The Digital Lab

lx-factory
Trainspotting was a movie that above everything but becoming a hipster. The characters where real like, embodied in some past memory we lived during our 20’s. Twenty years something after, version 2 of the movie is released. Together with the soundtrack of the latest incarnation, apart of Iggy Pop’s Lust for life, it was released an umpteenth version of Underworld’s Born Slippy, probably, the song that catapults the band to the mainstream.
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During this week I attended a digital transformation academy and the only component that caught my attention was the need to deploy a digital creative lab. A place on which companies will experiment, test, fail and learn the road ahead of digitise operations.
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On 2014, Underworld created a DJ set on the influences of the album dubnobasswithmyheadman for BBC’S Radio 6 program, the 6 mix. Karl Hyde mentioned across the broadcast – a tribute to the bands that influenced the production of the record – hey were meeting in SoHo with other important bands at the time like The Chemical brothers, Moby, Goldie the Orb and many others, and how they shared experiences and ideas for the records they were producing, in a way that some of the remixes that Underworld and their peers created for other bands – pay it forward – included the best of its work, feeling they were giving away instead of using it on their own records. The trade-off as they learned, is about the importance of being part of the animal collective creative process and how all the musicians learned how to produce much better music.
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When I was an entrepreneur, I used to work time to time, at LX Factory in Lisbon, a co-work space – hotels where a depressing place to be, like to in house arrest – on which I could meet other entrepreneurs, artists, fashion hairdressers and designers. Co-work facilities always have rooms for people to ideate, however, the best place on which I share, learn and watch passing by so many inspiring ideas, was at the cafeteria where people meet to grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich. There, we were in full bloom. I remember how no-one blocked other people ideas, values and pre-conceptions, everyone was learning and was adding always news ways of interpretation, translating to his owns words or better, to his own domain expertise. For example, in those days, the Adaptive Case Management (ACM) was taking off and looming in the corporate agendas, opposite to the workflow automation. When I was referring about that fact and how it was being used in a project I was leading for an healthcare clinic in Berlin, someone that was doing some work in literature, told me about William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch. A book that does not follows the natural law of a narrative – ultimately, drove me to Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften – and like ACM, which the process closure is defined by the human when the goal is achieved, opposite to workflow automation that reaches the same outcome over and over again by the art of infinite repetition. Understanding the way Naked Lunch writing technique was used – the cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text [1], opened to myself a new perspective how to articulate the ACM driven solution instead of using the common references around system thinking theory.
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Digital transformation requires a new mind-set, creating a digital transformation lab that is not about being able to execute the toolbox, like creating rapid and agile idea prototype or storyboarding or apply design thinking techniques, it is how companies create an human interaction environment of highly creative people, that by the combination of multidisciplinary domain expertise they craft the next big idea. This is more a human resources challenge, upskilling your workforce rather than create the facility and the collaboration tools for people to ideate.
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References:
Image credit – LX Factory
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