First Round Deadline
Final Round Deadline
When it comes to building management and business models that are fit for the 21st century, one of the fundamental challenges is developing organizations that are capable of discovering, nurturing, aggregating, and appropriately rewarding contributions from employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders across boundaries.
Specifically, organizations that are built to thrive in the Innovation Economy focus both on unleashing human capacity—designing environments and systems for work that inspire individuals to contribute their full imagination, initiative, and passion every day—and on aggregating human capability—leveraging new social, mobile, and digital technologies to activate, enlist, and organize talent across boundaries.
In other words, the organizations and individuals who design clever ways to invert the pyramid and to shift from the static value chain to value-creating networks, win.
Now, more than ever before, leaders must recognize the value of individual contribution. Individual ingenuity, initiative, and passion are the fuel of the Innovation Economy. Yet, these deeply human qualities cannot easily be corralled, commanded or “ordered up” from on high. They must be properly invited, nurtured, and inspired. This means that organizations must become increasingly inventive in devising new models of engagement that emphasize the power of the individual over command and control. And it means that the work of leadership must increasingly focus on energizing and enlarging the community rather than managing it from the top-down.
The good news is that the Social Web and other digital technologies and platforms offer a robust set of alternatives to industrial-era forms of organizing. We now can imagine organizations where . . .
. . . coordination happens without centralization,
. . . where power is the product of contribution rather than position,
. . . where the wisdom of the many trumps the authority of the few,
. . . where novel viewpoints get amplified rather than squelched,
. . . where communities form spontaneously around shared interests,
. . . where opportunities to “opt-in” blur the line between vocation and hobby, where titles and credentials count for less than value-added,
. . . where performance is judged by your peers
. . . where influence comes from sharing information, not from hoarding it.
The even better news is that these new approaches and technologies are available to just about anyone—from global companies to emerging startups to individual innovators to citizen groups to cross-sector initiatives. That’s why we are launching the Unlimited Human Potential Challenge—to unearth and celebrate the individuals and institutions who are working to create real value and to improve lives in a meaningful way.
We are seeking the most progressive practices and innovative ideas for unleashing human capability to produce radically new approaches to organizing, competing, and creating advantage. How can we tap into emerging digital technologies and the principles that undergird them (such as transparency, collaboration, meritocracy, openness, community and self-determination) to imagine the future of business?
Now it’s up to you. What are you or your organization doing, or what could you be doing, to unleash and capture human capability, wherever it exists? Make a case for how your management hack or business model innovation creates a real impact—in your organization and beyond. By sharing a bleeding edge case study or contributing a pioneering idea, you can help shape the future of business. The ultimate prize? A better run world.
Submit a Hack (a disruptive idea, radical fix, or experimental design) or a Story (a real-world case study of a single practice, an initiative, or a broad-based transformation) on the subject of how organizations and leaders have tackled (or could tackle) two urgent challenges: 1) redistributing power in a way that gives many more individuals an opportunity to lead, and 2) equipping and energizing people to lead even when they lack formal authority.
Participation is open to any registered member of the MIX. Join here.
MIXers may (and are encouraged to) team up to co-author submissions. To work collaboratively, one MIX member needs to start a Story or Hack and then add other MIX members as participants by entering their MIX usernames in the co-author field. All listed authors will have edit access to the Story or Hack.
Submissions may draw on secondary source materials but should be based primarily on first-hand experience or an original idea. In every case, be sure to credit all those who contributed to your story or hack and provide citations to external reference material.
The Unlimited Human Potential Challenge will unfold in two stages: a preliminary submission phase ending March 31, 2014 and a final round in which finalists develop their entries further based on feedback from the MIX editorial team and community, ending May 10, 2014.
All entries will be judged by our panel of leading management thinkers and progressive practitioners, including (more judges to be announced shortly):
- James DeJulio, co-founder & president, Tongal
- Lisa Gansky - Entrepreneur and author, The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing
- Gary Hamel - Co-founder of the MIX and author, The Future of Management
- Umair Haque - Director of Havas Media Labs and author of Betterness: Economics for Humans
- Norbert Kunz, CEO Social Impact GmbH, Ashoka Fellow
- Charlene Li - Founder, Altimeter Group and author, Groundswell and Open Leadership
- Tom Malone, Patrick J. McGovern Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author, The Future of Work
- Nilofer Merchant, Strategist, thinker, and author of The New How and 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra
- Jacob Morgan - Co-founder, Chess Media and author, The Collaborative Organization
- Don Tapscott - Author, Speaker and Advisor on Media, Technology, and Innovation
Winners of the Unlimited Human Potential Challenge will receive significant recognition on the MIX, by SAP, and our media partner. Winners will also earn the chance to be recognized and share their contributions at SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW event (June 3-5, 2014) and the MIX Mashup (Fall 2014).
For the first time ever, these winners will be eligible for an additional suite of prizes, what we’re calling the Idea Accelerator. Based on their potential to make a genuine impact—specifically, the potential to produce a viable app, product, company, or even a movement—up to three winners will win:
*A design thinking workshop with experts from SAP Labs to further develop, prototype, and possibly scale the idea
*A mentoring session with executives from SAP Ventures, including introductions to business incubators and/or angel investors
*Additionally, depending on the results of interviews conducted by the SAP Ventures team and the market potential of the winning entry, one of these entrants could also win up to USD $50,000 in funding from SAP Ventures, to go towards the formation of a new start-up company or venture. (Special consideration for this optional award will be given to entries with the potential to leverage SAP HANA.)
Please note: while the prize purse will focus on contributions with the potential to leverage SAP’s HANA technology, the MIX and the judging team will consider all contributions equally. Any Story or Hack that meets the Challenge Brief has the potential to make it to the winner’s circle.