Meet Tim Wright

Last year our team participated at the Open Innovation 2.0 Conference in Dublin and it was there Rui Patrício and Tim got acquainted.

First, Tim found his way to our hearts with his typical British humour over the gala dinner and then after several meetings CONTINUE TO GROW triggered his curiosity and we wrote together an article Working the Crowd – Don't Get Lost. Thank you Tim for your contributions!

1.Could you tell us where are you from? Do you sometimes employ your origin to work in your favour and how?
I am originally from England but I now live in Scotland having washed up on the shores of many countries in between. Like most native english speakers I am, shamefully, not a linguist and rely much too much on others being able to speak my language. I can order a beer in French and insult someone in Maori but thats about it. I lived in the Netherlands once and picked up some Dutch but it was only really useful to me when I lived with a Dayak tribe in central Borneo. The headman of the village had been educated in Dutch as a child and remembered a few words, so I had a strange experience of sitting with him in a long house in the middle of the jungle saying words like "corkscrew" or "rabbit" in Dutch and laughing uproariously with him. He was a headhunter and I think it helped save mine!

2. Please tell us shortly about your professional career.
Well I was a singer and musician when I first left university, touring with a reggae band, and by a very round about route became a librarian, welder, web developer, McKinsey consultant, publisher, and numerous other incarnations before founding twintangibles, a crowd economy management consultancy, quite a few years back. I suppose throughout all of these things I have been a creative, an ideas guy.

3. Could you please name your main career wins and lessons learnt?
Working for Egon Zehnder was a tremendous privilege. Truly fascinating firm with a unique culture, referenced by Daniel Goleman as an organization with strong emotional intelligence. Never felt more valued as an employee. ITI Scotland was a fascinating experience - a £500m open innovation firm creating unique crowdsourced IP in Energy, Digital technology and Life Sciences. As Director of Knowledge Management and ICT it reinforced how our networks and collaboration can be extended by technology but how central culture is to the success of these types of initiatives.

4. What captures you about innovation management, more specifically in Crowdassets?
The crowd economy and crowdassets in particular are the most exciting prospect for delivering real, sustained innovation. I believe it is the most profound change in the way we can create value for a generation and more. We are on the brink of transformation in the way we do business and where we look for ideas, innovation, and value creation. To embrace the opportunity we need to radically rethink many of our strongly held assumptions and re imagine many of our business models. That can be unsettling for some and thrilling for others. Personally I am thrilled.

5. What has been in this area the latest breakthrough in your opinion?
The most important factor of the crowd economy is the empowerment. This capacity to act affects all participants and the result is a radical change to the management dynamic. Organisations need to look externally to the crowd for value creation, not internally, and that has tremendous implications for the way those external relationships are managed. For us as individuals we have previously unheard of capacity to act, to take ownership and effect change. Being empowered and liberated in this way is truly what knowledge centered management has aimed to do, and offers so much promise, but it introduces a level of complexity that many traditional management models are ill suited to cope with.

6. In what projects are you working currently? What is your expectation on them?
Crowdfunding is taking up a lot of our time at present as you might expect. Our focus in this area is shifting increasingly to Governmental, Civic bodies and larger groups as they seek to understand how they can work more effectively with this emerging practice so as to better deliver the outcomes they wish to. We have developed frameworks to help them shape interventions to use crowdfunding activity to drive entrepreneurialism, social innovation, build civic engagement, Our analysis and planning tools are still widely used in preparing for crowdfunding too. One project I am really excited about at the moment is using collaborative models coupled with the maker movement and the wikihouse concept to enable an some urban regeneration projects. A really interesting mix of participants and a project that could solve some entrenched and difficult problems.

7. We are arriving to our collaboration. How would you describe CONTINUE TO GROW Alliances Network and your treasure/expertise in it?
Collaboration is such an important facet of how the crowd economy works. Agile firms that can quickly come together to solve complex challenges through the application of diverse expertise is a key competitive approach today. Building trusted relationships with people and organisations with great skills is essential and models like the Continue to Grow alliance is a great framework to make that happen.

8. If you would meet the Mr. "High costs of developing new products and services" then what would be your message to him?
I would introduce them to Mr CrowdSourcing, Mr Crowdfunding and Mr Innovation and show how this approach, when properly managed, is not only cost effective, the new products and services will be better, closer to market, validated and proofed by the market more accurately priced and offer a better ROI. Once they have experienced that we could even introduce Mr Jugaad as well!

9. Coming to more relaxed questions. How do others see you?
You better ask them! I hope they would say honest, creative and trusted.

10. What fascinates you besides work?
I am a big cricket fan but I appreciate only part of the world will know what I am on about. It's a great sport but to Americans it's generally utterly impenetrable. They can't understand how two teams can play for five full days and still have a draw!

11. For resuming this pleasant dialog, would you be kind enough to share with us a personal quote. It could resumes your main values on life and/or relate to innovation.
I have always liked a lot of what Robert Fulghum said in "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten". This includes things like - Share everything, Play fair, Don't take things that aren't yours, Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody, Learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together"; and, perhaps most importantly, "Be aware of wonder". It seems to me these are a good creed and we should try to retain them after childhood, life is all the poorer if you lose them.

12. Just let me ask one more question. From your point of view, what is that crazy, unexpected, flying cars like innovation that you wish to see come true?
Linguistic implants. Going back to my earlier comments on the curse of speaking english - I wish I could instantly learn a language by some kind of implant. It would save my embarrassment but it would also help me to become more fully immersed in the amazing diversity of cultures we have in this world.

Tim Wright is an Associate Partner of CONTINUE TO GROW and co founder and Director of twintangibles a consultancy that provides organisations with expert strategic advice and guidance on crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, knowledge management and transfer, collaboration and the use of social technologies. Amongst other roles, Tim chairs the External Advisory Board of University Leicester School of Management and is member of Scottish Internet Domain Policy Advisory Board.

If you wish to know more about Tim Wright, please visit his LinkedIn profile.

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