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.”
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.
Disruptive Innovation Revisited
JULY 9, 2014
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.”
innovation in perpetual beta
JANUARY 1, 2017
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. In our work teams we can focus on incremental innovation, to get better at what we already do.
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.
innovation means learning at work
MARCH 3, 2015
“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. Innovation and Learning. Innovation
Design Principles for Complex, Unpredictable, People Oriented Systems
APRIL 13, 2012
More specifically, they needed to learn how to approach problems from many perspectives and to combine various approaches to find innovative solutions.”. But, they do not work so well when dealing with highly complex systems with fast changing, interacting components, where it is much less clear what is going on in the present, let alone how things will evolve into the future. But the mechanisms to increase robustness will in turn make the system considerably more complex.
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.
First structure the work system
MARCH 6, 2013
On the other hand, innovation needs loose ties and a wide network to get diverse points of view. While some action and coordination in the workplace can be automated with performance support systems, collaboration and cooperation are still intensely human and require continuous learning.
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.
Market-facing Innovation Labs
SEPTEMBER 5, 2012
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.
JUNE 1, 2012
“A System is a set of variables sufficiently isolated to stay constant long enough for us to discuss it. ~ JeanHouston – “It is as if a worldwide nervous system is in the works.
White House: Innovation in Higher Education
AUGUST 3, 2015
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. This unknowability stems from HE being a complex systems with many interacting elements. Systems that are included have access to students aid funding.
Big Data, Complex Systems and Quantum Mechanics
DECEMBER 7, 2012
In thinking about this question over the last few years, I started to notice that a number of subtle, non-intuitive concepts that I learned many years ago as a physics student seem to apply to the world of big data and information-based predictions in highly complex systems. So is the world of highly complex systems , especially those systems whose components and interrelationships are themselves quite complex, as is the case with systems biology and evolution. .
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 2016 MIT Inclusive Innovation Awards
DECEMBER 26, 2016
Several months ago, MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy launched its first annual Inclusive Innovation Competition (IIC). We also built our own IT system to help our coaches do their job.”.
How Can We Ensure that Our Complex AI Systems Do What We Want Them to Do?
APRIL 7, 2015
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.
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.
Not all innovation is disruptive
JULY 14, 2014
Given all the talk about disruptive innovation lately, I thought I’d dust off several posts I have written on the subject and update them. Innovation is the following through part. Innovation
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.
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? ,
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.
Only open systems are effective for knowledge sharing
MARCH 27, 2013
Only an open system can ensure this, which is why I highlighted the knowledge sharing paradox. When it comes to knowledge, and learning, only open systems are effective. All closed systems will fail over time, especially if discovery and innovation are happening outside that system.
Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation
JANUARY 19, 2012
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. Cusumano is a professor in MIT’s Sloan School of Management, with a joint appointment in the Engineering Systems Division. Professor Cusumano offers six such enduring principles for managing strategy and innovation: Platforms , not just Products.
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.
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.
Complex Sociotechnical Systems: the Case for a New Field of Study
MAY 16, 2012
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.
Big-Bang Disruptions: The Innovator’s Dilemma in the Digital Economy
MARCH 12, 2014
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. They upend the conventional thinking on strategy, marketing and innovation, giving rise to a new set of business rules. They don’t create dilemmas for innovators; they trigger disasters.”.
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 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. This second, digital economy is essentially acting as the neural system for the overall economy. A major portion of every complex biological organism, including us humans, is the autonomic nervous system. The need for sophisticated control functions to help manage complex systems applies not just to complex biological systems, but to man-made ones as well.
Cloud and “Game Changing” Business Innovation
MAY 23, 2012
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.
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.