On February 6, 2008, the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute‘s Innovation Society presented an evening panel discussing “Innovation and Innovation Management: Perspectives from Around the World.” Sue Lebeck moderated. Panelists included Kimberly Wiefling, Francine Gordon, Max Sims, Harlan Jacobs, and me.
My remarks featured working with business-unit and government leaders from China. Audience members seemed to gain from the perspective, though I characterized my remarks as representing an outsider’s view from the outside. Kimberly’s and Francine’s remarks were also based substantially on their providing learning experiences (“training”), in this case for clients in Japan. Kimberly and I each recommended to audience members not to take for granted advice people give about working with people from various countries. For example, I noted that on the first day of a workshop in Shanghai I indicated that people had advised me not to conduct in-class exercises for which workshop participants were expected to discuss results publically. The second day, an officer of a semi-conductor company asked that we discuss that assumption. I ad-libbed 4 for-discussion exercises into that day’s program. Results and people’s satisfaction improved.
Max’s and Harlan’s remarks conveyed more-insider perspective and emphasized innovation in Europe. Various audience members also provided perspective.
During my remarks, I was pleased to note that Chinese business leaders and government officials had taken interest in my “Direct Outcomes systems-thinking tools.” For example, an 8-person PetroChina group that included 4 people holding titles of “General Manager, Oil Field Number __” asked sufficient (and very good) questions that we spent 2.5 hours discussing many ways to benefit from the “Achieve Progress” tool.
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