Claire Allen

Go Wild with Your Work

Nature has a thing or two to show us when it comes to working better. Mark Sears took on the tough job of telling business and individuals to disconnect everything and get out into the wild. He tells us how it pays off.

HowDo: Tap into Knowledge Sharing

HowDo is a new way of giving and getting ideas. Little nuggets of information are laid out in a short selection of images and wrapped up in step-by-step audio, all compiled using the technology in your pocket.

Writing your way out of a hole

Budding wordsmith or not, few people have escaped the feeling of writing failure. The written word comes into so many aspects of our lives that we meet the chance to fail at it often. Most of us have known writers’ block.

Ideas on a napkin please

American Airlines has hijacked the urban myth that winning business ideas get scrawled on a napkin. They’ve launched a competition asking for business pitches in exactly that format.

Creative Destruction

Creative Destruction is the silver lining in our tough economic times, some would have us believe. There is nothing like a bit of clearing out the old to make way for innovation and that’s exactly what the recession is doing. Or is it?

Does Google’s 20% time work?

Google’s 20% time has gained a lot of attention over recent years. Employees can take up to one day a week to work on something unrelated to their work, something they are passionate about. But does it work?

In asking that question, we have split it in two: how does it work and does it actually work? The latter can be interpreted to mean does it work for the employee and does it work for Google?

As an employee incentive, Innovation Time Off (as it is formally known) can be taken by any member of staff. Some people save it up so it can all be used at once, some don’t take it at all. It has certainly caused a stir and marked Google out, yet again, as an innovative company that understands what clever people need to stay inspired at work. Apple and LinkedIn followed suit. Apple called theirs “Blue Sky” and lets employees take two weeks to work on projects outside their normal responsibilities. Software company Atlassian openly calls their programme ‘20% time’.

An open Valve for creativity in business

The Valve handbook for new employees explains the ‘flatland’ approach of having no hierarchy, no boss to impress of be scared to speak up in front of, no pattern of employing talented people and then just telling them what to do.