Frans Johansson: “Act & Collaborate to Drive Change”

Frans Johansson is an innovation expert and author of The Medici Effect. As CEO of The Medici Group, he leads a team which helps clients improve their innovation efforts through an approach they call Intersectional Thinking.

In the following video Frans Johansson illustrates how relentless trial-and-error – coming up with an idea, executing it on a small scale, and then refining it – is THE distinguishing characteristic of the greatest artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Why? Because humans are not very good at predicting which ideas are going to be a success. Thus, nearly every major breakthrough innovation has been preceded by a string of failed or misguided executions. So, as Frans says quoting Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

The idea for the book “The Medici Effect” is based on intersection.  The best way to come up with groundbreaking ideas is to combine very different ideas – like termites and architecture; ice and beds; and bikinis and burqas.  Diversity drives innovation.

What Drives Innovation?

We innovate best when we connect with others and share new ideas/perspectives. The key is to connect across our differences.

Technology increasingly drives new operational and business models.

He created a magazine “Catalyst” to bring stuff together, started a software company that “went really well until it didn’t.”.

He investigates how intersections lead to innovations.

We have the best chance to innovate when we connect across our differences.

Innovation is important because the world is changing very quickly.

Example:  Spanish fashion company Zara can go from design to selling a dress across the world in 7 days.

A more sobering example; only 68% of recent law school graduates are working in a job that requires a J.D.

Yet our ability to innovate constricts as our firms get larger.  Innovation tends to come from newcomers, upstarts.

One reason is that we tend to use logic as the only guidance for reaching success.  For instance, Audi and Volvo might both to decide to address their minor deficiencies, then end up with cars that look quite similar.

Why is it Necessary to Innovate Quickly?

If you want to keep your competitive advantage, you have to keep innovating because there has been a stunning drop in the amount of time it takes for your competitors to catch up with you.

Why is it so Hard to Innovate?

Because change is difficult and intimidating, we tend to settle for tweaking things around the edges rather than making a comprehensive change. The impact of this is adding more widgets to a Yahoo search engine until the clutter is overcome by the spare and elegant design of a Google search engine.

New Ideas Are Combinations of Other

Johansson proposes that all new ideas are combinations of existing ideas.  But not all combinations of ideas are created equal.

Working Understanding

Most truly stunning innovations result from combination two different ideas. The greater the number of ideas that you generate and implement, the greater your chance of a breakthrough. You need to try many things because humans are very bad at predicting what will work. The key is to keep trying until you perfect your execution. When your first idea doesn’t work, you have to try again. Diverse teams can unleash an explosion of new ideas. You end up with an exponential increase in new ideas that leads to more opportunities for innovation.

Create the Environment Necessary to Foster Innovation

We can help organize our firms to foster innovation. This ranges from seating people within your department in such a way that they can’t help be exposed to new ideas and new ways of working. Individually, you also can ensure that you personally make connections with people within the firm who are in different disciplines or from different backgrounds or have different interests.

Don’t Give Up! Innovators Fail More Often

We are horrible at predicting what will work. We don’t often hear the tales of the bad ideas only the heroic ending of how someone became successful with their one brilliant idea and how they were able to envision a new future and make that future a reality.

What is the Most Effective Way to Execute?

Directional ideas often are executed in step-by-step fashion.  More innovative ideas can take longer and get developed less directly.

We use up energy, money, and reputation in getting to a goal. So start by taking the first step; an easy manageable step.

Start with a good idea. And then act on it. Johansson calls this the “smallest executable step.” It’s not about going directly to the desired Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Rather, execute the first step; adjust based on results; execute again. The key is to iterate your way to success.

Some examples provided by Johansson:

ANTS & TRUCK DRIVERS

The example of ants and truck drivers, which I talk about in one of the chapters. So there is this telecommunications engineer that has been is trying to figure out how to efficiently route telecom messages through a haphazard routing system. And one day the communications engineer met an ecologist, who studies social insects, like wasps and ants. And they started talking, and the ecologist described how ants search for food. As it turned out, the ant’s search strategy turned out to be very applicable to the routing of telecom message packets. Once the engineer realized this, he decided to explore this particular intersection between ant ecology and computer search algorithms, so he spent three years looking at the connection between the way social insects behave and the way you can use computers to optimize particular types of search algorithms. And that has now lead to an entirely new field called swarm intelligence, which essentially came out of the intersection of the study of social insects and computer search algorithms. This methodology has been used in everything from helping truck drivers find their way around the Swiss Alps to helping unmanned aerial vehicles search for terrorists in Afghanistan.

TERMITES & ARCHITECTURE

A man was commissioned to build the largest office building complex in Harare, Zimbabwe without air conditioning.

He did it by combining the ideas of architecture and termite houses.

Termite houses open and close vents to regulate heat and cold. He combined ideas from these two fields to break new ground and build an energy efficient office complex that was able to maintain a comfortable temperature.

512px-Natural_ventilation_high-rise_buildings.svg.png

BURKINI

At the intersections of different ideas and cultures, the Medici effect happens.

For example, if you wanted to come up with a new, creative idea for swimwear, usually you would combine swimwear with the beach. But what if you combined swimwear with the idea of a burqa?

A lady moved to Australia where the normal female swimwear was bikinis. Many traditional Moslem women go swimming in their burqas. She combined the ideas of bikinis and burqas – and made a burqa out of bikini material.

After the fact, an innovative idea seems somewhat obvious.

People that change the world try far more ideas than others because we are horrible at predicting what ideas will work. Einstein published over 240 papers, many of which not a single person referenced. Google has launched hundreds of products. Picasso painted lots of paintings to figure out what paintings did work.

To be successful, you have to take this notion into account – that you won’t always be successful.

WIKIPEDIA

Take Wikipedia, for example. We may have thought – is that even possible? Creating Wikipedia takes understanding the altruistic nature of people and understanding the Internet. Before he launched

Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales launched Newspedia and asked experts to contribute to it. After six months, there were only twenty posts. Jimmy’s new idea was to allow anyone to make posts. Wikipedia has been one of the most successful Internet projects. Jimmy Wales kept trying.

How does this play out? Maybe you have an idea. Often from an idea you create a large goal and then you use 100% of your resources (your money and your reputation) to reach it. After all that work and effort, you now realize how you should have done it. You realize what would have been a better goal or a better way to do it.

ICE & BEDS

For example, a guy in northern Sweden saw a future with the cold and snow. He combined the idea of ice with a hotel. He created a hotel made out of ice. Everything is made out of ice – the beds, walls, tables, etc. It is one of Sweden’s largest tourist attractions. He realized he could do something no one else could do. But it didn’t start with The Ice Hotel.

First, he had an idea to “sell” the winter. His first idea was to fly in some ice sculptures from Japan. He had an ice exhibition. It wasn’t successful because the ice melted.

Next, he tried a snow gallery and had paintings hung in an ice building.

Then he created an event hall with everything made out of ice, including a movie screen. A few backpackers who saw it said they would like to sleep on a bed made of ice. He made a bed of ice and they loved it.

Then he created The Ice Hotel. Within weeks Newsweek named it one of the ten coolest hotels in the world.

MGMT 561 Assignment #3 Reflection CUNHA 01.pngSource: Frans Johansson: The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas

CONCLUSION

You have to start with an idea – a step.

Take your first step to change the world. The best way to come up with this idea is at the intersection of different cultures and ideas.  Figure out something you can do and make it happen. The world is connected – there is somebody making those connections and it should be YOU!

MGMT 561 Assignment #3 Reflection CUNHA 02.pngSource: Frans Johansson: The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas

MGMT 561 Assignment #3 Reflection CUNHA 03.pngSource: The Medici Effect

MGMT 561 Assignment #3 Reflection CUNHA 04.pngSource: The Medici Effect

References & Sources:

Frans Johansson Keynote #ILTA12 David Hobbie

Frans Johansson: The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas

Frans Johansson Keynote #ILTA12 VMaryAbraham

How do people get more creative?

An Interview with Frans Johansson: The Medici Effect

Frans Johansson: The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas 

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments – and – if you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

Sincerely,
FRANK CUNHA III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

Gift Ideas from ILMA

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“From Now To How: Social, Virtual and Cross Generational Leadership” by Exec Coach & Trainer @JustCoachIt

by Guest Blogger, Irene Becker
First woman CEO of a steel company in Canada, Irene Becker has a track record of trailblazing accomplishments in business and in the community at large. Irene is an inspiring executive coach, speaker and writer whose R-E-A-C-H methodology and 3Q focus has helped clients achieve breakthrough results in their careers, communication, leadership and lives. Passionate about the integrity of her work, Irene is dedicated to helping change-makers LEAD forward at the speed of change.

Leadership Balance

You can criticize, condemn and complain or imagine, inspire and innovate. Your choice will determine your destiny. – Deepak Chopra

The need to go from NOW to HOW is critical. Leadership starts with our ability to imagine, inspire, innovate and communicate forward.

Hope lies in not simply playing to strengths, but to seizing every challenge, change, stressor and failure as an opportunity to grow, evolve and expand the power of our minds, the strength of our brains and the capacity of our hearts.

Courage lies in our ability develop a whole new mind set, skill set and heart set that optimizes the unbridled passion, purpose and potential of humans to do better, rather than simply living or working faster than ever before.

Strength lies in finding a common language, a common message that touches the heads, hearts and mind of many. A message that transcends social, ethnic, virtual and cross generational lines because it speaks to the purpose that unites us all.

Leadership starts with our ability to imagine, inspire, innovate and communicate forward.

Leaders must be purpose driven because purpose equals profit on a multiplicity of levels. If your employees, your team, your constituents do not feel that the work they do, the contribution they make, is purposeful they will never optimize or maximize their potential.

If they do not feel that they are an integral part of a bigger picture, a larger goal or a greater team, the engagement, loyalty, transparency of communication and collaboration optimization of engagement and potential will not be achieved.

Similarly, if they do not have access to resources that help them learn new ways of thinking doing and communicating that enable their greatest potential in the face of change, challenges, complexity and opportunities they cannot lead forward.

Leaders must embrace their ability to go from NOW to HOW by not simply playing to strengths but also to using change, challenges, stressors, even failures to optimize all 3Q’s: IQ (intelligence-focus-ability to learn and re-learn faster and better); EQ (emotional intelligence; self awareness, self management, relationship management, social management, communication); and SQ (values, purpose, integrity).

3Q Leadership strengths are not for the faint of heart. They are instead for those who want to negotiate dark corners, build new bridges among diverse groups and develop communities of purpose and practice that survive and thrive by using strengths, changes and challenges to communicate and lead forward.

Leaders must be excellent listeners, learners and communicators who build bridges across diverse groups, internal and external constituencies. They must build and empower Communities of Purpose where shared objectives, values, purpose and language empowers, engages and sustains actual, social/digital/virtual communication and collaboration.

They must have the courage to negotiate dark unknown corners with courage, hope, faith, integrity and humanity knowing that the differences that separate us are inconsequential in relation to the common human bond and purpose that unites us.

They must have the communication skills to find the message, the sound bite that opens the ears, heads, hearts and minds of all, irrespective of race, creed, gender or generational age. They must be leaders who learn, re-learn and fail forward faster and better than ever before by developing real and virtual/social communities of purpose.

Leaders must be excellent listeners, learners and communicators who build bridges across diverse groups, internal and external constituencies.

The need to go from NOW to HOW is critical. Leadership starts with our ability to imagine, inspire, innovate and communicate forward. It means embracing our ability to learn, re-learn, imagine, inspire and innovate by championing the mental, emotional agility and consistency of united purpose and integrity that can help us use what is to create what can be in ourselves, our people, our organizations…our world.

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

If you like this post please share it with friends. And feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss ideas for your next project!

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I.LM.A. Team
I Love My Architect – Facebook

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Forget Blueprints, Now You Can Print the Building

Architect to build home using 3-D printer

By Doug Gross, CNN
"Landscape House" will be built from blocks made with a 3-D printer, says its creator, Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars.
“Landscape House” will be built from blocks made with a 3-D printer, says its creator, Dutch Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars.

(CNN) — A Dutch architect is thinking a little bigger about 3-D printing than the tiny-to-midsize trinkets we’ve seen so far.

He wants to print a house. And a pretty offbeat and innovative one at that.

“Landscape House” is the brainchild of architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars. He describes it as “one surface folded in an endless Mobius band,” or sort of a giant figure 8. According to its creator, walking through its continuous looping design will seamlessly merge indoors and outdoors in an effort to model nature itself.

The house would cost between $5 million and $6 million, according to the BBC, and there’s already been interest expressed by museums, private individuals and others, according to Ruijssenaars. He told the network that someone in Brazil plans to buy one to display native art he’s found in a nearby national park.

All that would be innovative enough on its own. But to take it a step further, the architect plans to build “Landscape House” using the emerging technology of 3-D printing.

The woman who wants to ‘print’ buildings

Commercially available models like the MakerBot aren’t exactly up to the task. This requires a printer of enormous size. And Ruijssenaars found one in the D-Shape.

Described as a “mega-scale free form printer” by its makers, the massive aluminum structure uses sand, which it forms back into a material that’s like marble.

For “Landscape House,” it will be used to print out blocks that are about 20 feet by 30 feet. Those, along with some fiberglass and concrete reinforcements, will be used to create the building.

“3D printing is amazing,” Ruijssenaars told the BBC. “For me as an architect it’s been a nice way to construct this specific design — it has no beginning and no end, and with the 3-D printer we can make it look like that.”

He says his first “Landscape House” is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

3-D printer-01 3-D printer-02 3-D printer-03 3-D printer-04 3-D printer-05

Are you ready to buy yours? Click Here And Click Here

We would love to hear from you on what you think about this post. We sincerely appreciate all your comments.

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Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
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Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Most Innovative Companies – #Architecture by @FastCompany

by Linda Tischler (additional reporting by Zachary Wilson)

1. Diller Scofidio + Renfro
The New York-based firm transformed public space in Manhattan last year with the renovation of Alice Tully Hall, the master plan for the redevelopment of Lincoln Center, and the opening of the High Line, a collaboration with Field Operations. DS+R beat out several high-profile architects for its next project, Rio de Janeiro’s $31 million Museum of Image and Sound, on Copacabana Beach. Top 50: No. 32

2. MVRDV
Netherlands-based MVRDV has been preaching radical theories of vertical living for years, and they’re now beginning to catch on. Current projects include the Rotterdam Market Hall, which will house more than 200 apartments and a large public market; the firm’s daring Gwanggyo Power Center, a set of hill-like structures for 77,000 residents in South Korea, is in the final planning stages. Top 50: No. 44

3. SHoP Architects
Winners of the 2009 Cooper-Hewitt award for design, SHoP collaborates with material manufacturers and trade contractors during the design phase to reduce client spending and ensure that buildings get built. The firm’s upcoming projects include Brooklyn’s Barclays Center (the sports stadium in the controversial Atlantic Yards project) and the Fashion Institute of Technology’s C2 tower in Manhattan.

4. Shigeru Ban
In his quest to get rid of material prejudices, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has used everything from steel and plastic to paper and cardboard in his work. Case in point: the sweeping, netlike roof of the Metz Centre Pompidou in Metz, France, with its 1,800 unique steel beams (scheduled to open in May), or the 72-foot-tall paper tower installation made from hundreds of compressed cardboard tubes at London Design Week in 2009.

5. Office dA
This Boston-based design duo won two major projects last year: one with a sharp, razorlike design for the University of Melbourne architecture school, in Australia, and another for the University of Toronto’s Daniels architecture school, which uses high-performance environmental elements in the facade and aims for LEED Gold status.

6. Olson Kundig Architects
Shortening its name from Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects in January reflects the firm’s approach to architecture: keep it down-to-earth and sustainable. The Seattle-based firm received the AIA Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects in 2009 for a decade of work. Current projects include the offices for steel fabricator T Bailey Inc., which appropriately uses large pipes as architectural elements, and the Lightcatcher building for Bellingham, Washington’s Whatcom Museum, a 180-foot-long building that captures sunlight and is the state’s first LEED Silver building.

7. Adjaye Associates
The 43-year-old Tanzanian-born architect beat the likes of Henry Cobb and Norman Foster with his stacked stone walls and skylight-heavy design for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.; the museum is scheduled to open in 2015. His Moscow School of Management in Russia will be completed this year, although students started using the complex in 2009.

8. KieranTimberlake
The environmentally minded Philadelphia firm partnered with LivingHomes to design module-based prefab homes that are manufactured in a factory and can be assembled on-site in one day. The homes are LEED-certified and feature solar panels, recycled wood-and-bamboo siding, and automatic ventilation systems, among other features.

9. Santiago Calatrava
His World Trade Center Transportation Hub in New York has been scaled back for budgetary reasons, and the proposed 2,000-foot Chicago Spire has been stalled for lack of funding, but in 2009, the Spanish architect opened a swooping transit station in Liege, Belgium, and the Samuel Beckett Bridge, in Dublin.

10. Field Operations
James Corner’s New York-based landscape architecture firm led the design team that transformed the High Line, an abandoned elevated railway track on Manhattan’s west side, into a wildly successful public park. Up next: revitalizing Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier.

Click here to see the rest of the story.

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Frank Cunha III
I Love My Architect – Facebook

FC3 ARCHITECTURE+DESIGN, LLC
P.O. Box 335, Hamburg, NJ 07419
e-mail: fcunha@fc3arch.com
mobile: 201.681.3551
direct: 973.970.3551
fax: 973.718.4641
web: http://fc3arch.com
Licensed in NJ, NY, PA, DE, CT.


Innovation in Architecture (Presented by The Architectural Review)

What does it mean to be an innovator in the field of Architecture? AR provides some insight to some of the masters of innovation in the field of Architecture.

 

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This month’s Innovators interview, produced in partnership with Hunter Douglas, features Junya Ishigami.

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The AR discuses coincidence, chance and mastering disorder with Brendan MacFarlane in his Paris studio. MacFarlane will join the international jury for the 2011 ar+d Awards for Emerging Architecture.

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The Architectural Review presents the first in a new monthly series of Innovators interviews, in partnership with Hunter Douglas, in which a group of internationally renowned architects and designers discuss in depth the theoretical and technological ideas behind their recent work.

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The AR speaks to Peter Zumthor in the second Innovators interview, in partnership with Hunter Douglas.

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This month’s Innovators interview, produced in partnership with Hunter Douglas, features an edited version of a discussion between Zaha Hadid and Architectural Association School of Architecture director Brett Steele.

PS Follow my favorite Architecture magazine online @TheARtweets and subscribe by clicking here.

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Frank Cunha III 
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Apple One

Innovation takes time.

The original Apple Computer, also known retroactively as the Apple I, or Apple-1, is a personal computer released by the Apple Computer Company (now Apple Inc.) in 1976. They were designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak. Wozniak’s friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. The Apple I was Apple‘s first product, and to finance its creation, Jobs sold his only means of transportation, a VW van. It was demonstrated in April 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California.

The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 at a price of US $666.66, because Wozniak liked repeating digits and because they originally sold it to a local shop for $500 and added a one-third markup. About 200 units were produced. Unlike other hobbyist computers of its day, which were sold as kits, the Apple I was a fully assembled circuit board containing about 60+ chips. However, to make a working computer, users still had to add a case, power supply transformers, power switch, ASCII keyboard, and composite video display. An optional board providing a cassette interface for storage was later released at a cost of $75.

Noteworthy Links

Evolution of Mac

Apple Timeline

R.I.P. Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Apple 1 - Museum of American History, Washington DC

Original Apple 1 Advertisement

Apple's Product Timeline (Unidentified Source)

It’s OK to Think Different

Content reposted from Wikipedia and YouTube.

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Frank Cunha III 
I Love My Architect – Facebook


R.I.P. Steve Jobs 1955-2011