How to Survive and Thrive in a World of Disruption

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Looking back upon my long career , it’s frankly sobering how many once powerful IT companies are no longer around or are shadows of their former selves, e,g, Digital , Wang , Sun Microsystems , BlackBerry. Leaders fail to recognize the new reality and accept it for what it is.

How To 181

How to Support the Widespread Adoption of AI

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Surveys with thousands of executives, showed that most firms are only using AI in ad hoc pilots or applying it to a single business process. At the highest level, it’s a reflection of a failure to rewire the organization. From siloed work to interdisciplinary collaboration.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, cloud has not the easiest concept to grasp. Cloud has continued to evolve and advance over the ensuing years. 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.

Managing Complex, Disruptive Innovations - Some Lessons Learned

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Over the past twenty years I have been involved in a number of initiatives dealing with disruptive innovations. You don’t really know how quickly the new innovations will be adopted in the marketplace. How will your industry change over time? How quickly should you move?

What is innovation?

Harold Jarche

In writing almost 100 posts on innovation since 2007, it’s time to put the core observations together into a cohesive narrative. Innovation is fifteen different things to fifteen different people. Innovation today is people making connections. How to Start.

Complex Systems and the “Rashomon Effect”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But part of my fascination with the subject is that I often ask myself similar questions when thinking about the equally mysterious world of highly complex emergent systems, that is, systems where the whole can at times be quite different from the sum of their parts.

The “Recombinant” Nature of Digital Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Killer-app is the name we give to those IT applications that turn out to be unexpectedly useful and help propel the success of a new product or service in the marketplace. Such lab-based breakthroughs are at one end of the innovation spectrum. How did he do it?

How to replace top-down training with collaborative learning (1)

Jay Cross

In the pursuit of trying to ?x Companies paid them to follow instructions and do the same thing over and over again. Companies rely on them to solve problems, delight customers, and stay ahead of the game. rst century employees have to do complex, unpredictable work.

How Can We Ensure that Our Complex AI Systems Do What We Want Them to Do?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Software-intensive systems are generally quite flexible, - able to evolve and adapt to changing product and market requirements. However, their very flexibility makes it difficult to adequately anticipate and test all the interactions between the various components of the system.

System 241

Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, as the real world keeps reminding us, it is possible to make bad predictions and decisions even if you use tons of big data to make them. The 9/11 attacks showed how even highly sophisticated intelligence agencies can fail to pick out highly relevant signals amidst the mountains of data being analyzed. Our recent financial crisis showed how even the best and brightest can fail to detect an approaching catastrophic storm.

Build trust, embrace networks, manage complexity

Harold Jarche

They are handy to get things done in small groups. But hierarchies are rather useless to create, innovate, or change. We have known for quite a while that hierarchies are ineffective when things get complex. Our thinking needs to continuously change as well.

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.

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. Their job was to push the frontiers of knowledge by conducting both basic and applied research, which would hopefully, over time, lead to new commercial technologies and products. Then around the mid-late 1980s it all started to change.

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. 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. They listen to their best customers.

Design Principles for Complex, Unpredictable, People Oriented Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

An IBM Global CEO Study conducted in 2010 concluded that complexity was the primary challenge emerging out of its conversations with 1,500 CEOs and senior government officials. CEOs told us they operate in a world that is substantially more volatile, uncertain and complex. To connect with and inspire a new generation, they lead and interact in entirely new ways.”. First you seek to define a clear objective based on the best available information.

A guide to complexity and organizations

Harold Jarche

Via Jay Cross is this amazing synthesis – Organize for Complexity – of how complexity affects our work and the ways in which we can change our organizational structures to account for complexity, instead or adding more complication.

The Science of Complex Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

When I look back over my long, relatively eclectic career, complex systems have been a common theme in all the activities I’ve been involved in. It started in the 1960s, when I was an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in physics, - the study of complex natural systems. The research for my thesis was focused on the highly complex world of atoms and molecules. In the 1990s, Dr. West’s attention turned to biology.

System 157

The Big Three – How To Handle Your Fragmented Social Life

Luis Suarez

A few days back my good friend Jack Vinson posted a rather interesting and thought-provoking blog post that would be incredibly relevant for all of those folks who happen to be rather active in various different social networking sites and who may be facing such a common problem as well.

How To 233

Open Services Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Earlier this year, UC Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough published a new book, Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era. This is his third book on open innovation in the last eight years, having published Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology in 2003, and Open Business Models: How to Thrive in the New Innovation Landscape in 2006.

Innovation in Higher Education

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Just about every such study points to a similar trend : for the foreseeable future, the US economy will need better educated workers with specific skill requirements. Those with higher educational attainments will be in the best position to obtain good jobs with good pay. Thus, we need to significantly increase the number of students receiving post-secondary education. According to Christensen et al, traditional colleges and universities combine three distinct objectives.

Strategy and Execution in an Increasingly Complex World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Its title asks the question: “ Strategy or Execution: Which Is More Important? ,” to which it adds the tagline: “Many business leaders think they’d rather have great execution than superior strategies, but you can’t have the first without the second” . According to the article, many business leaders think that “strategy doesn’t matter as long as you are producing results. But, the article goes on to succinctly defines strategy as “.

The Management of Disruptive Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The management of disruptive innovations is very different when looking at relatively simple or self-contained technologies, products or services versus highly complex platforms and infrastructures. A lot of the hype you often hear when new innovations come about is the result of people not properly understanding the different dynamics that apply to simple versus highly complex innovations. Many started to predict the impending demise of mainframes.

White House: Innovation in Higher Education

George Siemens

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to the White House. The invitation was somewhat cryptic, but basically stated that the focus on the meeting was on quality and innovation. This invite was then followed a week later with a link to a post by Ted Mitchell, Undersecretary of Education, on Innovation and Quality in Higher Education , to help prepare for the conversation. I’m baffled how people manage to jump the White House fence.

Social Learning, Complexity and the Enterprise

Harold Jarche

George Siemens , educational technologist and researcher at Athabasca University, has succinctly explained the importance of social learning in the context of today’s workplace: There is a growing demand for the ability to connect to others. Complexity: the new normal.

Complexity and Design in Warfare

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The workshop explored how design-oriented approaches can help us better understand and deal with the very complex problems we are increasingly encountering in all aspects of business, economies, government, public policy, military operations and society in general. Its mission is to explore new ideas and emerging trends that will help support high-level Department of Defense (DoD) policy and strategy. A significant goal of CACD is a shared understanding of complex problems.

An Emerging Platform for Digital, Inclusive Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

It marked the passage of the Internet from a network primarily used by universities, research labs and geeks in general, to a platform with a vastly expanded reach and connectivity. Anyone with a personal computer and Web browser, was now able to access all kinds of content, communicate with people all over the world, and conduct a variety of transactions over the Internet. . Its reach and connectivity led to the creation of all kinds of innovative, digital applications.

In a complex society

Harold Jarche

I flew to Maastricht, NL last weekend, via London and Brussels; a 24 hour trip. The highlight of getting to the working smarter event with Tulser was a short but enjoyable stop in Brussels with Christian De Neef who met me at the airport and drove me to the train station.

Complex Organizational Systems

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The study of complex systems has been a common arc in my career. It started with physics at the University of Chicago in the 1960s, where I was studying complex natural systems - atomic and molecular physics in particular. In the last twelve years, my work has focused on the kinds of complex systems made possible by the advent of the Internet and the Web. What makes such complex systems complex ? But why are these systems so complex?

A Great Stagnation or a New Golden Age of Innovation?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Here is the way things are supposed to work. A new disruptive technology emerges out of the lab into the marketplace, becomes increasingly successful, gets embraced by entrepreneurs who start new businesses based on these new technologies, and begins to gain market share at the expense of the previous, slow moving market leaders. New paradigms emerge for guiding innovation and for determining winners and losers in the marketplace.

Growing Up in a Complex World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

This is IBM’s fourth and largest CEO study since 2004, based on more than 1,500 face-to-face interviews with CEOs and senior public leaders from more than 60 countries. The primary challenge emerging out of the CEO conversations was complexity - the fact that CEOs now operate in a world that is substantially more volatile, uncertain and complex. They grew up in a complex world. They used Facebook instead of phone books to connect with friends – and friends of friends.”

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

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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. Companies are now able to create products that are simultaneously better, cheaper and more appealing than those of competitors. Once launched, such disruption is hard to fight.

Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Darwinian principles seem to apply in business as much as in biology. When technology and market environments go through major changes, as is certainly the case today, previously successful business strategies will no longer work, no matter how much you try to fix them. Companies that are unable or unwilling to adapt to the changes in such a Darwinian climate will become marginalized or extinct. The greatest threat to managers, then, may well be inside the firm.

Complex Sociotechnical Systems: the Case for a New Field of Study

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Digital technologies are enabling us to develop systems with huge numbers of interconnected components and sophisticated software that infuses them with seemingly unlimited capabilities. We are increasingly able to pull all these capabilities together and develop sociotechnical systems, which combine the powerful, inexpensive and ubiquitous digital technologies with the people and organizations they are transforming. Sussman calls this evaluative complexity.

System 174

The Increasing Demand for Hybrid, “T-Shaped” Workers

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A recent article in The Atlantic used the USS Gabrielle Giffords to illustrate the important changes taking place in the US Navy, - and in the world of work in general. There are multiple answers to these questions. Hard skills tend to be deep but narrow.

Data 230

Education and Services Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Professor Larson is a pioneer in applying technology, science and engineering to a wide variety of problems in services industries, from technology-enabled education to urban service systems. His interests in emergency response systems have led him to organize initiatives for applying engineering principles to planning and responding to global pandemics, such as the ongoing H1N1 flu. to include education.

Where innovation comes from

Jay Cross

To stay ahead in business, a firm must continually re-invent itself. In sum, they innovate. Steven Johnson has written a book that looks at innovation from all angles. He explains what nurtures innovation. I’m adding his thinking to my concept of the workscape.

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the Evolution of Cities

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Why is it that only a few cities and regions around the world have become successful innovation hubs, even though many have tried? Silicon Valley and the Boston-Cambridge area are among the most prominent such innovation hubs in the world. Their leading positions as technology-based innovation centers have been near impossible to replicate. Others have tried to become the Next Silicon Valley. To a lesser extent so do Seattle and Austin.

A Conversation on Innovation

Stephen Downes: Half an Hour

Each paragraph denotes a different speaker, the speakers are not identifies, the result being to produce a single more-or-less coherent document. Re: the negative side of innovation, there's a prettyconsistent assessment of innovation & technology, a pretty consistentstatement, by the youth in the occupy movement. If we go one step beyond innovation, we have actuallyreached a cusp in the west. Does the general population support innovation?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Reflections on Leadership and Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Irving Wladawsky-Berger A collection of observations, news and resources on the changing nature of innovation, technology, leadership, and other subjects. In this course, I want to examine how to leverage disruptive innovations to significantly transform a business or even a whole industry.

Scrappy VS Strategic: Is there a generational divide in nonprofits around how to innovate using new technology?

Beth Kanter

Thanks, Beth, for asking me to write about this conversation here. That’s quite a range, but what really counts is what they had to say. I love that they are going to do it with or without us. What does strategy and how to scale mean to different generations? “

"Innovation in New York" Revisited

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In June of 2008 I participated in a panel, “Is New York a Center of Innovation?,” Since that time, the same two institutions have partnered with the Sloan Foundation and organized Innovate New York - Envisioning an Inventive City , - which has held a series of panel discussions to explore how to foster innovation in such diverse areas as finance, media, services, life sciences, arts and culture. Innovation is now even more important to New York.

The Urgent Need for Innovation in Job Creation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Within a relatively short time the economy improves and unemployment rates start to go down once more, usually to a rate below 5%. In addition to an economic downturn, we may be experiencing a fundamental reshaping of the economy, driven, at least in part, by advances in information technologies, which have led to a resurgence in US labor productivity as well as an increasingly integrated global economy.

The Internet of Things is Changing the World

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

How the world will change as computers spread into everyday objects,” is the title of the lead article in a comprehensive review of the Internet of Things (IoT) in a r ecent issue of The Economist. The IoT aims to do for information what electricity did for energy.”.

Change 169