Jamie Watson, How Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs Solve Critical Challenges – InnovaBuzz 405

Jamie Watson

Jamie Watson, The Common Mission Project

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Jamie Watson, the Founding Director of the Common Mission Project Australia. Prior to joining the Common Mission Project, Jamie spent more than 30 years working with the Defence Department in Australia. As an operator and a researcher, Jamie has gained unique insights into the application of novel solutions to complex problems. Having held strategic Defence science liaison roles within Australia and the United States, he has extensive experience in translating problem statements into research and development activities.

Jamie is an experienced innovation instructor, coach, and mentor. He is driven by an insatiable appetite to deliver meaningful outcomes to beneficiaries. He holds tertiary qualifications in Maritime Engineering, Technology, and Urban Planning.

In our discussion, Jamie talked to me about:

  • Bringing together university students, government sponsors and lean methodology to solve big problems
  • The importance of getting cross-disciplinary inputs to solving problems
  • Drilling down to the real problem beyond the presenting symptoms

Steve Weinstein in episode 380 introduced us to Jamie.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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We no longer have problems that can be resolved through a single perspective. A complex, multi-faceted problem requires a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary response. @Jamie_N_Watson on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Jamie Watson of The Common Mission Project

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • The Common Mission Project empowers people with the skills and tools to deal with the largest issues of our time, and ultimately, making a difference to the world.
  • Mission-driven entrepreneurs are people who bring an entrepreneurial mindset to solving critical problems. They are driven by their mission to solve those problems and not by economic return.
  • The Common Mission Project uses the Lean Launchpad Methodology to provide academic staff and students with the knowledge of how startups work, how they go through understanding the market and customers, and understanding how a solution might service a particular market sector. 
  • The Common Mission Project teaches students and academic staff how to explore a problem and understand potential solutions in terms of a minimum viable product using the Mission Model Canvas, a model that represents all the different aspects of a solution. 
  • The Common Mission Project uses a flipped-classroom approach where the real learning comes from students. Students share what they’ve discovered, who they’ve spoken to, how they’ve worked through the process, and what they’ve learnt with each other.
  • The Common Mission Project helps create the workforce of the future and position students to quickly add value by equipping them with real, employable, and useable skills in the workforce to quickly add value.
  • We need a multi-disciplinary approach to solve problems that are of national or global scale. We need people from various backgrounds, experiences, and academic disciplines to pull it through from different perspectives.
  • Naive experts are people who are very good at a particular skill but maybe naive to a particular problem set or domain. They can add value by looking at a problem, find analogies, and identify parallel applications to bring a whole lot of new and wonderful insights to a problem.
  • We no longer have problems that can be resolved through a single perspective. A complex, multi-faceted problem requires a multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary response.
  • By not exploring all the particular aspects of a problem, you can’t possibly land with a solution that satisfies all the people who are impacted by it.
  • Get outside of the building. Talk to people who are associated with the problem and who care about the problem. By doing that, it allows you to explore and understand the complexity of a multi-faceted problem not only in a very deliberate and structured way but also in a way where rapid succession can occur.
  • Universities need to have the capability, tools, people, and resources to be able to solve a practical problem with immediate economic value. 
  • Having the ability to think beyond horizons is critical in solving a problem and delivering a solution in a more immediate term.
  • We need to have the ability to solve the problems of tomorrow. We need to invest in that, otherwise, we can only deal with problems that we’ve seen before and that we know how to solve using traditional methods.
  • A healthy ecosystem is not measured by the size of the ecosystem but by the diversity of players in the ecosystem.
  • The Mission Model Canvas is a simple tool that allows you to step through different components of an idea. It’s a deliberate way of thinking that is based on hypothesis testing and making sure that your assumptions are valid. It’s all about the core principles of innovation, feasibility, desirability, and viability.
A healthy ecosystem is not measure by the size of the ecosystem but by the diversity of players in the ecosystem. @Jamie_N_Watson on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Jamie’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Deal with a hard problem that pushes you through a new place with new challenges.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Seek out feedback and listen to feedback. That is where the best learning lies. Listening to feedback is a skill that we can learn, develop, and enhance. 
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Mission Model Canvas
  4. Keep project/client on track – Eat a live frog every morning. Choose to do something hard or which is uncomfortable, to prevent it from becoming a blockage later on.
  5. Differentiate – Be authentic. Authenticity cannot be stimulated. People see authenticity and align themselves with authentic people in a way that is meaningful and profound.

To Be a Leader

Be a participant in solving problems that matter.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Jamie through their website.

Suggested Guest

Jamie suggested we have a conversation with William Treseder of BMNT and David Burt, Head of Entrepreneurship at the University of NSW. So William and David, keep an eye on your inboxes for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of Jamie Watson.

Links

Cool Things About Jamie

  • He’s the Officer in Charge of the Maritime Trade Faculty in the Royal Australian Navy. 
  • He holds tertiary qualifications in Maritime Engineering, Technology, and Urban Planning.
  • He can pitch to the most senior leader, or roll-up sleeves and work with teams to develop a solution, and does what it takes to get it done, each day, without compromise.
Seek out feedback and listen to feedback. That is where the best learning lies. Listening to feedback is a skill that we can learn, develop, and enhance.  @Jamie_N_Watson on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is a transformational marketing strategist, podcaster, speaker, the chief innovator and founder of Innovabiz who partner with innovative, exceptional business coaches and consultants to enable you to build visibility, professional credibility and a deep connection with your ideal, dream clients, so that you will achieve growth and be able to make a difference to more ideal clients. Jürgen's mantra is Let's Make Marketing Human again. He believes that marketing is the art and science of creating and sustaining exceptional, remarkable customer experiences and relationships. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, as well as on Innovabiz' Twitter, Facebook, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Tales of Marketing Transformation Show and his personal Photography website.

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