By Rob Isaacs, co-founder and product director, &us
“&us — what’s that? Who are they? What do they do?”
That’s a problem we’re trying to solve. How do we drive awareness, and show people what we’re capable of.
On Monday, we had an idea.
What if we could help charities and social enterprises whilst solving that problem.
Let’s call it “Making for Good” — our way of giving back, and lending our expertise at making products and services.
Wednesday, we jumped into a Google Doc and started to flesh it out. @Oscar had a google moment to find some insight and inspiration before getting out his notepad and sketching. …
I joined the &us team as a strategist in July to help with Project Fear, a piece of research looking at fear in the workplace and how it interacts with innovation.
The work has exploded into something bigger than we could have anticipated and, despite, at times being overwhelmed with spreadsheets and transcriptions, the insights are fascinating.
Make sure you read the first instalment of the Fear Series to learn about why we care about fear.
Here I’ll be sharing our process of how we came to design a quick and easy experiment so that you can too.
With a survey of 3,000 members of the public, plus 20 conversations oozing with insight with the UK’s most bright and innovative minds, the Project Fear team had already gathered more data than we knew what to do with, and yet, it still felt like a piece of the puzzle was missing. …
For the past few months, we’ve been thinking deeply about fear. This year, it’s been hard not to. But recent developments aside, we are specifically interested in how fear manifests in the workplace, and how it interacts with innovation.
At &us, we’re interested in making work joyful, and innovation normal. That means making leaders braver, encouraging individuals to experiment, and helping teams love making things together.
Fear has the potential to fuel or foil these efforts.
Previous research on fear in the workplace has focused on fear of change, or the effects of anxiety and stress on employee productivity. But we thought this was a narrow view, so we’ve not only been looking at fear as an emotion, but also the ripples it sends out into the organisation. …
The lessons I’m bringing back from my summer internship. By Raphael Patterson, Intern at &us and Trinity College Dublin Business and Economics student.
I’ve spent this strangest of summers back at my parent’s place in London, working as an intern with &us. My main focus has been developing an innovation process for teams to create a product or service in just one week. When I first got the brief, I must admit I thought I was being sent on a fool’s errand. …
Upping your leadership skills in the post-COVID new normal
How today’s leaders can help their teams thrive, by Emily Dent, Transformation Director and Partner, &us
Having a remote workforce has huge consequences for all elements of organisational success, but perhaps none more fundamental than the role of leadership.
It is now brutally clear that all organisations need to plumb in innovative mindsets and true agility to build resilience and growth at the core. We need people to work independently, and be smarter about collaborating on new ideas at pace.
Command and control-style leadership simply will not create the necessary impact when your workforce is remote. It relies too heavily on walking the halls, need-to-know, divvying out tasks and in-person cultural conditioning to be effective. …
Why meme thinking within business is underused and underrated. By Amy Kean, brand and innovation director, &us.
Allow me to use the word meme so much it loses all meaning.
And intentionally so! Because memes aren’t just a complex series of strange jokes that Generation X don’t understand.
Meme thinking is a kaleidoscopic lens through which great change can be understood in business and culture. Meme thinking, I’m certain, is also the key to successful corporate innovation.
But first, so we’re all on the same page: the clever yet unpleasant atheist Richard Dawkins introduced us to the concept of memetics in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. (Ironically, Dawkins himself became a meme thirty-seven years later when a jar of honey was confiscated from his hand luggage at JFK airport, and he blamed Osama Bin Laden.) …
Why simpler is always better, by Nouhou Basekonda, Junior Designer at &us
As COVID-19 went into full swing, everyone was hit, in particular the hospitality industry, as trade went to zero virtually overnight. Early on, a client rang up with an idea for The Pass — a website to support the nation’s top restaurants during lockdown with takeaway orders, whilst also helping people discover recipes from those restaurants so they could cook up a storm at home. …
By Aish Murali, intern and award-winning innovation management student, &us
Cultural diversity is talked about a lot in social media, in terms of business and relationships.
But it’s not discussed enough when it comes to innovation.
Cultural diversity directly contributes to innovation and provides a platform for diverse thoughts and ideas to seep into the organisation.
According to the London Annual Business Survey 2019, businesses run by culturally diverse leadership teams are more likely to develop new products than those with homogenous leadership.
Are you wondering how?
Let me start with an example, rewinding back 2 years ago, I was one of those international students stepping into London, a city filled with mult-nationals and diverse groups. Our cohort was unique and the students on my course were chosen because of the diversity they offered in terms of culture and expertise. We had students ranging from designers and dancers to business managers and lawyers. In terms of cultural difference, we had a great mix of students from all over the world. …
By Laura Hewitt, senior coach, &us
In the &us coaching team we’ve just kicked off one of our biggest projects to date: simultaneously training 6 different teams from a huge global pharma company on how to work and collaborate with agility in order to crack some of their biggest challenges. Naturally, me and the team are buzzing to get started but given these crazy, new, abnormal (etc etc) times we decided to approach this project differently, and create a User Manual.
The User Manual is a genius tool we’ve only just discovered, which helps teams foster deeper and more trusting relationships, and have open conversations. It’s like a test drive, before the real project kicks in! Far too often the temptation is to dive straight into a project, all guns blazing, but the User Manual approach is about taking some space to breathe, and learn. …
Why every business needs to work with an enemy, by Saul Minkoff, strategy lead, &us
Imagine a world where we managed for the long term. A world where big companies didn’t hoard secrets, attack each other at every opportunity, and didn’t need months of negotiations to collaborate on anything.
Now imagine a world where the employees of those companies were less focused on promotions, less fearful, and more focused on how they could really make things better, for whomever they serve.
The word ‘compete’ comes from the Latin verb competere, which means strive in common. So why are we doing the opposite? I’m not suggesting it’s time to build some unrealistic utopia or, conversely, unleash anarchy — but given how fragile our world has proven to be, maybe it’s time to re-capture the original sentiment of what it means to compete. …