My Experiences in BUS 358: Innovation, Design, and Prototyping

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Essay 9: “Venturesome Consumption” (Amar Bhide)

Essay 9

Venturesome Consumption

Amar Bhide

  • “Supply side” factors (availability of venture capital, rule of law, etc.)
  • “Demand side” focusing on the neglected role that consumers play in innovation
  • Entrepreneurs are more willing to innovate – and devote resources (marketing, selling) – if they anticipate a large market for their product
  • Limited capacity of ‘backward’ countries to put new investments (and their innovations) into productive use
  • “A growing body of empirical work shows that users are the first to develop many and perhaps the most new industrial and consumer products”
  • “The contribution of users is growing steadily larger as a result of the continuing advances in computer and communications capabilities.”
  • “Learning by using” by customers often play a significant role in transforming products and redefining them
  • Purchasers cannot form objective estimates of an innovation’s risks and returns
    • Does it actually do what it is supposed to? It can also cost money later (trade-offs, costs, defects, etc). Can never be “proven good”.
  • Customers have to acquire knowledge, taste, etc. for things they use daily
  • Developers and users of innovations need high degree of venturesome resourcefulness in problem solving often times
  • Innovators must act resourcefully to novel situations with can-do, will-do, attitude, imagination, willingness to experiment, etc.
  • Not all innovations come with clear and complete instructions on how to use
    • Deriving utility from them often requires problem solving and/or learning
  • Figuring out how something is supposed to work is ½ the battle, the other ½ is making the product work well for them
  • Have to take a chance without knowing the risks/returns sometimes
  • “Users often play a venturesome or ‘entrepreneurial’ role in the design of new products, bearing ‘unmeasurable and unquantifiable’ risks and developing ground-level knowledge.”
  • The willingness and ability of users to undertake a venturesome part plays a critical role in determining the ultimate value of innovations

Essay 8: “The Process of Social Innovation” (Geoff Mulgan)

Essay 8

The Process of Social Innovation

Geoff Mulgan

  • “Social enterprise and innovation: mutual self-help, microcredit, building societies, cooperatives, trade unions, etc.”
  • New models that are influential in social arenas (i.e. – child care, social care)
  • “Social Innovation refers to innovations that are social both in their ends and means”
    • Meet social needs, create greater social capacity to act/be diffused
  • Social innovation exists: aging populations, with growing global diversity, chronic disease increase, behavioral problems, transitions to adulthood, crime and punishment, Growing GDP vs. stagnating happiness levels, climate change
  • “Greatest gaps between needs and current provisions” is where social innovation opportunities lie in waiting
  • “There is constant improvement precisely because there is constant discontent.”
  • Social change is
    • Driven by a small number of heroic, energetic, impatient individuals
    • Fueled by ideas rather than an originator (or a movement)
  • Cultural basis of social innovation makes social change possible.
  • “S” curve design – starts slow, rapid growth, slows down at maturity
  • “The starting point of innovation is an idea of a need that isn’t being met, coupled with an idea of how it could be met.”
  • Looking for “positive deviants” (those doing it against the odds) can help generate ideas
  • New ideas need to be tied to new possibilities
  • Try, tinker, brainstorm lots and then eliminate, design, prototype, test, assess, scale up, diffuse, learn, and evolve.
  • Social movements need basic legal protection and status and open media to work; social innovation less likely to occur if right conditions not present.
  • Social innovations are motivated for different reasons, have different results, and meet/fill different needs than business innovations.
  • Important to understand social innovation because the key industries of this century require these approaches (a social revolution like the industrial/business ones)
  • “Addressing the barriers in the way that stand between us and social change.”

Essay 7: “Innovation Blowback” (John Brown & John Hagel)

Essay 7

Innovation Blowback: Disruptive Management Practices from Asia

John Brown & John Hagel

  • The emerging world’s companies have raised their game in response to the presence of Western intruders and the competition that they create
  • Emerging markets are generating a new wave of disruptive products and process innovations
  • Low income in emerging markets means the spending behavior of this immerse group is “obtainable” if you penetrate the market with changed prices most can afford
  • “Go back to the drawing board” as a company to find ways to sell in these places
    • Strip costs, rethink processes, deliver and design offerings differently
  • “Turn blowback to their advantage by building distinctive capabilities in the low-income segments of emerging economies before other companies do”
  • Price competition can erode the profit margins of assemblers and suppliers, jeopardizing both of their abilities to invest further in product innovation
  • “The need to serve low-income customers in challenging conditions spurs innovation”
  • “If you’re not participating in the mass-market segment of emerging economies, you are not developing the capabilities you will need to compete back home” – go offshore and serve the mass market
    • Specialize – new capabilities; choose what to do yourself and what to collaborate on; find partners that enhance and complement your capabilities
    • Orchestrate Process Networks – set-up, access, develop, orchestrate networks
    • Orchestrate Innovation Networks – generate the friction that you need to shape and sharpen learning through diff backgrounds and skills

Essay 5: “The Rules of Innovation” (Clayton Christensen)

Essay 5

The Rules of Innovation

Clayton Christensen

  • Important variables that affect the probability of success in innovations
      • Taking root in disruption, necessary scope to succeed, leveraging the right capabilities, and disrupting competitors (not customers)
    • Taking Root in Disruption
      • Companies stumble because they are well managed, not because they are poorly managed
      • Leading companies are likely to topple when disruptive technologies emerged
      • Disruptive innovations don’t initially perform well for mainstream markets but they are simple, convenient, or low cost and appeal to a new set of customers who use them in new (or low-end) applications
      • Taking root in disruption is the first condition for innovators to meet to improve the probability of successfully creating a new-growth business.
        • Two Tests to assess if a market can be disrupted
          • 1. Does the innovation enable more than previously possible? 2. Does it target a “new” group than before?
    • Pick the Scope Needed to Succeed
      • “Degree of Integration”
    • Leverage the Right Capabilities
      • Determine innovation limits: Do I have what I need? Will my organization’s processes succeed in this effort? Will the values allow employees to innovate here?
      • Technology, managers, money.
      • “Many innovations fail because managers do not know what they do now know as they make and implement their plans.”
      • Discover what customers find useful; avoid deep pockets and too much patience. “Innovators should be patient about the new venture’s size but impatient for profits.”
    • Disrupt Competitors, Not Customers
      • Minimize need for customers to reorder their lives
      • Help customers do things more simply and conveniently (watch them to learn)
      • “Don’t assume that what customers say they want to do is what they would do”

Essay 6: “Customers as Innovators” (Stefan Thomke & Eric Von Hippel)

Essay 6

Customers as Innovators

Stefan Thomke & Eric Von Hippel

  • Listen to what customers want and then respond to meet or exceed needs
  • Equip customers with tools to design and develop their own products
    • “Tool Kits”
    • Less expensive
  • Allow customers to fully understand by “doing”, “trying”
  • Trial-and-error can move more quickly, needs more understood
  • THREE signs you should try customers-as-innovators approach:
    • Market segments shrinking, need many iterations to find solutions, you/competitors use high-quality computer based tools internally
  • Tool Kits must have FOUR capabilities:
    • Enable people to create through a series of design cycles w/ learning and doing, user-friendly (no new language), contain libraries of useful components/modules that are debugged and tested, and contain info on capabilities and limitations of the production process to be used (ability to produce)
  • Satisfies customers better (they know what they want, after all)
  • Designs completed faster
  • Designs manufactured first go-round
  • Do business w/ small customers (previously unable to – money)
  • Better serve larger, preferred customers
  • Use INCENTIVES to induce employees to support the needed mindset to do it
      • FIVE STEPS for customers-to-innovators
        • 1. Develop user-friendly toolkit
        • 2. Increase flexibility of your production processes
        • 3. Carefully select first customers to use the tool kit
        • 4. Evolve tool kit continually and rapidly to satisfy customers
        • 5. Adapt your business processes accordingly

Essay 4: “The Rise of the Creative Class” (Richard Florida)

Essay 4

The Rise of the Creative Class

Richard Florida

  • Cities lacking lifestyle options, cultural diversity, and a tolerant attitude for creativity kill it
  • “Creative Class”: fast-growing, highly-educated, and well-paid workforce who share common values of creativity, individuality, difference, and merit.
  • Places that succeed in attracting and retaining the creative class people prosper. Others don’t.
  • Creative Class cities are tolerant, diverse, and open to creativity.
  • “As creativity becomes more valued, the creative class grows.”
  • Creative class includes 38.3 million Americans (30% of US Workforce)
  • Regions w/ large numbers of creative class folks are the most affluent and growing
  • Talented people want to see an environment open to differences.
  • “Diversity is something they value in all its manifestations. This is spoken of so often and so matter-of-fact, that I take it to be a fundamental maker of creative-class values.

Essay 3: “How to Kill Creativity” (Theresa Amabile)

Essay 3

How to Kill Creativity

Theresa Amabile

  • Creativity gets killed more often than it is supported. This isn’t usually on purpose.
  • Originality is not enough. Ideas also need to be appropriate – useful and actionable.
  • You must think imaginatively to be creative, but you also need EXPERTISE and MOTIVATION.
  • Creative thinking is how people approach problems and solutions – put existing ideas 2gether.
  • “Incubation” – ability to set aside problems temporarily, work on something else, and then come back with a fresh perspective. This work style encourages creativity.
  • INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. People will be most creative when they feel motivated by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself (not by external pressures).
  • Managing creativity
    • SIX things managers can do: Challenge, Freedom, Resources, Work Group Features, Supervisory Encouragement, and Organizational Support.
      • Challenge
        • Match right people w/ right assignments, provide matches that stretch employees’ abilities
      • Freedom
        • Give people autonomy concerning the means – the process – but not the ends
        • Give them freedom to decide how to best climb the mountain
        • Autonomy w/ process fosters creativity b/c heightens intrinsic motivation/sense of ownership
      • Resources
        • 2 main: time and money
          • Time pressure can heighten creativity
          • Resource pressure can force a compromise, but resources above the “threshold of sufficiency” does NOT boost creativity
      • Work Group Features
        • Create mutually supportive groups with a diversity of backgrounds/perspectives
        • Teams must compromise w/ varied foundations and approaches (thinking styles, too) and this combines ideas in exciting and useful ways
        • Members must share excitement around team’s goals
        • Members must display willingness to help each other with difficulties/setbacks
      • Supervisory Encouragement
        • People need to feel that their work matters to the organization or an important group of people in order for their passion/interest to be sustained.
        • Freely and generously recognize creative work by individuals & teams, often.
      • Organizational Support
        • Creativity is enhanced when the entire organization favors/supports it
        • Put in appropriate systems/procedures for emphasizing creativity as a value
        • Mandate information sharing and collaboration; ensure politics don’t fester
  • THREE COMPONENTS of Creativity
    • Expertise, Creative-Thinking Skills, and Motivation
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