there is a fundamental issue with how the challenge of healthcare is framed.  Most people are concerned about the cost of healthcare (where there is a downward spiral of losing as everyone tries to shrink the bottom line) while the focus should be on increasing value for the patient.  He defined value as the patient health outcome per dollar spent.  We know in business that the worst competition is based on price and that it is better to focus on solving customer problems.

In general, it is not a technology issue, but the delivery of the value.  Porter said, “We are delivering 21st century medical technology with 19th century organizational, management and pricing models.”  He gave an example of the German healthcare system which is focused on specialization. Similar to large organizations, there are cylinders of excellence (silos) where there are specialties for everything and an abundance of paperwork and processes which limit the flow and speed of information and care.  The German system changed by creating integrated practice units which changed the focus to the patient and specific connected areas (cancer, migraines, etc).  In corporations, while not every company can be flattened or reorganized around solutions, there can at least be cross-functional collaboration that can break through the walls of the silos.

Another change that Porter advocates for the delivery model is that healthcare providers need to look beyond their own resources.  In the old way, hospitals would try and treat every patient for every ailment and surgery possible.  In the new way, providers that have specific expertise around a specific disease or surgery can move beyond their current geographic limitation to provide services through affiliations and partnerships.  An example that he gave was that a hospital that did one knee replacement a week was inefficient, wasteful or resources and likely to be lower quality than a hospital that does dozens of these surgeries a week; they should partner.  This is the same sort of innovation that we have seen in business where companies create synergies with partners to deliver more value at lower costs.  To take it a step further, while companies have come a long way to improve manufacturing processes and partnerships in sales, most are still not leveraging and sharing information as well as they do resources.  People are good at looking at Google and Wikipedia for basic information, but through communities and social media networks, companies and individuals can get real-time answers and insights.  I would challenge you that if you have a process or technology that you are struggling with, consider reaching out to whatever community that you are on – Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and see if someone has an answer or idea to help solve it.  I know that I’m a little biased on the power of communities, since I’m not only active on those social media sites, but working at a company allows the IT community to share and collaborate.

The Twitter hashtag for the conference is #wif10 and you can follow me @stu.

Stuart Miniman


Research for the World Innovation Forum 2010

May 27, 2010

I will be attending the World Innovation Forum in NYC on June 8-9th [disclosure: I have a free pass to the conference as a blogger; I am under no obligation to write anything].  I’ve done some background checks, researching the line-up of speakers, and wanted to share what I’ve found.  I like to understand a bit of their backgrounds so that I’m ready for the rapid-fire rotation that we’ll see.  I find that reviewing the speaker’s most recent book summary, blog posts and Twitter are useful, so I created a spreadsheet with all of this information (click on the image below to be taken to the Google Document Spreadsheet).  On the spreadsheet, you can follow links by highlighting a cell and clicking the arrow that appears to the left of the cell.

I’m excited by what I’ve learned already — the conference has a good mix of academics, executives and entrepreneurs.  Twitter has grown a lot in the last year; not only is one of the founders, Biz Stone, a speaker, but seven other speakers have active Twitter accounts.  I found some good multimedia content including speeches from Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler, podcasts from former Amazon Chief Scientist Andreas Weigend, and an episode of the Colbert Report with Teach for America’s Wendy Kopp.  Over half of the speakers are authors, and there is a mix of how much material can be found online for free. Michael Porter’s website on Harvard Business Review is fantastic, there is also a lot of content for the environmentally conscious on Joel Makower’s website and Jeffrey Hollender’s Seventh Generation company’s site.  Seth Godin is a prolific blogger and author; he also has two great TED videos (of course, it’s rare that I find a TED video that I don’t love).  I’m sure that I’ll be adding to my bookshelf after attending the conference.

Remote Participation

In addition to the free content delivered through Twitter and blogs, HSM is also offering a full live webcast [for a fee] of the conference.  As for what you can expect from Twitter and blogs, see my posts from last year’s World Innovation Forum and World Business Forum.  Make sure to check out all of the members of the Blogger’s Hub; I’m looking forward to catching up with friends from last year’s conferences and meeting some new bloggers.  The Twitter hashtag for the conference is #wif10 and you can follow me @stu.

Please post a comment with any additional resources, suggestions or questions that you have for the speakers and consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman


The Power of Adjacent Communities

April 14, 2010

I recently read a book written by a coworker, Steve Todd, Innovate with Influence.  The book tells the story of Steve’s career, the storage industry from RAID to XAM and gives some good lessons about influence and innovation.  Steve talks about how he has created innovative products through connecting adjacent areas of expertise and knowledge – what he calls Venn Diagram Innovation (and Venn diagrams are just the coolest).  This topic resonates strongly with me on how when you make connections both internally in a company (breaking out of the “silos of excellence”) and to external communities.

Inside a large corporation, it becomes very easy to always interact with the same people.  Connecting with people outside of your work area will not only expand your knowledge, but helps to bring you fresh perspectives.  In the online community, there is also the opportunity to span between different groups of people.  Whether you are talking about blogs, Facebook or Twitter, it can be very interesting when you span multiple interests.  My primary technology focus is storage and virtualization, but I learn a lot from the innovation and social media communities.  There are often unexpected overlaps between the various groups and lessons that can be learned from all of the groups that can be applied across the board.  While it’s true that if you want to be the “expert” in a certain field that staying focused on a specific topic can help build your brand, most people wear more than one hat and you shouldn’t be afraid to post and engage on more than one topic.  What I have also found, is that if you are really willing to engage, that it is still easy to converse with real thought leaders that are online.  If you become part of the 1% of the internet that is contributing on a certain area, you can become well known on the subject and get to know others who are driving thought leadership.

I’d recommend picking up a copy of Steve’s book (Disclaimer: Steve is a friend a colleague, but I bought my copy and was not asked to write this post).  For some background on other business books that I’ve enjoyed, see my post Read this or fail to communicate from last year.  I’m always interested in hearing of good business books, I like storytellers with some applicable lessons, please comment on anything that you’d recommend.  If you’re new to this site, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman


The Web as a Platform for Innovation

February 8, 2010

The discussion of the impact of the Web in the last 20 years and predictions of what it might look like in 2030 has continued with many bloggers.  I am tracking the conversation in a wiki document in the new Innovation & Research community on the EMC Community Network.  Andrea Meyer wrote a great post on the topic and introduced me to Jim Todhunter of Invention Machine, who agreed to have a discussion on the impact of the Web on Innovation.

JIM TODHUNTER | CTO of Invention Machine

Invention Machine is a innovation software company. Its technology, Invention Machine Goldfire, helps companies deliver the right products the first time and makes innovation a repeatable, sustainable process. Jim discusses building the high performance innovation organization on his blog.

Stuart Miniman: Looking at things through the lens of innovation, how has the Web changed business and innovation in the last 20 years?

Jim Todhunter: It has had a huge impact, especially in these times where we are still struggling to get out of this global financial crisis.  The importance of innovation as a mechanism to build value for companies is becoming greater and greater.  The web has become vital infrastructure for innovation by creating an environment of pervasive information.  As an example, a client of ours, a plumbing company needed to take lead out of pipes.  Through the Web, they found a solution from another country, which solved their problem and led to a partnering opportunity.

SM: I love examples of how the barriers of geography and industry are broken down to allow information and ideas to be shared everywhere.

JT: This leads to the second area where the Web has a huge impact on business and innovation.  This is the notion of connectedness; business to business, business to consumer and consumer to consumer.  We can see a lot of this in the expansion of social media platforms.  This is helping customers in the notion of open innovation where businesses can bring external constituents into the process of innovation.  The Web has become an infrastructure platform for global innovation where the long tail of information that  consumers build can be leveraged.  For example, a customer of Invention Machine, Leggett & Platt, has created a 70/30 plan where 30% of their innovation is created from sources outside of the company [see Leggett & Platt podcast].

SM: I saw a great episode of Frontline which discussed the changing impact of the Web.  Over the decades, people have considered that technology has been a force of removing people from communicating.  We are now at a point where technology can be leveraged to pull people together and allow us to be interconnected.

JT: Absolutely, the volumes of information that are being created as people are pulled together is immense.  People need to not only generate information, but use tools to be able to process the information.

SM: We’ve seen many changes in the last 20 years, what do we think the Web will look like in 2030?

JT: I think that the current trends of bringing consumers more directly into the environment will continue.  The Web will fade into the background and become just another service, like phone service, which we use without considering how it works.  The consumer experience will take the lead role.  Task based applications will allow people to do things without having to think about how they are done.

SM: Will this help innovation or will technology become so pervasive that people won’t have any knowledge and will be so consumed that they won’t be able to think of innovations?

JT: I think that the needs of consumer will be put first and the technology will serve the consumer.  In business, the Web has become a disruptive platform for redefining the way that different classes of companies do business.  This has not only had a positive impact on businesses, but on consumers.

Listen to the full 6 1/2 minute interview with Jim Todhunter here (click the play button below) or on Cinchcast.


What are your predictions for the future of the Web?  If you are new to this site and interested in continuing the discussion of innovation, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman

Imagine the Web in 20 years

January 22, 2010

The celebration of the Web at 20 years in ON Magazine has been getting nice coverage around the blogosphere.  Gina Minks called for me to give my answers to the 3 questions which I had blogged about and interviewed other on, but not answered myself:

  • How has the Web changed your life?
  • How has the Web changed business and society?
  • What do you think the Web will look like in 20 years?

The Web in my life

Growing up in the pre-Web days of the 80’s, I was drawn into the world of computers.  At college in the 90’s, I carried around my Eudora email disk and got on the Web using early versions of Netscape.  I thought it was really cool that I could visit early websites and get basic information on some of the companies that I was interviewing with.  I remember showing my girlfriend (now wife) some of these websites, and her reaction was that it seemed like a toy and why would anyone waste their time on that.  Of course, her first job a year later was designing websites.  Technology moves fast.

The Web has changed my life by extending the network of people who I can keep in touch with.  In the early days of the Web, first email and later instant messenger allowed me to keep in touch with friends and family over distance.  Now, with the help of social media tools, I can stay connected with a much larger number of people.  There are cousins, friends in far away places and former co-workers that I likely would lose contact with if it wasn’t for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  The little updates that you see about their lives fill in the gaps in time between when you actually get to talk to them or see them.

The Web in business and society

The Web has greatly increased the velocity of information and reach of business.  Companies share information and compete in a global marketplace that is greatly enhanced by connectivity of the Web.  The Web gives us the opportunity to access lots of information about all topics.  On the other hand, there is such a deep amount of information about topics that it is easy to not get a diverse view of the world or to get lost in a sea of noise.

[For a bit more, also see the discussion that I had with Louis Gray in my last post which he transcribed.]

The Web of 2030

With all of the changes that we’ve seen in the last 20 years (or even the Web 2.0 explosion in the last 5 years), it’s difficult to guess what the Web might look like in another 20 years.  According to Nicholas Carr’s book, The Big Switch, Google’s initial goal was to help improve the way that people think (and it looks like his new book discusses whether Google is making us stupid).  In the future, computers should understand our environments and provide information based on semantics [see EMC's CTO Jeff Nick's discussion in ON Magazine] rather than searching in computer code (Boolean search, hashtags, etc).  I’m not saying that in 20 years that we will be able to link our brains into computers (sure, the Matrix is a fun movie, but not the future that we want).

While the technology of voice recognition has been around for many years and showing only modest progress, within the next 20 years, we may be able to simply talk with computers (to quote Scotty in Star Trek IV, “a keyboard, how quaint”).  Live video between people will continue to play a larger role in how we interact with each other as bandwidth increases.  It’s my hope that computers and the Web can continue to increase the ability to gather and utilize information as well as connect people.


To continue the conversation, I am tagging Natalie Corridan-Gregg (EMC), Aneel Lakhani (works for IBM, speaks for himself) and Andrea Meyer (Working Knowledge) to continue the #20years discussion.

UPDATE: For all of the posts on this topic, including the responses from Natalie, Aneel and Andrea – see the document on the EMC Community Network.

Celebrating the Web at 20

January 18, 2010

EMC’s thought leadership publication, ON Magazine, has a great new issue celebrating 20 years of the Web.  In the issue, there are full interviews with Bob Metcalfe (co-inventor of Ethernet), Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web).  There is also a great collection of shorter interviews with industry luminaries who were asked the following three questions:

  • How has the Web changed your life?
  • How has the Web changed business and society?
  • What do you think the Web will look like in 20 years?

Here are two additional viewpoints to continue the conversation from the magazine.

See Me, Hear Me, Touch Me?


Through his blog, Louis leads the way in exploring gadgets and technology on the web.

The Web has become the universal source for information for practically any topic at any time, regardless of its source. It has also grown into the leading venue for communication with friends, colleagues, family and strangers. The Web has undone the traditional formats of scheduled information flow and has reduced many barriers that were geographically or class based.  It has also allowed direct access to the authors of information in real time.  As these barriers decrease, so to have some of the long held (now antiquated) barriers related to transparency and what information is valuable to be shared.

In many ways, the Web has virtualized the physical. We have largely replaced physical communication with online messaging. We have reduced much of our commerce in exchange for online commerce. Travel to meetings and retailers has been largely reduced thanks to the Web and collaboration tools. Not only has society learned to turn to the Web for everything from news to business to entertainment, people have also become creators of content and entertainment themselves. They are producing videos for YouTube, writing insights on blogs, and staying connected to a broad network of connections by sharing photos on Facebook, Flickr or other sites.  We have gone from a very traditional, private, society to one where people don’t blink about sharing their every meal, location, or spending habits.  Some have chosen to livestream their daily activities, or broadcast their most embarrassing moments for thousands or even millions to see.

Any predictions on where the web will go in 20 years will be wrong.  If you look backward 20 years, you will realize how little of an idea we actually have about what is to come. At this point, as communication gets faster and information is more accessible in more places in higher quality, it seems that the only real limits are physics and our own imagination. As the underlying components of the Web, including servers, software, networking and processing improve, so to will the potential for new ideas. Full-length movie downloads were just a concept only a few years ago, and now we don’t think twice about streaming them from Netflix or ordering them from iTunes to our Apple TV. What’s to say we can’t continue to see this maturation in the next two decades as our own activity becomes faster, lighter, mobile and connected? Will we have devices that carry, in our pocket, or in our headgear, the entirety of the world’s publications or videos ever published? Can we virtually meet with people from different locations and share the same experiences, including touch, taste and smell, without us being in the same geography?

Listen to the full 9 minute interview with Louis Gray here (click the play button below) or on Cinchcast.

Search and Find

HUTCH CARPENTER | VP of Product at Spigit

At his job and through his blog, Hutch explores the impact of technology on business and innovation.

The Web and Web 2.0 have allowed us to share our thoughts and to create a robust on-line resume through tools such as blogging and Twitter.  Traditionally, people are reviewed based on their previous jobs; I was able to showcase my critical thinking skills through blogging, which allowed me to move from banking to high tech.  Before I started at Spigit, I wrote a blog post about ideation and brainstorming which included a mention of Spigit.  A customer linked from my site to the company site and requested a demo, this got me visibility with Spigit’s CEO.

The biggest impact of the Web on business has been search.  Search has changed the way that people find information.  Rather than using periodicals and trade references, you can get a broad selection of targeted results through the Web to meet your needs.  Many interactions have gone digital, which helps businesses and individuals spread their message.

In the future, the Web will increase the connectivity between technology and people.  I’ve written about Paul Saffo’s predictions [also see an interview with Paul Saffo in the ON Magazine] about how robots and sensors will change how we live in the future.  Social web logic – the tracking of topics and people – will continue to increase the utility of search.  There will be increasing visibility and importance to online reputation.  I guarantee this though: Robert Scoble will be testing the outer limit of whatever it is.

Listen to the full 7 minute interview with Hutch Carpenter here (click the play button below) on Cinchcast.

What are your predictions for the future of the Web?  Post your comments or record your thoughts using Cinchcast.

Please go to the complete issue of ON Magazine by clicking the cover below.

Stuart Miniman

Innovation for more than a day

October 16, 2009

Last week, Steve Todd and I heard Gary Hamel challenge modern companies:

  • How do you build an organization where innovation is everybody’s job?
  • How do you build an organization that INSPIRES extraordinary contributions?

This week, EMC held its third annual global Innovation Conference.  For some background on the event and the contest, check out my previous posts.  It has been amazing to watch the growth and reach of the conference.  The first year was a single site, the second year was a single site with some remote participation, and the third year was over a dozen “globally local” conferences: two one-hour segments broadcast from India and the rest of the day was different at each site.  Not only are dozens of hours of material be posted internally (EMCers can find the Innovation Café here), but some information is being shared externally through blogs, photos, videos and soon on the ECN site.

Contest Winners

One of the primary components of the conference is to celebrate the teams of innovators and their submissions, and to choose the winners.  As a conclusion to the selection process, all three top winners this year were ideas that the selection committee, rather than the community, moved into the semi-finals.  The second place winner was a combination of two similar ideas (one of which was popular in the community voting).  The “People’s Choice” award was a tie between an idea from India and an idea from Cork, Ireland; not surprisingly, both of these ideas reached the semifinals through community voting.  Beyond the winners, I know that many people were inspired either by having feedback on their ideas, or even by being able to review ideas from others. The community involvement in voting greatly broadened the visibility of the contest and conference around the globe.

Day of Innovation

We had a stacked day which, thanks to much help from many people, went very well.  The innovation contests have helped to move towards Hamel’s goal of engaging everyone in innovation.  This can’t be done without strong support from senior management.  Here is a short video from some of our executives discussing innovation and the innovation conference (we were especially pleased to get a few words from new EMCers Pat Gelsinger and Frank Slootman):

The day was anchored solidly at the beginning (Vice Chairman Bill Teuber) and end (EMC RSA Division’s president Art Coviello) with live EMC executive presentations.  Polly Pearson spoke about how innovation is a brand value and key piece of EMC’s culture.  Our keynote speaker was Dave Ritter of InnoCentive whose presentation on open innovation resonated strongly with us.  Completing the rest of the day was not one, not two, but three panels (as my esteemed colleague and this year’s third place winner, Dr. Dave Reiner would say: two’s company, three’s a cloud).  The first panel was on how we are innovating locally (which includes how we connect globally); see panelist Jamie Pappas’ blog for more on this.  The other two panels were on cloud computing from the business and technical points-of-view.  Judith Hurwitz (consultant, analyst and author) and Wayne Pauley (EMC) did a great job of moderating panels which covered a lot of ground and went beyond some of the hype and blue-sky thinking of cloud.  Even though this was an internal event, we invited Judith Hurwitz and Christofer Hoff (Cisco) to give additional perspectives and to help keep us from talking in an echo chamber.

After the conference, about eighty of us got together to discuss the ideas of the day.  Gina Minks took some video for me, capturing some of the discussion.  For me, the highlight of the conference was that there was so much passionate support to put on this event.  “Innovation” related activities can brings out the creativity, passion and initiative of people for more than a day.

As a final note – a special thanks to Mary Henderson who took my offer to help out with this year’s conference and turned that into an amazing (if exhausting) journey of putting together the local event (with lots of help from her and some of our events experts) and help out the global team.  I know that I learned a lot and made new—and strengthened old—connections.

If you are interested in continuing the discussion on innovation, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman

World Business Forum preparation

September 23, 2009

Between end of quarter activities and gearing up for both the World Business Forum and EMC Innovation Conference next month, my time for blogging has been a little tight.  The World Business Forum website has a nice bio on each of the speakers, below are some additional resources to help you become familiar with the speakers and their subjects before the conference.  Most of the speakers have books which I wish I had time to read, but blogs and videos will have to do.

Bill George: Bill has lots of good information on his website – including information on his best-selling book and a blog. He also has a Twitter account. His 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis:

  • Face Reality, Starting with Yourself
  • Get the World off Your Shoulders
  • Dig Deep for the Root Cause
  • Get Ready for the Long Haul
  • Never Waste a Good Crisis
  • You’re in the Spotlight: Follow True North
  • Go on Offense, Focus on Winning Now

Bill Conaty: Some background on him from a 2004 HR Executive of the Year post: Video on the HSM Americas site:

Patrick Lencioni: Articles and “point of view” posts are on his company’s website:

Jeffrey Sachs: A collection of articles are available on his university website: The website for his book Common Wealth is

T.Boone Pickens: A very interesting character – his website (you can skip the registration page): Also, here’s an interview on The Daily Show from last November:–boone-pickens

Kevin Roberts: He has a website – – which includes his blog.  Blog post from WBF Blogger Andrea Meyer did a nice summary of his webinar, Creating Loyalty in a Recession:

George Lucas: Beyond making some of my favorite films of all time (Star Wars series and Indiana Jones – did I mention that my dog’s name is Indiana?), Lucas has transformed the film industry with his company LucasFilm.   As noted in Wikipedia: Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm, respectively, have become among the most respected firms in their fields.

Gary Hamel: Two great blog posts from Hutch Carpenter – Gary Hamel: Hierarchy of Employee Traits for the Creative Economy and Gary Hamel on Management Innovation and Enterprise 2.0

In considering the Creative Economy, Gary put forth his own hierarchy of employee traits that will define the winners in the future. His representation of this hierarchy is below:

Irene Rosenfeld: NY Times article discussing her history of success:

Paul Krugman: His blog on the NYTimes: Interview on The Colbert Report in July:

Bill Clinton: The final speaker needs no introduction, but for an update on his recent activity, check out the Clinton Global Initiatives website:  President Clinton was also on The Daily Show recently – you can watch the interview here:

Two weeks until the conference!  Please share any additional resources that you have.  I am also still looking for your questions for the speakers.

Stuart Miniman

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