Friday, February 26, 2010

Simple Containers into Awesome Design Objects

People working in the CoWorking area always need inspiring spaces - don't they? For me at this applies fully. Places of historic touch, crazy stuff, that is mind-blowing or unusual spaces like a tree-house have a positive impact on human thinking.
CoWorking seen as the first step for CoDesigning & CoCreating the future we want to be part of needs at first a space. Often it started in coffee houses then moved into housing spaces and then refurbished industrial heritage buildings. There always is a need of low-cost space.
So you would ask, "What are other alternatives?"
Containers? Oh, no. Too dull and dark. Crappy and worn down.
Not quite so as you can clearly see here
(Copyright: Bridgette)

What is your ultimate place for working in the future? What is constraining to make it reality?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Big Dreams Start Small - like life :-)

"Most big dreams originate in someone's living room with a small group of people, regardless of where they come from or how they are dressed."

Jacqueline Novogratz

What  has been your BIG DREAM that has become true?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Customers have a VOICE - that you can BELIEVE!

@KevinSmith an author and podcaster from the U.S. is tweeting about his very personal late experience on a SouthWestAir flight. He wasn't allowed to fly with them - "too fat due to regulations"so the personnel figured. CRAZY!

Despite the good reputation of SouthWestAir the story seems pretty harsh. Would I have been on this flight, I guess I would done similar. In case I have in a similar case on traveling to Belgium with Thalys (a subsidiary of SNCF) which is a super-highspeed train traveling from Cologne to Paris via Brussels.

Kevin's experience you can read on Twitter, here or there. Twitter makes it possible and if the company is as open as SouthWestAir. They are the "Toyota of the Sky" and have been exceptionally customer focused.  "Lean in the air" was probably a slogan that was all to true till the event a few days ago.

Customer focus is quite easy and quickly to achieve, by any rank in the company. What has driven the personnel on this particular flight - who knows. 

What has driven the personal on my journey with Thalys up to Brussel late August 2008, I don't know what was in the air (during the event and afterwards).

How much reputation is destroyed by such BAD customer experiences for the company? How much stress is on the not well-treated customer? What is the negative ROI (Return of Incident) truly measured in $$$, €€€ or equivalent?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Samuel Smiles - an unnoticed Scottish philosopher

Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.

Samuel Smiles 
(c) Wikipedia
... an interesting quote and don't you remember some of your most successful achievements? How long did it take? How many nay-sayers were standing in the way to success? How thick the walls of resistance have been?
There must be something in your heart that pushed forward your actions -step by step- towards the vision you had set in mind. 

It is YOU who is building the road to success !!

PS.: Interested in learning more about the ultimate knowledge source of the early Toyota then read here (especially Self Help) for free.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Home Exchange - swapping homes for new opportunities to see

CoWorking, CoLiving, CoConsulting, Co.... you name it;-)

What is the glue that connects all these -partly innovative- concepts? It is people. In 1981 we started with our family the first home exchanges as we realized that staying in hotels and later in holiday flats wasn't that what really gave us value during a holiday.

So the idea of home exchange (swapping our house with some people who live somewhere else in the world, we didn't really know and we had no idea what we could expect). Crazy, you probably think or even say aloud while reading these lines.

Not quite. It is all about building a trustful relationship beforehand in order to do a successful home exchange. Actually this is pretty much like doing a consulting job (with sustainable positive long-term results for the client, and the client learning to solve internal problem himself with his workforce).

The first initial home exchange was the "ice breaker" for the 50 other ones in the 30 years that followed to the present day. We actually arranged a meeting with the interested family. The husband of this family from England happened to work near Frankfurt (just a short 30 min trip from Mainz, where we lived back then) and he wished to have his family around in the summer holiday time. So we got to know each other arranged the stay. From this moment on my parents always arranged intensive letter correspondence and a pre-home exchange visit to the forthcoming home exchangers while being closely locacted to next year's destination.

What have we learned from that time alltogether: changing your position in living (doing a home exchange to Australia for example) opens totally new experiences. You get to know new things that your fellow exchangers have in the house (neat appliances you could also well use at home;-)), new culture, new climate, new friends.

Over the years a home exchange community builds up and one has friends all over the globe. Any place you go you have to chance to meet old friends and new friends.

... and it's an ongoing learning journey giving much of joy to the participants :-)

I really liked the time and will do it myself in the future (when the flat or house is available for home exchanging ;-)). In the meanwhile the local way of experiencing the same is CoWorking. In Dresden there is a space where you can check out what it means and what benefit it can bring to you and your business.

Further links:

Your New Home from Home (Times UK)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Innovation - the driver of future city prosperity

Have you ever thought of what makes one city or region different from another? Why are some cities or region striving ahead whereas others stay economically behind?

Is it the big organizations that are visible in media and daily life (when passing by on your way to the office)? Perhaps the smaller shops and SME (Small & Medium Enterprises) with up to a few hundred people, sometimes even the "Hidden Champions" that rule the business in their field? Or the other thousands of "invisible" entrepreneurs and startups that bring new innovations into daily life (which then will be also adapted to by the larger ones)?

What has been the start of the prosperity around Silicon Valley back starting in the 60s?

It certainly was the kind of off-standard kind of living and community. Hippies and people doing things differently to the mainstream kick-started (mostly unseen first by the larger crowd) what now call a truly creative and innovative space. Boston is surely another accumulation point where entrepreneurial and innovative mind gather and CoCreating the future.

Cool new stuff and shifts in present ways of working and living often come from the small pockets within your community, that you are often not really aware of.

MassInnoNights is such a small pocket (at least it started as such about a year ago with just a few bucks on water and some name tags) - innovators around the area of Boston. They meat once a month to share what they have to provide to potential customers and guess what? This has grown into a well respected event where even the big shots in the business of innovation come along (e.g. IBM, SUN, ...).

Based in Dresden, BTW a city you should visit once in your lifetime, there happens to be something that could have happened in the Bay Area some forty years back. You got a bit curious?

These folks don't really fit the common picture of Dresden with baroque, Frauenkirche and even the high-tech SiliconSaxony - no it is definitely DIFFERENT!

The event is once per month (similar to MassInnoNights), it lasts from around 7 pm till (more or less) open end (is that still comparable?), you will meet people with all different background (process designers, product designers, graphic designer, sociologists, Dresden fans, ......).

The concept that UndSonstSo (to present time it is just in German, would there be an innovator creating a tool that directly translates tweets into English or enable this by dedicated people around the world? That would be cool and a story of its own) fosters is new to the City of Dresden and so the ideas that spread from there. If you haven't checked it out, next Thursday, 04.02.2010, there is the next chance (every first Thursday of the month).

undsonstso #5 - see you there;-)