Instead I had an exceptional meeting with DSM, a chemical company who was able to renovate, changing its face and its market and devoting to sustainable chemicals.
After this I had an intermezzo to forget about, I went to a wrong address and to get there I had to walk for half an hour in the cold in the industrial surroundings of Amsterdam… but all is well what ends well, and after this detour, I was back in the race and I met a woman expert in Visual Thinking who helps startups to do good, and works on visual thinking projects for companies doing innovation. With her I discussed how companies do organize for innovation, and in her experience companies create transversal innovation teams who work on innovative ideas, even though at the end the company could not follow up on the innovation.
then I met Timan Rebel, who told me about his experience as startupper who built 2 very successful online communities that were acquired by a giant Dutch media company. After acquisition the giant imposed its management and control systems, bringing the two acquired companies to destruction. The problem is that they were thinking they were innovating.
Lesson learned: big companies that want to be innovative, can’t use the same tools as in the past (read, consulting companies pushing top down their precepts) to do innovation.
Finally an interview with Erwin Blom, a social media commenter who met and interviewd dozens of innovative companies, ending with a dinner offered by him (thank you Erwin, a very special dish). During the dinner I met Dave Gray, an American doing Visual Thinking (after successfully selling a startup), who came for an interview with Erwin. We had a very interesting discussion on how language defines the way people think, and how the context where persons develops, defines their self perception of their own entrepreneurial capabilities.