Inflexion Point, May 2019

Inflexion Point, May 2019

Dr. Pavan Soni 06/05/2019 3

What really went wrong with Boeing

The recent catastrophic crashes of Boeing 787-Max crafts and the grounding of its fleets globally has led to wide concerns around how much of artificial intelligence (AI) is really enabling and when it turns against human betterment. However, this piece isn't about automation or the effect there-of, it's the one on humans, and the organizational culture. The author laments that missing 'psychological safety' and not encouraging employees to bring forth hidden problems and potential disasters has collectively led to the debacle at Boeing. A case on the power of employee voice. (Source: Harvard Business Review) 

Three innovation insights from 3M

Here's 3M, the innovation powerhouse, with over 65,000 products and 25 new launches every week! That's the pace of innovation kept alive for over 100 years now. The scientists and engineers are identified internally as scouts, entrepreneurs, or implementers. The scouts identify a problem worth solving (using science) mostly by being closers to the customers and in the real context, then pass on the baton to the entrepreneurs who develop several prototypes, and finally the implementers commercialise the concepts. All this is enabled deep collaboration and fueled by the '15% timeout' practice, which allows employees to spend 15% of their paid time on pet projects. (Source: Fast Company)

How workspaces shape innovations at BMW

The century-old company promises to remain at the forefront of innovation and technology in a decade primed for sizable disruptions in automobile alone. The recipe of innovation at BMW is beyond people and technology, rather it's the work space. Designed and developed on the principles of - focusing, collaborating, socialising and respite - BMW Innovationswerk facility helps 'fluid thinking'. Designed by Die Planstelle, Steelcase and IDEO, the avenue has become a magnet for designers and engineers from across the Group in search of some inspiration. (Source: Steelcase)  

Three lessons on creativity from Pixar

Pixar is arguably one of the most successful animation studios in the world. Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Inside-Out, Up, are but some of the stories that amused children and adults alike. Ed Catmull, the humble co-founder of Pixar, offers a behind-the-scene perspective on how creativity is managed (yes you read it right) at the animation powerhouse, and presents some enduring leadership lessons on fostering an innovation culture. Three of the most doable practices are: build a braintrust, where ideas are discussed and not people; embrace your 'ugly-babies' by being open to criticism, and not killing others' ideas early on; and share candidly all your ideas and insights such that you always fall forward. (Source: Inc.) 

West Virginia will allow for 'Blockchain Voting' in 2020 Presidential Elections

Now that's a disruption applied to mainstream and leading to other major socio-political disruptions. For one the military voters would be able to cast their votes on their mobile phones using a private blockchain, and then the possibilities are infinite (both for good and bad). The secrecy and accessibility would be the two big impediments if this system is to scale up. Certainly, technology typically has the last laugh, in cases ranging from commerce, to healthcare, education, and now elections! (Source: MIT Tech Review) 

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  • Kirsty B

    Boeing should put the blame on the engineers not AI

  • Reece Jarvis

    Blockchain needs a little bit of time to be widely adopted

  • Eddy Mangan

    Love reading your inflexion point series

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Dr. Pavan Soni

Innovation Expert

Dr. Pavan is an Innovation Evangelist by profession and a teacher by passion. He is the founder of Inflexion Point, a strategy and innovation consulting. Apart from being an Adjunct Faculty at IIM Bangalore, Pavan has consulted with leading organizations on innovation and creativity, including 3M, Amazon, BCG, Deloitte, Flipkart, Honeywell, and Samsung, amongst others. Pavan was the only Indian to be shortlisted for the prestigious 'FT & McKinsey Bracken Bower Award for the Best Business Book of the Year 2016'. He has also been invited four times to speak at the TEDx. For his work on innovation, Pavan bagged the prestigious ‘On the Job Achiever’ Award at Lakshya in 2007 at NITIE Mumbai. Pavan works closely with CII, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce, European Business Group, FICCI, Karnataka Knowledge Commission, NHRD, and World Trade Centre, towards shaping their innovation activities. Pavan is a mentor for NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore, Founder Institute, Institute of Product Leadership, Brainstars, Budli, HackerEarth, and UpGrad, and is on advisory board for VC firm- Utilis Capital. Pavan is also a columnist at YourStory, Entrepreneur India, Inc 42, and People Matters. He is a Gold Medalist from MBM Engineering College Jodhpur, and did his PGDIE from NITIE Mumbai. Pavan finished his Doctoral Studies from IIM Bangalore in the domain of innovation management. More on his work is available at

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