Maybe the Question is the Answer?

I recently received an email from an associate saying how thrilled she was to be part of a group that supports difficult conversations. It was significant to me because it was an acknowledgement of an organizational culture that embraces questions.

Unlike some organizations where questions are seen as complaints or as being disruptive or disrespectful, I like to think we have created a culture that reflects an understanding that asking the right question is often the answer.

Without a culture that encourages questions, it’s virtually impossible to achieve results of any significance because being inquisitive and challenging the status quo… More Posted on 08-29-14

Is Real Innovation More Social Than Technical?

I am a community builder. And, if there is a gene that contributes to being a practical community builder, I definitely received a double dose.

While community building clearly needs both wings and landing gear to fly, I am without a doubt a landing gear kind of woman. So, while I’m always intrigued by new concepts, ideas, and solutions for building communities, my real test for innovation is whether or not something really makes a difference for people.

As a result, for me innovation needs to be about challenging the status quo as well as believing that we… More Posted on 08-25-14

What is Disruptive Technology and Why Should I Care?

It seems everyone these days is talking about innovation or the lack thereof. Although I was never exactly sure what it meant, the latest buzz phrase seems to be “disruptive innovation”.

This past week, amidst the chatter surrounding the pending launch of the new iPhone 6 (anticipated to be a smaller version of the iPad mini), I heard a pundit suggest that while the phone may bring new features, it wasn’t likely to be considered disruptive.

Instead, he explained, it was the first iPhone launched in 2007 that would be considered disruptive technology—not because of its attributes as a… More Posted on 08-21-14

Skunkworks? A Solution for Community Building?

Community building involves working with a variety of government departments, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Over the years I’ve learned all three typically have a lot in common.

For example, by most standards they are successful and have leaders who are smart and pretty good at doing what they do. They also acknowledge we’re living in a world undergoing fundamental, rapid, and long term change driven by unprecedented growth in technology.

The thing is that while they know they need to keep on top of digital technologies and utilize the power and potential of the Internet, they don’t always… More Posted on 08-18-14

A Manly Man

Unlike me, my husband reads and understands instruction manuals.

As a result, he is a bit of a geek when it comes to technology. Over the years, albeit with some cursing along the way, he has taught himself how to assemble computers, operate complicated software programs, and build his own websites.  However, something quite extraordinary happened about a month ago after he had wrestled with the increasing complexity of the website for his online kite store.

Yes, my darling husband admitted that regardless of how hard he worked or how many manuals he read, he needed help. He subsequently hired… More Posted on 08-10-14