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Hot Spots Newsletter: design, experiences and the digital realm

It hasn't been the quiet August we were expecting! On the home front, we were busy delivering lots of projects to clients, while others were dealing with earthquakes and hurricanes overseas. But, we have a "beginning of term" feeling here at the Hot Spots Movement, and are looking forward to driving ahead for an exciting final quarter of 2011.

Have you signed up to the Hot Spots Movement Facebook page? You can also find us at the Future of Work blog and we're also on Linked In. Lynda also has a Twitter feed and you can follow it here.

Tools of the trade: design, corporate stories, and memory triggers

Lynda was asked recently what techniques she uses to bring her corporate stories to life in her books, and how she keeps the attention of an audience when speaking. We took the chance to ask Lynda for the secrets to her trade.

I like stories, and I use them more and more to get my message across, both in my books and in my presentations. My stories often take place in the space between 'corporate' and 'individual', which reflects my view of how organisations actually function, and where performance is really determined.

The element of 'real people' makes the stories even more memorable. I tend to stay clear of management terminology and call things by their real names. I think this helps my message getting past the 'filters' that we all have. I speak without notes, and I never stand behind a lectern so there is nothing between the audience and me. In effect, we are having a conversation rather than me lecturing.

I blend in personal experiences to illustrate some of the points instead of only corporate examples – we react better to people than to abstract bodies such as corporations. Most speakers in my field are American, and they are highly competent but tend to be high pace, corporate and 'driven'. My style is very different – I don't race through a presentation, and my presentations allow people to understand the journey I went on to arrive at my research outcome. I'm a human being, off and on stage!

To read how Lynda makes her slides and presentation material powerful, click here.

Revolutionising the business model

Talking of design, we have been discussing the impact Steve Jobs has had on Apple, the entertainment and the technology industry in the light of his resignation. There can be few high-profile examples that encompass Lynda's concept of Glow more than Jobs: radiating enthusiasm, challenging the status quo, and revolutionising his business by asking "why not?" as well as "why?". There is a really interesting column from New York Times reporter David Carr (who some of you may have seen in the film Page One) on how Jobs changed business forever.

The flip side of this is how Apple moves ahead under a new CEO. Time will tell if Jobs' legacy ran company-wide, or whether it was the individual that sparked the innovation process. Here at the Hot Spots Movement, we spend a lot of time focusing on how innovation can be institutionalised (a contradiction in terms?). That is to say, how innovation can become one of a company's processes, and that we can build structures and systems that, in turn, allow innovation and creativity to thrive.

Conversely, Page One embodies some of the key messages in The Shift: an entire industry struggling to come to terms with seismic change in product, pricing and distribution. It will be so interesting to compare Apple and the New York Times in 2020, and to see which has adapted the most successfully.

The next generation: recent Nokia graduates review The Shift

We have been looking at the Nokia Global Graduate Program lately: Nokia is a company the Hot Spots Movement has worked with a great deal, and the organisation there thrives on providing a creative, inspirational environment where employees can generate sparks.

The programme is designed as a 12 month long job-preparedness journey, combining professional and personal development opportunities. So, we were excited to get feedback from the graduates on the programme when they read The Shift. Here are some of the comments, which give a fascinating insight into the mindset of a corporation's new blood.

You can read their feedback here – it provides a snapshot of Generation Y across cultures and geographical location.

FOW3: now spanning four continents

We are delighted to announce that we now have Middle East representation for the Future of Work Research Consortium 3, which launches in just over a month. This means we have companies from the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. If you would like to join the Consortium – especially if you are one of the non-represented continents – we would love to have you.

The four key themes for the consortium are: Technology Advance; Complex Collaboration; Future Leaders; and Generational Cohesion. If you would like to read more about what is involved in become a member of FOW3, just click here for a summary.

Consensus that education needs to change

Lynda has been kept very busy reading the nominated books for the FT/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year, for which she returns as one of the judging panel. A number of the authors have defined the need for major change in the education and training systems – an argument she made in The Shift.

Lynda's view is that the interconnectivity of at least 5 billion people will cause migration of skills, drawing talented people together and providing increased competition. In addition, the technological revolution will replace more and more routine tasks, forcing "human" tasks of creativity and innovation to become front, left and centre on the agenda.

Read her thoughts about how education should change here.

Governments and business alike agree that education is the top priority, including recently in the Danish general election campaign, where there is widespread agreement on this point. Governments understand the need for systemic reform for societal changes, while corporations need new recruits to be better prepared for the workforce. Will consensus on the need for change actually result in reform that actually tackles the issues Lynda brings up in her blog?

Where can you see Lynda speak?

It's a busy month coming up! She is speaking at a really interesting conference for The Economist in New York, September 14-15, on Human Potential: The Next Level of Competition. Lynda is speaking alongside Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School, and Steve Case, co-founder of AOL.

Then, she speaks at the Human Capital Summit in Singapore, September 28 – 29, where she will share the special research done on Asia for The Shift. You can read more here.

Future of Work: not just for October!

While we are getting geared up for the launch of FOW3 at the start of October, many of you had asked whether there is the possibility of an in-house, personalised research programme focusing on some of the key findings of FOW. As a result, the team has built a framework to provide customised modules for in-house use: so we can work with organisations to integrate the research findings into their strategy.

One of the most-requested element is how to respond to the results of our research on technological advances. Many corporations are struggling to keep pace of the wide-ranging changes that technology has caused, through product, delivery channel, service, and how it has created huge change in the consumer's habits and requirements. The FOW research can be customised to show a company how their youngest customer segment's buying habits will change, or how the older customer segment might require a different approach.

Using a combination of technological platforms, including tailored portals, 72 hour Jams and sophisticated surveys, the HSM team can rapidly assimilate and guide the knowledge of communities drawn from both within and outwith a company. These tools are then visualised into reports, presentations, videos and webinars, to increase engagement further. Particular modules in demand are: Establishing Thought Leadership; Focusing through Analysis; and Broadening Through Collective Intelligence.

If you think a customised research programme would benefit your organisation, please email Tina to arrange a consultation.

Voting opens for Thinkers 50

Some of the world's most influential management thinkers are again nominated for the Thinkers 50, and there are quite a few familiar faces! You can vote here – the winner will be announced in November.

Who's in our network?

Joe Pine's new book, Infinite Possibility, looks at how digital technology can be used to enhance experiences in the real world, as well as how to escape the real world into a digital realm. This is a really interesting – and somewhat non-conventional – look at some of the opportunities for business in the years ahead.

Some of you may be familiar with Joe's ideas on the Experience Economy. You can watch his fascinating TED talk here.

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