Talks and workshops
- Smart simplicity
- Whom to learn from?
- Management and the unions
- What is credible knowledge?
- Innovations and welfare
- Culture and Business
I am an advisor on strategic and organizational issues, and very interested in how the Internet and webification transform businesses and society. I am also involved in areas such as education, environment, and culture.
Workshops suggestions for three themes
An interesting and profitable theme can be: what can we simplify in our business and our services/products? Problems and questions need to be sorted. Order is not the opposite of creativity, but rather its condition.
A good topic for a workshop. It is important to learn from others, but whom should we learn from, and how should we take this to ourselves? It is wise to reflect on your own and your organisation's habits.
Trying to learn from Apple, Google, IKEA, or H&M may be a good idea, but are their solutions relevant to us? One educational model can be to look in both probable and unexpected places in parallel.
One thought is that we can learn from research and in this context, more specifically, what we can learn from business economic research? A widespread thought figure is that this research generates ideas and concepts that then - often packaged and reshaped by consultants - eventually "trickle-down" to companies and organisations. My view is that that model is not in line with reality. To deepen the discussion on this subject, I have recently started a - Blog about the mixed value of Business administration research.
Dialogue between the unions and management
In most major companies and organizations, part of the dialogue between employees and management takes place through a number of trade unions. That unions and companies can disagree about a closure or large production move is to be expected and as one of Sweden's most engaged employee consultants (my view on such assignments) I have been involved in many situations of that character.
In a workshop, the focus is not on an acute situation but on discussing how the parties view each other and the mutual expectations in different situations. If an organisation's "transformation" is accepted as an important part of development and profitability (efficiency), it may be wise to discuss the conditions, rules of the game and what you want a dialogue to look like.
Talks - some examples
What is credible knowledge, and who believes in it?
There have never been so many people working to give us false facts, withhold facts and who in several debatable ways want to influence what we should know and think. We might need a national and mandatory "Digital Conscription week" to increase our defense capabilities against all manipulation. Unfortunately, it may well get worse before it hopefully gets better.
But encyclopedias are credible? Yes, not Wikipedia where anyone can write , but in Sweden at least the encyclopedia NE (Nationalencyklopedin) - or? I became so interested in how encyclopedias had handled the transition from their printed versions to digital services that I wrote a dissertation in business administration called 'Encyclopedias in search of a new business model'. The encyclopedias really became digital victims.
One of my many data collection studies showed unequivocally that Wikipedia is much better and more reliable than NE. Futher, there are good arguments for claiming that NE violates the Swedish Marketing law when their marketing says that they are "Sweden's foremost encyclopedia, based on scientific principles and value neutrality."
My thesis is produced and presented in the form of a "Web thesis" - something of an novelty in Academia. A web thesis provides completely new communication opportunities for research compared to what a printed book or a PDF can offer. Web dissertations can be "locked" in time and archived.
Already several years before I started writing a thesis on encyclopedias, I presented Project BiBB , which is a social innovation based on a new business model for an encyclopedia. BiBB is more transparent and has a higher 'web level' than the encyclopedia NE, which, by the way, many people believe is state-owned which it never was. BiBB is meant to be finally owned by Sweden's universities. Read more about BiBB.se ...
Innovations and welfare
Innovations are a hot area in Swedish politics and public debate. Often the discussion is about how research results and new business ideas (seeds) should grow and become companies with many employees. My view is that a Transformation model where we become better at introducing new ideas into business and society - wherever they come from - is more important to our future welfare than a national Seed model
I like to talk about some prominent innovators such as John Harrison who in the 18th century solved the Longitude problem that long had plagued shipping, or about how the knowledge about cholera and its spread grew and many other exciting stories. Almost all innovators have been told ... Yes, but ... when presenting their ideas. But there is also another saying - in headwind the dragon rises.
Organisations have different innovation styles, and knowing more about how it works in your own business increases the likelihood of success. Or if you as an individual should change jobs or as a company, improve your innovation style.
Culture and Business
How do we want Culture and Business to interplay? The business community may see culture as decoration and relaxation after a hard day on the world market or perhaps something that can seriously add something to a business. What role do you want Culture to have in your organisation?
My company IDstories AB has for some 20 years been working with storytelling in Culture and business, and we have written and published quite a few stories (IDstories) in our focus areas: Houses | Culture | Innovations and industries | Public buildings & POI | Historic persons.
Other subjects for workshops and talks are possible.
All workshops and talks can be held in Swedish or English.