Can We Look Forward to a New Decade of Innovation?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Can we look forward to a new decade of innovation, asked The Economist in its January 16 issue. The 2010s were marked by pessimism about innovation,” notes the issue’s overview article. Today a dawn of technological optimism is breaking,” adds the article.

14 Articles on MOOCs

Jay Cross

great article collection. Article: [link]. Incrementalism is the enemy of innovation. Size Isn’t Everything – Cathy Davidson – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education. Wired UK raises the possibility that the university may have to restructure itself. That undoubtedly will raise numerous hackles. But from an intellectual standpoint, it signals a revolution in waiting.

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THE Article - Full Interview

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

I was interviewed by Chris Parr for an article that appeared in the Times Higher Education supplement today (October 17). I think they are marvels of marketing (and of the naivity of venture capitalists) but looking at the platforms from a technological point opf view I see virtually nothing innovative. Any other thoughts on Moocs that you wish to go in the article? As the article correctly relates, he emailed me asking whether I was interested in a course.

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The recent New Yorker article, - The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong , - by Harvard history professor Jill Lepore , has led to a flurry of opinions on disruptive innovation. The New Yorker described the article as “Rethinking the innovation craze.” Others called it an “absolutely devastating takedown of disruptive innovation,” a concept that Lepore said is a “competitive strategy for an age seized by terror.”

Open Innovation 2.0

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read Twelve Principles for Open Innovation 2.0 , an article published last year in Nature by Martin Curley. Curley, - who’s long been involved with innovation in both his business and academic positions, - nicely summarized its evolution over the past several decades, first from closed to open innovation, and now to what he calls open innovation 2.0. Let me discuss each of these phases of innovation. Closed Innovation. Open Innovation.

The Innovation of Loneliness

Luis Suarez

And then you bump into absolutely stunning video clips like the one put together by Shimi Cohen on the Innovation of Loneliness ( Vimeo link , if interested) that starts off with a rather evocative and refreshing question that I doubt most of us out there on social networks have ever even dared to ask ourselves: “What is the connection between Social Networks and Being Lonely? Collaboration Communities Fun Stuff and Musings General Interest Innovation Learning Life Open Business

Are Innovation and R&D Yielding Decreasing Returns?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Given the pace of technological change, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever. These innovations, first developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, have long been transforming the lives of billions. Innovation may be hitting a wall of diminishing returns. In a 2009 paper, The Burden of Knowledge and the ‘Death of the Renaissance Man’: Is Innovation Getting Harder? Innovators can compensate for this increasing knowledge burden in two key ways.

Disruptive Innovation Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Disruptive innovation was first introduced by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen in a 1995 Harvard Business Review (HBR) paper co-written with Joseph Bower. The concept was further elaborated and popularized in Christensen’s 1997 bestseller The Innovator's Dilemma , and in the articles and books he’s written or co-authored since then. It’s even led to a rather strong backlash in a 2014 New Yorker article by Harvard history professor Jill Lepore.

Market-facing Innovation Labs

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, they are being reincarnated in our 21st century information economy as market-facing innovation labs, with significantly different and broader scopes than those of the original industrial economy research labs. A very good 2007 Economist article, The Rise and Fall of Corporate R&D - Out of the Dusty Labs observed that this strong separation between R&D&M was common across all industries. The corporate research lab has radically changed over the past several decades.

Are Innovation and R&D Yielding Decreasing Returns?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Given the pace of technological change, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever. These innovations, first developed in the late 19th and early 20th century, have long been transforming the lives of billions. Innovation may be hitting a wall of diminishing returns. In a 2009 paper, The Burden of Knowledge and the ‘Death of the Renaissance Man’: Is Innovation Getting Harder? Innovators can compensate for this increasing knowledge burden in two key ways.

Organizational Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Almost seventy years ago, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized the term creative destruction to describe the process of transformation that accompanies disruptive innovation. The Wikipedia creative destruction article further observes: . “In In Schumpeter's vision of capitalism, innovative entry by entrepreneurs was the force that sustained long-term economic growth, even as it destroyed the value of established companies that enjoyed some degree of monopoly power.

innovation in perpetual beta

Harold Jarche

The perpetual beta working model tries to show how work and learning are related as we negotiate various types of networks to get new ideas, test them out, and innovate how we work. A 2005 article on Network Structure & Innovation by Steve Borgatti defined two types of innovation networks based on the need for either individual creativity or interactive creativity. In our work teams we can focus on incremental innovation, to get better at what we already do.

PKM and innovation

Harold Jarche

In the FastCoDesign article, How do you create a culture of innovation? the authors note four skills that most successful innovators exhibit: Questioning: Asking probing questions that impose or remove constraints. The Seek-Sense-Share framework aligns with these innovation skills. Innovation is not so much about having ideas, as making more and better connections. Innovation is inextricably linked to both networks and learning. Innovation PKM

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Serverless Computing - An Innovative Approach to Software Development

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In the lead article , technology editor Ludwig Siegele defined cloud computing by first giving a very succinct history of computing: “In the beginning computers were human. I was reminded of Siegele’s decade-old article when recently learning about another, relatively new, IT innovation, - serverless computing , - a name that connotes the increasingly disembodied nature of computing. I particularly like this recent article on Serverless Architectures by Mike Roberts.

Disruptive Innovations and Large Companies

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The subject of my seminar was Managing Technology-based Disruptive Innovations. Given my long career at IBM, as well as my more recent involvement with Citi, it is not surprising that I am particularly interested in entrepreneurship and innovation in large companies. Its lead article defined the term as: “somebody who offers an innovative solution to a (frequently unrecognised) problem. Startups are generally organized around one central innovation.

The MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

As i ts website explains: “While digital technologies are rapidly transforming both business practices and societies and are integral to the innovation-driven economies of the future, they are also the core driver of the great economic paradox of our time. How can we accelerate the transformation of institutions, organizations, and human skills to keep up with the quickening pace of digital innovation? But things can change,” notes a 2014 Economist article on the future of jobs.

Fostering an Innovation Culture: Talent, Discipline and Leadership

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Innovation has been a hot topic for the past few decades. Companies all over the world have integrated innovation into their overall strategies and marketing campaigns. Nations and regions have launched innovation initiatives in an attempt to attract such companies and their accompanying well-paying jobs. But, as I have learned over my long career , managing innovation initiatives is actually quite hard, much harder than it may at first appear.

Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The column addresses a fundamental question that those studying innovation have been wrestling with for years: “Are big companies the best catalysts of innovation, or are small ones better?” The column is based on a recent study - Scale and Innovation in Today’s Economy - by Michael Mandel , chief economic strategist of the Progressive Policy Institute. As a result, there are reasons to believe that scale may be a plus for innovation in today’s economy, not a minus.”

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The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

People are no longer starting their sessions by saying: “let’s define cloud computing,” said an article on a 2013 cloud conference. I find it helpful to look at cloud along two key dimensions: as a technology to improve IT productivity, and as a platform for enabling business innovation. Only one company in six viewed cloud as a way of fostering business innovation. But, for many companies, the use of cloud to foster business innovation and growth remains elusive.

The Impact of AI on R&D and Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For the past couple of centuries, general-purpose technologies (GPTs) have been the key drivers of productivity and economic growth, - thanks to their rapid improvements in price and performance, pervasive applications, and ability to spur complementary innovations across a wide variety of industries. Beyond innovations in existing sectors, the rapidly improving price/performance of GPTs have led over time to the creation of whole new applications and industries.

The 2016 MIT Inclusive Innovation Awards

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Several months ago, MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy launched its first annual Inclusive Innovation Competition (IIC). Instead of competing on creating the most advanced technologies or compelling startups, the IIC is focused on innovations aimed at improving the economic opportunities of middle- and low-income earners around the world. Let me close by explaining why I feel particularly proud to be associated with the Inclusive Innovation Competition.

User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs

Steve Denning

Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen have an interesting article in Fast Company arguing (correctly) that companies should lead their users, not the other way around. User-centered processes stifles creativity : “The user-centered process is created as linear rational process for innovation and that’s why it’s so popular among managers… creating something new is a chaotic, unpredictable, frustrating, and very, very hard process. Read the article here.

The “Recombinant” Nature of Digital Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Customer self-service is an excellent example of recombinant innovations , which UC Davis professor Andrew Hargadon defines as innovations that “rather than chasing whole new ideas, [are] focused on recombining old ideas in new ways.” The basic premise behind these kinds of innovations is the search for breakthrough ideas that might lead to the creation of new products, markets and industries based on novel combinations of existing technologies .

The Impact of AI on R&D and Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For the past couple of centuries, general-purpose technologies (GPTs) have been the key drivers of productivity and economic growth, - thanks to their rapid improvements in price and performance, pervasive applications, and ability to spur complementary innovations across a wide variety of industries. Beyond innovations in existing sectors, the rapidly improving price/performance of GPTs have led over time to the creation of whole new applications and industries.

Innovation at Countway

David Weinberger

ASHE uses automated processes to try to generate the sort of subject headings for medical articles that a human would apply. They use MeSH headings (Medical Subject Headings) to track studies and articles. articles from 1960-2010 in 3,869 different journals. They saw growth in the number of articles and substantial growth in the number of journals. These grew faster than other medical articles and journals.

Some Puzzling Questions about Innovation in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

This semester I am teaching the innovation half of a course on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at NYU’s new Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). Teaching forces you to take a fresh look at the subjects you are covering, so I find myself revisiting questions I’ve long been thinking about: What is the essence of innovation in the digital economy and how does it differ from the industrial age innovation of the past two hundred years?

Intervention Design: Overcoming Stiff Resistance to a New, Disruptive Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

With four articles on the subject, HBR ’s overriding message is that design is no longer just for physical products, being increasingly applied to customer experiences, innovation, business strategy, and complex problem solving. . Last week I discussed this expanded view of design thinking based on one of the articles, - Design Thinking Comes of Age. The September issue of the Harvard Business Review features a spotlight on The Evolution of Design Thinking.

An Emerging Platform for Digital, Inclusive Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Internet became an incredible platform for innovation, enabling startups, large institutions, and everyone in between to quickly develop and bring to market many new digital products and services. Its reach and connectivity led to the creation of all kinds of innovative, digital applications. Together, these advances are giving rise to an Internet-based platform for digital, inclusive innovations. Inclusive innovation is a relatively new concept.

Cloud and “Game Changing” Business Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Earlier this year, IBM’s Institute for Business Value published a very good report - The Power of Cloud: Driving Business Model Innovation. Recent technology and social connectivity trends have created a perfect storm of opportunity for companies to embrace the power of cloud to optimize, innovate and disrupt business models,” is the study’s overriding conclusion. . I could not agree more that the potential for game changing business innovation is the true power of the cloud.

Challenging Mindsets: From Reverse Innovation to Innovation Blowback

John Hagel

Views on innovation in developing economies are evolving rapidly, yet they still do not capture the full significance of what is going on. Executives in the West are still prisoners of a mindset that equates innovation with technology and product innovation. This blinds them to significant alternative forms of innovation that can profoundly disrupt their businesses in the years ahead. Early view of innovation. Reverse innovation. Innovation blowback.

Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

These questions are the subject of MIT Professor Michael Cusumano’s recent book Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation in an Uncertain World. The results of his research have been published in over seventy articles and nine books. Professor Cusumano offers six such enduring principles for managing strategy and innovation: Platforms , not just Products.

Innovation through network learning

Harold Jarche

Tweet Innovation. Tim says that innovation is the process of idea management , which makes sense to me. Andrew Hargadon expands on this: In short, innovation is about connecting, not inventing. Here Thomas Edison’s real genius can be seen … Shifting the central activity of innovation from ‘having an idea’ to seeing and building the networks shifts the attention from thinking to the actions required to build the network that will realize the idea.

Enabling Innovation – Book

Harold Jarche

Tweet I had the pleasure of writing an article for the book, Enabling Innovation: Innovative Capability – German and International Views as a follow-up to some work I did with the EU’s International Monitoring Organisation. An interesting aspect of this book is that major articles are written by German researchers and then shorter comments or additions are presented from an international perspective.

The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

These questions were nicely addressed in The Truth about Blockchain , a recent Harvard Business Review article by Harvard professors Marco Iansiti and Karim Lakhani. Their article starts off with one of the best descriptions I’ve seen of the long-term promise of blockchain. A disruptive innovation is one that successfully challenges a traditional product or business model with a lower cost solution, typically developed by a small company with few resources.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Large Companies

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Its lead article said: “For most people the term “entrepreneur” simply means anybody who starts a business, be it a corner shop or a high-tech start up. But the article then went on to define entrepreneurship as something that applies not only to new or small companies. It defined the term as: “somebody who offers an innovative solution to a (frequently unrecognised) problem. I have seen first hand how difficult entrepreneurship and innovation is for large enterprises.

Big-Bang Disruptions: The Innovator’s Dilemma in the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read a very interesting article, - Big-Bang Disruption. The article was written by Larry Downes and Paul Nunes and published in the March, 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review. It was later expanded into a book, Big Bang Theory: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation published this past January. . The authors’ key premise is that innovation is once more undergoing drastic changes, driven by the exponential advances in digital technologies.

Patent Activity and the State of US Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The study examines whether patent activity is a good concrete indicator of innovation, economic growth and productivity by looking at historical data going all the way back to 1790. This is a timely report given recent concerns that the US might be losing its innovation edge. Given the close link between innovation and economic growth, it’s not surprising that questions are being raised whether our current slow growth is evidence that the innovation engine is now stalled.

Can Innovation Continue to Drive Long-Term Economic Growth?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

is the lead article in the January 12 issue of The Economist. The article takes a look at what it calls innovation pessimism , - the notion that we are in a long-term period of slow innovation and growth despite our rapidly advancing technologies and hyperconnected economies. With the pace of technological change making heads spin, we tend to think of our age as the most innovative ever,” says The Economist in the article’s overview. “We

Education and Services Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Dick just published an op-ed article, Education: Our Most Important Service Sector in Service Science , a relatively new online journal focusing on state-of-the-art research and development in service sciences and related areas. He starts the article by reminding us that: “Education is a service industry comprising 10 percent of the US GDP, second only to health care at 17 percent. Technology and innovation are badly needed, but progress has been painfully slow.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Large Metropolitan Areas

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

For several years now I have been thinking about the differences between various models of innovation and entrepreneurship. In particular, I have been trying to understand the key differences between the innovation and entrepreneurship models that have worked so well in Silicon Valley, the Boston-Cambridge area and similar high-tech, VC-based regions, and the models that might be more applicable to large metropolitan areas like New York and London.

A Great Stagnation or a New Golden Age of Innovation?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

These new ventures continue to attract more and more financial capital from investors, which in turn helps improve the quality and lowers the cost of the new disruptive technology and leads to many new innovative applications. But inevitably, the investments in new companies and applications turns into unsustainable speculation, leading to a financial bubble which eventually crashes. New paradigms emerge for guiding innovation and for determining winners and losers in the marketplace.

From Trash Cans to Nokia: Is Creativity Innovation?

Steve Denning

Understanding the difference between creativity and innovation can shed light on seemingly contradictory ideas, namely, that User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs and an article by Patricia Cohen in the New York Times last week about inventions created by users: Innovation Far Removed From the Lab. In fact, she is talking about creativity, rather than innovation. Creativity vs Innovation at Nokia. Good” management kills innovation.

Disruptive Innovations and Organizational Change

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In these seminars, I examine how companies can leverage disruptive innovations to go after new business opportunities or to significantly transform themselves. Many companies fail to adequately embrace a disruptive innovation not because they did not develop the right strategy, but because the strategy was essentially rejected by the organization, and was thus doomed to fail from its very beginning. There are many reasons why disruptive innovations fail.