Some weeks back the International Herald Tribune (June 7th, 2011) offered a view by Chandran Nair, the CEO of Global Institute for Tomorrow, under the title “Can the planet support more Americas? Then this week an article “Over-innovation makes US firms suck at Sustainability because they are too innovative” by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen (http://bit.ly/oGDObX). Each makes me stop and come back to my deepening view we have to decouple growth and consumption through innovation.
This is not an easy subject but let me lay out some opening views and thoughts. Why bother? Well I really do believe we need to radically change our approaches through the use of applying innovation in new ways.
These two articles added further to my personal concerns that we do need to (quickly) come out of the denial we seem to have in all societies. Innovation needs to be radically applied in new ways that alter the present mindsets of politicians, economists and business people who feel that the only path is continued consumption and growth. This approach is simply not sustainable and we need to find a radical alternative that still offers all of us progress but in a radically altered world.
The two articles in summary first
Today, we are valuing organizations in completely different ways than some years back. In the past we were valuing organizations purely on their tangible assets, the ‘hard’ (easier to) quantify assets, shown on the balance sheets as the basis for the value of the organization. Today that is not the case; it is more the off-balance sheet bound up in networks, relationships, connections and the ability to manage the fluidity that is occurring constantly around us, and the organizations ability to respond appropriately in seeking out improved, new value through better innovative offerings .
Intangibles are providing the new value system equation to focus upon
It is always interesting how one ‘thing’ triggers another thought, and then you reflect and learn something that helps you add a new kernel of knowledge. This happened today while looking at the discussion topic for an upcoming #innochat that happens every Thursday at noon EDT, 5pm UK time.
The question poised is “Innovation isn’t working! Is it time we innovate how we innovate”. The facilitator is Graham Hill (@GrahamHill) who will attempt to moderate this session that is simply a flood of thoughts of 140 characters by anyone who wants to participate. Everyone ploughs in, offering thoughts or exchanges and for one hour parts of the question get ripped up and tossed around, other parts, the less tasty ones, are just left on the table. It is a twitter ‘feeding frenzy’ for people who are involved (or simply interested) in innovation matters. Fun, relevant and topical.
Graham chose to provide within his briefing paper (www.innochat.com) a reference to Dave Snowden’s work. In this case from his Cognitive Edge Blog “Moving from Robustness to Resilience” http://bit.ly/kvDN5Y which initially surprised me, and then I really began to understand one important aspect that I thought I’d share here. Thanks Graham!
Innovation is in need of a step change in approach. Continue reading