Using objects to break free from your company's "walled garden"
The British love gardens. Castles and stately homes boast walled gardens that are especially cherished. Another kind of walled garden surrounds large-scale enterprise. That’s hurting UK Plc.
Part of the walled garden is strategy. In the internet’s early days, traditionalists built walled gardens. In Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams observe:
The losers built walled gardens. The winners build public squares. … The losers jealously guarded their data and software interfaces. The winners shared them with everyone.
Strategy is just one aspect of corporate walled gardens.
‘Standard operating procedures’ within complex companies fence people in.
Sure, SOPs have been designed for productivity, security and accountability: all serving efficient operations and shareholder accountability. But company life cushions staff from real-world flux. Company culture norms overwrite wider cultural influences.
Ultimately, company people lose touch with reality. That’s what happened at Kodak (where the first digital camera was invented…in 1975). Tuning out nearly killed Levi’s (when hip-hop revolutionized how denim was worn).
Anthropologist Grant McCracken explains:
The world is speeding up. Every organisation lives in a state of surprise. There is an advantage to seeing the world in motion, picking up ‘noises’ well before they are reliable ‘signals’. Being a more responsive organization takes potent new powers of adaptation and a new understanding of culture.
That’s why we’ve created IdeaKeg: a tool bringing the outside world into company process manageably.
IdeaKeg works for:
- Challenge-focused sessions
- Open-ended brainstorming
- Strategy and visioning
Ask your trusted advisers to run the session. Spurn consultants? Run IdeaKeg sessions yourself. Take IdeaKeg if you’re hopping on the ‘co-creation’ bandwagon.
A powerful dose of trend insight and global culture in each IdeaKeg
In a 10-kg FedEx box we select 7 cultural artefacts from all aspects of life. Each item represents a cultural trend or behaviour.
We spot trends, make sense of them as physical objects explained in less than 300 words. IdeaKeg activates your imagination without swamping your mind.
Thinking ‘out of the box’
In an easy-to-run meeting, you handle objects and make sense of them. Poster-sized mindmaps prime you to pose bold questions. The activities trigger creative responses. Fresh ideas spring forth.
This article was first published on Business Reporter, to accompany the special report on Innovation for the Sunday Telegraph on 7 July 2013.