How do we make sure we never forget the lessons that we always used to remember? Last weekend, huge crowds in St Albans queued for hours to see a stunningly beautiful set of poppy projections – see video – inside the walls of the magnificent Cathedral ahead of the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Sunday, or Armistice Day.
As I looked at those standing with us in the cold and rain, I considered how there is next to no one left alive with any memory of World War 1. Even those with childhood memories of World War 2 would be at least knocking on the door of their 80th birthdays. There were precious few of the latter in the crowd – and yet those with no recollection at all kept coming and queueing around several blocks of the city centre until late into the evening.
I do worry that while the understanding of war’s folly burns bright among ordinary people, the mistakes that led us there are now being repeated by leaders around the world. And this is why a 100 year old commemoration should shamelessly lean on new technology and ideas to keep the flame of remembrance alive.
How do you get your CEO’s backing for a more collective approach to creativity and innovation in your organisation? CEO sponsorship is so important – it’s like a snowball gathering mass on a downhill run – the higher up the hill it begins, the bigger the impact at the bottom.
In an excellent webinar this week, ahead of the forthcoming Merit Summit in Vienna (with a theme of “Co-creating Learning Organisations”), Professor Carlo Giardinetti set out his vision of the challenges of tapping into the collective intelligence of organisations.
Few leaders doubt that collaborative approaches are a “good thing”, yet Giardinetti rightly notes that many stop short of supporting initiatives they see as unwieldy or unworkable. Understandably, they put a heavy premium on simple, pragmatic and results-driven models for better collaboration.
The rest of us see the gains from applying collective intelligence but need help to sell it “upwards”. So we need to put ourselves firmly in the CEO’s shoes. Is our vision as clear as it can be? Is it simple to administer? Is it robust against the everyday challenges of corporate reality? And how will its results shine through – for all to see?
Answer these questions and we can give this snowball a massive shove – from the top of the hill ….