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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 3 Nov 2012, 21:12

Done and sent!



I can trim 100 words and a final check of grammar, punctuation and sense will do no harm.

It adds nothing to the word count and appears to entertain the tutors so I illustrate my assignments. Well, I add pertinent photos, charts and diagrams. The use of photos should be encoruaged, indeed in the MAODE aren't we able to submit multimedia? I remember an assignment that some presented as a short video.

Unusually for me I have 12+ hours in hand. I also have a day in London seeing production companies. I'll take in a print out. If I'm inclined to do so, or want of a few marks or just making my tutor's life easier, I'll edit and re-submit before the midnight deadline.

For all my MAODE modules that would be it. This being an elective that comes from the OU MBA means there is an exam at the end of April sad

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 23 Mar 2012, 09:55)
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You are where you work

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 14:49

What makes a university campus such as Harvard or Oxford a hotbed for entrepreneurs? Is this recreated in closed networks online or at Residential School. How come some buildings induce mental stagnation and disaffection whilst others are a delight? Where (no company or organisation names) have you worked where the architecture, landscaping and office lay-out are conducive to innovation?


Serendipitous interactions, or what Tony Hseih calls 'spontaneous collisions' between people, are what spark ideas and facilitate relationships that lead to stronger ties and more ideas.

Have you worked for such a company?


Hsieh calls his people "culture magicians". Steve Jobs designed this into fabric of Pixar and Apple.

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What does it take for an organisation to foster innovation?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Mar 2012, 19:18

I've got it down to five words, reduced from several week's reading:

  • Recognition
  • Realised
  • Rewarded
  • Routine
  • Retention

Those who come up with ideas are recognised for their input and achievement.

Their ideas are realised; they go into production or become reality.

Resistance to the idea and to change is overcome.

They receive reward which might be a bonus, or shares or promotion beyond a handshake and some time at the top table.

It is everyday, routine, part of the culture of the place not a bolt on fad like TQM and Quality Circles of the 1990s.

People stay in, they are retained because of the above and so go on to innovate again rather than for themselves or the competition.

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B822 Book 3 Activity 5.3 Total Quality Management

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Mar 2012, 17:38

Is Total Quality Management a liberating force for the people who work with it or is it intrinsically exploitative and if so why?

I've experienced huge successes and outright failure using TQM.

The success was in an organisation where the CEO was the champion, and though a UK company they embraced all the collegiate and collective brotherhood ethos that was a blend of US and Japan. It was a way of life, a permanent culture shift in which people were recognised for relevant achievements, rewarded, retained and given further responsibility.

In contrast, the other organisation were ticking boxes, the CEO was a distant, Eton educated Grenadier Guard who I never saw 'at the workface' it was an effort to find examples worth turning into short films (my job) and it was apparent that some were a fudge. It was being used by middle managers to secure their place at the expense of others.

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B822 : Book 3 : Notes

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Wednesday, 7 Mar 2012, 17:08

B822 Book 3

The best possible way to take on board all the design considerations is to involve all the affected parties right from the outset vs. institutionalised redesign.


Keep teams small  
Tolerate Failure  
Motivate the champions  
Stay close to the customer  
Share the wealth  
Don't kill the project

Mitchell (1989)

In Book 3 P45 Innovation in Practice

"Find the inventors and don't get in their way'. Theodore Rosevelt. Mitchell (1989.181)

"The public does not know what we can do .. Any amount of market research would not have told Sony what to do." Akio Morita (1988:188)


Mitchell, R. "Masters of innovation: how 3m keeps its products coming". 10th April 1989, Business Week. Also in Henry,J and Walker,D (eds) 1991b

Morita, A (1988) Made in Japan. Glasgow. Fontana  Nurturing and involving people.  Pfeffer (1994) p57 BK 3, Competitive Advantage through people. California Management Review. 36, 2 Winter. Also in Henry, J and Mayle, D (eds) 2002


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B822 : Book 3 : Activity 2.4 Types of Innovation

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 13:50

Think of examples of innovative practice in your workplace and decide where they might fit on Pearson's matrix.


Which type of innovation seems most vital to your organisation?

NOT exploratory like a pharmaceutical company doing R&S, whether big or baby bio.

PROBABLY development engineering in which, like Microsoft bringing out a new operating system, a new module takes years to realise.

NOT finding new ways to use old stuff, like for the most part 3m. Then again, reversioning content for the web, especially for social media is exactly what is going on. Like at the free accountancy course on Facebook.


Pearson. P48 Book 3 reference pearson a w 1991:22 managing innovation: an uncertainty reduction process.inHenry,J and Wakker, D. (eds) 1991b

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B822 BK2 Technique Library for creative problem solving

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Friday, 21 Feb 2014, 16:38

B822 Technique Library

My mother has always had a large drawer in a sideboard full of board games: Risk, Monopoly, Twister, Cluedo and Othello, and at some stage Chartbuster, Kerplunk, Masterpiece, Mousetrap and others.

Having picked my way through the B822 Creativity Innovation and Change ‘Technique Library’ A5 folder I feel I am looking into this drawer.


We have a large ‘Really Useful Box’ full of board games too.

In order to appreciate the game, to know if you like or loathe it, to know who would or would not enjoy it, you have to get them out and have a play. Over time attitudes to a game change. People take on a persona, you expect a certain kind of performance out of them. I rarely win at Monopoly because I buy everything until I run out of money.

Returning to the idea of a collection of board games I would far prefer a colourful pack of A5 cards, on one face an image, perhaps a colourful, humorous Steven Appleby cartoon, on the other the ‘game’.

The B822 Techniques ‘Library’ of assembled cards, ideas, folder is ‘like a collection of board games’ you might find at your Mum’s, in a box in the garage, or stacked on a cloakroom shelf in a holiday cottage. You get them out when you are bored, or in this case, stuck for an idea.

Middle Farm sells many varieties of cider and perry.

There is no catalogue. You cannot taste a list of titles. You collect a tasting cup and try out a selection; you get stuck in. You can ask the experts behind the counter, when you have something to discuss.

The B822 Techniques ‘Library’ of assembled cards, ideas, folder is ‘like a cider distillery’ where, to get beyond the titles and cataloguing, especially the false preference given by alphabetical order, you have to ‘have a taste’ and come to your own opinion.

My approach, against the advice, has been to read through them all. I remain tempted to take them all out and glue them inside pieces of card on which I will do a doodle or stick an image.

My first selection, my inquisitive mind, likes the look of :


A succinct definition is required: A form of logical inference or an instance of it, based on the assumption that if two things are known to be alike in some respects, then they must be alike in other respects. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/analogy)

There is an albatross airplane, this one in the USAF. It looks like a Puffin or a Dodo.

I would never liken a Jumbo jet to an albatross as the bird already has negative connotations. You cannot see it for its history. You shoot the thing and hang it around your neck.

A puffin or cormorant then.

Does anyone need to be told why a Jumbo jet and an albatross are not alike?

Filling in the blanks and sticking with the albatross I get the improbably sentence, ‘This problem makes me think of an albatross – that suggests to me that maybe we could try feathers (idea drawn from albatross)’. Sounds like a dead duck. Are there planes that were an albatross?

Perhaps Leonardo Da Vinci thought of a plane as a bird?

Were I to be introduce the concept of analogies to a group I would start with a blank sheet, seeking out people’s favourite analogies for everyday situations or problems and build from there. There’s a problem if you set in train a thought, here ornithological. Before you know it all the ideas are tits and boobies, eagles and dodos.

‘Try to find core verb phrase that captures the essential functional nature of what you are looking for’ (Martin & Bell, 2010). (There are no page numbers, so how do you reference it?)

If analogies taught the world to think, then promoted like this I would conclude that to use an analogy with its ‘analogues’ (sic) is akin to painting by numbers. It is present in such an unnecessarily analytical manner.

Definition: An analogue is: something analogous to something else (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/analogue)

How can a simple concept me made to sound like something carried out by an audit team from the local firm of accountants. It sounds painful rather than fun.

I have to look up (q.v) as in quo vid, or ‘which see’.

I track down the reference to Gordon by ‘going to see’ Synectics, a software version as ThoughtPath exists.

· Are you dealing with the person who owns the problem?

· Are they looking for a number of solutions

· Establish the team

If ‘analogies are often used very informally’ then an informal, rather than this proposed formal approach should be offered.

1. What is it you want ideas for?

2. Based on the verb phrases list items that it is like

3. Pick an interesting one

4. Describe the analogy

Gordon (1961) identified four types:

· Direct

· Symbolic

· Fantasy

· Personal



I would put all these problems onto a wall chart. I’d put everything online into a blog that could be searched by tag (or key word), or load them into a relational database such as FilemakerPro.

Twenty years ago (perhaps fifteen?) I used a CD-ROM called 'Ideafisher' to help generate ideas. I treated it as the equivalent of a mental tickling stick, not a set of answers, but a potential catalyst that would open up my mind (sometimes too far).



Gordon, W.J.J. (1961) Synectics, New York, Harper & Row.

VanGundy, A.B. (1988) Techniques of Structured Problem Solving, 2nd ed, Van Norstrand Reinhold. Techniques 4.01, 4.06, 4.57

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