Innovation starts with the heart—with a passion for improving the lives of those around you. When the iPad was introduced, Jony Ive, Apple’s head of design, talked about his passion for creating things that seemed “magical”—that were so far beyond what any customer might have imagined, they seemed like wizardry. You don’t achieve this by paying attention to customers, by putting them first, or even delighting them. You do it by setting out to amaze them—and it all begins with an attitude.
Our #MIXMashup Twitter feed crackled with energy throughout the event. In review, it offers up a vibrant collective picture of the highlights, big ideas, special moments, and little details. To make it easy for you to relive the event, we’ve culled through thousands of clever tweets to come up with an abridged Tweet Report.
These represent the ideas you swarmed around and that resonated throughout the day. Along with the big insights, we were gratified to see so many tweets about the energizing connections, enlivening setting, nourishing food, and refreshing design.
Welcome to the MIX Mashup live blog. This year's program is packed with exciting speakers, profound insights, and radically practical approaches to making all organizations fundamentally more resilient, innovative, and inspiring. Check this page regularly throughout the day for key insights, big ideas, memorable quotes and photos of the event as it unfolds.
Large organizations of all types suffer from an assortment of congenital disabilities that no amount of incremental therapy can cure. First, they are inertial. They are frequently caught out by the future and seldom change in the absence of a crisis. Deep change, when it happens, is belated and convulsive, and typically requires an overhaul of the leadership team.
The full agenda for the 2014 MIX Mashup (November 18-20, 2014) is posted. It’s going to be two days of agenda-setting thinking and in-the-trenches storytelling around such questions as: How do we change the way we change? What will it take to (finally) kill bureaucracy? How can you embed innovation? How do you hack management?
If you’re not already excited to spend two days with the most pioneering leaders, courageous hackers, and agenda-setting thinkers reinventing organizations, here are TEN reasons not to miss this year’s event:
We’re delighted to announce several new speakers for this year’s MIX Mashup (New York City | November 18-20, 2014).
First up: Denise Young Smith, Apple's head of human resources and a new force for post-bureaucratic practices inside the company, will talk about what it takes to cultivate a switched-on community of contributors at every level—and what a true culture of inclusion looks like.
We are getting revved up for MIX Mashup 2014—and we hope you are too. We’re working hard to develop a program and create an experience that’s even more powerful and rewarding than our inaugural event.
We’ll be featuring the most provocative and pioneering thinkers and leaders reinventing organizations and changing the way we change; we'll go deep into the insights and lessons learned by in-the-trenches management innovators, and we'll not only inspire, but equip you to launch your own experiments and make a real impact in your own organizations and the wider world.
Today, we’re delighted to share some of the speakers we have lined up for you, as well as some of the core themes we’ll be exploring together.
We are delighted to announce this year’s MIX Mashup: three days of the most progressive thinkers, disruptive ideas, and powerful practices making our organizations fit for the future—and fit for human beings.
This year, the MIX Mashup will be held in New York City on November 18-20, 2014.
The MIX Mashup gathers the vanguard of management innovators—pioneering leaders, productive rebels, courageous experimenters, and agenda-setting thinkers from every realm of endeavor. The event is designed to showcase advanced thinking and ambitious experiments—and to inspire, equip, and connect aspiring management innovators in the collective project of reinventing management for a new age.
This summer, it’s Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs’ singular genius that seems to be propped open on beach towels, in hammocks and at every third airplane seat. As fascinating as Jobs’ person, career, and legacy are, the intense interest in his insane greatness raises a question. What if we directed that level of intensity and interest at awakening the genius (if slightly less great and hopefully less insane) inside of each and every one of us—each child, each student, each parent, each working person?
The inaugural MIX Mashup gathered the vanguard of management innovators—pioneering leaders, courageous experimenters, agenda-setting thinkers—to explore disruptive ideas, share fresh thinking and compelling storytelling, and to connect and energize participants in the quest to make our organizations fit for the future and fit for human beings.
What leader today doesn't want more innovation? Yet, producing more (of anything) inside an organization generally leads to more process, which smothers individual creativity and all-too-often kills organizational innovation.
Innovation isn't about structuring a process to lead to an outcome so much as it's about creating space—both elbow room, the space to roam free of bureaucratic rules and red tape, and head room, the freedom to see differently, think wildly, and aim higher. The leaders who generate more creative energy and innovation are always wrestling with the question: How do we design in more slack? Or, how do we cultivate an environment and support work that enlists people as drivers of their own destiny and inventors of the company's future?
As a reverse fairy tale for the CEO set, the reality television program Undercover Boss is fascinating, not so much in the witness-to-a-train- wreck mode of the rest of the genre, but because it is so revealing of our conflicted relationship with "the boss."
The premise of the show—that the only way to get a clue about what's really going on in his (or her) organization, is for the boss to go undercover on the front lines—is all too often the actual reality in organizations of any size. Yet, at the same time, the view of the boss as the ultimate authority with the heroic power to swoop in and save the day—whether that means paying down a mortgage, granting an instant promotion, or banishing a reviled policy—holds sway in real life as well as on "reality" TV.
For all of the time spent chasing after what looks like success, too many of us have only a dim sense of what it feels like. That's clearly a wide-spread cultural malady, but it acquires special force in the world of work.
Organizations invest billions annually on a success curriculum known as "leadership development," which ends up leaving so much on the table. Training and development programs almost universally focus factory-like on inputs and outputs—absorb curriculum, check a box; learn a skill, advance a rung; submit to assessment, fix a problem. Likewise, they leave too many people behind with an elite selection process that fast-tracks "hi-pots" and essentially discard the rest. And they leave most people cold with flavor of the month remedies, off sites, immersions, and excursions—which produce little more than a grim legacy of fat binders gathering dust on shelves.
That chestnut has morphed from sales proposition to object lesson on the perils of clinging to convention in less than a generation. We've ditched the dark suits and "sincere" ties of our father's IBM for black turtlenecks and jeans, and we've embraced the "think different" ethos of Apple's celebrated campaign:
"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in square holes. The ones who see things differently."
As dispiriting as the recent debt ceiling dysfunction drama has been, the most disturbing plot point is not that our leaders can’t seem to compromise—but that they are so compromised. While the pundits continue to parse the no-win “deal” and the bloviators bemoan the failures of leadership, the rest of us might take the opportunity to consider the benefits of being uncompromising.
The most winning and progressive organizations depend less on the strength of their leaders than on the strength of their convictions (which should never be confused with political positions). Instead of putting people on pedestals (from which they are invariably knocked down), the focus is on putting stakes in the ground (from which they will never deviate).
For all of the fervor around innovation, far too many organizations are hostile places for new ideas (not to mention the people that harbor them). All too often, new ideas are cooked up in a hothouse environment—the executive inner sanctum, an invitation-only innovation offsite, a limited-access “war room”—and not shared widely until they’ve been sanctioned from on high. When they are offered up by some hardy soul in the trenches, they generally have just one place to go: up the chain of command. In other words, they get the hot lights of judgment before they get a chance to breathe.