Creating a Workforce of Hackers

Creating a Workforce of Hackers 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

Joe and I started doing a session a year or so ago at Talent Anarchy called HackLab.  The idea behind the session was simple: to teach people how to use the basic principles of computer hacking to create innovation within their work–any kind of work.  Conceptually, it’s about realizing that innovation doesn’t happen like a lightning bolt striking with the sudden revelation of a game changing idea.  Instead, innovation is built over time, one small improvement after another.  Hacking is the perfect model and any one can do it.

When we rolled this out, we weren’t sure how much of an impact it might have, but as we started to teach the concept, we started getting great feedback.  People keep telling us that it has real application for them.  Plus, HackLab is a working session where they practice and often walk away with some great hacks to apply to their work immediately.

So, when I had the opportunity to present an Ignite HR session last fall at The HR Reinvention Experiment, I took the opportunity to introduce that audience to the idea of using hacking to drive innovation.  If you aren’t familiar, the Ignite format is a presentation format where you get 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide and the slides advance automatically.  It’s a fun and challenging format to present.  It forces you to pack a lot of information into a little time and to be really focused with your message.

My session was titled “Creating a Workforce of Hackers” and it outlines how this process works.  If you can spare 5 minutes, I think you might like the idea.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

(If the video doesn’t appear below for you, click here to see it.)


1 comment
  • Tiffany Kuehl

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for sharing the HAcklAb with the SHRM MN State Council! You really helped our leadership team think differently and creatively about how to improve our systems – both at work and with our SHRM chapters in MN!

    I have no problem recommending this interactive session for others as the information is relevant and the tools are user-friendly!

    Thanks for being awesome,


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