Innovation has always been defined quite differently from invention. It used to be that innovation was “the introduction of something new; a new idea, method or device; a novelty.” In a more modern and revised definition, innovation is “the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society.” The definition of innovation has now changed to reflect its differentiation from improvement, in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something differently rather than doing the same thing better. Continue reading
By Robert Safian (3 minute read)
Once upon a time, the most successful business models were conceived to exploit clear gaps in established, stable commercial markets. Why take a risk in new, undeveloped areas when existing ones were rich with opportunity?
But something happened on the way to the corporate future: Startup enterprises began unlocking value at extraordinary levels, and established systems were shaken by disruption. Technological and social transformations set in motion a different kind of economy — an innovation economy — defined by constant and accelerating change. Continue reading
By Michael Tomberlin for Alabama NewsCenter
It’s easy to see why anyone could have trepidation when it comes to dealing with today’s speed of change. Keynote speaker Robert Safian said the chaos is neither good nor bad, but it is real and must be acknowledged and dealt with. “The world is changing. It’s changing at a pace that we haven’t seen before, and we’re not really trained for it, and we have to retrain ourselves to be able to make the most of it,” Safian told Alabama NewsCenter. “The opportunities with all of this change are spectacular, but you have to open yourself up to those ideas.”
One of my colleagues in Silicon Valley shared an experience with a programmer who wanted to work on a project. The programmer was quirky in the extreme; he wouldn’t look the project lead in the eye and spent most of his time staring intently at his own shoes. The interview was awkward, with the programmer talking at length about his video game play, while responses on work topics were monosyllabic.
Interview by Mike Parker
“We’re at the front-end of a giant technological wave, which doesn’t just change our processes, but will change the whole nature of work for huge factions of society.”
It is remarkable, with so much knowledge of modern management practices, that only a small number of companies manage to generate significant revenue from new businesses. Surveys of senior executives indicate that only 6 percent are satisfied with their company’s innovation performance.
One of the key differences between being a manager and being a leader is the focus from what you do in business to how you get things done. How do you enable employees who have good ideas to build upon them in a safe environment and make them great, free from the burden of bureaucracy? How do you start from a place of trust and measure results, not just in increments of time, but also by creative pursuits, productivity, and overall outcome?
Vivek Wadhwa is rejoining his former colleagues at Harvard Law School to run a critically important research project on the impact of technology on jobs and developing policies to mitigate the dangers.
This is with Richard Freeman, the world renowned labor economist, Sharon Block, who helped key labor policies for the Obama administration, and historian/scholar John Trumpbour. The 3-year project at Harvard’s Labor and Worklife program will bring together a who’s who to analyze new data on automation and jobs and to brainstorm on policy.