“I see little commercial potential for the Internet for at least 10 years” – Bill Gates (1994) [1]

Tactically it was the right thing to do, strategically it was a mistake.

This is how I am going fix it, contribute to mission of my organisation and reinvent myself professionally (for the forth or fifth time).

At the beginning of 2014 a committee was formed at the University where I am employed as a Systems Engineer (specialising in Storage, Backup & Archiving) to “Innovate” … with a Capital “I” of course.

As it struck me as potentially interesting and different I jumped at it, naturally it was “work-shopped” and three different projects were spun up.

One of these was mine and it would enable me to combine almost all of my skill-sets to deliver something extraordinary.

It was solid and achievable but when I put forward the the business case and project plan, the structures and governance, the products, outcomes and key deliverables there was panic.


I’m so glad you asked … because:

  1. it needed resources
  2. it was perceived as a risk
  3. I had no leverage from my position
  4. at the point where I might have moved from a Project Mandate to Project Initiation we started a restructure
  5. the entire IT Futures committee was reallocated to a strategically critical project
  6. it turned out that I was the only person who had developed their project and anybody sensible had realised it was window dressing

Towards the end however I understood the main reason why it was never going anywhere, what I wanted to attempt WAS NOT Innovation, it was outright Invention.

I would not have been connecting the dots and utilising a framework to ensure they inter-operated to create a line, I would have been inventing them again.What I really need to do is reinvent myself.

The good news is that I almost never give up … unless I realise that the fault was mine on one of those rare and horrible days when you wake up suddenly knowing that you’re on the wrong side, that you’re part of the problem, that you are in fact one of the bad guys.

The other even better news is that every change is also an opportunity, the restructure mentioned above opens a position for proper innovation in our educational technology and digital learning space and the project which displaced the committee has the most amazing potential.

I will make every mistake possible at one time or another BUT (with a one or two notable exceptions) I won’t make the same mistake twice and this time when we “Do Innovation” I want to be in a position to see it is done both properly and imaginatively.

In a sense I am here to learn my new trade, discover and internalise the rules and then break them.

This is start of my blog for my Master of Innovation.

1. Comdex, 1994
SOURCE: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Bill_Gates

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).
SOURCE: http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Quotations/Einstein.html

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