The “New” New

What is the “New” New? What is on the edge of the Tipping point? Is it always useful to introduce the “new” new? There is a television show that my daughter watches called the Tele-Tubbies. These are alien like creatures with, you guessed it, televisions in their stomachs that occasionally come to life and show a cute video with some level of educational content on it. (Actually, it’s a pretty cute show which my daughter has outgrown so I can find very few reasons to have it on!) But one of the characters on the show is an elephant type of creature with a vacuum cleaner for a trunk. He (or she?) is named Nu-Nu because he comes in and vacuums up any mess that has been made making everything “New”. I bring this up because I think that is exactly what the “New” New does. Something is introduced, be it technology, a concept, or a new paradigm, and it sucks up all of the time and energy for a given project trying to make it work. I wonder if there is any formula for the “New” New and how much time it should be granted. I am open to suggestions but for me it needs to be about 15%-20% of the overall project time. That may seem like a lot but how many times have we spent copious hours on a learning curve in order to make something work for the first time. Is that the best use of everyone’s time? The answer is no.

However, I think that the “New” New should be on everyone’s radar everyday. Imagine if we spend 15%-20% of our regular time immersed in the “New” New so that when we needed something New its already familiar. I know this is crazy talk but when innovation is the key differentiator, when creativity is the coin of the realm, how valuable does that knowledge of the “New” new become? I try and spend about 5 minutes of every hour surfing the internet for interesting tidbits from all over the world. Why? For two reasons:
1. It’s been proven that shifting concentration for short a break allows better performance at work. Stop trying to grind it out, our brains don’t work like that.
2. Innovation does not spring from repetition.

Become conversant in the “New” new so you can tell when it’s needed and when it’s just sucking up too much time.


December 2, 2009 at 5:34 am Leave a comment

Hello world!

Hello World!
That’s the phrase used by both white hat and black hat computer hackers to prove their computer hacking abilities. Well, this Hello World is signifying a hack into the meeting mindset. (For those of us from the pre-hacking days think of when the big thing at school was when someone entered 90095 on a calculator and turned it upside down. Same general concept.) The meeting industry has been taking its share of lumps lately and I think its time to start hacking into the mindset of what a meeting is really all about; getting beyond the boondoggle mentality and rewiring the hardware for a new outcome. Alright, enough with the metaphor. The point is a time of great challenge is always a time of great opportunity. A time to refocus on core offerings and get back to the reasons we have meetings. I’ve sat in too many meetings where the response to the question: “What is the strategic vision and how does a meeting support achieving that vision?” is “Well, we had a meeting last year so we have to have another meeting because otherwise we’ll lose the budget for having a meeting.”

Well, that budget has left the building along with a lot of other spending. But now that companies are starting to emerge from the ironically titled Great Recession, it is more important than ever to gather the troops and share the strategic vision that is going to stabilize the company. That is where effectively delivered strategic communication can make the difference. Leaders have one opportunity like this in their lives and it is what separates good from great. The playing field has been leveled in every industry and profitability is now a matter of who has the most innovative approach. And who has the ability to cascade that approach throughout their company. The ones who are still hiding and cutting won’t have much longer to wait until their is nothing left to cut. The companies who have weathered the storm and now have a new strategy for profitable growth, well, they’re the ones who are going to be saying…HELLO WORLD!

December 2, 2009 at 5:11 am 1 comment


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