Stumbled upon some innovation …

Simon Wardley tackles why innovation in most organisations “doesn’t seem to get an easy ride”:

Reasons for this include a lack of experience with radical innovation projects at senior levels, a growing mismatch between R&D productivity and cost, and a disparity between how long innovation takes and the immediate demands for ROIs. Added to this are common excuses used to stonewall innovation, from the ever faithful tyranny of current strategy (“it’s not core”), to arbitrary financial hurdles (“it’s not worth our time”). Even if your innovation manages to navigate this minefield, it often receives the coup de grace from internal politics or simple fear.

Jeff Bezos talks about innovating under constraints, customer needs and fear of failure:’s founder discusses his approach to innovation – both how to do it and how to stay focused when critics question high-risk projects

Via the Complexity and Social Networks Blog I learned of “Design and the Elastic Mind“, an exhibition at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York. Impressive website, check it out, especially if you’re into neologisms (anyone care for Existenzmaximum XMX?) . Here’s the abstract:

Over the past twenty-five years, people have weathered dramatic changes in their experience of time, space, matter, and identity. Individuals cope daily with a multitude of changes in scale and pace—working across several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, and being inundated with information. Adaptability is an ancestral distinction of intelligence, but today’s instant variations in rhythm call for something stronger: elasticity, the product of adaptability plus acceleration (sic!). Design and the Elastic Mind explores the reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world by bringing together design objects and concepts that marry the most advanced scientific research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations. The exhibition highlights designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history—changes that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior—and translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use. This Web site presents over three hundred of these works, including fifty projects that are not featured in the gallery exhibition.

OK, now back to business where Yahoo! has refused to Microsofts charms, we’ll see how this turns out for them, take a look at the cheat sheet to the aftermath. There’s no doubt that Yahoo! needs to (but maybe can’t …) unwind some innovative ideas soon to validate this decision. Maybe more “elasticity, the product of adaptability plus acceleration” is needed …

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