Monday, July 30, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Elements of innovative cultures, Knowledge and Process Management, Volume 14, Issue 3 , Pages 190 - 202
An I4I research report has just been published. The paper is titled, "Elements of innovative cultures" and appears in the current issues of Knowledge and Process Management. This paper was an outcome of our I4I research project that examined the best practices of organizations that were successful in building robust innovation programs. Caroline Dombrowski was the project manager for this research paper.
For a copy of the paper, please visit: Knowledge and Process Management (at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/6242)
Dombrowski, C., Kim, J.Y., Desouza, K.C., Braganza, A., Papagari, S., Baloh, P., and Jha, S. “Elements of Innovative Cultures,” Knowledge and Process Management, 14 (3), 2007, 190-202.
Organizational culture is an important determinant of sustained innovativeness and financial performance. Though it is easy to appreciate the important role culture plays in making an innovation successful, it is difficult to change culture. One way of changing culture could be to identify elements of innovative culture and then imbibing the ones relevant to a given organization. In this paper, we have identified, based on past research, eight elements of organizational innovative culture: innovative mission and vision statements, democratic communication, safe spaces, flexibility, collaboration, boundary spanning, incentives, and leadership. We believe that assimilating these elements of organizational culture will enable organizations to support and sustain innovative activities.
Caroline Dombrowski (The Information School, University of Washington, USA), Jeffrey Y. Kim (The Information School, University of Washington, USA), Kevin C. Desouza (The Information School, University of Washington, USA), Ashley Braganza (Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University, UK), Sridhar Papagari (Department of Information and Decision Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA), Peter Baloh (Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Sanjeev Jha (Department of Information and Decision Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA)
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 5:32 PM
I have started reading, IT And the East: How China And India Are Altering the Future of Technology And Innovation (Harvard Business School Press, 2007) by James M. Popkin and Partha Iyengar. Michelle Morgan (Publicist) at Harvard Business School Press sent me a copy of the book for review and comments. I will send in my thoughts about the book as I make my way through it.
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:19 AM
Friday, July 13, 2007
I have just been invited to serve as a Panelist on the topic of Global Preponderance at the 2007 Bled Strategic Forum: European Union 2020: Enlarging and Integrating. The invitation came from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Dimitrij Rupel. I have accepted the invitation with pleasure and am excited about the opportunity to contribute my thoughts on this important issue. This is one of the highest honors I have received, and I thank the organizing committee for inviting me. I will be sharing my thoughts on the issue of cultivating global innovation societies, the role of intellectual asset transfer across boundaries, why countries need to consider cooperative innovation systems to work towards greater goals, what are the challenges in establishing these (e.g. immigration, global talents, etc), and what are some of the solutions.
Dignitaries at this event will include: H.E. Mr. Janez Janša, Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, H.E. Mr Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr Ali Babacan, State Minister for Economy of the Republic of Turkey and Turkey's chief negotiator in accession talks with the EU, Mr Hans van der Loo, Head European Union Liaison, Shell International, Dr Kuniko Inoguchi, Member of the House of Representatives of Japan, among others. The meeting is sponsored by the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Center for European Perspective, Government Communication Office, and the Institute for Strategic Studies.
For details on the conference, please see - http://www.bledstrategicforum.org. The program can be found at: http://www.bledstrategicforum.org/index.php?id=4&lang=en
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 10:54 AM
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I was interviewed by Michael O'Sullivan, the West Coast Bureau Chief of Voice of America on the issue of outsourcing. See - US Lawyer Finds Medical Experts in India, Los Angeles, 12th July 2007, http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-07-12-voa84.cfm. The recording of the interview can be found at: http://www.voanews.com/mediaassets/english/2007_07/Audio/mp3/osullivan_legal_medical_outsourcing.mp3
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:13 PM
Monday, July 02, 2007
Book Review: Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Find and Execute Your Company’s Next Big Growth Strategy, by Eric Joachimsthaler (HBS Press, 2007)
I promised to write a review of the book, so here it goes…This book is a must read for all executives trying to understand why their companies continue to miss the most obvious innovations. Companies, especially incumbent firms, struggle to keep their innovation engines going. I especially found the book to be of interest given my current research on sustainable innovation program. In a research project that I undertook with Ashley Braganza (Cranfield University) and Yukika Awazu (Bentley College), we outlined several reasons why incumbent firms have a hard time sustaining innovation. We also recommended action strategies that these firms could take to be more successful at innovation (see Link).
Joachimsthaler introduces the DIG model for innovation. DIG stands for Demand-First Innovation and Growth. The model is premised on a firm recognizing customer demands, and then structuring demand platforms to meet these needs, followed by devising strategic blue prints to capture the value from these platforms. Joachimsthaler rightly argues that most companies have built up distance between themselves and their customers. Specifically, the average firm does little to understand their customer behavior independent of their products and services. This narrow-minded view of their customers limits the ability of the firm to introduce products and services that become part of the customers’ lifestyles. In today’s marketplace such firms are sure to follow the trajectory towards demise.
I found the DIG model to be interesting for two main reasons. One, it forces firms to place an emphasis on getting to understand their customers intimately. Two, it also forces the firm to structure its processes, policies, rules, etc around capturing customer needs, rather than around aging bureaucratic practices.
Joachimsthaler does an excellent job walking the reader through the DIG model. The book has a number of case studies from State Street to Frito Lays, and GE to BMW. In addition, the book is easy to read and follow. The book begins by discussing the case of Sony and how the iPod revolution caught the company by surprise. The DIG model is introduced next, and successive chapters walk through the various components of the model. The concluding chapter of the book discusses how to embed innovation into the corporate fabric.
I do not want to give away too much about the book (I know as an author that seeing your book sell is important!), so will stop here…Overall, a must read…I surely enjoyed it…
Posted by Kevin C. Desouza at 9:34 PM