Build Capability

Innovation is a Complex Adaptive System

I am going to try to explain innovation as an complex adapative system. Why? I consistently come across many references to innovation. The trouble is I’ve never been fully clear on what does make up a complex system for innovation. I’m not sure anyone does for complex systems either! But I want to establish a direct and clear set of links across to innovation without it involving me in ploughing through incredibly ‘dense’ academic papers on this subject.

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Providing the Spark for Innovation

The program’s name is no accident – we were focused on providing the all-important “sparks” for innovation to flourish. We knew it wouldn’t be easy to create enthusiasm and momentum for our crowdsourcing efforts. But we also knew those sparks of interest would be critical.

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An Innovation Lesson From American Idol

Singing is one of those skills that is difficult to evaluate in ourselves. We rely on feedback from others to determine how we’re doing. (Think of American Idol.) The personal capacity to innovate is a lot like that. It’s difficult to gain an accurate sense of our own creativity or analytical skills or insight. How often have you seen people either discount their creativity or exaggerate it? It’s quite common…and not just in singing competitions.

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Innovating with Rudyard Kipling

In this paper we outline a strategy to make your entire organization more innovative. Kip­ling’s serving men are at the core of our strategy. We visualize them; we respect them as ex­perts in their respective fields – “They taught me all I knew” – and we put them to work to improve existing processes and to innovate new ones.

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