Thinking Fast and Slow – Innovating Fast or Slow?

The famous book by Daniel Kahneman “Thinking Fast and Slow” reminds us of the two operating methods of our brain. How can we use both to improve our own innovation mindset?

First to market, MVP, Fast Iterations … there is a lot to be said for fast cycles of innovation that quickly implement new ideas and concepts. There is also a lot to be said about learning as fast as possible how to best innovate.

Interestingly to learn fast, you need to slow down your processes one notch and include review, reflection, awareness, assessment elements to your innovation cycles.

By creating time outs to review what happened:
. the way the team went from idea to implementation,
. how effective the process was
. how much of the expectations were met
. how well expectations were thought through
. how connected our innovation was to what our market wants or event better needs (because very often people want something but actually need and deeply appreciate something different)

You will accelerate learning and massively improve your innovation by creating moments to create a deeper awareness of the innovation process and of how we all contributed to it, or failed to understand how to best contribute and how the process of innovation can be made to suit better the people involved and the outcomes (in that order)

Because learning is infinitely more useful than creating a solution.

You are all wrong, your idea will fail! When should you trust this kind of advice?

It was a while back, when together with another 7 co-founders we decided to set up the Impact Hub Madrid, one of the first co-working spaces in Spain.

Many told us then “you are crazy, your idea will fail: in Spain no one likes to share an office, co-working will never work in Spain!” On hindsight they were wrong and we were right (thousands of co-working spaces are doing very well thank you in Spain today)

But how do you know when you should listen to that kind of advice and when should you ignore it?

A simple rule:
1. if EVERYONE tells you you are wrong, well perhaps the time has not yet come for your Inovation?
2. If the majority tells you you are wrong, then check who is telling you that your innovation might work? Is it just friends and subordinates who want to make you happy?
This is where you need to be smart about a first validation of your innovation. Go for a manageable (you don’t have that much time to go to market) group but also a very diverse group, who can give you their feedback on a number of levels : financial, good ideas, comms, community building experience and how this might work or not.
People from different sectors, can not only bring you feedback to your original idea but also create super useful rich insights into opportunities you might not have heard of.

Whatever you do : do NOT, EVER, hide from everyone your innovation “in case they copy it”. It is much better to know now that your idea can be easily copied and work now at making it unique and. difficult to replicate, then to find out it can easily be copied when you already invested millions in money + time + resources.

The “office” space/s of your organization will determine its success

The office WAS a container where you would fit all your people. Now it should be a social space suitable for co-creating.
SIX useful QUESTIONS to CREATE/ASK FOR the best place to work #futureofwork and retention + attraction of #talent


Have you thought of hybrid workplaces, not limited to a single “let’s go to THE office” kind of space, instead allowing your people to choose between multiple locations where to be, an ecosystem of offices?


Do you allow your people to choose their meeting places?
Places that are better adapted to the location and needs of the specific team working on a project.

These diffused places may not be in the typical business centres of cities, but in better locations, closer to where the team members live / want to be. An increasing number of companies are using offices and coworking spaces in residential locations and not the usual ones in the city center.

Look at the concept of 15-minute cities to get a better idea of the possibilities and positive influence of your company in the dynamics of your city.


Do your “offices” allow informal learning?
Do you have spaces to build social and creative relationships and interactions?


Are your workspaces fixed, allowing a single use, or modular / flexible allowing more dynamics in the same space? Places need to be as open and flexible as the innovation you need so much.


Do the leaders of your company know how to manage people in the best possible way in the new format of #hybridwork: do they know how to create and use #trust, an element never before so fundamental to get the best out of your people or do they continue with the old obsolete model of command and control and even creating fear-driven work environments?


Have you managed to co-create the best possible evaluation system or do you continue to measure only according to outdated metrics of attendance and being physically (not necessarily mentally) present of your people?

What is valued and encouraged in your organization: being present or the quality of work and results?

Finding the best way to evaluate your people has never been so important in the uncertainty that surrounds us where knowing what matters creates clarity, justice and well-being in your teams.

The innovation advantage of entering a new market + experience of knowing that market

How can you both avoid being limited by the “it’s never worked before” attitude of having been in a market for many years and at the same time benefit from the experience of knowing that market?

The idea is to always keep a fresh mindset, able to create groundbreaking new ideas that not only keep up with but beat the constant change and evolution around you, regardless of the years of experience you have in a market.

There are many examples of companies who enter a market for the first time and take the market by storm: Zoom in video conferencing, Facebook in online interaction, Kickstarter’s crowdfunding in finance, Heura Foods non meat products in the food sector etc. Outsiders with a clean slate, a fresh mindset, bringing with them daring and disruptive new ideas that most companies had not seen, despite or because of the fact that they had been in that market for a long time.

You get used to seeing what is possible, limited by what you know (or think you know) is not possible. This is a limiting factor, specially when things evolve so fast around you.

Your fresh (un influenced from past experience) views might have you look at a market and see an opportunity or innovation that no one had seen before which could make you a groundbreaking success. At the same time there is value in the experience of people who “know the sector”.

The ideal innovation balance?
Create in your organizations an open minded mindset that a newcomer has. Also bring in outsiders, people who have never been in that sector before who might ask really basic questions, the ones that disrupt your thinking, have you rethink old ways of doing things and open new opportunities.

At the same time also bring in and be informed by, but not influenced by conversations with people who have those “many years” of experience in the sector, that are familiar with the key players, the key shortcuts. But I repeat never be influenced by their thinking, only informed by it.

Why does curiosity create confidence?

The authors of “The curious advantage” write in the intro to their book “the real secret to business success is not forcing new ideas to come forward. It’s listening and sensing why things are the way they are …
from there new solutions become clear and unique in form.
Curiosity is what makes this happen.”

With all the possibilities around us, confident people will quickly attract and progress. So confidence (NOT certainty) is definitely an important asset to develop.

People who awaken + use curiosity are less fearful and create less fear.
They are asking questions that do not pose threats to them or to others.
Questions like “what would happen if?” “I wonder why did that happen?” “What will happen next and what is happening? 😁” .
Increasing this curiosity mindset lowers our anxiety and stress because we are not pushing for decisions, we are curious to see what happens, why things happen, what is out there.

This reduction in anxiety then opens new possibilities because we are not acting in fear but with fresh exploring eyes of what might be.

Curiosity then increases our confidence to open our mind, it adds new layers of information, it creates more confident thinking and being.

This will also be visible to others. They will find you more attractive, interesting to be with. You will be invited to more of the important events and decision-making meetings because you are asking good curious questions.

So what are you waiting for? Take steps to unlock your and your team’s curiosity !

Change inputs if you want new (better) outputs

Inspired by the end of this episode of Erik Kruger’s The Expansive podcast I was reflecting on how our mind’s laziness can limit us and our organizations.
We – unconsciously – use habits and mental models to repeat patterns, to save energy from making the effort of trying new things.
Specially when things are going well, we repeat ways of doing things that worked but that keep us reaching better and much needed new outputs.

Being conscious of this pattern is the first step.

The second step is to create new inputs to allow new (better) outputs to arise.
Easy ways to achieve this is to have agenda-less conversations with new insightful people.
To enter spaces where a lot of questions are asked.
To physically be in new places.
To force ourselves to add (at the very least) one new slide and concept every time we present that hugely successful presentation.

… In general creating a new habit:
the habit of always – enjoying – (and not stressing out about) actively looking for new inputs,
to switch on the curious mode,
to be open to what will allow you to create better outputs.

The balance between keeping the focus on what is most important whilst having that curious mind mode ON, is that magic sweet spot where the best new outputs will allow you to successfully innovate.

Three of the questions I get asked most frequently by innovators

These are the three broad types of questions I get asked most frequently by innovators and that you might wish to dedicate time to researching:

  1. TRENDS – What is happening? What new trends are emerging? What could the next big thing be?
  2. PROCESSES – How can I make the most of that trend? How can I implement it? How can I make the transition that is needed?
  3. ATTITUDE – What is the best attitude to manage the uncertainty, opportunities, new interactive structures?

Specially as “there is no time” it is vital to create the time (a weekly moment? the Monday meeting? …) when you stop to research all three areas.
Interestingly it is the third area (attitude) that is most important to either success or failure of innovation. It is also one of the least addressed.
Understanding how to substitute fear, stress, anxiety, uncertainty … in your team, with curiosity, open exploration, trust in each other, positive feedback, developing adaptability … just some of the fundamental traits that CAN be added / developed in the people of your team and in yourself.

Without these, your best processes and innovation will never work at its full potential.

Why millennials and Genz don’t want to lead? Leading takes energy, co-creating gives energy.

A recent survey of +10,000 18 to 35 year olds showed that leading is not their priority. Whilst older generations always aimed to reach the top of the ladder, become the boss, younger generations have other priorities.
So how can you understand and manage and allow your entire team to thrive knowing this?

First of all why don’t younger generations aim to become the leaders of their team?
Four elements stand out:
– They lack the psychological safety to take risks or make mistakes
– Too much to worry about taking on leadership responsibilities
– Leadership brings higher levels of stress
– Need to give up too much to take on a leadership role

So you can decide to address head-on all four of these points (and many more that you can only find out once you build a strong, listening, open relationship with all members of your team)


You can shift to a more collaborative, co-creation, diffused leadership mode.
Where responsibility and worries about making mistakes is shared with a wider (united and supportive) team and there will be more likelihood for many to stand up and take ownership, without having to lead the entire pack forward. Instead co-creating the project and moving it forward to its highest level of innovation and success.

Always remember that leading takes energy, whilst well structured co-creation mode gives energy.

Why is GENZ talent going to leave you and what to do about it?

This article by Jason Wingard “The Great Resignation: Why Gen Z Is Leaving The Workforce In Droves…And What To Do About It” sparked in my three more ideas on how you can both motivate AND retain (*) the most innovative and interesting younger talent to your organization:

reducing bureaucracy, decision levels, to get that (almost) instant satisfaction that these generations are so used to with. Long testing processes from idea to action are a sure way to lose interest, engagement and talent. 

experimenting, trying things out, being comfortable with beta mode is what creates the agility and ability to try, pivot, progress and continuously move forward to get to the best solution. Ideal for any company, essential for younger generations.

being an influencer, is something that many younger people aspire to, it is achieved by many of their peers, they want it too. They want to be protagonist, of meaningful impact, they want to make change happen and be seen to make it happen. Again the (almost) instant reward is something they are accustomed to.

So definitely not an easy bunch to please and motivate, but an essential one too.

(*) because you really don’t want to retain at all costs an unmotivated and unproductive person.

Risk Management or Future Proofing – What’s the difference?

The future is most uncertain yet I need to prepare my organization and myself for that unknown future.
So where do I put my priority?
Risk Management or Future Proofing?

Whilst the two concept are very similar they highlight one of two attitudes:

Risk Management = I want to limit my risks

Future Proofing = I want to prepare for the future

Whilst the first one is usually most prevalent in more traditional companies who, fearful of their vulnerability go for the human instinct of creating some kind of certainty by “locking down the hatches”. Making sure there are no holes or gaps in the vessel that needs to navigate a future we don’t know. Limiting potential threats.
The frequent question asked in these kinds of cultures is “where can the next crisis come from?”.

Future Proofing has a stronger emphasis on the future (rather than on maintaining the past status) and on actively preparing for what (might) come next.
It is more open to explore, more creative yet has the same level of preparedness requirements.
The frequent question asked in these kinds of cultures is a more open “what might happen next and how can I be prepared?”.

So there is a clear emphasis on fear of losing and limiting in the first instance and wanting to prepare to win in the second.

Which of these two cultures are you driving for yourself and for your team? Which of them is most useful to be the most successful possible tomorrow (and the day after) ?