Dealing with unknown problems

Over the past few weeks, I’ve discussed how our innovation endeavour has become too focused on known problems. We have submersed ourselves in the bubble of the known problems to an extent that we are largely unprepared to deal with the unexpected. And that self-imposed myopia creates serious challenges. My argument essentially went through three steps: our established structures work very well for […]

How our innovation structures deceive us

It’s no surprise: for problems that have been around for a while, we usually develop certain structures to deal with them efficiently. Think about structures as organisations like companies or research laboratories, or processes like quality assurance or even the scientific method. Each of these established organisations and ready-made processes are designed for a purpose: to solve a specific known problem. And that’s what […]

The Third of the Grand Revolutions

There’s a lot of talk about the Digital Revolution and the effects it had, has, might have. Let’s take a step back to put things into perspective: Could it be that this revolution is a lot larger than we usually think? Are we currently experiencing the beginnings of a major transformation not only of our technological base, but of the very […]

The downsides of a front–loop focus

The depiction of the adaptive cycle as the lying eight has many compelling arguments in its favour. And still it is far from intuitive. While the pessimists have an inclination to look for the downsides in life, and thus can more easily reconcile their view of the world with the existence of the adaptive cycle with […]

Adaptive cycles and innovation – first contact

What is it that adaptive cycles could tell us about innovation? Which new perspective could they give us? Could they actually serve as a common backdrop, a “unifying field theory” that covers all dimensions of innovation? That could incorporate the relevant aspects of technology, business, and society? I’m curious to learn more about the ups and […]