Author Archives: Paul Hobcraft

Learning to Absorb New Knowledge for Innovation

In an article I wrote last year entitled Moving towards a distributed innovation model I outlined some thoughts on the flow of knowledge in a distributed innovation model and discussed the Absorptive Capacities more from an internal organizational perspective. Increasingly we are looking outside for new knowledge that needs internally managing. As organizations seek increasingly outside their own walls, the appreciation of how they are managing knowledge, learning and interpreting this is becoming a critical aspect of open innovation to be successful. There is a growing need to absorb, integrate and apply this in new and novel ways for accelerating the innovation performance. The more we seek, the more the knowledge increases in complexity as markets are rapidly changing. The more we are relying on knowledge flowing into the organization the more we have to strength our inter-dependence and collaboration efforts to extract the knowledge we are acquiring …

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Managing Intangible Capital Key for Innovation

Today, we are valuing organizations in completely different ways than some years back. In the past we were valuing organizations purely on their tangible assets, the ‘hard’ (easier to) quantify assets, shown on the balance sheets as the basis for the value of the organization. Today that is not the case; it is more the off-balance sheet bound up in networks, relationships, connections and the ability to manage the fluidity that is occurring constantly around us, and the organizations ability to respond appropriately in seeking out improved, new value through better innovative offerings . Intangibles are providing the new value system equation to focus upon We are valuing the knowledge perspective far more and this is increasingly recognizing the importance of the intellectual capital that makes up the organization. The more intangible assets are being recognized as the valuable aspects of the potential future of a business. These are the … Continue reading

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A Future Ecosystem of Innovation Federations

The Forming of New Structures by Paul Hobcraft At present we are seemingly in a state of flux, we are learning to move from linear innovation models into more dynamic ones that are increasingly forming around innovation ecosystems. Our whole understanding of innovation is changing; we are evaluating and changing our existing focus from closed (internal orientation) into open (external orientation) thinking for accelerating and improving our innovation performances. Regretfully we are not yet fully equipped to manage within these new innovation ecosystems. We need to give the factors an increasing focus and lead into a better emerging theory of leading or good practice. Measuring innovation in different ways is becoming important To start we are today measuring innovation more on the following aspects or should be: Linkages – content and productivity of relationships, alliances, collaborations, interactions, networks, clusters and all the complementary aspects and assets deployed to do this … Continue reading

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Innovation Approach Must Change as Economy Changes

I was appalled to read a summary of a recent report that nearly 50 metropolitan regions in the USA- or more than one in seven- are unlikely to bring back their regions to job levels lost in the recession until after 2020. Yes you read it right- 2020, nearly nine further years, well beyond this Presidents further term of office, if he gets re-elected. The report commissioned by the U.S Conference of Mayors are equally predicting 363 metropolitan areas would not generate enough jobs to get back to pre-recession peaks until 2014, based on current world economics. When you add in that metropolitan regions account for 86 per cent of all jobs you realize how stark this is. So we are entering that twilight zone for millions that have a number of lost years ahead of them to face a difficult, uncertain future. The issue is not just the economic … Continue reading

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Innovation is Swimming in Uncertainty

Innovation is very often swimming in uncertain waters that rise and fall just like the waves in a sea: they are choppy, demanding and exhausting to fight against. As uncertainty constantly arises as we discover more, expend more energy, the very nature of our original starting point set down in a well-thought-out, well crafted strategy actually begins to suddenly drop away and we are left with more ‘open-ended’ questions than answers. Welcome to real innovation where faith and belief play an important part . There often seems to be constantly arising critical unknowns and sometimes all you are left with as your innovation emerges is just actually and simply a new starting point. A new starting point as the concept is so different to cause you to rethink dramatically. Innovation and its journey of discovery takes you into so many new areas you never expected, when you first thought of … Continue reading

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Appropriate Innovation Just Makes Sense

Innovation should always deliver on a specific purpose or promise, often it simply doesn’t. It needs to be suitable to our needs; it needs to resolve a given job-to-be done. In the developed world we are consistently over-delivering innovation for many and there is a given cost to that, which we all pay for even though we often don’t really need it in the first place. Take for example, the software provided by Microsoft for its windows application, in its office versions, they all are over specified for our personal needs. The majority of these ‘sit’ on our computers taking up space and never used. This continued requirement which we are forced to constantly upgrade requires us to seek more computing power yet it is really inappropriate for most people’s needs. Perhaps with cloud computing we can see more ‘stripped down’ versions from Microsoft in the future that reduce the … Continue reading

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Will Innovation Solve All Our Problems?

I am getting increasingly disturbed. This week two people I know and respect have been talking about the innovation effect. Is innovation the business process re-engineering of our decade; is it part of a bubble like the the dot.com boom. Is innovation simply a fad and fashionable to talk up when we are in the present economic uncertainties? Is innovation durable or will executives move on to new ‘feeding grounds’ as they smell that possible wind of change? Yes, possibly, I hope not. Innovation is still a very fertile feeding ground. Innovation is meant to be the catalyst of fresh jobs, new growth and leading us all out to the promise land of wealth and security. Can we place such a burden on the slim shoulders of innovation? Politicians here in Europe and America are using the past tool kit of tried and tested methods to kick start their …

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