Innovation – Our force for change

Innovation has become a major buzzword of our time, often with almost mystical properties ascribed. This essay is my attempt to demystify that buzz – in 500 words.

Disrupting Big Business

Over the last century, Big Business transformed dramatically, several times. What used to be in the hands of heavy industry, of oil and steel, gradually became the domain of the chemical, pharmaceutical, automotive and later on consumer electronics industries. And from the 1990s onwards, it morphed again as the Digital Revolution unfolded. Today, Big Business […]

Tremendous resources – well balanced?

We commit tremendous resources to innovation, no doubt. Just look at the sheer size of the Research & Development departments of the big players across many industry sectors, and consider the multi-billion budgets they invest. For example, consider Samsung’s R&D budget for 2016 (around 13 billion US$) and compare with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) achieved around […]

Cities, companies, and innovation – An emerging narrative

The work of Geoffrey West and his team is truly fascinating. In their cross-disciplinary research on complex adaptive systems, they looked for common underlying principles that could be applicable to biological systems and social systems alike. Of course I’m particularly interested in West’s observations on social systems like cities and companies; and the different roles they play in innovation. Today, […]

Some second thoughts on first contact

The concept of adaptive cycles can serve as a framework for a rich discussion on innovation. However, before diving deeper into the specifics of the concept, let’s look at the basic description of the adaptive cycles again and review some of the earlier posts on this blog: to what extent do those ideas fit with this concept? I’d […]