|ENIM engineering students (France)
talk to Debra M. Amidon
|Purchase Innovation Strategy for
the Knowledge Economy: The Ken Awakening online from amazon.com
Q1: Would you please first give us a
brief idea about your professional carrier, especially dealing with
DMA: You can read the highlights in my Biographical Sketch -
and Curriculum Vita -
In short, I have spent several
years in academia, government and industrial management. I see more
similarities than differences. They all have in common a focus on
and the need to put that knowledge into action (i.e., to innovate). What
good is knowledge if it is not put to the use of society? In 1982, we
researched how people planning integrated with business planning. In 1989
we convened a Roundtable on "Managing the Knowledge Assets into the
21st Century" and wrote about
'harnessing the intellectual capital of the nation.' Now the innovation
agenda is what provides the common language and shared vision of "a
economic world order based upon knowledge, innovation, stakeholder
and international collaboration" - http://www.entovation.com/gkii/.
Q2: In your book:" Innovation and Knowledge Strategies for Today's
Economy", you have considered the innovation as the pre-eminent
strategy for the competitively. In your opinion, what are the main
criteria that the innovation has to be based on?
DMA: You provide me with a dilemma. Although your conference topic and my
books, such as Innovation Strategy for the Knowledge Economy -
- and Creating the Knowledge-Based Business - http://www.entovation.com/backgrnd/practice.htm
- do provide a rationale and methodology for creating a competitive
advantage, this may not be the primary point. Progressive enterprises
understand the fundamental nature of managing the 'future' and have
realized that being competitive in the future is a matter of building
collaborative (not competitive) advantage - http://www.entovation.com/backgrnd/future.htm
- the focus of my third monograph. I know this is a very difficult set of
concepts to understand, but they are the essence of economic viability for
the future - whether you pursue the profitable growth of an enterprise,
the vitality of a nation's economy or the advancement of
Q3: According to your own experience, what are the several practices of
knowledge management" and the corporate innovation?
DMA: Personally, I am not interested in "best practices" as a
way to manage
the knowledge agenda - never mind innovation! Organization leadership is
better advised to focus on creating an 'enterprise-to-emulate' and set the
'standards,' rather than following 'best practices,' which - in my opinion
- may be a prescription for failure. That being said, I have outlined in
Chapter 10 of my book what I believe the 10 managerial standards of the
21st Century might be:
- Manage the collaborative innovation
process with a designated chief
- Perform systematic performance
measurement: economic, behavioral and
- Centralize research and education
facilities for new business
- Establish a distributed learning
network of innovation centers.
- Incorporate 'real-time' intelligence
- Create a steam of value-added products
- Leverage collaborative innovation
practices with alliances and joint
- Design congruent advertising campaigns
which reflect intellectual
- Lead by visible example - internally
and externally - to share learnings.
- Use the cyberspace as an electronic
learning tool for new ideas.
Q4: On which moderation can we consider
the "invention" as a way of innovation? What about copying
intelligently (adoption and adaptation)?
DMA: Few people understand the difference between invention and
We have captured 40+ definitions and published on the Website -
Invention is the
first stage in the full process of innovation that includes: (a) creation,
(b) conversion and (c) commercialization. Invention only embodies in the
first stage. And so, I guess, the answer to your question is 'No.' One has
not innovated until customers begin to put demands upon the technology or
invention. Our own definition goes well beyond technological
focuses upon the flow of knowledge throughout the process. And of course,
operates as a system dynamic, not a value chain as many would propose. I
would consider your suggestions of adoption, adaptation or re-use (as it
is being defined in some of the EU research) - is still only invention and
must pass through the second and third phases of the innovation process to
be fully 'innovated.'
Q5: What advice can you give to the future engineers?
DMA: Enjoy the rigor of your profession. It is a skill-set necessary for
succeeding in the future. Explore all other disciplines and make
connections in the concepts, thinking and practice that do not yet exist.
Hold fast to your own values and do not compromise your standards. Learn
from others - especially those from other cultures - and rapidly put those
insights into practice. Innovate in the truest sense; and in doing so, you
will effectively innovate - move your own knowledge into action! Yours is
a future to innovate...!
Strategy for the Knowledge Economy: The Ken Awakening online from amazon.com