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 […]

Why we need to broaden our innovation mindset

You might picture our established structures as the hardware that we run our innovation supply chain on. They certainly direct the energy, the resources we invest in innovation. And they have significant implications for our “innovation software”, i.e., our understanding of innovation, our innovation mindset. That’s what I’ll discuss today along two main questions: the first deals with […]

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 […]

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, […]

Cities, companies, and innovation – The crucial interplay

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering over the observations of Geoffrey West and his team. 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: What do animals and plants, companies and cities have in common? West’s key findings In this quest for […]