The Process of Social Innovation
- “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.”
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
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
The Rise of the Creative Class
- 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.