Enterprise and Innovation are the origins of ENTOVATION

The lotus innovation flower with its three tiers (i.e. microeconomic, mesoeconomic, and macroeconomic) provides a coherent planning framework in which an organization can consider its strategic vision.  

'In Search of Innovation'
- A Book for Children and Leadership Executives

by Debra M. Amidon
Illustrations by Ron and Arye Dvir

ISBN: 88-89460-06-7

In Search of Innovation is a book designed to unleash the exploration process in us all. It is a story that affirms the need for persistence, self-confidence and collaboration. Innovation – putting knowledge into action – requires dynamic interaction with others. For children or leadership executives, the discovery process can be both exiting and frustrating – the simultaneous delight of acceptance…and the agony of rejection. Following the flow of an idea through completion, though, is the essence of progress, sustainability and true economic wealth. In the Knowledge Economy, we are dependant upon the realization of good ideas…and on a global scale. As you take this journey, what images come to mind of true innovators from around the world?

About the illustrations:

The world is now our manageable landscape with connections made East-to-West, North-to-South. Our future depends upon the degree of shared insight, interaction and imagination resident in the minds, hearts and hands of people around the globe. These graphics were designed to capture the history of art and represent diverse backgrounds, ages, periods and nations. The childlike calligraphy is intended to illustrate the atmosphere – in imagery and meaning – that captures the magic of seeing good ideas realized.

Special Acknowledgements

The evolution of the concepts within this book have been a journey itself with talent offered from around the world. The initial text was drafted in Sweden, revised with the able assistance of Karen Speerstra, my original publisher, and another Contributor - Karen Margulies. Versions have been previewed – by colleagues and children in China, Singapore, Africa, Australia, the Americas and Eastern and Western Europe, but it was not until Dr. Edna Pasher, Israel, introduced me to the Dvirs that the book developed wings. And so, I am deeply indebted to those who have played such a critical role in evolving the innovation of these childlike lessons from which we might all learn. We are limited only by our imagination…

The People Behind This Book
Debra M. Amidon, Founder and CEO of ENTOVATION International, Ltd., is a visionary and architect of the       knowledge economy. She has consulted globally to organizations, including the Asian Productivity Organization, World Bank, European Union, and the United Nations with keynote presentations throughout the Americas, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. A prolific author, her books and articles appear in multiple languages.

Her newest release - The Innovation SuperHighway (2003) – was reviewed  as “the innovation book of the decade.” Her first book, The Ken Awakening, provides the “how to” nuts and bolts of modern management. An enthusiastic advocate of the innovation strategy, Debra has served as Senior Research Fellow for the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas, Austin and on the faculty of Tilburg University (The Netherlands), IPADE (Mexico), The Banff Centre (Canada), Tartu University (Estonia) and the International University of Entrepreneurship. Debra holds degrees from Boston University, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. debra@entovation.com

Ron Dvir has the strange habit of inventing (or co-having, or sometimes joining) what he thinks are “good ideas”, and then trying to bring them to life. So it was with the idea to       start the first organizational knowledge management program in Israel; the idea to leverage the Knowledge Management and Quality Management national professional communities by inviting them to exchange intellectual capitals between them; the idea that an artistic touch can vitalize large-scale European research projects; and the idea of “Future Centers” as an ecology for innovation.

Ron finished his Ph.D. in “Enterprise Integration” of Cranfield University.  Ron worked as a senior researcher in many international large scale projects focused on Knowledge Management and Innovation, e.g. NIMCube and Disrupt-IT. He co-edited the book “From Knowledge to Value - Unfolding the Innovation Cube”. 
Ron is the founder of Innovation Ecology Ltd., which focuses on visual management, knowledge management and innovation-encouraging environments, processes and tools. ron@futurecenter.co.il

Arye Dvir’s nick name, as a child, was Picasso... Arye studied Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley
and University of Pennsylvania. For many years he was the Chief Architect of the National Parks Authority of Israel, responsible for the planning of some major world-
known national parks, such as Massada, Old Jerusalem Walls National Park, Mount Carmel, and Roman old town of Caesary.

As an enthusiastic landscape architecture teacher in the Technion and other institutes, he coached many students in their innovative projects. In what ever he is involved, Arye applies his artistic talent to communicate ideas by means of friendly and cheerful illustrations. In the recent years he collaborates with his son, Ron, in multiple knowledge visualization projects.

Prologue by Ron Dvir
The intensive weeks of working on the illustrations for Debra’s book added up to a fascinating period for me and for my artistic father, Arye. The work on the book invoked lots of thoughts and reflections on the nature of the flow of ideas.
Towards the end of the period, whilst found in one of the weekend magazine the true story of a young doctor called Ofer Yodfat. The story begins in 1997, when an idea “came” to Ofer’s mind to create a filter that could prevent embolic strokes.  However, success was not forth coming, Ofer encountered an incredible number of big failures and hundreds reactions to the idea that mainly consisted of “are you crazy”, “don’t call us” and “NO!”.  He faced many personal moments of despair and even considered “maybe they are right–it will never work”.

In spite of these set backs, Ofer managed to find small number of people who said “interesting idea; let’s explore it” and following several successful experiments the story has a happy ending.  In June 2003, 6 years after he started his journey, the largest medical products company in the world, Medtronics, bought into his idea and will soon commercialize the product. Imagine the potential innovation impact of his original idea!

Reading the article, there was a clear sense of a story full of ups and downs, dark and bright colors, which starts with a single idea in the mind of one inventor, and gradually becomes and innovation when the idea is accepted by (and acted upon) by others…and in this case eventually benefits thousands of people. BINGO! This is the essence of ‘In Search of Innovation…’  There are many case story examples of dreamers and ‘ideas-people’ who have their knowledge realized through the innovation of others. Is it your story?                

Foreword by Leif Edvinsson

Where do we find the pioneers and innovators of tomorrow? Who might we consider the guardians of our future – our Futurisers?

Most of them are actually still very young. If they were to climb upon the shoulders of current leadership, they might reach out quicker, broader and with more impact. Most of all, they will get a better perspective and outsight into the opportunities ahead. This book is an invitation to a collaborative work to turn the Future into an Asset. Children already have dreams waiting to be visualized or given shape. They need our nurturing.

In Search of Innovation is the story of one child who had one idea. Her long journey to turn her idea into a shining result – in this case graphically in the form of a diamond - and share it with the world is full of joyful moments as well as frustrations, dead-ends, ignorance and misunderstandings. But isn’t this the universal story of all dreamers and innovators, children and seniors? There is a victory at the end, which is the result of the hero’s hard work, persistence, imagination and help from some good friends.

This story was written one afternoon several years ago in a train station in Stockholm. When Debra showed me the text – now complete with the drawings, I found it a simple story with truthful words. The joyful colours and imaginative visual metaphors touch the heart and experience of the reader crystallizing the universal story of the search of innovation. I also met the artists, Arye and Ron, father and son, some years ago, when they applied the same artistic spirit to shine another idea. This is exactly what the child in the book does, when she invites her artist neighbour to add colours to her idea. She imagines, she shares with others, she learns, she does. Most compelling, she realizes that any good idea needs be adapted and adopted by others. In short, we innovate our future together – one idea at a time.

Let me share with you an example of how a dream in Norway came true. In year 2002, I had an experience in a small village called Helgeroa where I was invited by a group of dreaming teachers to inaugurate a Brain-Stilling Room in a kindergarten. After only one year they managed to get the city council to give them a budget to realise their dream of a retreat cottage for the small children.

The idea was to have this little pavilion as a freeport for both young and grown up, as a space for creativity, reflection, calmness, pausing and good dialogues. It is located on the schoolyard but close to the forest and nature. Inside the almost round space there is a sofa along the walls and one large round table in the middle. The colours are very harmonic with windows on every wall creating lightness and transparency towards nature. The kids are very eager to get there for reading, listening to narratives and settling down in peaceful small conversations. It is a mental retreat for the youngster for nourishing their mental future, like a room with a view towards the future.

This is now a symbol that can be multiplied all over the world, with the important message of giving our next generation a healthy mental space for nourishing and cultivating their brainpower of innovation to our collective benefit.

I invite the readers of the book, children and adults alike – who may need to renew youth experiences - to enjoy the journey, the colours, the adventures, and the surprises. I think that that this book will inspire and provide courage and even comfort to all dreamers. Welcome to your personal search for innovation.

For further information on these publications, contact debra@entovation.com