[E100 Alert] - The VOICE of ENTOVATION...Trends of Innovation Strategy

Dear E100:

You have been selected as an E100 because we believe that you have something important to say. Already you have had an impact as an individual - within your function, industry, community of practice, nation...or all of the above.

Now, we are seeking to make visible your collective insights in ways that could have an impact on your relative spheres of influence. We think you may want to forward this E100 Alert to your own networks!

In The Innovation SuperHighway (Chapter 11, Pgs. 173-200), we sketched YOUR comments on various dimensions of innovation strategy. For the most part, these insights apply to any organization regardless of size or industry, profit or non-profit status and regionally - industrialized and developing alike. Most recently, these trends have been made available - complete with YOUR own source quotes - on the ENTOVATION website (NOTE: Be sure to click on the PDF file).

And so, scan the contents...

FIRST, we have provided the analysis of the Megatrends. Detailed analysis available.

Meta View #1: Economy to Holonomy
Meta View #2: Control to Humility
Meta View #3: Knowing to Imagining
Meta View #4: Limited to Unlimited
Meta View #5: Goals to Aspirations

SECOND, we have outlined the dimensions of innovation according to YOUR words:

Focus on Collaborative Process - Edna Pasher (Israel)
Over the past few years, we have seen a dramatic shift from competitive strategies to the value of collaboration. This modern management mode-operandi comes from an explosion in virtual networks, cross-boundary interaction, and the development of shared purpose. Many progressive enterprises - private and public - are realizing that managing the process explicitly is a path toward more sustainable innovation. Knowledge leadership has become a matter of being able to create value through collective competencies often harnessed through vertical and diagonal initiatives versus the traditional hierarchical management techniques. There are four fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:
(1) Company to Community
(2) Collaboration to Cohesion
(3) Communities of Practice to Shared Meaning
(4) Security to Trust

Focus on Performance Measures -
Dr. Ante Pulic / Karmen Jelcic (Croatia)
Perhaps the most dramatic changes as a result of this new Knowledge Economy has been in performance measures - a new form of knowledge economics if you will. The primary resource to be monitored - and even measured, as many would suggest - is the intangible value of an organization. It is no longer sufficient to measure only financial indicators of an enterprise, a nation or a global economy for that matter, for there are too many other significant variables contributing to sustainability or prosperity. The traditional balance sheet measures the past when what is needed are indicators for the future. The accounting profession has aggressive plans for guidelines and several companies - and countries - have come forth with their own methods for intellectual capital reporting.
There are four fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:
(1) Realizing Value to Creating Value
(2) Single Measure to Multiple Measures
(3) Disalignment to Re-alignment
(4) Get-rich Quick to Perseverance
Focus on Education/Training
- Dr. F. Javier Carrillo (Mexico)

The focus on knowledge and innovation (i.e., how to put knowledge into action) has provided a common language across functions, sectors, stakeholders and nations. Education-based strategies are seen as an equalizer between industrialized and developing nations.  There is evidence of a major shift from teacher-oriented to learning-centered education strategies enabled by advanced technologies and the explosion of Internet/Intranet communications. Learning occurs throughout all activities of the enterprise - not just the classroom.  Progressive approaches are designed to be more 'pragmatic' yielding performance results, but there needs to be a balance between the traditional academic approaches and the practical, 'real-time' application of learnings, such as industrial incubators, lessons-learned initiatives, et al. Story telling - as a documentation and deployment mechanism - has enabled very complex concepts and results to be transferred readily. Since the 1980's, learning has been the path to developing 'competitive advantage'; but now the process may be more 'collaborative' in scope - across the boundaries of functional responsibilities or even inside and external to the enterprise. National initiatives using learning as the rubric for change are focused on building a better standard of living through knowledge sharing and innovation.
There are three fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:
(1) Education to Learning
(2) Academic to Practical
(3) National Institutions to Innovative Networks

Focus on Distributed Networks -
Dr. Charles M. Savage / Ms. Elisabeth Sundrum (Germany)

There has been a dramatic shift from hierarchical management to networked learning systems in which all stakeholders - both inside and outside the enterprise - become a source of knowledge. Networked management requires different leadership skills based upon inspiration and innovation (i.e., acting upon ones learnings). Motivation comes within the individual; and much success may depend upon an understanding of the whole system - thus new views of the management landscape that are holistic in scope. Gone - well, for the most part - are the value chains of activity that have yielded to more robust networked systems where learning is a two-way street at every point of interaction. The questions of course are how people are receptive to the ideas of others and will capitalize upon their complementary competencies rather than re-inventing the wheel - a characteristic of an inventive, but not innovative community.

There are three fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:

(1) Questioning to Initiating
(2) Believing to Understanding
(3) Persuading to Inspiring
(4) Instinctual to Systems Approach
Focus on Competitive Intelligence - Bryan Elliot Davis (Canada)

Where it used to be a function of competitive business/market/nation positioning, the rules of the game may have changed. To be competitive, it used to be a function of understanding the product development capability and business strategy. Today, one must innovate - create ideas and put them into products and services - in advance of the competition. To do so requires a more fundamental understanding of their capacity to innovate and how they collaborate (i.e., their alliance/partner strategy) to get to market. Business intelligence, then, is far more a function of knowing where and how a competitor is going and, then, innovating faster. Success in the new economy is a function of creating new markets; so studying best practices has only limited value.

There are four fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:

(1) Size of the Enterprise to the Innovation Capacity
(2) Competition to Collaboration
(3) Product Development to Alliance Strategy (undocumented)
(4) Business Strategy to Innovation Strategy (undocumented)
Focus on New Products/Services
- Dr. Oliver Schwabe (Germany)

As the innovation cycle has accelerated and the potential for new markets increased with the global economy, the opportunity to create knowledge-intensive products, markets and services has grown exponentially. No longer is the services sector considered the knowledge sector; manufacturing environments are equally reliant upon the leveraging of knowledge in new products and services. Simultaneously, the world has become more cognizant of environmental factors and is looking toward ecological systems as a foundation for new product development. Focus has shifted from analysis of materials and technologies toward how new product ideas - coming throughout the enterprise - can be incubated successfully and expeditiously.

There are four fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:

(1) Manufacturing to the Services Sector
(2) Product Development Cycle to Incubation
(3) Economy to Ecology
(4) Products from Materials/Technology to Intelligent Products (undocumented)
Focus on Strategic Alliances -
Dr. Piero Formica (Italy)

With heightened global competition and acceleration of product/service life cycles, it is increasingly evident that organizations are unlikely to meet market demands in-and-of themselves. Essentially, no enterprise is an island. In today's economy, partnering - and successfully managing strategic alliances - becomes the norm, not the exception. Many of the well-tested competitive management tactics of the Industrial Era are not suitable for the collaboration strategies of the Knowledge Era. If it is true that enterprises will rely more upon knowledge external to the organization for their own future success, then the art of managing strategic alliances will become ever more critical in the coming decade. Managing such complex relationships requires both foresight and skill to leverage the competencies from which both or all parties might benefit.

There are two fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:

(1) Self-interest to Group Interest
(2) Internal Knowledge to External Knowledge

Focus on Market/Customer Interaction - Yvonne Buma (Nederland)

Communications - both internal and external - is not often considered an integral part of the innovation process. As global competition has intensified and relationships with customers (and other stakeholders for that matter) become increasingly more important (and more difficult), enterprises are realizing that communication of important information - and knowledge - is critical. Market perception - regardless of accuracy - can make or break the competitive positioning of an organization. Further, the relationship with external sources - especially customers - may be the key to future products and services. 'Learning from' and 'innovating with' the customer may become a survival tactic for organizations - profit and not-for-profit. Multi-media technologies afford communications to be more multi-faceted than ever.

There are two fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:

(1)  Pro-active Marketing to Interactive Partnerships
(2) Print media to Multi-media. (undocumented)
Focus on Leadership/Leverage -
Doug Macnamara (Canada)

The Knowledge Economy demands a very different form of leadership - that which is visible internally as well as to the outside world. Leaders are visionary and see the broader picture. They are holistic in their analysis and systematic in their implementation. They have the capability to inspire others to action with effective communications skills. They know how to operate in teams and create a culture of openness, curiosity, innovation and learning. Further, they can articulate their insights and aspirations externally by being visible in public forums, authoring articles and books and being respected for their candor and passion. In short, the leaders are learners and espouse a similar ethic with everyone with whom they come in contact.

There are three fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:

(1) Direction to Purpose
(2) Toleration to Honor
(3) Managing to Helping
Focus on Computer/Communications -
Dr. David J. Skyrme (UK)

The explosion of acceptance of the Intranets, Internet, multi-media and collaboration technologies, wireless devices - not to mention e-business, e-learning, e-commerce, et al - has accelerated the potential foundation for The Innovation SuperHighway. Technology has become a learning tool on the desktop and in the home. Electronic systems, however, are not only mechanisms to serve as a repository of knowledge; they are vehicles to facilitate innovation conversations across borders than increase the global reach of enterprises and the individual entrepreneur.

There are one fundamental shifts documented in the E100 interviews:

(1) Internet Viewed as Promotion to Viewed as a Learning Tool (undocumented)
(2) Passive to Interactive (undocumented)
(3) Artificial Assistant to Alien Intelligence
(4) Productivity Tools to Collaborative Technologies

In Summary:
Too little attention is given to vision activities- the strategies that sustain an organization over time. Too little attention is given to how best utilize the intellectual capital of an enterprise - public or private. Too much time is given to the short-term fragmented initiatives at the expense of launching holistic and systematic strategies. This need not be the case.

Of course, there is no sure way to predict the future. Indicators are fuzzy at best. This 'innovation frontier' leads us into unchartered waters - not familiar to managers unfamiliar with - or worse, resistant to - modern management technologies.  But, it is succeeding in the difficult tasks that an enterprise and leadership distinguishes themselves.

Thanks to some of the progressive methodologies and the managerial leadership willing to take 'responsible risks' - we are discovering that trend analysis based upon concept mapping may have some value. If you can define - however sketchy - plausible trends (and the speed of acceleration), an organization may be able to capitalize upon  what some might suggest is (almost) inevitable.

In the case of the E100, we are able to discern some of the MetaViews providing a foundation for our future. Further, the trends can and must be analyzed according to the process of innovation in order to make strategies operational and effective. The case studies will emerge more rapidly than we think when enterprise leaders realize that they have more to gain from sharing their 'story' with others than practicing outdated competitive tactics.

And, so...take a peek. You may be surprised at your own source quotes. More important, our intent is to begin to harness this wonderful collective intelligence in splendid ways that could make your voice heard around the world.

Stay tuned for further opportunities...

Always in your Network,


P.S. Apologies to those who have been featured on the Global Knowledge Leadership Map after the publication of the book. We'll catch your insights next time around!

Source: The Innovation SuperHighway: Harnessing Intellectual Capital for Sustainable Collaborative Advantage (ISBN: 0750675926 - Butterworth-Heinemann 2002).


"An idea can mobilize individuals into a crusade in search of an ideal. It can induce them to undo and redo what they have done wittingly or unwittingly, and to regain control over the whole of what they are a part and more importantly, of themselves."

- Russell L. Ackoff

Redesigning the Future

Debra M. Amidon
Founder and CEO
ENTOVATION International Ltd.
2 Reading Avenue, Suite 300
Wilmington, MA 01887 USA
T: 978/988-7995
F: 978/863-0124
E-mail: debra@entovation.com
URL: http://www.entovation.com

"Innovating our future...together."

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