Blended Reality: Innovation is Culture at FEI 2016

I spoke at FEI 2016 about Blended Reality.  It’s the fusion of our physical and digital worlds, creating new and improved experiences for people at home, at work and on the go. Leveraging an array of new technology trends—HyperMobility, 3D Transformation, Internet of Things, Smart Machines and Immersive Computing—innovators across the globe are finding ways to make our lives richer and more productive.

How we accomplish this is largely dependent on our individual and organizational appetites for innovation.  As part of my talk I also discussed an idea I believe in wholeheartedly – that innovation is culture. True innovation comes when you reestablish that inner child belief that anything is possible. At HP, innovation is in our DNA. It drives how we create, think, manage and collaborate.

HP was the original Silicon Valley startup in 1939. In a small, unassuming garage, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard created their first product and a philosophy – to create is to innovate.

As a leader, it is vital to drive innovation into your organization. It doesn’t require unlimited finances or resources. In the end, you need to encourage, develop and help your team to tap into that belief that anything is possible.

We recently had a great example of this at HP. Our testing group for LaserJet printers experienced a budget cut. Instead of cutting down the amount of testing, they took it upon themselves to improve the testing process. They 3D printed a robotic arm and created a program that allowed them to test the printers. Now they are better able to manage their testing and have freed up their time to explore their 3D printing efforts. In fact, they created an entire robotics platform and expanded the future for robotics in testing.

It is important to empower your employees to make decisions like these.  To reimagine a problem and explore new approaches. And when they do, encourage them and celebrate them publically. I believe that we all own innovation. It is not something I own as CTO, but rather something I want everyone to participate in. Once that happens and is embraced, you know you’ve driven innovation into your company culture.

What are your strategies for incorporating innovation into your workplace culture?

2 comments

  • Great article, I think it can be very useful for an interested person.

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  • I wholeheartedly agree that “True innovation comes when you re-establish that inner child belief that anything is possible.” As a 10th-grade teacher, I passionately believe in the meaningful integration of technology to provide that “magic” that helps my students, as well as myself, see the world in an enhanced, unique, and exciting way. I strive to immerse my students in innovative technology and programs such as CoSpaces.io so that they can be creators, rather than just consumers, of 3D/VR/MR/AR because, as you say about your team, it is a platform that allows my students to reimagine traditional English Language Arts content and explore it with an innovative mindset! The extreme focus of my students as they create an environment within CoSpaces.io is heartening. A small number of my students have gone into the “testing phase” of their scenes by using a Cardboard viewer and through them, I can begin to see and appreciate the idea that the idea of being innovative is a culture that must be developed and, as you say so succinctly, is an “appetite” that must be encouraged! As a class (teacher and students) who have no experience with coding, Blockly, or building within a virtual world, it is heartening to see how far we have come together as a class with CoSpaces.io

    I will not go into the roadblocks that are often encountered in education which precludes innovation within the classroom but, suffice it to say, a lack of funding cannot be blamed for everything. As a fourth-year teacher, I had to come to a difficult conclusion with regards to the lack of technology and introduction of innovative methods of interacting with content and curriculum in classrooms (my own included): it does not stem from a lack of effort but rather from a sense of disquietude engendered by a lack of direction for professional development that will help us stay abreast of trends in order to remain relevant. The questions for me has always been “If I am unable to remain a learner and practitioner of 21st-century skills, how am I to encourage and cultivate those same desired skills in my students and colleagues so that we can begin to build a culture of innovation?” I am grateful for having found Twitter and tapping into a wealth of established innovators, educators, and thought-leaders who have expanded my professional knowledge and given me a multitude of resources and readings (like this one) so that I, much like my students with CoSpaces.io, can be the creator of my own learning and not just a consumer.

    I am proud of my students, my school, and my colleagues because we strive to be innovators and find a multitude of directions that will lead us to success. At the end of the day, innovation will never happen without effort and, in that, our school is not in danger of ever losing. If you would like to see an example of one of my students’ work, please follow the link at the end of this comment. Please remember, we started with no knowledge of how to interact with a 3D/VR/360 environment nor of Blockly/coding and I am so proud of this particular students, like a few others, who took on my challenge to integrate Blockly into their scenes!

    I cannot wait to begin introducing my students to AURASMA but before I do, I must become an expert myself (or at least competent enough to guide them while learning along with them).

    CoSpaces.io Student Exemplar (for a WOW factor, use a VR viewer like Cardboard): https://cospac.es/teis

    Thank You for a Wonderful Article!

    Mr. Pond
    Durant High School
    Plant City, FL

    Like

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