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 […]

Opposing objectives

The front–loop of the adaptive cycle is very present in our daily experience, no wonder that it dominates our thinking as well. It’s the place where we are most comfortable, where we want to be. Continued growth and the accumulation of resources create an impression that all change is positive, that all change is progress: your business model is […]

The effects of decentralisation in the innovation landscape

The decentralisation of resource flows has significant effects of the roles of the innovation protagonists. Even though the innovation landscape itself essentially remains unchanged, the interactions across that landscape evolve toward unprecedented dynamics. The innovation landscape is shaped along two axes: problems that demand for a solution, and ideas for potential solutions. Within that landscape, we then find four different […]