The best companies leverage their employees' creativity and capacity to generate development strategies. Google, Pixar, Ideo: three California giants that strongly encourage and listen to the ideas that come from the trenches. A
nd technology plays a large role in that process.
As Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, explained at the last TEDxSoMa conference: "Don't wait for the big idea!" Process, workshops and analysis grids help to find new and consistent ideas. His 3-step program (1. brainstorm, 2. map/reduce, 3. matrix) is an efficient way to generate a lot of ideas and determine better ones.
Jonathan Mann, musician and troubadour who writes a song a day – a fresh and funny look at technology (listen to "Cloud Computing for Beginners" or "Bing goes the Internet") - since January 1st, 2009, shares this point of view: inspiration is rare, even for the most creative people. You have to force it to make ideas happen.
Mindmapping tools, to-do lists and note-sharing utilities like Evernote are useful but what makes innovative ideas happen is mainly interaction and personal development. David Pescovitz (co-editor or BoingBoing and co-organizer of Maker Faire), during his vibrant speech on "the world as wunderkammer" invited companies to rethink the way they activate employees' curiosity by encouraging maker culture. Two examples of great creativity involve the iPad, LEGOs and typewriters.
The third step: make your employees happy by having a playful and efficient workplace. Colors matter. Desks and how they fit in the workspace, noise limitation, shared spaces, screen sizes and wireless devices ... every aspect of a workers' daily life – and how they use technologies at work – has to be evaluated and improved. Alexander Kjerulf, the "Chief Happiness Officer" blogger who specializes in making the workplace better, shares a few examples of workplaces that link technology, spaces and workers' creative needs -- ideas that will help companies follow Google, Pixar and Ideo's lead.