May 2014

Free space

What is the value of free space, the space to experiment and pursue curiosity? And what is it worth? Free space is costly. A square metre in the heart of London easily sets you back 15k. One hour of brainstorming with your team probably somewhere around 500 euros (or much, much more). A company like Intel spends over 10 billion dollars per year on R&D, which is comparable with the

Jung Chang’s new book about Empress Dowager Cixi challenges the view that China’s first lady in the late 19th and early 20th century was a autocratic despot. The book portrays the (once) concubine as an empathic political master mind who through wit and charm brings modernisation to the ancient empire. It’s a highly insightful book for anyone working on innovation in institutions and larger organisation. In the 19th century the

As the social media generation well knows, the best change happens bottom-up, not top-down. In the past weeks we’ve explored the concept of organisational change. We’ve looked at creating a shared language for ideas in your organisation, so that people understand each other. We’ve discussed tools to bring your ideas for a better future to life. In this post we will look at one of the basic ingredients for any

Last time in this series we looked at creating a shared language to talk about ideas. The ultimate expression of this shared language is an organisational vision that is alive. Probably your organisation has a vision and a mission statement. Maybe you even know the vision by heart. (You should know it by heart, but unless you’re the CEO it’s probably not your responsibility you don’t.) Having a clear vision

My old friends from the Museum of National History (actually my former bosses) Erik and Dennis together with designer Robin, photographer Patrick, editor Charlotte and an army of Dutch designers, artists, cooks, architects and other creatives last week launched De gulle ekster (‘The generous magpie’). I’m writing blogs for them as well as doing some online marketing and public relations for the new start-up. De gulle ekster is a website