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WHERE DO GOOD IDEAS COME FROM?

Since our launch on 22nd April 2013, we have attracted over 150 members to the innovate18 Platform, including members of the Crossrail executive and Tier 1 project leaders. The Crossrail Innovation Team have already visited thirteen (13) Crossrail sites to discuss how best to engage with their teams.

There is clearly an appetite to innovate at Crossrail. This has resulted in nine (9) innovation ideas submitted via the innovate18 Portal. We are hoping to receive further innovations to ‘share’ with the community in the coming weeks.

This week, I have had to refocus my attention to family matters, as my wife gave birth to our third child, Alexander, on Wednesday 1st May 2013. Both Mum and baby are doing well and we hope to welcome them home this weekend.

After a lovely day in the sunshine doing the school run, playing football in the park, cooking, visiting Mum and Alex and finally bedtime(!), I took the opportunity to log into the innovate18 Platform and use the “What’s New” function. It’s great to see that the BIM in Delivery Working Group have publicly joined the programme. You can read about their objectives and delivery streams via their own dedicated section of the innovate18 Platform. There are opportunities to get involved in their work, as BIM is a key element of the Digital-Physical Interfaces theme of the innovation programme.

Whilst I was waiting in the hospital this week, I found a fantastic TED lecture which is important enough to share with you. It discusses the power and importance of an open innovation model which is a key concept of Crossrail’s Innovation Strategy. I hope you can spare five minutes to listen to it.

Where do good ideas come from?

By Steven Johnson

People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. However, Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. Steven talks about the fact that the introduction of coffee shops to England from 1650 were crucial in the development of the intellectual flowering of the last 500 years we now call the “enlightenment”. He also talks about the importance of networks to innovation and how better ideas are generated when there is a diverse group of people who get together and talk about their ideas.

Crossrail has created a virtual coffee shop in the Collabor18 forum & Champions Blogs that is intended to be used by the Crossrail family to securely share ideas and collaborate on future challenges. We want people to feel comfortable to share ideas without feeling as though they need to protect their intellectual property.

Steven reinforces this concept by explaining the power of sharing knowledge in an open way, across boundaries; of choosing  “Connecting versus Protecting”. He shares a great story of Sputnik and how that stimulated a great innovation we all use today.

http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_johnson_where_good_ideas_come_from.html

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