Monday, 23 May 2011

Shoelacing with purpose

When talking to groups about knowledge transfer I like to contrast the relative effectiveness of communicating in different ways - by getting participants to think about shoelace tying.

Imagine you have to instruct someone who has never tied a lace before...
In the first instance, you can talk to your pupil and describe the action of what to do, but not show them or touch their laces (impossible)
Secondly, you can write down what to do and provide diagrams (better, but really difficult to follow)
Lastly, you can show them a video of precisely what to do for them to follow (pretty easy)

I'd never actually got round to making the video to demonstrate this. Now I don't need to.
This 3 minute talk from Terry Moore could change your life. It shows how to tie your shoelaces, correctly. As Terry says "By the age of 50, you would have thought that one of life's skill I would have really nailed was tying my shoes".

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Invention and innovation

Whilst researching the topic of 'Innovation Challenges for Large Organisations' for the next KIN Members' Quarterly Workshop, a colleague came across this impressive (and presumably expensive) video from Corning glass.

There are some fascinating ideas being presented, many of which will probably, pardon the pun, never see the light of day.
What interests me is how Corning came up with these ideas. Were they technical or materials developments (such as flexible polymer display films) that they then looked for ways in which they might be deployed? Or did they think of environments where there products might be used (such as the glass-clad sides of buildings) without actually having the technology to build them yet? Who was involved in the process and how will they decide in which of these to invest what are presumably large amounts of research $?
We are using this as a discussion catalyst on 'the relationship between invention and innovation' in the KIN Members' Forum.

The KIN Summer Workshop 'Innovation Challenges in Large Organisations' takes place on 14th June at The Swan Hotel, Streatley on Thames, near Reading. More details are here.