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Soft Skills

I found this article a few months ago and reread it often to reinforce what I already know, but what the professional world makes me doubt…that interpersonal skills are invaluable: https://fee.org/articles/interpersonal-skills-are-anything-but-soft/ We’ve all engaged in job searches where the only requirements mentioned are onerous lists of learnable, tangible skills.  For example, a typical list for my role, business analyst might look like this: Analyze, define, and document requirements for data, workflow and business processes Develop a strong understanding of the…

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People > Data

In a recent article, DJ Patil former chief data scientist for the US Government said, “Data helps us understand problems and find solutions, but we should never forget that it’s about people first.” This line struck me as central to mission we are undertaking in the innovation program here at Wake County. Let me breakdown some of the things that have been churning through my head these past few months. I just want to say that I am fortunate to…

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Motivating change

In my last post, I shared an interesting document from WWII, the Simple Sabotage Field Guide. In that post, I focused on the advice that is given for business disruption.  However, there is also an interesting section on motivating saboteurs, aptly called “Motivating the Saboteur,” that I think can be helpful when thinking about innovation in our organizations. This section clearly speaks to the need to treat people like humans and understand that they have intrinsic motivations that are critical.…

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Local “Brigades” are leading the civic tech movement

There is one point that is worth debating when civic tech people get together and that is whether civic tech flows from local to national or national to local. I feel fairly strongly that everything starts local and goes from there.  Code for America does offer those of us in civic tech a framework and an umbrella to gather under, but the work is done locally. The reason I mention it is that there is a national advisory council of…

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Print your next home

While I know that 3D printing is one of the top disruptive technologies, I’ve struggled to understand its practical applications outside of huge manufacturing companies.  Until…this! 3D printing is making its mark in the housing industry. Believe it or not, there are a few companies exploring building fully autonomous smart homes in a single day using 3D printers.  These homes are modular, off grid and run completely on solar energy. https://3dprint.com/170515/passivdom-3d-printed-house/ This is a truly innovative use for 3D printing…

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Business Sabotage

While researching Agile principles, I came across an interesting historical document.  I wish that I remembered who originally shared it so that I could give them a hat tip since it is one of my favorite examples of how confused our view of work has gotten.  To understand its significance, it is important to give you a brief history lesson.  During World II, the predecessor to the CIA, the OSS, developed a manual to help Allied sympathizers in Axis countries disrupt the…

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Many ask – What do we mean by INNOVATION???

There are many ways to interpret innovation.  I often times get the question…What do you mean by Innovation Initiative?? I must admit that it is hard to explain because it looks different depending on what we are exploring and it is also about thinking differently.  Well, I found this really good video that talks about the many faces of innovation.  It even has a cameo of our own Jim Hartmann and David Ellis!  Take a look, I hope you will find…

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The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People

Came across this very interesting infographic that shows the 24 hour routines of 26 well-known creative individuals including authors, composers, artists and scholars from the past several centuries. Very interesting diversity of schedule and leisure activities. I love how small an amount of time is allocated to “day job” activities. Clearly these visionaries found a way to meld their “job” with their “creativity” for tremendously successful results. Most of us probably couldn’t get away with justifying Balzac’s mid-day napping. And I,…

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