The “lone genius” myth may lend itself to fact books and film scripts, but the frequent controversy over who came first betrays a deeper truth: innovations don’t depend on the identified innovator. Researchers argue that instead, innovations are a product of our collective brains — organisations and social networks made up of people sharing thoughts and learning from each other. Ideas flow in these collective brains, much like neurons fire in our individual brains. We see multiple ‘inventors’ of the same idea, because if the historical, cultural and conceptual conditions exist in the collective brain for an invention to emerge, inevitably there will be multiple individuals at the nexus of these conditions. Or to put it another way: Innovations don’t rely on a particular innovator any more than your thoughts rely on a particular neuron.
Understanding these processes is crucial to success in today’s organisations, where an innovative edge offers a key competitive advantage in the global marketplace (just look at the history of Apple). A strategy for innovation that simply relies on finding and hiring geniuses is unlikely to work.
But how can organisations increase their rates of innovation?
1. Increase interconnectivity
To be able to combine previously unconnected ideas, we need to have exposure to those ideas. Some people do this naturally, cultivating a wide network and showing broad curiosity about the organisation beyond what would help them in their ‘day job’. But organisations can foster it too.
2. Leverage diversity
Individuals with diverse cultural experiences have a wider range of ideas to draw on. Research suggests that they’re also better able to overcome ‘functional fixedness’, seeing objects for more than their intended use.
3. Make it ‘safer to fail’
Societies benefit from making it safer for entrepreneurs to fail (for example, via bankruptcy laws and social safety nets), as long as the benefits of success are shared by all. That is, while most entrepreneurs will fail, those that succeed create advantages for society that outweigh the costs of the failures. Similarly, organizational cultures that reward calculated risk-taking, with a small cost to the individual, but large benefits shared by everyone in the organization, will undoubtedly see more failures than successes; however, with a large enough market, the few successes can pay for the many failures.
For more information, please read the recent blog post on LSE Business Review:
Dr. Zoltán Csedő, Managing Partner of Innotica Group, has been appointed Associate Professor of Change Management in Institute of Management at Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty of Business Administration.
Dr. Csedő has performed several research programs, being author of research articles in change management, knowledge management and business strategy. He is member of Hungarian Academy of Sciences' Public Body, Scientific Section of Economics and Law, Committee on Business Administration. Dr. Csedő is also teaching within the MSc Program of Management and Business Administration of Corvinus University of Budapest, since 2004.
In the past 30 years the Institute of Management gained a leading role in Hungary in the field of management and leadership. The Institute started to transfer the mainstream management thinking to Hungary years before the economic transition. It pioneered in researching several management and leadership concepts in Hungary. That made possible to create a unique curriculum and launch programs that are widely recognized. The Insitute is also very proud of the international relationships with the best global universities and business schools. The mission of the Institute of Management is to maintain its leading position in Hungary and providing programs and research at the standards of the leading European business schools.
Corvinus University of Budapest is a research university oriented towards education, where the scientific performance of the academic staff measures up to the international standard and the students can obtain a competitive degree having a standard and knowledge content identical to similar-profile universities and acknowledged on the European Union's labour market and on a global scale.
We are proud foundation members of the British Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (BCCH). To provide a high-quality online learning environment tailored to corporate learning and development needs, the BCCH has partnered up with Innotica Group and Corvinus University of Budapest, and jointly developed the BCCH Business Certificates, a comprehensive online course portfolio focusing on essential knowledge in project management, stress management, change management and other business subjects.
As an independent non-profit organisation, the BCCH has been serving its members since 1991, representing British, Hungarian and international companies with the overarching principles of British business values and promote trade and investment flows between the UK and Hungary.
The BCCH provides their members with all kinds of opportunities to raise their company’s business profile and strengthen their competitiveness in the local and international market, such as various events, publications, areas of focus (such as knowledge transfer, SMEs, CR, etc.), international and regional partnerships, business services through the knowledge and long-term local business experience of BCCH members and the Chamber itself, as well as special offers and discounts.
Let's celebrate together the 25th anniversary of the Chamber on the 28th of September 2016. For more information about the event, please, click on the link below:
Artificial Intelligence is about to transform management from an art into a combination of art and science. Not because we'll be taking commands from science fiction’s robot overlords, but because specialized AI will allow us to apply data science to our human interactions at work in a way that earlier theorists like Peter Drucker could only imagine.
Within the next five years, it is expected that forward-thinking organizations will be using specialized AIs to build a complex and comprehensive corporate “knowledge graph.”
The rise of the knowledge graph will affect the practice of management in three key ways:
1. Meaningful organizational dashboards
Managers will be able to access sentiment analysis of internal communications in order to identify what issues are being most discussed, what risks are being considered, and where people are planning to deploy key resources (whether capital or attention). AI-powered dashboards will provide forward-looking, predictive intelligence that will deliver a whole new level of insight to managerial decision making.
2. Data-driven performance management
The knowledge graph will allow managers to identify the real contributors who are driving business results. You’ll be able to tell who made the key decision to enter a new market, and which people actually took care of the key action items to make it happen.
3. Increased talent mobility
The knowledge graph will make onboarding and orientation far more rapid and effective. On the very first day on the job, the worker will be able to tap the knowledge graph and understand not just her job description, but also the key network nodes she’ll need to work with.
For more information, please, read Reid Hoffman's article in Sloan Management Review (June 14, 2016).
A recent study of digital business found that maturing digital businesses are focused on integrating digital technologies, such as social, mobile, analytics and cloud, in the service of transforming how their businesses work. Less-mature digital businesses are focused on solving discrete business problems with individual digital technologies.
The ability to digitally reimagine the business is determined in large part by a clear digital strategy supported by leaders who foster a culture able to change and invent the new. While these insights are consistent with prior technology evolutions, what is unique to digital transformation is that risk taking is becoming a cultural norm as more digitally advanced companies seek new levels of competitive advantage. Equally important, employees across all age groups want to work for businesses that are deeply committed to digital progress. Company leaders need to bear this in mind in order to attract and retain the best talent.
The following are highlights of key findings:
Digital strategy drives digital maturity. Only 15% of respondents from companies at the early stages of what we call digital maturity — an organization where digital has transformed processes, talent engagement and business models — say that their organizations have a clear and coherent digital strategy. Among the digitally maturing, more than 80% do.
The power of a digital transformation strategy lies in its scope and objectives. Less digitally mature organizations tend to focus on individual technologies and have strategies that are decidedly operational in focus. Digital strategies in the most mature organizations are developed with an eye on transforming the business.
Maturing digital organizations build skills to realize the strategy. Digitally maturing organizations are four times more likely to provide employees with needed skills than are organizations at lower ends of the spectrum. Consistent with our overall findings, the ability to conceptualize how digital technologies can impact the business is a skill lacking in many companies at the early stages of digital maturity.
Employees want to work for digital leaders. Across age groups from 22 to 60, the vast majority of respondents want to work for digitally enabled organizations.
The research and analysis for this report was conducted under the direction of the authors as part of an MIT Sloan Management Review research initiative in collaboration with and sponsored by Deloitte University Press. You can download the report by clicking on the link below: