Don’t shoot the red monkey
October 30, 2011 3 Comments
Last Friday, I think we had our most controversial class. Prof Dr Dirk Buyens (Human Resource Management) warned us in advance. We were not deceived: Jef Staes is really different than previous lecturers. Given the affiliations and public profiles of some future guest lecturers, I doubt we will have anyone so different anymore.
In my opinion, in order to bring new ideas, you have to somehow be radical in your ideas. Or maybe it’s just the enthusiasm in the way to express those controversial ideas. Anyway Jef Staes began with the idea that if you don’t use twitter (he is @jefstaes) and every “social media” tools or if you don’t know how to publish a video clip of yourself on the internet, you are losing time in an MBA class. Take it literally and two students left the room because they couldn’t agree (and I think they were right to do so). Take it as a metaphor and you might agree that if you can’t use all the resources available to get the information, you have a handicap compared to other managers, compared to other teams.
I will not summarize 3.5 hours of course here but, in a nutshell, Jef Staes presented more a vision about how innovation should be handled in a company, the part of information availability / social media being something to build upon.
Personally, being part of an innovation process in my company, I already saw most of the behaviors Jef mentioned. It was nice to understand that these negative behaviors were not specific to my company but things that are usually “there” when people innovate. Jef Staes added that next (“3D”) managers will need a vision, lots of passion and be able to use all the information available, via all possible channels.
Note: for those who wonder what is a red monkey, Jef Staes published several videos on YouTube. Here are some of them …
Photo credit: I brake for red monkeys by myself ;) on Flickr (CC-by-sa)