BiF-4 Insights – John Wolpert – Best Buy
Impact of BBC Connections television program on his life (hosted by James Burke).
We have to share, but what do we share?
- Do we know what we need to share?
- It is one thing to share inventions, it is another thing to share intentions
An innovation changes how people organize, how they do business, and/or how people live their lives.
- Average lifespan of an innovation program is three years, maybe five years at the outside, but Alphaworks is now thirteen years old
- Reason is the crossing of the membrane of the firm and connecting to external companies
- This makes it more valuable and difficult to dislodge
- Alphaworks -> Extreme Blue -> Innovation XChange Network -> YCombinator
Extreme Blue is a ten year old talent program:
- Reported to heads of HR, Technology, and Business Strategy
Innovation XChange Network in Australia
- Hiring trusted intermediaries and implanting people into companies that could share with other implanted intermediaries but not with companies
- We brought together a healthcare company and technology company looking for overlap
- People started sharing nouns (their technology) and then crickets chirping
- People wouldn’t share their verbs (their intentions)
- We should have brought the interns (experienced people have a hesitancy to share)
There are always that 1-3% chomping at the bit to start something new.
The talent program I’ve built for Best Buy involves some of the same keys as the Extreme Blue program I worked on for IBM:
- 10 weeks
- Live and work together
- A small investment
- Give people more money and they’ll spend it
- Restricting the investment and basing additional funding on meeting certain milestones is better
For more information on the talk, go here.
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