Companies once deemed “too big to fail” are increasingly exposed to failure. The threat of disruption is everywhere. Startups are taking on the Goliaths in every market. Scores of malls across the United States are in collapse. Many household brand names are losing ground or even shutting completely. Regardless of industry, businesses face digital Darwinism, the evolution of technology and markets. Disruption is just a matter of when, where and why. To compete, executives must make tough decisions but more so, they must look to new horizons for new insight and direction. Whether companies thrive or cower in the face of digital Darwinism is a choice.
Innovation hubs are popping up from Addis to Amsterdam and Boston to Bangalore. Fuelled by ideals of openness, community and collaboration, hubs aim to be the next orgware for innovation—beyond business incubators and R&D labs. Managers, policymakers and investors have taken note, but are grappling with how to engage. What makes hubs so appealing and can they teach innovation managers anything new?
Innovation communities are a new and vitally important focal point for innovation in industries where the enterprise has or needs extensive contacts with its supply chain, vendor partners of development communities. This ecosystem is an important source of practical and implementable ideas and by inviting contributions, the enterprise can also seed acceptance of change in the wider community.