Do you have the passion of the explorer? If you do, what kind of employer could attract you away from entrepreneurship?


Today the ever-inspiring John Hagel spoke in Sydney today about passion at work as part of AMP’s Amplify series, organized by Annalie Killian.

The story in summary, told at more length in the Unlock the passion of the Explorer report, is that:

* Technological change is creating ever-increasing pressures and challenges for institutions and individuals;

* In this world the rationale for large organizations to exist is no longer scalable efficiency, but scalable learning;

* The Center for the Edge looked to find examples of “sustained, extreme performance improvement” that reflects this scalable learning;

* What they found in common was deep passion, but a particular type of passion that they dubbed the passion of the “Explorer”
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On the importance of energizing holidays for entrepreneurs


I have just returned from holidays in Jervis Bay, a stunning region set in a marine national park a few hours drive south of Sydney. It is one of those places scattered around the world that feels magical in some inexpressible way.

Summer is Here | Jervis Bay
Image credit: Hadi Zaher

It was just a one week holiday, my first proper break in the last year, which has been perhaps the most intense year in my life. Victoria and I did take a little time off between this last Christmas and New Year but I ended having to do a some urgent client work and many interviews including Sunrise, Today, and Morning Show over New Year so it wasn’t a real holiday.

Switching off

During the holiday I was almost completely switched off from digital world, with limited connectivity where we were staying helping me avoid more than very briefly glancing at email or Twitter every day or so, though I did need to respond to a couple of enquiries.
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Relaunch of Advanced Human Technologies Group website and new blog


I am extremely happy that we have finally relaunched the website for Advanced Human Technologies Group.

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The launch of Hub Sydney – crowdfunding memberships and distributed value creation


The Hub global movement was founded in London in 2005, and is a very rapidly growing network of so far 30 Hub communities co-working spaces established around the world and over 5000 members.

I first heard of the Hub soon after it was established, but was first directly exposed to the network when I ran a workshop on Crowdsourcing for Startups and Social Innovation at Hub Westminster in London last year.

I was fortunate to spend some time at the Hub and with its co-founder the inimitable and inspiring Indy Johar.

Subsequently I had the chance to hang out at Hub Melbourne, which draws together an eclectic community in a vibrant space in the city center.

As such I was delighted when the launch of Hub Sydney was announced. It will open on May 8 in a large office space on William Street Darlinghurst, leased from the City of Sydney. Check out the video – it tells the Hub Sydney story well.

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Crowdsourcing Week in Singapore promises to help catalyze the global potential of crowdsourcing


Epi Nekaj, the founder of crowdsourcing innovator Ludvik + Partners, first got in touch with me in early 2012 to discuss his plan to run a landmark global event focused on crowdsourcing.

On June 3-7 Crowdsourcing Week will be held in Singapore, bringing the Crowdsourcing Week team’s vision to fruition.

Ross Dawson_500
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The effective CIOs of the future will be internal and external entrepreneurs


As part of the recent Tomorrow-Ready CIO event series run by CIO Magazine and IBM, I was interviewed on the messages I shared in my keynote and the supporting Future of the CIO Framework. The brief video, available on CIO Magazine, is below.

Some of the points I make in the video are:
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The 7 characteristics of powerful visions for effective leadership


‘Visionary leadership’ is one of the phrases most bandied about these days, yet it is almost always an aspiration rather than a description.

A vision of what is possible is a prerequisite to visionary leadership. That vision can come from an individual, but more often it is the product of many people.

The vision that underpins visionary leadership is definitely not the ‘Vision’ that is encapsulated in a neat phrase and sits alongside the ‘Mission Statement’ and its ilk.

A vision needs to be something that people can ‘see’ in a way that makes them want to move towards it. There are seven primary characteristics to powerful visions that I identify:

– Compelling. Powerful visions must draw people, attract them, make them want to take action and overcome obstacles to achieve it. It must feel worth achieving, worth putting real effort into getting there.

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Parallel entrepreneurship goes mainstream


Back in the 1990s I became enamoured of Bill Gross’s IdeaLab, which was spinning off new web companies initially housed in its own support ecosystem. I loved that it generated and developed its own projects rather than looking outside for ideas.

Since then I’ve closely followed what I’ve thought of as “parallel entrepreneurship”, in contrast to the usual concept of serial entrepreneurship: establishing many ventures rather than doing them one by one.

Despite many leading lights saying that founders should be focused on one venture, I’ve always believed that it is possible – albeit extremely difficult – to launch and run multiple simultaneous ventures.
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Strategic overview of AHT Group: sharing our ventures, projects, and enablers


I believe that open business is an important and valuable foundation for success today. We actively share our activities and priorities on an ongoing basis, and intend to share considerably more over time.

Two years ago I shared our AHT Group Business Model Overview and a year later I published our 2012 Priorities, and found sharing these useful for ourselves and for others.

To help me and our team to strategize and act effectively in 2013 and beyond, I have created an overview that describes the activities, projects, and current priorities across AHT Group, which currently comprises Advanced Human Technologies, Future Exploration Network, and The Insight Exchange.

The document does not explain the relationship between the companies or the logic of our business models. I will extend this overview soon with an updated visualization of our business model.

Below is our group Strategic Overview as of January 2013, with a brief explanation of each of the major elements. We will provide more detail on the ventures, business models, and lessons learned during this year.

Click on image to see full size pdf

Description of the elements of the Strategic Overview:
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How to make friends with and influence Sydney’s entrepreneurial and self-employed community


This year we celebrate the 14th annual Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Xmas Party in Sydney.

As every year, the intention is to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs and self-employed people, primarily from the technology and creative sectors, to celebrate the end of a great year with their peers. While corporate employees have someone to put on their Christmas party for them, those making it happen for themselves don’t have that luxury.

As we did last year, we have invited companies to support the Entrepreneurs Xmas Party by helping to buy drinks for early arrivals at the event. So far we have almost all the companies that supported our event from last year, who all found it highly valuable, plus a couple more on board.
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