/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/howardjones_407692.jpgI’ll admit it: I have a soft spot for music of the 1980s.

So it’s no surprise to me that a pop hit from that decade was the first thing to spring to mind when I heard about the new SAP M-Prize. In “New Song” by Howard Jones (pictured here), a chirpy pop song celebrates breaking free of conventional thinking and behaviors.

This is a song to all my friends
They take the challenge to their hearts
Challenging preconceived ideas
Saying goodbye to long standing fears

Don’t crack up
Bend your brain
See both sides
Throw off your mental chains!

In a similar vein, SAP wants to encourage you bold-thinkers out there to throw off your mental chains…and it’s using an exciting prize opportunity to help make this happen around the world.

Unleashing your potential

Just as SAP Education has demonstrated its commitment to helping SAP’s customers and partners unleash the full potential of their SAP solutions, the SAP M-Prize aims to shine a spotlight on the goal of unleashing human potential. Where mental chains do exist, they’re sometimes self-imposed and other times imposed on us. Maybe you feel hemmed in by the physical set-up of your workplace, or by organizational strictures.

The SAP M-Prize challenge is a global ideas contest, focused on finding actionable solutions to pressing management problems. Hosted on an open platform, M-Prize challenges you to identify, develop and recognize the best stories and bold thinking around specific problems, such managing without managers. 

SAP M-Prize: “Unlimited Human Potential” Challenge

Recent research shows that around the globe, fewer than 20% of employees are truly engaged in their work. This has profound implications for leadership, management, and how we organize in the workplace. To help tackle this issue, SAP is running the Unlimited Human Potential Challenge, a global ideas contest to find bold approaches to leadership, management and work that engage and inspire people.

Through this crowdsourcing, we are inviting entries that demonstrate how emerging digital technologies (and the principles embedded within them) can produce radically new approaches to unlocking human potential. This includes finding new ways to:

  • Unleash Human Capacity – how could we design environments and systems for work that inspire individuals to contribute their full imagination, initiative and passion every day?
  • Aggregate Human Capability – how could we harness the power of emerging technologies such as social, mobile, Cloud and “Big Data” to activate, enlist, and organize talent across boundaries?

This Challenge seeks to find individuals and institutions that are improving people’s lives at work in a meaningful way — by inventing radically new approaches to organizing, competing, and creating advantage. Through their submissions, contestants can help shape the future of business – and create a better run world. The SAP Unlimited Human Potential Challenge is a collaboration with noted author and speaker Gary Hamel, as well as the Management Information Exchange (MIX), an open innovation project aimed at reinventing management for the 21st century.

How to enter

Teams or individuals can submit entries via the M-Prize online platform. You can enter in two ways

  • Share a Story – a real-world case study of a single practice, an initiative, or a broad-based transformation
  • Submit a Hack – a disruptive idea, radical fix, or experimental design

Who can enter?

Competition is open to all. A diverse range of progressive management practitioners, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and inspired individuals are expected to comprise the bulk of our participants. To avoid potential conflict of interest, SAP employees will not be able to enter the Challenge. SAP employees are encouraged to join the conversation, provide feedback on entries, and nominate others

Here’s what you’d win

Winners of the Unlimited Human Potential Challenge will earn the chance to be recognized and share their contributionsat SAP’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW event to be held in Orlando, Florida in June, as well as at the November MIX Mashup event in New York. Winners are also eligible for additional prizes, based on their potential to produce a viable app, product, or company. 

These prizes include:

  • A design thinking workshop with experts from SAP Labs to further develop, prototype, and possibly scale the idea
  • A mentoring session with SAP Ventures executives, plus introductions to business incubators and/or angel investors
  • And depending on the results of interviews conducted by the SAP Ventures team and the market potential of the winning entry, one of these entrants could also win USD $50,000 in funding from SAP Ventures, to go towards the formation of a new start-up company or venture (special consideration for this award will be given to entries with the potential to use SAP HANA.)

The deadline for submissions to the SAP M-Prize is March 31. So spring ahead and go for it! And be sure to follow the M-Prize on Twitter at #SAPMPrize.

*Warning: do not attempt to recreate Howard Jones’ hairstyle at home unless you want your friends, loved ones, and pets to rightly mock you. But you can and should watch, enjoy, and sing a song to your friends 🙂

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