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Tags // Innovation

Top-Down Disruption

More ideas from Clayton Christensen, this time looking at the fortune at the top of the pyramid:

"In stark contrast to the bottom-up variety, top-down disruptive innovations actually outperform existing products when they’re introduced, and they sell for a premium price rather than at a discount. They’re initially purchased by the most discriminating and least price-sensitive buyers, and then they move steadily downward, into the mainstream, to recast the entire market in their own image. A top-down disruption is as revolutionary as a bottom-up one. But the good news for incumbents is that they have a much better chance of surviving, or even spearheading, the former than the latter."

Democratizing Innovation

In this video lecture, Eric von Hippel discusses innovation by the users of a product or service to come up with something better (e.g. Lego robots case).

Innovation Moves From the Laboratory to the Bike Trail and the Kitchen

More evidence that innovation and knowledge is local, i.e. it resides at the source:

"But a lot of significant innovations do not come from people trying to figure out what customers may want. They come from the users themselves, who know exactly what they want but cannot get it in existing products."

A Problem Shared Is a Problem Solved

Nice thoughts on open-source innovation:

Recombinant Innovation

Art Kleiner has written a review of Andrew Hargadon's new book, How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate. There are 'two innovation imperatives' in this book: connection and control. When it comes to connection, "entrepreneurs and inventors are no smarter, no more courageous, tenacious, or rebellious than the rest of us. They are simply better connected." And many of these connections are weak connections -- "Innovators don’t benefit just from deep, intensive teamwork, but from casual connections that lead to chance encounters with unfamiliar ideas". But most organizations cannot tolerate this freewheeling connection between talent and disparate ideas; they have to bring it under control for "fear of being swept through in breakthrough wave". This is where the real problem lies. Read the article for examples of this type of control. [From Strategy+Business. Free registration required.]

The Hidden Cost of Buying Information

Interesting research report on the tendency of giving more weight to information we pay for: "We all need good information to make decisions

Innovation & Synergy: The Power of the Implicit

A sixty minute video lecture by Bernardo Huberman of HP Labs on communities. I could not watch the full video as it kept crashing Safari. I will try later using Firefox. "This talk will describe new mechanisms for automatically identifying communities of practice within large networks and for elucidating the spread of information within those communities. In addition, I will describe a novel methodology for information aggregation that leads to accurate predictions of uncertain events in the real world."

What Steve Wozniak Learned From Failure

An excerpt from Juice: The Creative Fuel that Drives World-Class Inventors "But there are different kinds of failure. Sometimes, failure tells you to give up and do something else entirely. Other times, it tells you to try a different approach, a new route to the top of the mountain. Or it may tell you to make a detour. Sometimes, it tells you that you need help. Sometimes, it doesn't seem to tell you anything."

Why Innovations Sit on the Shelf

Why? Because organizations don't "have the ability to conduct candid conversations about internal problems... According to our studies, the most effective way for a leader to realign his company is to facilitate open and honest conversation about any barriers the organization is facing." What? Haven't they heard of weblogs? Anyway, this article lists 4 methods to foster organization-wide conversations:
  1. Advocate, inquire, repeat
  2. Cut to the chase
  3. Be open and inclusive
  4. Strive for honesty alongside low risk
I still think that they should look at weblogs ;)

Reputation and Trust (aka “Network Closure”)

An interesting read relating structural holes and network closure. Structural holes are gaps between groups. They offer many opportunities for innovation. Network closure, the counterpart to structural holes, represents the level of trust within groups. Here's an excerpt: "The power of reputation rests on the idea of network closure, which is the degree to which everyone knows everyone else in a network. In a subgroup or "clique" where everybody knows everybody else, reputation can have currency much more powerful than money. Promises within the group can be trusted because the consequences of breaking a promise would be catastrophic. Anyone who mistreated a fellow member in such a group would quickly find himself ostracized by the entire group, his reputation ruined." [thanks elearnspace]

The Conversing Company is the Hub for Innovation

This article on the importance of chatting or conversing is generating a lot of interest at KnowledgeBoard. There is even an online workshop dedicated to this subject. The conversing company is one in which all members "talk with other staff in a non-confronting, non-status, friendly and open way... When this culture of trust is in place, just one thing that happens is that new knowledge is created from questions that arise in conversation. And that is precisely the knowledge which companies need to sustain their business, keep flexible in the competitive world and be enjoyable organizations to 'work' for".

ManyWorlds blog

Naomi Moneypenny, executive editor of ManyWorlds, has a blog where she talks about the latest in management thinking, innovation and learning. Welcome to the blogosphere, Naomi.

Secrets of the shower head

A must read article that argues that the US is more innovative than other countries simply because it is more messy: "innovation is a very messy process that thrives in what can only be called "the gaps". In other words, the US is at present the innovation capital of the world because it is such a disorderly place."

The Power of Design

Business Week analyzes the IDEO innovation story.

Quirky Google Culture Endangered?

This article from Wired talks about some of the cultural changes Google may go through after its IPO. Things that may go out:

Encyclopedia of the New Economy

Here's a gem of a definition for "knowledge worker" from Wired Magazine's Encyclopedia of the New Economy: Someone paid to think. At the beginning of this century two-thirds of working US citizens earned their livings by making things; today two-thirds earn theirs by making decisions. This change has brought prosperity and standards of living our grandparents could only dream of. But it has also made the world a less certain place: A knowledge worker, today's bosses say only half in jest, is someone who can never quite manage to define their own job. Decisionmakers are harder to manage than manual workers - telling them what and how to decide defeats the purpose. Worse, the best decisionmakers know things their bosses don't - one reason being in charge just isn't what it used to be. There are more like the above for innovation, intellectual capital, knowledge management, just-in-time learning, etc.

Etienne Wenger on Communities of Practice:Engagement, Identity & Innovation

A very interesting commentary on CoPs by Wenger. I particularly like his notion following stories to determine the ROI of a CoP effort: "In terms of revenue generation, if you want to understand the value of a community, you have to follow the story of the knowledge that is generated. Through a mix of formal interviews and testimonies, you have to engage the practitioners in telling you the story of how the activities of the community have translated into new and better performance. When you do that, most communities come up with very good ROI."

Peterme: R&D in Interaction Design

Peterme: R&D in Interaction Design

Peter Merholz on Vaporware: "It seems that product teams are responsible for their own innovation, and, what do you know, it's working (Rendezvous, iTunes, Expose, etc. etc.)! Contrast this with Remail, from IBM's research labs, which garnered some buzz when the site launched, but which I doubt we'll ever see in any piece of shipping software. I mean, I love Babble as much as the next geek, but where is it getting us? And where is it getting IBM?"
Also, check out Wired News' Vapourware Awards

Nico Macdonald: Design by or for the people?

Nico Macdonald: Design by or for the people?

"Too much user focus may be a barrier to innovation. Research with users is likely to tell us that they desire an improvement on something they already know and understand -- faster calculators rather than spreadsheets. Ask them if they would use a proposed innovation and they will say No -- and then adopt it when they have seen its utility demonstrated in the real world."

elearn Magazine: Predictions for 2004

elearn Magazine: Predictions for 2004

Instructional design will become learning design, bringing innovation and creativity to online courses much like the best teachers do in the classroom. Online courses will provide layers of information to encourage exploration, use rewards, surprises, and humor to increase engagement and enjoyment, and support peer learning so that students learn together as well as from each other. -- Lisa Neal

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