5 LIBERATE How to liberate a culture for open innovation

Destination: Africa

Paradox: Control vs Freedom

Synthesis: Guided Freedom

In this chapter we will have the opportunity to explore the path between control and freedom, facing at one extreme the potential danger zone of oppression, and at the other extreme the potential danger of chaos. We will learn how to plan and navigate a route through guided freedom that will create a culture to best fuel purpose-driven innovation.

Key challenge: How to ensure there is a clear foundation of purposeful principles for empowerment rather than simply relying on rules and regulations through ‘guided freedom’

The young Egyptian boy with the colourful flowers looked so sweet. He handed up one stem to us as we were sitting in a horse-drawn cart, ready to be taken to our next destination, and we appreciated his apparent gesture of generosity.

His sweet temperament was short-lived. No sooner had we taken the flower and thanked the boy for it than he demanded payment — a substantial one. We were late to a meeting and feeling manipulated, so we were keen to get away from this scene as fast as we could. We tried to hand the flower back, but he insisted we had taken it and therefore we needed to pay for it. A long, uncomfortable negotiation ensued. In the end we gave him some money and moved on, but no one walked away happy with the outcome.

We had plenty of these sorts of encounters in Cairo. These experiences are uncomfortable because there ...

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