The risks of economic narrow-mindedness

It is all too tempting to judge an economy’s health simply by its growth rate. No big wonder then that many economic policies are devised with growth as their only goal. However, this approach grossly simplifies the complexity of an economy’s inner workings. Rather than searching for the one perfect signal of economic success, we should take the opposite angle and try to understand what could go wrong. Today, I’ll offer a more detailed sketch of this concept to illustrate how our own economic narrow-mindedness makes us susceptible to economic failure, i.e., how a singular focus on growth blinds us for many important aspects of economic health.

How economies fail – More from Jane Jacobs

How do you know that an economy is healthy? The standard answer to this seemingly simple question is: It grows! While growth is an important hint at economic success, making it the only indicator would be far too simplistic. But instead of searching for the one perfect signal of economic success, I suggest a comprehensive review of the different ways for an economy to fail: acknowleding what can go wrong in an economy thus becomes the starting point for a more nuanced and realistic picture of economic health. Today, I want to frame such a picture.

More sketches of an innovation

In the previous post, I introduced a graphical overview of innovation’s inner workings, embedded in a circle of useful knowledge that innovation draws from, and contributes to. That chart might create an impression of innovation as a messy, even unwieldy process. To highlight the structure underneath, today I’ll dissect it a little further. A simplified storyline of […]

Sketching an innovation

We all know that successful innovation is not easy to achieve. And still, we sometimes seem to hope that the 1% inspiration is more important than the 99% transpiration. Well, it’s not. But instead of using a thousand words, this time I’ve tried to cast the story into a single graphic. Using my earlier working […]

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 […]