Innovation
While Nicolay Worren explains that his new book is intended for MBA students and executives, one can’t escape the thought that much of the learning it offers could be useful to a much larger audience. In fact, it might even be inspiring to those confronted by the complex dynamics and ambiguity in modern business design, and hoping for tools to manage that growing complexity. After all, the book’s stated purpose is to promote approaches to organization design that are focused, current, rigorous and pragmatic. In other words, its aim is to bring science to a business where it has been…
Everyone knows they should be proactive about change. Everyone says “We need to innovate before the anticipated crisis hits us.” Even so, no one acts until they’re finally forced to. Why? Well, when people use the word “we’, they invariably mean someone else besides themselves. In other words, we see little real innovation today because few people are ready to own the issues. There always seems to be something more pressing, like this quarter’s results or a budget crisis.
Using a system-of-systems approach to build a smarter planet IBM is urging government and corporate organizations to adopt a systemic innovation approach to solve wicked problems of waste. The starting point for the company’s report, The world’s 4 trillion dollar challenge, are a number of horrific statistics. These statistics point to waste that could be cleaned up if organizations collaborated for the greater good — and their own profit — instead of working in isolated silos.
Could you be missing something really important in your vision for systemic innovation, just because you can’t tolerate bible thumpers and fundamentalists? Now, before you stop reading because the R word was mentioned, understand that the man provoking the question, philosopher Alain de Botton is an atheist. In a persuasive RSAlecture (and book ‘ReligionforAtheists’) he suggests too many of us have thrown the baby out with the fundamentalist bathwater. And our culture is poorer for it.
100%Open Business Models & Mindsets View more presentations from 100%Open This presentation by Roland Harwood last night at OCADU got me thinking about the parallel between open innovation (or open anything) and similar ideas in Christianity. It's probably not an accident but spiritual-minded people are gun shy about exposing things they've learned from their religion. 
This is a first stab at trying to illustrate the idea behind systemic innovation. So many problems evolve from businesses being designed with one goal - making money - for one stakeholder group - investors. Any other beneficiaries, like vendors, communities, government and employees, are incidental and targets of cost reduction. This sets up an antagonistic relationship between stakeholders, which too often leads to counter-productive predation and belligerence. Businesses designed collaboratively to anticipate the salient needs of all stakeholders will provide clear motivation for all participants to cooperate for joint success. Yes, it can be extremely complicated but today's communication…
It's time to Occupy business innovation and research commercialization in Canada. In response to reports that Canada has slipped badly in global rankings of innovation and research commercialization, the federal government asked industry for ideas on how Canada might fix the problem. The result is the Jenkins Report, which is stirring up some debate in business circles (see Globe & Mail column and comments). The report offers a number of solutions to the problem of lagging innovation but the main thrust seems to be better targeting and distribution of the billions of dollars we already dole out to businesses every…
A number of companies, ranging from IBM to IbisSoft are working to integrate Business Process Modelling with Social Media. More specifically they are making their BPM tools collaborative, allowing multiple remote users to work on one model at the same time. Max Pucher wrote about these tools in his insightful blog post, Social BPM Methodology: The Triple Oxymoron. My post is a response to his expressed concern over the viability of social media in the context of formalized methodology. Talking about social BPM is tough because shared meaning about such new topics has not settled yet. Social media, for instance, is…
If the M2M B2B industry continues to muddle along with business as usual then someone might someday get lucky enough to have an impact that is “in some ways disruptive.” But who can do anything disruptive if everyone is playing the same game with the same tools? Disruption is about changing the game - not just working harder, faster and smarter.This is a response to Bob Emmerson and his recent post at m2m: Modules: A Constant in a Fast-Changing M2M Environment. The post is a helpful weather report for today’s M2M development environment. Fortunately though, unlike the weather, enterprise mobility…
It has been a long while since I read or heard anything that really got me excited. But a three part chat between Ken Wilber and Richard Hames set off some mind sparks. Wilber is the prolific author and guiding light behind Integral Theory - teaching that bridges religion and psychology and has much to say about systems thinking, ethics, personal development, business, education and so much more. The value of Integral is in its clear-headed, scientific and holistic approach to both personal and community growth. Hames is the author of Five Literacies of Global Leadership. The disciplines are very…
Outrage and hatred really are appropriate for those individuals who committed or enabled shemes that led to the sub-prime financial crisis. It goes against all my spiritual learning to succumb to this anger but it's born of frustration that these people are getting so rich while causing so much pain to others. They are counting on your apathy to avoid retribution. While many voices, such as Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone, call for prosecution of Wall Street companies like Goldman Sachs, I was unable to find a single list of individuals who might deserve to charged. Afterall, a company is…
In my last post I took a shot at executive complacency. Granted, it was a bit of a shock-jock tactic to grab attention but the sentiment is worthy. Change and innovation are being stymied by complacency. If we are going to discuss ways of improving innovation at the national level, we must start at the personal level. The buck must stop with someone and in most challenges in a democracy, it must stop with the individual. As Pogo said of our environmental challenges, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”Complacency is about being satisfied with myself or the…
Waves and wave conflict. The industrial wave vs the knowledge wave is a battle being fought not just in modernizing third world countries but even within developed countries. And you and I are mostly unaware that our worldviews are out of date and part of the problem. We arrogantly live and evangelize with models of how things work that may be grossly incomplete.For instance, the Tofflers devote much of the book to the failure of our economy and models to include 'prosumption' - the vast wealth created by the unpaid labour of individuals, from stay-at-home parents to bloggers sharing their…
I heard it in two different conversations today and I’ve been thinking the same thing for awhile. In essence, the idea is expressed in a Tweet by Christian de Neef, (http://cdn.fasttrack.be ) a knowledge management consultant in Belgium: ”Innovation is an ongoing battle against apathy, complacency and laziness.” It may not be totally the fault of those responsible for innovation. More often, I suspect, it is the fault of the money people – the senior executives, CEOs and board members who are too lazy to do the hard work of learning the details of innovations proposed by others. So they’re…
A tweet by Umair Haque (@umairh) got me thinking about the psychology and sociology of greed. Mr. Haque is a blogger on the Harvard Business Review and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. His tweet was a disgusted response to an article in Rolling Stone magazine, The Real Housewives of Wall Street. The article points to increasing brazenness of Wall Street bankers as they skim off billions of dollars from U.S. federal bail out money. The appalling injustice can be summed up in the author’s description of the bail out program: "giving already stinking rich…
Wal-Mart shoppers and other big-box store customers don’t seem to recognize that buying the same products from the same low-cost vendor tends to make them the same as everyone else. Sure, it’s good that big box stores save their customers money but in the long run I’m not sure that’s a good thing – especially if it means we simply buy more. The environment certainly doesn’t need us producing and ultimately trashing more cheap stuff. The selfish lack of reflection on the part of consumers like me is criminal but the real problem is with corporate leadership. With them, the…
Business innovation is a hot topic all around the world at the moment. Unfortunately, the heat is restricted to the relatively small circles of players discussing investment, technology and government economic development. Word has filtered down from academia that businesses, and by extension their host countries, can enjoy increased productivity by investing in research and development for business innovation. The promise is: innovation provides an advantage over competitors, which leads to more jobs, which creates higher living standards. At the country level, governments are churning out new national programs and tax incentives designed to spur investment in research and development.…
Part of the Unfinished Lecture Series at Ontario College of Art & Design, Toronto February 11, 2010 From the OCAD web site: "Our world becomes increasingly more interconnected and the frequency of change continues to accelerate. What roles can designers play in this evolving cultural context? How can we shift the perspective of our craft and practice to make broad and meaningful impact with our work? In this talk, Henry will explore the different trajectories of design, design thinking, and the interface between design and other professions." Henry Hong-Yiu Cheung is Practice Lead for Systems at Scale at IDEO At…