The Emergence of a new World
In August 2005, I was sitting in a group meeting with a Professor from one of the Ivy League Business Schools. In Bangalore, India, it is not every day one get to sit and work with the elite business gurus. I mentioned as a casual remark, that may be to understand and solve business problems using Information Technology (IT), we need to involve our clients in brainstorming. There was a loud No from the professor. His logic- the customer will color the perception in the brainstorming session with what the customer already has faced and hence will reduce the brainstorming to non-optimal interaction.
Everybody in the room rejected the idea as soon as he said No. This is nothing new for me, as I am used to the usual reaction to anything different that will come up in discussions. Homo-Sapiens relish the process of nipping the idea in bud! We all wear the De Bono’s black hats – judge before it emerges. The stillborn output of dead brainstorming sessions, we all have seen, participated, and have done nothing about it – it is remarkable we keep on doing same meetings, in same way with same output. The Brainholes that our brainstorming sessions typically reduce to, indicate that we need different tools, techniques and methodologies with some structure to improve the efficacy of our Brainstorming sessions. “We” encompass – all organized human enterprises where problem solving is the core competence. This can be a software development project, a management problem, a research question, design of a new product, movie or advertisement, a manufacturing problem, a process improvement problem, a market expansion problem, a funds allocation problem, and so on. These issues are independent of any type of organization. Even in our family meetings we can observe the output of collective problem solving – typically driven and controlled by the head of the family.
So back in August 2005, as soon as the Professor said no, and the body language of each one of the members in the room indicated my foolishness in creating this uncalled for perturbation, I knew that’s the way it has to be. An ability to work with our customers in a brainstorming session may be for half a day workshop is what we all really need. If done properly, one can get to the core of the issues with lot of solution directions thrown in by both sides. The amount of rework, labor burn, heart burn and dollar burn our current approaches lead to can be cut down to zero in a half day brainstorming session with our customers.
Before the release of a recent Bollywood movie, the Director giving an interview on the Television told that the movie has been shown to “interest groups” chosen from the target audiences of the movie. Further, some of their feedback, comments and suggestions have been taken up to change the movie. If we extend the trend - the director, writer and producer could have brainstormed with the group much before the movie started. The concepts of various story ideas could have been discussed with potential viewers and they could have been part of the process from the beginning. Better still, there could have been partial brainstorms, feedbacks and discussion sessions during the movie making so as to adapt the movie as per the inputs. This is the age of co-creation. The dawn of the age may be signified when “interactive movie production” becomes the new reality. This is after “interactive TV” and “interactive story writing” on the Internet is becoming a reality. The individual in the new world demands continuous involvement in the co-creation. The new world demands, defines and develops new ways. These are not the bland ways of making the world flat – it is really about thriving in the melting pots of creative juices. Evolving the interactions, connections, the networks, and the chaos into rapidly moving and changing structures where the value is not in any fixed static structure or organization. The value lies in the dynamic of the structure. The new thriving, creative and ever evolving world demands new ways to capture value and create value.
Are we ready to Co-Create continuously!!!