Scott Berkun (scottberkun) Wed 11 Jul 07 11:06
I agree there are issues of scale - but there are many examples of innovation happening in large organizations. The NASA space program in the 60s is one the largest mass innovation efforts in history. About 500,000 people in total worked on the various innovations required to put a man on the moon. How did they do it? Two factors: 1) Delegation. They were able to divide projects into sub-projects and give individual project teams high autonomy, but clear points of integration 2) Clear vision. JFK provided a very clear goal for everyone to innovate around. So while people were coming up with ideas, it was all framed around a unified, and very crisp, goal (Put a man on the moon by 1970). Of course, some large organizations have more executive centered innovation - that there are only a handful of thought leaders who are coming up with ideas, and much larger force of people who are executing those ideas. The stereotype of film production is a good example of this: there may be 200 or 400 people working on a major film production, but only 10 or 20 who are seen as creative directors. Even the actors may not play major creative roles in *defining* what the project is. From all the research I've done it's clear there are many ways to make innovation in large organiations work. Some factors are cultural (how much involvement do people expect to have). Others are leadership (is the creative leader charismatic or persuasive enough to get large numbers of people to follow - Think Alexander the great). And some are process: is the way in which new ideas are proposed and decided upon transparent to everyone?
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Thu 12 Jul 07 09:46
(scottberkun), it's hard to believe that two weeks have already gone by. Thanks so much for joining us, this has been a pleasure. And thanks to you, (esau), for leading this conversation. Though we're got a new guest in our virtual "center stage" now, you're welcome to stick around and continue as long as you wish. If you have other things calling you away, I hope you'll at least check back a couple times to respond to any late incoming questions. such as: Now that "Myths of Innovation" is in the can, so to speak, you've probably got another project in the works. What is it, (scottberkun)?
Get Shorty (esau) Thu 12 Jul 07 12:07
Yes, thanks for spending your time with us, Scott.
Gail Williams (gail) Thu 12 Jul 07 15:35
Great posts from so many participants. This was fun.
I dare you to make less sense! (jet) Fri 13 Jul 07 09:11
Yes, thanks for being here!
Scott Berkun (scottberkun) Fri 13 Jul 07 14:42
Thx Cynthia & Scott and all the folks who posted! It was fun and I'll check back now and then. Plan is to write fiction for awhile and start on another non-fiction book in the fall.
bill braasch (bbraasch) Fri 13 Jul 07 15:02
Thanks for writing the book and coming here to talk about it. The conversation gave me a better understanding of this tricky magic stuff called innovation.
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