Feel good Friday – supporting a viral add

Hey, its Friday. My favorite day to catch up on publications, e-mails and the occasional meeting with a business person that inspires me.

Coca Cola just released a new commercial that makes you feel good. This add has gone viral, so I am probably fueling the fire. Please note, I don’t receive any money for this promo. Although donations are always welcome!

Why do I post a link to a sugar drink? Well, because in my day-to-day visits to businesses, I realize that in South Africa the business people are starved of good news. This is not the fault of the media, they report on the mood. The constant stream of bad news is caused by poor leadership, both in business and government. Actually, the business mood here is much worse than some of the other countries where I work, despite the general framework conditions here being much better. The reality is that the current absence of value or principle based leadership is sucking the batteries of business dry. This then affects their investment outlook, their innovation priorities, even their willingness to appoint more staff. Poor leadership that is visible sends the wrong signal, it creates an atmosphere were people hold back, they wait and see. Good leadership that is visible and clear inspires action, it inspires taking risk, exploring new opportunities for growth. It creates incentives to go out and do something, like create new markets, new models.

Why do I bother with this message? Am I not just making matters worse?

Listen, out there. Business needs some good news. There are so many good things happening in this country. So many breakthroughs in the social, business and government sectors. We have businesses inventing new things, entrepreneurs creating new markets, we have hidden global champions (like Naspers) and we have some excellent public officials serving here and internationally. But we don’t celebrate enough. Even when we beat the English in rugby we celebrate quickly and then switch to complaining about something else.

So here is the add. Watch it and feel good. Then go and invest in creating something new.

According to Coca Cola, the add insists that people look at the world a little differently. The clip offers some funny, some silly, some moving and inspiring clips from CCTVs around the world. The new ad is made up of all the “sweet, everyday moments” that people miss, and not the usual footage one would associate with security camera footage like burglaries, fights and accidents. The soundtrack to the add is the 1977 hit Give a Little Bit by Supertramp.

Come on Nandos, give us some good news about South Africa. Seems government and business is generally too busy complaining to inspire us!

Event Announcement: Diagnosing and strengthening local and regional innovation systems

On the 28th of August I will present a practical workshop in South Africa as part of the 5th Innovation Summit. Last year’s summit was one of the highlights of my year and I look forward to contributing to this event.

The workshop I will be presenting will concentrate on how to diagnose an innovation system, and then what to do about improving the innovation system. We will ONLY accept 20 participants, so early bookings are essential. The cost per participant is R3420 all costs included. For more information visit the workshop page here or click on the logo.

During the workshop we will cover the following content:

  • Main theoretical principles of innovation systems
  • distinguishing between national, local and regional and sector innovation systems
  • understanding the difference between innovation within firms, and innovation systems
  • The relationship between the region and innovative performance of industries
  • 4 lines of inquiry to diagnose the factors that affects the performance of a specific innovation system
  • Different analytical instruments that can be applied to understand elements of the innovation system
  • aligning public and private supporting institutions to the innovation needs of an industry
  • facilitating a process of incremental change within an innovation system

If you have already attended my workshop before, then take a look at some of the other great speakers that will be presenting pre-summit workshops before the Innovation Summit:

  • * Claire Janisch will take delegates through Biomimicry which is a totally new and different way to look for innovative solutions based on nature’s problem solving capabilities. Claire is back after feedback on her workshop was outstanding and “we want more”.
    * Dan Buchner from the Centre for Creative Leadership is coming from the US to share his knowledge and insight on innovative leadership skills – leading innovation teams and how to create a culture for innovation to thrive.
    * Prof Deon de Beer will have his very innovative Idea to Product Lab set up and fully functional. You will learn about the basics of design right through to producing your physical prototype during the workshop. If you have an invention waiting to be made into a physical product, this is the workshop for you.
    * Klaus Schnurr from the UK will take delegates through a process where he will teach you how to synthesis transferable best practice methods, tools and techniques and will explain the key steps that companies in Africa can use to explore trends and generate scenarios to identify innovation platforms for future growth.
    * Vasintha Pather’s workshop is ideal for anyone who facilitates thinking, workshops and sessions as a full time job or within an organisation. Using graphic facilitation methods enhances the learning and take aways for everyone

During the main event of the Innovation Summit I will present a paper about the importance of moving from business model to business model innovation.

I will also launch my book titled “The fundamentals of innovation system promotion for development practitioners” during the Innovation Summit.

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