Technology at work

This week I had the great privilege of hearing Scott Berkun speak at the “Technology at work” conference at the Waterfront in the City of Belfast. This event showcased the latest innovations and technology solutions developed by Northern Ireland businesses. It provided a great platform for delegates to meet and showcase how technology can offer solutions and new opportunities across all industries.

Scott is the bestselling author of Making Things Happen, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and Mindfire. Big ideas for Curious Minds. He has worked with Microsoft and WordPress and is now a full time author and speaker whose work has appeared in the Newyork Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, Forbes, The Economist and he is a major contributor to Harvard Business and Business Week.

As a Keynote Speaker he threw out some challenging thoughts to the business audience focusing on “Managing ideas, creative thinking and communication”.

This conference was packed full of business inventors and creators. People in the world of business who make things happen with technology. It was interesting to note the message that Scott was conveying to the audience of how our world view can often be shaped by intimidation if we only ever see the CEOs from companies in photos of the press or in the news for the new product they are launching.

This message of communication sets in motion the image of the lone genius, the impression that CEOs are somehow extra special, when in reality it’s the team around them that has really made their success happen. It’s the team that has taken the idea and spent time making the product. So often it’s the team that is hidden, the team that gets no recognition, their names don’t hit the headline news. Yet without the team the product would never have been developed.

Scotts biggest challenge to the audience was to remove this myth of the lone genius, the sole inventor and he encouraged everyone to realise that we are all creators in our own way and that valuing team is really important. Team is special, without it there will be no success. We all have ideas and we are all creative in our own way.

Creativity is simply a kind of work. It’s the process of developing ideas and something that we do daily in ways that we don’t often see or realise.


Some quotes from the day:

The image of the lone genius. The sole inventor is a myth. There are always people who help out. We need to remove this myth.

Don’t use the phrase “Think outside of the box” because we are really telling each other that we are not creative

There’s lots of jargon for developing ideas. We don’t need fancy language. Keep it simple

Good products are rare. You don’t need to be amazing to beat competitors

A good product, in the sea of badness, will be called innovative

Big ideas look weird in the present. If you want big ideas, raise your threshold for weirdness

Creativity is a kind of work. The process of developing ideas is just work.

Ideas are made from other ideas. I am different just like anybody else.

You must be willing to experiment. Experiments are long –term investments

The goal of learning is more important than failure

All big ideas start big


For more about Scott Berkun check out his blog site