Scale and Complex Systemic Innovation
JANUARY 2, 2012
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.”
Innovation is not a repeatable process
OCTOBER 23, 2012
Can innovation be promoted through better processes? I have not been able to find any regular correllation between well adopted innovation processes and actual innovation outcomes, and I’ve been looking pretty hard. This is how we create a culture of innovation.
Open Innovation 2.0
MARCH 27, 2017
I recently read Twelve Principles for Open Innovation 2.0 , an article published last year in Nature by Martin Curley. Let me discuss each of these phases of innovation. Closed Innovation. Innovation was increasingly occurring in the marketplace, no just in their labs.
Complex Systems and the “Rashomon Effect”
MARCH 24, 2015
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 Science of Innovation
DECEMBER 17, 2014
“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.” The innovation paradigm has changed.
The Complex Nature of Cloud-based Innovation
JUNE 25, 2014
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.
The Real Unemployment Innovation Challenge
AUGUST 24, 2015
In the face of this accelerating pace of change, our educational system is not keeping up, so we have a growing imbalance between the output of our educational system and the jobs that are available. Rather than training students for a period of time and certifying that they then have a given set of skills, we increasingly need a learning system that will foster life-long learning and help all of us to rapidly evolve our skill sets on an ongoing basis. Re-framing innovation.
The Internet, Blockchain, and the Evolution of Foundational Innovations
JANUARY 17, 2017
Contracts, transactions, and the records of them are among the defining structures in our economic, legal, and political systems. Blockchain has the potential to transform our economic and social systems. It has the potential to become the system of record for all transactions.
The Blockchain and Open Innovation
JANUARY 12, 2016
Transformational innovations don’t always play out as originally envisioned. Until the early 1990s, it was quite difficult to get different IT systems to talk to each other. It’s too early to know if the blockchain will become another major transformational innovation.
Intervention Design: Overcoming Stiff Resistance to a New, Disruptive Innovation
SEPTEMBER 29, 2015
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. .
Learning and Performance Support Systems
Stephen Downes: Half an Hour
DECEMBER 4, 2013
This post is to introduce you to our Learning and Performance Support Systems program, a new $19 million 5-year initiative at the National Research Council that I will be leading. Expansion internationally is difficult without a clear innovation advantage.
Cognitive Systems and Big-Data-driven Applications
OCTOBER 23, 2013
In the first week of October I participated in a Cognitive Systems Colloquium hosted by IBM at its Thomas J. These systems will learn and interact to provide expert assistance to scientists, engineers, lawyers, and other professionals in a fraction of the time it now takes.” .
Innovation as a Journey into the Future
AUGUST 7, 2013
I recently read an excellent innovation report, - Strategic Orientations for Innovation: Chile in the 2025 Horizon. He was a Senator then, a position he held from March of 2002 until his appointment to president of the Innovation Council.
Disruptive Innovations and Large Companies
AUGUST 2, 2012
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
MARCH 14, 2016
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.
The Science of Complex Systems
JULY 9, 2011
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. My main research interests were centered on large computer systems, including mainframes, supercomputers and distributed systems.
Some Puzzling Questions about Innovation in the Digital Economy
FEBRUARY 26, 2014
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). The bulk of the innovations in the industrial economy involved physical objects, physical systems and the physical world around us.
Disruptive Innovation Revisited
DECEMBER 8, 2015
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. 20 years after its introduction, Christensen has revisited his original concept in What is Disruptive Innovation? ,
Enabling Innovation – Book
FEBRUARY 2, 2012
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.
Transmedia Storytelling and Collaborative Innovation
OCTOBER 10, 2012
Marketing and communications are essential when introducing a disruptive innovation in the marketplace, given the need to explain what the new initiative is all about to key constituencies including clients, analysts and reporters. I believe that developing and communicating the storyline behind a disruptive innovation requires the close involvement of those who best understand and care about the new initiative and offerings.
A Neural, Digital System for the Economy
DECEMBER 9, 2011
Dr. Arthur is external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and visiting researcher at PARC’s Intelligent Systems Lab. So we can say that another economy - a second economy - of all of these digitized business processes conversing, executing, and triggering further actions is silently forming alongside the physical economy.” This second, digital economy is essentially acting as the neural system for the overall economy. Now it is developing a neural system.
Systems Thinking, Safety and Risk Management
MAY 2, 2012
Several participants cited the sharp rise in volume and speed of high-frequency trading over the past decade as an example of a current practice that is potentially increasing volatility and systemic risk in financial markets. Toward the end of the roundtable, the moderator asked us to reflect on the kinds of controls needed to make financial systems more stable and less prone to another major crisis. Financial systems are an example of such complex engineering systems.
A Conversation on Innovation
Stephen Downes: Half an Hour
OCTOBER 10, 2011
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. Who willimplement this system? Does the general population support innovation? We need to start thinking about 'innovation' and'Innovation'. For whom and why must we innovate.
Innovation Hubs in the Global Digital Economy
APRIL 2, 2014
Disruptive innovations, - like the power looms allegedly smashed by protesting Luddites, - have been displacing human labor for the past two centuries. Over time, these same disruptive innovations rejuvenated the economy, and led to the creation of new industries and jobs.
Can Innovation Continue to Drive Long-Term Economic Growth?
JANUARY 23, 2013
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. Has the ideas machine broken down?
Design the process, not the outcome
FEBRUARY 7, 2013
It's a very useful concept when applied to human systems, and it is not just an analogy, although some of my biologist friends would disagree with me there. We don't design the outcome, we design the processes of interaction and monitor for emergence.
Innovation in Higher Education
SEPTEMBER 22, 2011
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.
A Great Stagnation or a New Golden Age of Innovation?
APRIL 23, 2011
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.
An Emerging Platform for Digital, Inclusive Innovation
MAY 30, 2012
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.
The “Recombinant” Nature of Digital Innovations
AUGUST 20, 2014
Most everyone will agree, for example, that spreadsheet and word processing were the first killer-apps of the PC era, helping transform PCs into must-have business and personal productivity tools. Such lab-based breakthroughs are at one end of the innovation spectrum.
Innovators, imitators and idiots
MAY 3, 2013
Friday’s Finds: “first come the innovators, then the imitators, then the idiots … you can set your watch to it.” ” – @littleidea. “Sad. So many education questions now start with, “Do you know any apps for … ?”
Six characteristics supporting excellence in service delivery innovation
OCTOBER 20, 2015
Last Friday, after delivering the breakfast keynote at CPA Congress in Brisbane (more on that in another post), I ran a half-day workshop at the partner offsite of a national accounting firm network on the theme of Disruption and Innovation in Professional Services. However in professional services probably the most important domain is service delivery, in which extraordinary possibilities for innovation have opened up in the network economy. Continuous innovation.
Corporate Survival: Lessons from Biology
JANUARY 26, 2016
Therefore, the principles that confer robustness in these systems, whether natural or manmade, are directly applicable to business.”. Let’s take a closer look at the nature of complex adaptive systems. Why are these systems so complex? A commitment to innovation is essential.
Is the Link Now Broken Between Innovation, Jobs and a Higher Standard of Living?
MARCH 5, 2014
Last week I wrote about innovation in the digital economy and some of the puzzling questions we are now wrestling with. Is innovation accelerating or slowing down? Previous technological innovation has always delivered more long-run employment, not less.
Open Services Innovation
DECEMBER 1, 2011
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. t from your innovation activities.
Innovating our way out of the industrial era
JULY 9, 2012
Our main constraints are our artificial structures, especially our schooling systems. Much as we no longer need the majority of the population to grow crops, we no longer need a large workforce of widget makers or data processers.
The Simple, Economic Value of Artificial Intelligence
APRIL 24, 2017
Over the years, we’ve learned to define all kinds of tasks in terms of such digital operations, e.g., inventory management, financial transactions, word processing, photography.
APIs are enabling an unprecedented flow of innovation
FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Below are the slides for my keynote on The Flow of Innovation. APIDays Keynote: The Flow of Innovation from Ross Dawson. Business innovation can be applied across five domains: product or service, marketing, process, organization , and business model. APIs can dramatically enable innovation in each of those five domains, and I gave a number of examples of each. Innovation has become a flow, and must be a flow.
FEBRUARY 18, 2011
Optimal execution is only the cost of entry; continual innovation is the necessary competitive differentiator. In a time when competitors can copy your innovation in a matter of months (or less), you can’t just plan, prepare, and execute optimally any longer. You now have to continually innovate in products and services, problem-solve faster, avoid repeating mistakes, and in general learn ( big ‘L’ learning ) faster than your competitors.
Where innovation comes from
MARCH 15, 2011
In sum, they innovate. Steven Johnson has written a book that looks at innovation from all angles. He explains what nurtures innovation. Innovation = working smarter. Where Good Ideas Come From, The Natural History of Innovation is a book about the space of innovation.