Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend?
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Global Innovation Challenge: 160 Yr. Old Parent Challenges Freudenberg North America to Target Zero Manufacturing Waste

Global Innovation Challenge:  160 Yr. Old Parent Challenges Freudenberg North America to Target Zero Manufacturing Waste | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Freudenberg's North America companies are targeting zero manufacturing waste in response to a challenge set by parent corporation, Freudenberg and Co., during a recent internal Global Innovation Forum on raw materials and innovation."


Going green in the North America continues to be an important business goals for companies, including the long time global veteran, Freudenberg and Company.


Excerpt:


____________________________


Freudenberg has a 160-year history of conducting its business with integrity and a commitment to the welfare of its plant communities.

____________________________


In an ambitious drive to reach zero manufacturing waste ...Freudenberg North America's 16 companies will pursue processes that focus on ...recycling, lower water and energy consumption and increased use of sustainable materials over the next decade.


"All of the companies are engaged in implementing processes and programs that will improve the environmental sustainability of their products and plants," said Leesa Smith, president, Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership.


"The confluence of new environmental challenges and this long-standing corporate culture is pushing our people to develop green industrial innovations that will help solidify our success - and the health of our communities - into the next century."


Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, in Plymouth, Mich., is pursuing dozens of technological innovations aimed at reducing the company's reliance on scare natural resources, lowering vehicle emissions, improving engine and transmission performance, supporting development of wind and solar energy and incorporating more recycled content in its products.


Some examples from the Plymouth company:


  • Low Emission Sealing Solutions (LESS) components use one quarter of the energy a conventional radial shaft seal uses, thereby reducing fuel consumption and lowering vehicle emissions.


  • FluoroXprene® fluoroelastomers are a unique group of newly-developed materials that bridge the technology gap between PTFE and rubber while substantially reducing CO2 emissions and energy usage. FluoroXprene materials are completely recyclable. 
.
  • The company is also pursuing ultraviolet (UV)-curable sealants that will reduce energy consumption, lower Co2 emissions and reduce cycle times.


Read the full press release story here.

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Shiny Syndrome: In Medicine, Falling for Fake Innovation

Shiny Syndrome:  In Medicine, Falling for Fake Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it
We need to stop glorifying every new technology as an innovation.


An opinionator post that is a cause for pause, when innovation turns into pseudo-innovation, higher cost and no improved results, or worse yet, poorer results.


Excerpted:


THE sleek, four-armed “da Vinci” robot has been called a breakthrough technology for procedures like prostate surgery. “Imagine,” the manufacturer says, “having the benefits of a definitive treatment but with the potential for significantly less pain, a shorter hospital stay, faster return to normal daily activities.”


_______________________


...this is a pseudo-innovation — a technology that increases costs without improving patients’ health.

_______________________


Critics of the health care reform act say such innovations will be stifled by the new law, with its emphasis on cost control and the comparative effectiveness of new pills and devices.


However...


The da Vinci robot costs more than a million dollars, has never been shown by a randomized trial to improve the outcomes of prostate surgery. A 2009 study showed that while patients had shorter hospital stays and fewer surgical complications like blood loss when they underwent this kind of robotic surgery, they later “experienced more … incontinence and erectile dysfunction.” Similar problems are occurring with robotic surgery for other cancers.



The Affordable Care Act will not reward this kind of innovation. But by providing incentives for hospitals to reduce infections, errors and readmissions, giving doctors more information on the comparative effectiveness of medical interventions and emphasizing preventive care over expensive services, the act will stimulate a panoply of true medical innovations. These may not be flashy; they might not even be visible to patients. But they will improve health care and lower costs.


Source:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/in-medicine-falling-for-fake-innovation/

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A Pulp Innovation & Change Chapter: The Innovation Plan includes the Return of Status Quo

A Pulp Innovation & Change Chapter: The Innovation Plan includes the Return of Status Quo | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Pushing an innovation plan forward?  Here comes the first major obstacle instead of a much-needed catalyst, for the rapid plummet to the bottom, roller coaster style in this 'pulp innovation' chapter change story."


This innovation series includes a set of chapter pulp fiction stories, complete with cliff hangers, setting up a series of cautionary tales of how to create innovation as a sustainable, repeatable business process.  


This episode of Jeffrey Phillips's series involves the destablization of those leading change to an innovation culture.  Enter the other staff manager with enough “bandwidth” to actively participate, which means those not senior enough to speed the work.


_______________________________


The annual planning cycle, that recurring monster better known ...as the idea killing process...with no ambiguity and no room for error.

_______________________________


Excerpts:


After the usual pleasantries, Susan and I set out an ambitious plan to build an innovation team, encourage incremental and disruptive innovation throughout the organization and start building innovation communities...


...it seemed that everyone else had a different perspective or intent for our project.


“Great. Do you think we can have new products in the pipeline so we can get budgets in place during the annual planning cycle?”


The annual planning cycle, that recurring monster better known to innovation experts as the idea killing process. There’s no business process or decision making apparatus less welcoming to innovation than the annual planning process, a place where great ideas go to die.


...A rigid, microscopically managed process with no ambiguity and no room for error. ...While the revenue numbers may be a bit inflated and fanciful, the projects that get approved go under a ROI microscope, which inevitably means that many innovative ideas are rejected.


By the end of our first meeting I’d reached the bottom of the roller coaster. ...Even though we had open channels to Brockwell, I didn’t think it would matter. ...


Perhaps we should recruit Mr. Kasamis.”  “Doug Kasamis, the chairman?” ...if he is willing, he could rally most of the organization to a significant change.”


Read the full post here.

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Moving Beyond Surreptitious Manager Improv, Risk & Reward, Emerging Best Practice in your Org, Steve Leybourne

Moving Beyond Surreptitious Manager Improv, Risk & Reward, Emerging Best Practice in your Org, Steve Leybourne | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Managers improvise all the time, surreptitiously, outside of processes & strategies, in order to deal with compression of time & resources."  


How to make it work, Boston Univ.,  Asst. Professor views, referencing the financial industry.


My notes from the video:


Steve Leybourne covers the softer, challenging elements of work, confirming that more than ever, work is not predictable. It is doing too much, with too little, and so, managers improvise all the time, surreptitiously.  


Managers then work outside of processes, strategies, goals and plans, so there is risk.   Managers will this on your own, and expose themselves to failure.  If things go right, they will have an emerging best practice. But if they fail, then they are really exposed.    See the full Improvisation in Organizations video here.



________________________


Successful improvisation produces better ways of achieving tasks = emerging best practice.  -  Steve Leybourne, Asst. Professor, Boston University


________________________



The model pictured from the video features:


Three constructs: Creativity, Intuition & Bricolage (making the best of whatever resources you have at hand) from Moorman & Miner (1998.) They define improvisation as:
"the degree to which composition and execution converge in time."



Add in three more from their later research, Adaptation, Compression, Innovation (deviation from existing practices & knowledge) leading to Learning. Miner et. al. Minnesota (2001)


Leybourne lists these added three as outputs, which, in the model depicted lead to learning that is fed back into the process.   Adaptive routines are actually outputs to the next round of improvisations.


________________________


It is doing too much, with too little, and so, managers improvise all the time, surreptitiously.

________________________



He also covers what can go wrong in improvisation, how to build trust within a team to improvise, and dealing with ambiguity, poor specifications.


See the full Improvisation in Organizations video here.


Thanks to Sources:  Rutger Slump and Steve Leybourne,  guest speaker at de Baak about Improvisation in Organizations. He is a assistant professor at Boston University in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. letsplayinnovation.wordpress.com



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How to Build the 100-Year Company - Michigan Steelcase, Ideas & Endless Innovation

How to Build the 100-Year Company - Michigan Steelcase, Ideas  &  Endless Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Steelcase, the long-time maker of innovative workplace furniture, celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, and defines itself not as an office furniture company, rather as a company of ideas."


Catch a company that does it right.  Besides IBM and several other rare centarians, Steelcase stands out, in Michigan, in particular.


Excerpted:


The 100-year company is the rarest of all organizations in Corporate America – a survivor of multiple business cycles, the appearance of radically disruptive technologies and the changing tastes of entirely different generations.


In Michigan. Steelcase, doesn't define itself as an office furniture company, but rather, as a company of ideas:


______________________________


"Companies don't survive for a century, ideas do."

______________________________


(Fittingly, Steelcase is a sponsor of the TED Conference). The company, which began by making steel metal wastebaskets back in 1912, thrived during the great post-war Baby Boomer work generation that saw the transition to fixed workplaces and the rise of the modern cubicle worker.


Jim Hackett, the CEO of Steelcase, uses a deceptively simple idea to guide the company in this transition to a new mobile economy. He refers to this Big Idea as the movement from the "I/Fixed" paradigm to the "We/Mobile" paradigm.


______________________________


Steelcase is no longer selling products, it is selling experiences.

______________________________


Companies are shifting away from fixed office environments to mobile, collaborative workforces and flexible workspace arrangements that go beyond desks and chairs.


One of the company's recently launched product lines is media:scape, which is essentially a blend of furniture and technology to create collaborative workplace environments. At a certain level, Steelcase is no longer selling products, it is selling experiences.


______________________________


how [will] mobile change everything about your industry?

______________________________


So how do you build the next 100-year company? You first need to ask yourself how the ascendance of mobile will change everything about your industry.


Just as Steelcase got its start making metal wastebaskets, the next 100-year-company may be currently engaged in the creation of something so mundane, yet so practical, that we may not know how to recognize it yet as a future innovator.


Read the full post here.

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Why Innovation Dies - A University Example of Structure Gone Bad - Forbes

Why Innovation Dies - A University Example of Structure Gone Bad - Forbes | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

The classic mistakes made in dealing with disruption are here:  a new administrative lead role (a dean),  policy teams, committees, and implementation plan.


"...the minute the memo started talking about a Policy Team developing detailed implementation plans, it was all over."


Have you been there?  How did it turn out for you?


...Any possibility for innovation dies when a company forms a committee for an “overarching strategy.”


This insightful article by Steve Blank, mirrors what's I've read about and seen time and time again in decisive actions taken by executives and in large institutions.


Excerpted:


Lessons Learned

  • Innovation in New Markets do not come from “overarching strategies”
  • It comes out of opportunity, chaos and rapid experimentation
  • Solutions are found by betting on a portfolio of low-cost experiments
  • The road for innovation does not go through committee

One useful purpose a university committee could have had was figuring out what the goal of going online was.  [The example in the article is education based.]


__________________________


...it is so complex that figuring out the one possible path to a correct solution is computationally incalculable.
__________________________


...the path to implementing online education is not known. In fact, it’s not a solvable problem by committee, regardless of how many smart people in the room. It is a “NP complete” problem – it is so complex that figuring out the one possible path to a correct solution is computationally incalculable.


By:  Steve Blank, author, teacher of entrepreneurship and consultant who has reshaped how startups are created. He is coauthor of the recently published, The Startup Owner’s Manual (K&S Ranch, 2012).

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The 12 Masters of Innovation - Perspectives, Slideshare, Harvard Business Review

The 12 Masters of Innovation - Perspectives, Slideshare, Harvard Business Review | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Worth a good look on leadership in innovation.


Some of who are listed include these educators:


Steve Blank, a seasoned entrepreneur who lectures at Berkeley and Stanford

His most important innovation lesson:

  • A startup is a "temporary organization searching for a repeatable and scalable business model"—a structured search process maximizes your chances of success.
  • If you read one book, read: The Four Steps to the Epiphany (Cafepress.com, 2005)


Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business School professor and Innosight co-founder.
His most important innovation lesson:

  • Doing everything right can leave a successful organization susceptible to attack from a disruptive innovator who changes the game with a simple, accessible, or affordable solution.
  • If you read one book, read: The Innovator's Solution (with Michael Raynor; Harvard Business Review Press, 2003)


Peter Drucker, legendary management guru and long-time professor at the Claremont Graduate University
  • His most important innovation lesson: "The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it is selling him." Companies need to take a customer-first perspective to succeed with innovation.
  • If you read one book, read: Innovation and Entrepreneurship (originally published in 1985)



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How Schools Can Teach Innovation | Wall St. Journal

How Schools Can Teach Innovation | Wall St. Journal | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Changing education & best practice:  Results from systemic interviews focused on young Americans is that they learn how to innovate most often despite their schooling—not because of it.  

Excerpted, by Tony Wagner

In most high-school and college classes, failure is penalized. But without trial and error, there is no innovation.

Amanda Alonzo, a 32-year-old teacher at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, Calif., who has mentored two Intel Science Prize finalists and 10 semifinalists in the last two years—more than any other public school science teacher in the U.S.—told me, "One of the most important things I have to teach my students is that when you fail, you are learning." Students gain lasting self-confidence not by being protected from failure but by learning that they can survive it. 


Via Jim Lerman
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Big Companies Need Small Companies in their Open Innovation Ecosystems

Big Companies Need Small Companies in their Open Innovation Ecosystems | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Matching to Innovate:  Small companies often are at the leading edge of breakthrough or disruptive innovation, and need the resources the larger company can provide.

 

This rings so true.  The magic is in the matching the small with the big, so both will benefit.

 

Excerpted:  Breakthrough innovation – that is, innovation with potential to be a real game changer – can be exceedingly hard to achieve in a large, bureaucratic organization where people work in silos, have their own turf to protect and are wedded to the status quo.


Small companies can take risks that large companies can’t afford to take because the bigger entities have to protect and defend their established core business operations.  (DN:  I have als0 been reading and curating examples of larger companies cannibalizing their core operations to fund new ventures & innovations, so the examples are out there, especially in the fringes of big company ventures.)

 

The price of failure for the small, agile start-up is significantly less than that of a large corporation. At this level people tend to embrace risk, while the larger companies may have cultures that don’t support risk taking at all.


Smaller companies are often closer to the markets they serve than large corporations are to their markets. As a result, small companies can be effective in helping large companies obtain a better grasp of changing needs within a market and better insights into innovations that might meet those needs. Smaller companies may also have developed ties with sub-markets that corporations have not been able to reach. This again offers more opportunities for innovation.


Via Peter Verschuere
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Google: Project Glass taken out for test run by Google co-founder: Report & Charming Video

Google: Project Glass taken out for test run by Google co-founder: Report & Charming Video | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"The Google Glasses are real!"  Project Glass, augmented reality lenses from Google, is already being tested by Google employees, including company co-founder Sergei Brin.


This video is already making the rounds on Facebook among my friends.  I wanted to share it here, as it foreshadows social media ease/connection.  


It is also spot on for a precursor of 10 year trend forecasting by Bob Johanssen that allows for virtual/digital alteration of your space, via the ACMP 2012 global change conference, and is representative, I think, of Google media relationship charm.


Excerpted:


This week Google officially confirmed the existence of Project Glass, a prototype pair of augmented reality goggles, which will allow users to see maps and chats and take photographs or notes without once reaching down for their smart phones.


"The Google Glasses are real!" popular blogger, Robert Scoble wrote in the Twitter message. Later he added that the goggles "look very light weight. Not much different than a regular set of glasses."


To view the charming, short video Google Glasses (complete with a sweet ukelele finale), go here.


Photo credit:  A screenshot from a Google video promoting Project Glass, a new augmented reality device from the team at Mountain View. - Google

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Tina Brown and Björk, Sisters of Innovation - Get ready for the True Digital Natives.

Tina Brown and Björk, Sisters of Innovation - Get ready for the True Digital Natives. | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Björk and Tina Brown have many differences but one common problem: They are watching the boat beneath them sink. Innovation is a strong option out of a death spiral."


The helpful piece by Mr. McCracken mirrors the blend of the real and virtual as Bob Johansen, futurist, covered so well in the middle keynote of the ACMP 2012 conference I attended in Las Vegas this past week.  (The Association of Change Management Professionals.)


Seeing babies interact with the iPad, then attempt to interact with magazines in the same way (it's broken), was one of the most compelling of Johansen's keynote elements and points about the real digital natives (less than 16 years of age.)  


  • I want to try the same experiment with babies near me, and expect the same result.


Bob Johansen's book is a compelling read, on the iPad it will be, for me.  Bob spoke on the topic:  Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain Age


Excerpted from Grant McCracken's post today:


Björk and Tina Brown have many differences but one common problem: They are watching the boat beneath them sink. Their print and music industries are being disintermediated by the digital revolution. They are struggling to respond to the blue-ocean and white-space and black-swan disruption that besets us all.


Brown and Björk had enough altitude to glide to career's end.  [Their] experiments may not save them (or us). But they've given us cultural innovations of some interest. And daring.


Björk's Biophilia isn't just an album. It's an app. We open it to discover a jewel-like universe, a 3D model of galaxies in space. As we spin these, we discover hot spots. And when we investigate them, music begins to play. The music of the spheres has come unto the iPad.


Björk and Brown are forcing their way out of old models into promising new ground. 


Harvard Business Review blog author: Grant McCracken is a research affiliate at MIT and the author of Chief Culture Officer. His most recent book, Culturematic, is forthcoming this May from Harvard Business Review Press.


Photo credit: Bjork, by Vivi Gondek via Flickr

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Innovate like Intuit - Customer-centric, grassroots, connected

Innovate like Intuit - Customer-centric, grassroots, connected | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Innovation doesn't have to be hard to master - a great case study with Intuit, the customer-centric, grassroots innovative TurboTax folks."


It's inspiring to read how Intuit structures in ways to understand its customers, deeply.  We're TurboTax customers, by the way.


Excerpts:


To grow faster than your market, you need to create more value. The essential business challenge is to create better products, less costly solutions, or more effective internal processes that results in better, faster or cheaper service.


Sounds easy, but when you call that “innovation,” many companies freeze up.



One company that excels at listening is personal-finance software giant Intuit Inc. of Mountain View, Calif. The $4-billion-a-year maker of QuickBooks and TurboTax has grown on grassroots innovation.


When Intuit founder Scott Cook was developing the program that became known as Quicken, his sister-in-law phoned hundreds of consumers to find out what they liked and disliked about managing their personal finances.


Cook learned:


  • 80% of consumers resented the time and paperwork required, so he vowed his product would save customers time. 
  • Quicken took off because it was simpler and easier to use than its competitors (which Cook dubbed the “47th-mover advantage”).
Cook also started to follow customers home; he and other staffers would sit at consumers’ kitchen tables and watch them pay their bills. This passion for field research still thrives at Intuit.
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Creating your Own Luck to Build a Successful Innovation Culture, the Innovator's Mindset

Creating your Own Luck to Build a Successful Innovation Culture, the Innovator's Mindset | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Is it a mindset of creating your own luck that sets innovative organizations apart?"


Do the featured characteristics of innovative cultures in organizations follow the make-your-own-luck characteristics listed in this article?   See if you agree that it's about having a certain mindset translated to culture:


Excerpted:


...Having a positive, innovator’s mindset actually CREATES success, and luck.


In The Luck Factor (Miramax, 2003) professor Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, details his research providing the following insight – Luck (or success) comes to those who embrace and embody four essential principles:


Creating luck by noticing and acting on opportunities,
Expecting that one can create luck through perseverance,
‣ Making decisions which are informed by the well honed intuition, and
‣ Resisting the negative by finding and even creating the bright side of every situation


The post author, Bradley Bendle, also cites several other recent innovation books including a model from Andy Stefanovich in Look at More (Jossey-Bass, 2011) and his five M’s framework (Mood, Mindset, Mechanisms, Measurement, Momentum.)


Like other posts on his site, the post is rich in citations plus the author's own spin and distillation based on his innovation readings including his view of the Innovator’s Mindset as being comprised of following six reinforcing domains:


1) Alertness
2) Curiousness
3) Willingness
4) Joy
5) Desire
6) Drive



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Innovators Help Business Change From Within - MarketWatch

Innovators Help Business Change From Within - MarketWatch | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Sustainable business innovation & leadership capacity:  The Aspen Institute's 4th cohort of fellows who promote business growth with a sustainable society launches."  


This program looks like it can make a significant leadership impact within institutions who desire to innovate in a healthy, sustainable way.  Aspen fellows are selected based on peer nomination.


Excerpts:


_________________


"There is a clear public call for business to create long-term value for shareholders, communities, employees and the planet. We need innovative leaders who can tackle this challenge."


_________________


The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program today announces the fourth class of First Mover Fellows, individuals who are working within companies to unite business growth with a sustainable society in the products and services they are developing.


The 21 Fellows chosen this year come from a wide variety of industries including finance (Citigroup and BlackRock); energy (GE Energy); retail (Walmart); technology (Microsoft, HP and AOL); clothing (Levi Strauss and Nike); executive search (Egon Zehnder International); and advertising (Arnold Worldwide).


_________________


The 12-month Fellowship...is built around the core themes of innovation, leadership, reflection and community.

_________________


"The work of these remarkable business innovators demonstrates the array of opportunities companies have to achieve financial success and positive social and environmental impacts," says Nancy McGaw, director of the First Movers Fellowship Program.


The 12-month Fellowship, which includes three seminars, is built around the core themes of innovation, leadership, reflection and community.


The program offers individuals a chance to become part of a growing community of innovators who share a passion about their work and belief in new possibilities for business. It also serves as an innovation lab where Fellows develop the skills to make their innovations real and successful in their organizations.


The program offers both a leadership development opportunity for the Fellows and an organizational development strategy for their companies.


"Today there is a clear public call for business to create long-term value for shareholders, communities, employees and the planet. We need innovative leaders who can tackle this challenge," explains McGaw. "This Fellowship program focuses on how to build this kind of leadership capacity within business."


Candidates for the fellowship must be nominated by their peers.

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Here Come The Intrapreneurs - Forbes

Here Come The Intrapreneurs - Forbes | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"There is a third way, and it's called being an intrapreneur."


Yes, you can innovate from the inside, but as in many organizations, it depends on culture, climate, placement, experience, network, and many other factors.


___________________________


a large organization that becomes complacent and loses sight of the benefits of having an entrepreneurial streak built into their massive global systems can find themselves disrupted in short order. ~ David Armano

___________________________


Here's a recent Forbes interview take on an older idea, intrapreneuring, that has been around awhile.  It's always worth a look, if it might tip the scales in favor of your organization being more intrapreneurial.


Excerpted:


From the full post by David Armano, executive VP, Global Innovation & Integration at Edelman.


while entrepreneurialism seems to be enjoying a golden age of sorts, it isn’t for everyone.


An intrapreneur is someone who has an entrepreneurial streak in his or her DNA, but chooses to align his or her talents with a large organization in place of creating his or her own.


...several years ago when I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman at a train station and I described what I did for a living, he said something I’ll never forget: “Oh, you’re an intrapreneur–so was I.”


...Some of my peers who are doing work in the social business industry also are intrapreneurs whether they suspect it or not:  

  • Scott Monty of Ford, 
  • Ekaterina Walter of Intel, 
  • Richard Binhammer of Dell, 
  • Pete Blackshaw of Nestlé, 
  • Bonin Bough of Kraft and 
  • Frank Eliason of Citi, to name a few.


The start-up community has successfully demonstrated that the modern world needs entrepreneurs.


But this only makes intrapreneurs more critical, because in a world filled with fast-moving change, a large organization that becomes complacent and loses sight of the benefits of having an entrepreneurial streak built into their massive global systems can find themselves disrupted in short order.


This is where intrapreneurs come in handy. Smart organizations will seek out individuals who like to invent, innovate and want to be on the front lines of change. 


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Improvisation May Be the Key to Successfully Managing Change, MIT

Improvisation May Be the Key to Successfully Managing Change, MIT | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Key attributes for almost any organization, and SO CHALLENGING to implement: agility , flexibility, improvisation – a company’s ability to quickly change is crucial to its long-term success."


 MIT's Leadership Center weighs in via an article by professor Wanda J. Orlikowski that equates a successful company to an orchestra.   Yes, I've heard this before.  Benjamin Zander is quite compelling in his leadership videos on this very note, pun intended.


_______________________________


...to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment.
_______________________________


What is helpful in the article is yet another example of "letting go" as in, "sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead."  Well now, MIT, yes.  And Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much.  Releasing "some control" as quoted below, is the magic sauce, in my opinion, and adding in some feedback and perspective, on lessons learned, is a part of it.


_______________________________


"sometimes, however, the conductor needs to let go and let its skilled and creative musicians lead."


Yes, Orpheus, the conductor-less orchestra, has taught us as much. 


_______________________________


It is always, helpful, however to review suggestions for how to create and sustain an agile, flexible, improvisational culture.  


Here are Orlikowski's tips for creating such an organization, excerpted:


  • Plan to improvise - sometimes you can anticipate change, and if you can do that, you should plan to address that change in a flexible way
  • Adapt when you cannot foresee – as business rules are changing, adapt and test on a smaller, departmental scale before making company-wide changes
  • Create a learning environment – encourage communication between your employees in different locations and departments, push everyone to learn from each other
  • Encourage flexibility – to allow for improvisation, CEOs need to release some control and allow employees to experiment
  • Improvise today for success tomorrow – create a culture of experimentation and improvisation even when you’re not experiencing extreme change in practice for when you do need to change



A companion article and video to this one is how Asst. Professor Steve Leybourne, Boston University experiences improv connected with the finance industry, creating a model and citing risk, reward in managers who surreptitiously improvise.   In his video, you'll see evidence of the "let go of micromanaging" and still how it is tentative in corporate culture.  It seems we have a long way to go to let go, but writing about those who research it is a start.  


  • Source:  http://www.scoop.it/t/innovation-institutions-will-it-blend/p/1715217458/moving-beyond-surreptitious-manager-improv-risk-reward-emerging-best-practice-in-your-org-steve-leybourne


What is your experience with creating a culture that is agile , flexible, and especially improvisational?



Photo credit:   ePi.Longo  Article source:  Chief Executive Magazine

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Pros and Cons of Social Media in Education, INFOGRAPHIC > Big Universities today, Disruption Tomorrow?

Pros and Cons of Social Media in Education, INFOGRAPHIC > Big Universities today, Disruption Tomorrow? | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Check out the top five schools using social media well, at least today. These are the usual suspects.  


ALSO take a look at OmniAcademy and Southern New Hampshire University (profiled in Fast Company.)   These two seem to have more in common in preparing for the disruption in higher education that is already beginning to happen.

Embed the image above on your site Via: Online Universities Blog...


Via Peter Azzopardi, Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Why Innovation Dies, Disruption, not Deans: Higher Ed's long, winding Road to Online Education, Forbes

Why Innovation Dies, Disruption, not Deans: Higher Ed's long, winding Road to Online Education, Forbes | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Here's the companion post to the previous article that features the long & winding road in dealing with online education, and confronts disruption head-on.


Author:  Steve Blank   Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/groupthink/2012/05/01/why-innovation-dies/2/

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Leading in a VUCA world

Leading in a VUCA world | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"How’s your leadership working on in your VUCA world (Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous)? "


Liz Guthridge has written a great post on leading in a VUCA world; VCUA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, a term coined by the US Army War College in the weeks before September 11, 2001.  


Liz & I discussed the need for collaboration and community across disciplines to succeed in a VUCA world in connection with our recent panel + Open Space presentation we did for a global change conference.


__________________________


VUCA can provide threats [and] offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.” ~ Dr. Bob Johansen

__________________________


Here are some excerpts of her take on the insightful presentation by one of our keynote presenters:


"Leading in a VUCA world" is a popular phrase with Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow and former president of Institute for the Future.


According to Dr. Johansen, who shared his 2020 forecast at the Association of Change Management Professionals global conference this week, our VUCA world is not going away. In fact it’s just going to spin faster during the next decade.


In his talk “External Future Forces That Will Disrupt the Practice of Change Management,” Dr. Johansen noted that VUCA is not necessarily doom and gloom. While VUCA can provide threats, it also can offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.”


As for his two big 2022 predictions for organizational change agents, they are:


1. “The digital natives (now 16 years or younger) will create new practices to make change through gaming.” (The other key phrase besides gaming in this sentence is “make.” Dr. Johansen predicts that a culture of makers will drive the next generation of change. And as a result, leaders need to show the “maker instinct” trait.)


2. “Reciprocity-based innovation will focus on the economic, social and psychological value of reciprocity.” (Two important traits for leaders are smart-mob organizing and commons creating. Think Creative Commons.)


Dr. Johansen challenged the 825 of us in attendance to figure out how to help people and organizations adapt to these changes and others.


To do this, we should watch our terms and our questions.  Read Liz's full post here.

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Tom Hood's curator insight, April 6, 2013 5:16 PM

We just covered this in our townhall this past Monday. Arelene Thomas (AICPA/CGMA) talked about VUCA related to CPAs in Biz/Industry.


VUCA can provide threats [and] offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.” ~ Dr. Bob Johansen

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 6, 2013 5:26 PM

We need to consider VUCA

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Why Change is [very] Good for Education > Innovation in Platforms & Community Sharing

Why Change is [very] Good for Education > Innovation in Platforms & Community Sharing | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

“Yet undergraduate education changes remarkably little over time. ...reforming a curriculum [is like] moving a cemetery.” ~ by former president of Harvard University


This post has the usual, the Stanford "Artificial Intelligence" course example and the Khan academy posts. But it also offers more.


Excerpts from the blog post Online Learning Insights:


  • [There is a] slide slide show: 12 Masters of Innovation
   

The first 2 innovators are educators starting with:  


  • Clayton Christensen, the Harvard Business professor who coined the term disruptive innovation. It's interesting that the term applies to a business model, yet Clayton’s recent book describes how education is being ‘disrupted’ by technology and changing education as we know it:  The Innovative University, Changing the DNA of Education from the Inside Out.


Deb:     ALSO, to add to the list: Omniacademy, along with looking at the work of founder, Dr. Stacey Simmons, one of Fast Company's "Most Creative People."


I just became acquainted with Stacey and her work through our local Spark business incubators in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.  


Stacey is CEO of Omniacademy, which is network of people as well as an integrated tech/social tool, a platform that takes advantage of social media and higher ed networks. Users can be "friends" via courses without actually friending each other in Facebook. It is also a client of WebEx.



Also see the articles:

   

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Making open innovation work for companies and contributors, TopCoder and InnoCentive

Making open innovation work for companies and contributors, TopCoder and InnoCentive | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"...even though we champion the garage inventor--most of [the innovations that we were chronicling] happened in seclusion or in the confines of an organization."


It's exciting to see alternatives to the traditional innovation model of an R&D group that gets together in a lab...


Excerpted:

...the [innovation] model is changing. More ideas, more products, and more projects are being developed openly, and different ways of collaborating are emerging. TopCoder and InnoCentive are two companies, both now ten years old, that are making that happen.


TopCoder believes that connecting people who have ideas with people who can implement them is a better approach to innovation.


Anyone can be a member, so anyone can contribute--all you have to do is register. The community now has nearly 400,000 members. They host competitions for programming as well as design and creative, development, and assembly competitions.


InnoCentive was founded to remedy the institutional innovation problem. It began with seed funding from Eli Lilly, which recognized the rising cost of innovation, particularly in pharmaceuticals, and took the initiative to look for a better way to innovate.


They now work in industries from chemicals to aeronautics. Likewise, InnoCentive awards are given in a broader range than TopCoder, with challenges that range from chemistry and statistics to business and agriculture.


Each of these approaches to open innovation gives companies unprecedented power by connecting them to innovators around the world in near-real-time.


Source:  Opensource.com

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TechCrunch | Instagram Aftermath: It’s Time For Entrepreneurs To Go All In

TechCrunch | Instagram Aftermath: It’s Time For Entrepreneurs To Go All In | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

"Q: What does the Instagram acquisition mean? A: A LOT.  Major implication, staffing with the best, which is a key to creating a successful business innovation - and boom!"

Having cycled through start-up launches, I'm on my fourth.  My lesson learned, if this post on TechCrunch is correct, it that staffing well is one of the MAJOR success factors, if not the #1 factor in making it with a new idea carried to fruition, including innovations from start-up to institutional innovation.


Excerpt:

The passage of crowdfunding legislation in the US coupled with the $1 billion acquisition offer of Instagram, signals the beginning of a full startup boom. In preparation for the good times, venture capitalists have started to raise new fund money at their pre-crash highs.


Two and a half years ago, Mint.com was acquired for $170 million, and everyone thought that was an amazing deal following the great recession. Now, a fledgling company with a small team gets acquired for $1 billion.


...As an entrepreneur, you have a decision to make. Ask yourself, “is this my boom?” If your answer is “yes,” then you have a lot of work to do.


Look around you. If everyone that you deal with is not top-notch, from cofounders to vendors, fire them immediately and bring on the best. Now. Right now.


Seriously. Now. To really win during a boom, you need to play at the top level, and the winners in every boom always have the best talent. Always.


Is it your time? Is this your boom?

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Shedding Legacy Industry Practices: Bank To Store & Coffee Shop Innovation

Shedding Legacy Industry Practices: Bank To Store & Coffee Shop Innovation | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Customer experiences are delivered year after year without challenging the approach in what they do.  This unique bank reinvented their customer service approach and culture.”  


The banking industry is one of the more entrenched, which drew my attention to this innovation case example.


Excerpted:

CEO Ray Davis Explains His Decision to Change Umpqua’s Purpose:   Umpqua Bank has a quirky, lighthearted nature for a financial services company, perhaps because they started with the simple goal to help loggers and farmers with their banking.


...Observing Umpqua’s lack of a clear customer-service approach, CEO Ray Davis decided to make a change. In a move away from traditional banking, he renamed Umpqua locations “stores.”  In redesigned “stores,” “shoppers” could browse products and services, stay as long as they wanted, sit a spell with their legs up on a comfy chair, and sip a cup of coffee. And when they were ready, they could tap an Umpqua associate to help them with their banking needs—all without the red ropes.


At Umpqua, customers are not herded into a line for service, and they don’t have to stand in separate lines to get different services. Dedicated associates assist each customer from start to finish.

“Umpqua Bank is part Internet café, part community center, and part bank. The coffee’s good and it’s not a bad place to sit and read a book.”

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Innovation, USAID and Smart Partnerships & Investments in Developing Countries

Innovation, USAID and Smart Partnerships & Investments in Developing Countries | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

Companies are moving from corporate social responsibility to seeing these partnerships as Profit and Loss investments, with a huge potential for business growth.


Maura O'Neill, is the Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Counselor to the Administrator at the US Agency for International Development (USAID).  She highlights several ways that USAID fosters international innovation & development in poorer countries, in a way that all can benefit.


Maura O’Neill:


USAID pioneered innovations in development including:

  • the green revolution and oral rehydration therapy, saving millions of lives globally
  • pioneering mobile money in Afghanistan and Haiti, enabling their citizens to use their phones to send and receive money, purchase goods, pay bills, or run businesses helping transform their national economies
Trends:
  • Smart partnerships are emerging between companies, governments, and philanthropists with a huge potential for business growth in the developing world
  • companies have moved from corporate social responsibility to increasingly seeing these partnerships as Profit and Loss investments.

Sustainability:

  • Partnering  “mashes up” USAID deep development expertise with the private sector to help make development strides permanent. 
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How Leaders Lose Their Luck, the Paradox of the Journey to the Top

How Leaders Lose Their Luck, the Paradox of the Journey to the Top | Innovation & Institutions, Will it Blend? | Scoop.it

While researching his forthcoming book — Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck — co-author Anthony Tjan made a fascinating discovery: a surprising number of company founders and business-builders attribute much of their success to luck.

...


There are ways we create our own luck, as listed on the innovation leadership companion post on this curation stream.  Becoming disconnected, as Anthony describes, on the way to the top, is one way for leaders to lose their luck.


Excerpted:


Almost 25% of those we surveyed came out as "luck-dominant" on the Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test we devised; many more gave luck at least partial credit.


...Here's the paradox:  Once they have made it to the top — after they've reached high levels of entrepreneurial or corporate success — leaders often become disconnected from the crucial lucky qualities and relationships that helped get them there in the first place. By definition, the top is less of a journey and more of an arrival point. A newfound reputation is difficult to risk.


We've identified seven attributes, and they are among the most difficult ones for leaders to master and maintain. They are: humility, intellectual curiosity, optimism, vulnerability, authenticity, generosity, and openness.


The post defines these and begs the question:


How do leaders reconnect to the reality, attitude, and relationships that can sustain and take their company's excellence to a new place?


Author:  Anthony Tjan is CEO, Managing Partner and Founder of the venture capital firm Cue Ball and vice chairman of the advisory firm Parthenon.

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