Abstract yet Valuable Ideas Stand the Highest Risk of not Being Recognized

A dozen or so million new blog posts have passed since my last post. I checked out 500 of those that were related to strategy and economics. Below is my collection of the 14 most useful posts from an innovation management perspective.

Marcus’ favorite post this week for actionable knowledge and inspiration is Sundelin’s post on platform thinking for business model innovation.

First out is some good news. According to a recent study by Booz Allen Hamilton global corporate R&D spending has not taken a hit in the current downturn, but is still alive and kicking. Dr Mark Perry offers a brief summary of the report.

Over at the business model database blog, Anders Sundelin offers a nice post on the potential benefits of turning traditional products into platforms and enabling external actors to develop the end-user value for you.

At the Harvard blog, the former editor of Harvard Business Review, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, offers some food for thought regarding some eight recognizable traits of an innovation with good chances to succeed. Although useful, the scholarly reader might recognize some aspects from Rogers‘ (1964) seminal work on the diffusion of innovations. In addition, Kanter’s list should be complemented with the concurrent post by Sviokla on why abstract yet valuable ideas stand the highest risk of not being recognized in time, in complex organizations.

Abstract yet valuable ideas stand the highest risk of not being recognized.

At last, the outdrawn discussion about the connection between outsourcing and innovation capabilities over at the HBS blog has finally come to a close. Technology and innovation scholars Pisano and Shih offer a wrap-up of the debate, which has raged over the last few months.

Professor Donald Sull has a series of recent blog posts over at Financial Times which brings up the contributions of one of the least accessible of the giants in innovation research – Frank Knight. Sull makes an excellent job of explaining the differences between Knightian ‘risk’ and ‘uncertainty’ and why it matters to innovation. The answer is of course related to Sull’s excellent research about disciplined entrepreneurship.

Which reminds me of another excellent discussion about methodical ways to effectively figure out the correct price for your offer when selling online. Perhaps some of the learnings are applicable in the offline world too? Related, over at Stanfords entrepreneurships corner – Greg Papadopoulo from Sun Microsystems give a short (2.30 minute) speech about how essential it is to allow failure – or rather – cheap failure, for an innovation system to function.

According to this recent graph, Asia/Oceania might surpass Europe 15 as well as the US in terms of share of world GDP in the very near future (if they haven’t already). And if you are thinking about developing innovations suited to that region – perhaps this post on ‘polycentric innovation’ by Cambridge researcher Radjou might be of use. Otherwise such global changes might inspire you to read these practical hints from McKinsey on scenario planning. Whichever way, keep in mind that ‘minnovation’ can be just as profitable as innovation, as this example from Mexico shows.

Your creativity increases if you let your eyes slowly follow a horizontal line over the horizon, from left to right.

I will round off today’s post with some useful trivia. Did you know that your creativity increases if you let your eyes slowly follow a horizontal line over the horizon, from left to right? This 60 second podcast summarizes the scientific experiment used to test the phenomenon.

Your comments are welcome!

Do you have any comments on the links presented here? Are some of them broken or not accessible from your network? Would you like more focus on peer-reviewed journals or more focus on pure blogs? Do you know of a blog post that you would like to see here next time? Feel free to send an email to marcus.linder@chalmers.se.

About Marcus Linder

Marcus LinderMarcus Linder researches environmental innovation among industrial firms at Chalmers University of Technology. Focus areas include strategic rationale and the practical how-to of including environmental aspects in the innovation process. An important starting point is that profitable environmental innovation often require more than just “quick-fixing” a firm’s existing offers. Theoretically, Marcus is grounded in the problem-solving perspective on management, a subset of the knowledge-based view of the firm. In terms of applied innovation management, his main passion lies in business model design. He is currently employed as a PhD student at Center for Business Innovation at Chalmers University of Technology. Before starting his PhD studies, Marcus successfully performed a business innovation project at CBI culminating in a new product concept now planned for market introduction by Göteborg Energi.


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