User-Based Free Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Free innovation is a tightly constrained subset of commons-based peer production , - also known as open, collaborative innovation. In contrast, while free innovation has potentially important economic impacts, it’s fundamentally not about money.

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.

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The Current State of Open Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In January, UC Berkeley professor Henry Chesbrough published Open Innovation Results : Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business, his fourth book on innovation in the last two decades. He’s credited with coining the term open innovation in his 2003 book of the same title.

Culture or Cultures?

Clark Quinn

A twitter pointer led me to an HBR article arguing that We’re Thinking about Organizational Culture all Wrong. In it, the author argues that it’s fallacious to think that there’s just one organizational culture, , and that all people buy into it. The first is that the cultural values may be interpreted differently. The second is that people may comply with the culture even if they don’t agree with it. Cultures are developed and do change.

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. “An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.” An Innovation Process?

Cultural Alignment

Clark Quinn

However, I also realized that there was an opportunity to extend that to cultural alignment, and I think that’s important as well. And that’s acting in alignment with the culture of the organization. The point I want to make is that by having an explicit culture in the organization, you might not have to provide performance support. There are clear benefits from a learning organization in terms of innovation and employee engagement, but what about the other side?

The Science of Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Innovation - identified by MIT economist and Nobel laureate Robert Solow as the driver of long-term, sustainable economic growth and prosperity - has been a hallmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since its inception.” Thus starts The MIT Innovation Initiative: Sustaining and Extending a Legacy of Innovation , the preliminary report of a yearlong effort to define the innovation needed to address some of the world’s most challenging problems.

‘Sharing’ culture

Clark Quinn

I was in a recent conversation about a company facing strong growth and worried about the impact on culture. Companies with a positive culture, a valuable offering, and a good business model are liable to face growth issues, and maintaining or starting a good culture becomes a critical issue to maintaining the organization’s success. This company had a positive culture, in that people were diverse, friendly, upbeat, and committed to contributing.

The Vital Role of Culture in Business

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review spotlights The Culture Factor, with five articles on the subject. “ Culture is the tacit social order of an organization: It shapes attitudes and behaviors in wide-ranging and durable ways,” notes the issue’s lead article. “ Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group. Attributes of Culture. Cultural Styles. Levers for Evolving Culture.

Innovation and National Security in the 21st Century

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Task Force noted that leadership in innovation, research and technology since World War II has made the US the most secure and economically prosperous nation on earth. A major new wave of innovation is characterized by speed, disruption, and scale.

Culture Before Strategy

Clark Quinn

In an insightful article, Ken Majer (full disclosure, a boss of mine many years ago) has written about the need to have the right culture before executing strategy. I have argued that you can get some benefits from the Revolution without having an optimized culture, but you’re not going to tap into the full potential. What Ken is talking about here is ensuring you have values and culture in alignment with the vision and mission.

The Blockchain and Open Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Transformational innovations don’t always play out as originally envisioned. The Internet and World Wide Web introduced a culture of standards to the IT industry. In addition to developing standards and organizing promotional activities, these various organization make available open source implementations of their software releases, thus encouraging collaborative, open innovation. Once in the marketplace, they seem to acquire a life of their own.

The 2018 MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In 2016, MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy launched its first annual Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC). The IIC believes that Inclusive Innovation is an economic and moral imperative, and that the key question of our era isn’t what technology is going to do to our economy and society, but what we will do with technology.

Measuring Culture Change

Clark Quinn

Someone recently asked how you would go about measuring culture change, and I thought it’s an interesting question. A learning culture is optimal for organizational innovation and agility, and it’s likely that not all elements are already in place. Say, for instance, one desirable outcome of a learning culture would be, well, learning! As a process, I think about what I might do before, during, and after any culture change initiative.

Competencies and Innovation?

Clark Quinn

I believe that we want to find ways to support organizations moving in the direction of innovation and learning cultures. Let me make the case for competencies and innovation. This included (in addition the more traditional activities) looking at how to foster innovation. This means understanding culture and the change processes to get there, as well as knowing how to run meetings that get the best outputs. The post Competencies and Innovation?

The Connected Culture

Dan Pontefract

A ‘ connected culture ’ is one that simultaneously drives organizational clarity with precarious innovation. A ‘ connected culture’ , in its simplest, orderly and most chaotic form, refers to the point at which all employees act as one corporate organism. The ‘ connected culture’ of an organization is the point at which chaos meets order coupled by an infinite and unobstructed flow of corporate commonality. Innovation Identity.

Culture is entangled

Dave Snowden

Another Gaping Void cartoon for this second post on culture, which makes the point that change initiatives come and go but relationships that we build can last for ever. In practice (and in theory) culture is tangled, indistinct and difficult to tie down. Cynthia Kurtz and I used Alicia Juarrero's idea of Brambles in a thicket as the title of our article on network cultures and how they work. Innovation Polemic Strategy

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?

The MIT 2017 Inclusive Innovation Challenge

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

How can we accelerate the transformation of institutions, organizations, and human skills to keep up with the quickening pace of digital innovation? To help come up with breakthrough, real-world answers to these tough questions, IDE launched the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) last year. We created the Inclusive Innovation Challenge to recognize and reward the many amazing people and organizations that are working to accomplish this mission.”

The Vital Role of Culture in Business

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review spotlights The Culture Factor, with five articles on the subject. “ Culture is the tacit social order of an organization: It shapes attitudes and behaviors in wide-ranging and durable ways,” notes the issue’s lead article. “ Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group. Attributes of Culture. Cultural Styles. Levers for Evolving Culture.

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). MIT is one of the world’s top research universities, renowned as well for its entrepreneurial culture. 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.

Facilitating Innovation

Clark Quinn

While there are resources about learning design, performance support design, social networking, and more, there’s less guidance about facilitating innovation. So, first, what are the elements of innovation? Well, whether you listen to Stephen Berlin Johnson on the story of innovation , or Keith Sawyer on ways to foster innovation , you’ll see that innovation isn’t individual. Helping establish culture, first of all, is really important.

A Nurturing Culture #blimage

Clark Quinn

This to me is a metaphor for the benefits of creating a culture in which learning can flourish. I’ve earlier detailed what the research says about the elements of a learning organization, and it’s clear that you need a culture with several elements. This in particular means collaboration: learning while innovating on solving new problems, devising new solutions, and more.

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. Since we did not have a good understanding of what it was that they actually did, let alone what their problems were, we could not tell them how our innovative ideas could be of help to them in their work.

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 .

Revolutionary, Ordinary Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

While the Square technology is very cool indeed, Davidoff’s key point is the ordinary nature of the innovation in question. The deal not only has the potential to change the way people pay for coffee and everything else, it also shows how small innovation applied to everyday tasks may be the next new thing for venture capital. Call it the rise of the ordinary innovators. Such major lab-based disruptive technologies are at one end of the innovation spectrum.

Once Lumbering, Now Innovative Incumbents Hit Their Stride

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Even in industries where competitive concentration is increasing, innovation hasn’t – as would be expected – flatlined.”. They’ve outperformed their peers in financial results and innovation over the past three years. Collaboration across institutions and industries is increasingly viewed as the surest path to innovation. “Ecosystems are shifting the balance further away from top-down control and toward autonomy.

Innovation as a Journey into the Future

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I recently read an excellent innovation report, - Strategic Orientations for Innovation: Chile in the 2025 Horizon. The document was developed by Chile’s National Innovation Council for Competitiveness (CNIC) , a public-private organization charged with providing advice to the President of the Republic on policies that will strengthen innovation and competitiveness in the country. This was like no innovation document I’ve read.

The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

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. Some of the reasons are organizational and cultural. Investments need to go into innovation and disruptive business models.

Waxing Lyrical On Leadership, Engagement, Purpose & Innovation

Dan Pontefract

The fine folks at Learnnovators conducted an interview with me recently, where I spouted off on aspects of leadership, engagement, purpose and innovation. For organizations to fuel their own growth and innovation (and survival), leadership must be willing to offer a new model of interaction – a new leadership model of collaboration – if they want to exist in the future. Wikis, blogs, microblogging, video-sharing are all very important aspects of an organization’s culture.

Innovation Hubs in the Global Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Disruptive innovations, - like the power looms allegedly smashed by protesting Luddites, - have been displacing human labor for the past two centuries. These periods of creative destruction , - when new technology-based innovations led to painful transitions in once-dominant companies and jobs, - eventually worked themselves out. Over time, these same disruptive innovations rejuvenated the economy, and led to the creation of new industries and jobs.

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.

OMG, its culture change time

Dave Snowden

If in doubt, blame the culture seems to be a golden rule in consultancy and management alike. And of course once blame has been allocated we end up with a visitation from the cultural change specialists with their tool kit of communication plans, key drivers, motivational posters, games and the like. He starts by belittling the its the way we do things around here definition of culture by referencing the hopelessness of conventional attempts to change process.

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. . When first introduced, disruptive innovations are likely encounter stiff resistance, both within one’s own organization and in the marketplace, - otherwise we wouldn’t call them disruptive.

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.

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.

Innovation in Higher Education

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

We need to look at higher education through the lens of disruptive innovation, argues a report published last February, - Disrupting College: How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education. Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen is one of the world's foremost experts in strategy and innovation. In his seminal book, The Innovator’s Dilemma , Professor Christensen articulated his theory of disruptive innovation.

Embracing Disruptive Innovations: Organizational Challenges

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I was asked to talk about the organizational challenges that companies generally face when embracing disruptive innovations like those being developed by ID3. Given that I had 15 minutes for my introductory remarks, I distilled them into three key points: the need for a clear, compelling strategy that the whole organization can rally around; the management of disruptive innovation initiatives; and the importance of top-down leadership and support.

the innovation imperative

Harold Jarche

“It turns out that to develop a ‘cumulative culture’ – technology that constantly ratchets up in complexity and diversity – a species needs to be able to share information very accurately. If not, we will cease to progress, because innovation is a network activity. Monopolies are not innovative. If we are to encourage innovation, we have to work hard at engaging with diverse groups of people. Sharing is the innovation imperative. Innovation

The MIT 2017 Inclusive Innovation Challenge

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

How can we accelerate the transformation of institutions, organizations, and human skills to keep up with the quickening pace of digital innovation? To help come up with breakthrough, real-world answers to these tough questions, IDE launched the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) last year. We created the Inclusive Innovation Challenge to recognize and reward the many amazing people and organizations that are working to accomplish this mission.”

The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The concept of disruptive technologies, as defined by Clayton Christensen 20 years ago, has become widely accepted as a way of thinking about innovation-driven growth, but it’s been often misunderstood and misapplied. 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.

innovation means learning at work

Harold Jarche

“So it is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all philosophy in terms of successful innovation. Innovation is continuous. Successful innovators and entrepreneurs all embrace change and the risks that they pose. In fact, innovation is the poster child of the mantra that there are no rules. Only by trying out new things, by failing, by discovering what works and what doesn’t, do you gain answers to the innovation question.” – Shaun Coffey.

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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