I am proud to share that I am joining Alcatel-Lucent’s TLC (Technology Leadership Council). This is an initiative spearheaded by our technical leaders in the Midwest. TLC members are asked to cross organizational boundaries for the purpose of:
- sensing early game changers and the paradigm shifts shaping the industry
- exposing impactful concepts whether prompted by research, entrepreneurship, emerging as well as evolving techs
- inspiring inventiveness focusing on incremental and disruptive innovations
- encouraging collaboration taking advantage of proven and unconventional know-how, tools, practices and workstyles
- experiencing an enthusiastic environment where peers and communities can do and achieve more
TLC is set to initiate and coordinate knowledge sharing activities for our technical community. This effort leverages ALTA’s (Alcatel-Lucent Technical Academy) heritage given the Midwest’s chapter’s impressive track and participation record.
Interestingly enough, I was jotting an outline for a manifesto on innovativeness, when I received the news on my membership. This early draft version lists my thoughts under not yet labeled buckets to begin with and I will welcome feedback:
- Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum” has been replaced by “I share, therefore I am” which is defining a new generation’s culture and workstyle. In an increasingly connected world, the seed for a good idea can come from interacting with anyone’s thinking and experiences, anywhere and at unsuspected times. Inspiration and networking coupled with serendipity are worth fostering as they can lead to fortunate events and sudden discoveries. Though, serial innovation and repeated success usually take the purposeful work of open, curious and trained minds that scout and create value.
- Creativity’s workflow can alternate cycles of unconstrained thinking uncovering new opportunities, followed by applied constrains which make problem solving a more tangible and manageable task. Both unconstrained and constrained thinking allow for innovativeness to flourish. This thought process also calls for zooming out and diving in as needed, broadening and contracting an ideation and prototyping project’s scale and scope in the process.
- Elegant sophistication beats complexity, distracting clutter as well as the kind of self-defeating oversimplication that undermines value. Simplicity is an abstraction and, as such, it is a function of essence, clarity and beauty where “less is more.”
- An individual’s vision, intellect and tenacity makes a decisive difference. But it takes partnering, teamwork and leadership to make things actually happen. Defining success and plotting a course conveys a vision that is attainable in the mixt of challenges. The journey shifts course and speed as targets move and success looks different from what was assumed at the start point.
- “Do it once, do it right” is a must in certain and controllable environments, where automation and operational efficiencies are key. Exploration, prototyping and iterative development entail room for experimentation and, therefore, a calculated tolerance for risk and failed attempts. Continuous improvement learns from failure, delivers early success stories that build momentum, and pivots to quickly adapt.
- Synergies are worth pursuing only if common platforms and/or blending resources result in leaner and faster, rather than bloated and slower, systems. Reaping the benefits from cross-pollination, adjacent opportunities and accidental innovation do not need to be left to chance.