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Reflections on Open Innovation


“The next challenge of Open Innovation ” is the title of a article HBR in John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, who points out some directions , not way forward, but questions.

There you can read …“Thus it’s little surprise that nearly every company now has some sort of experiment or program relating to open innovation. Open innovation means reaching out to take advantage of talent beyond the firm (or responding to such outreach opportunities). It’s a terrific concept, borne out by several oft-repeated examples such as InnoCentive and GoldCorp.

But are companies, with all their good intentions, getting the most from open innovation? We suspect that the initial successes, encouraging as they are, represent only the beginning. What if open innovation were defined more broadly and more ambitiously? Could even greater value be realized? If so, what would the next wave of open innovation look like?”

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The Rubbery Challenges of Innovation


Creativity in Leaders is Key

One is the latest bi-annual IBM CEO study which came out a few months ago. Based on interviews and surveys of over 1,500 CEOs from around the world, it focuses on the importance of creativity. In particular, creativity in leaders as they face ever more complex problems.

“The degree of difficulty CEOs anticipate, based on the swirl of complexity, has brought them to an inflection point,” says IBM. “Asked to prioritize the three most important leadership qualities in the new economic environment, creativity was the one they selected more than any other choice.”

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Shape Serendipity, Understand Stress, Reignite Passion


We are delighted when we get approached by readers to discuss our latest book, The Power of Pull. Based on our encounters with readers, we see four themes resonating deeply.

Feeling more stress? You are not alone. We all feel increasingly stressed. This stands in stark contrast to the daily news headlines focused on the early signs of an economic recovery. Is this stress all in our minds?

The 2009 Shift Index for the U.S. Economy, which we released in June 2009, revealed a troubling long-term trend: return on assets (ROA) for U.S. public companies declined by a staggering 75% since 1965. This long-term view of company profitability calls into question the health of U.S. corporations. This is a wake-up call for executives running these companies. They have become so focused on short-term quarterly performance and economic cycles that they have completely lost sight of longer term trends that, in the end, have a far more profound impact on corporate performance.

This performance deterioration experienced by companies ripples down to all of us working within these companies. Even those of us not working for companies find that we are facing intensifying competition from talented individuals around the world. So, the stress is real. Our book validates this, but more importantly, it provides pragmatic pathways to overcome this stress, both for individuals and for companies.

Serendipity can be shaped. Being in the right place at the right time is not a new concept; the catchy little phrase has been with us since childhood. But is a fortuitous encounter that leads to a new business contract pure luck? Are some people luckier? Does luck last?

We believe you can shape serendipity. This is a very counter-intuitive notion. After all, most of us believe that serendipity is pure luck. How can you shape luck? While chance is an intrinsic element of serendipity, we believe that you can significantly alter the probability and quality of the unexpected encounters in our lives.

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Jobs: Passion—or a Steady Paycheck?


More people are leaving behind uninspiring careers and trying to earn a living from work they love. The government can help them reinvent themselves

By John Seely Brown

After more than a decade in the advertising business, Erik Proulx found himself on the wrong end of a pink slip. What most people might have deemed a setback, though, he saw as an opportunity. Instead of looking for another job making TV commercials, Proulx dove into a longtime dream: filmmaking. Last December he released a documentary called Lemonade, which chronicles the lives of ad industry veterans who reinvented themselves after being laid off: a coffee roaster, a nutrition coach, an artist, and others who, like Proulx, decided to pursue their passions rather than return to careers that were no longer inspiring. [Más…]

With the unemployment rate apparently stuck at or near double digits, more people seem to be choosing a passion over a steady paycheck. Rather than waiting for companies to open up their payrolls, these people are taking matters into their own hands and defining their own jobs, going online to find each other, leverage each other’s capabilities and services, and learn faster by working together. That is a big risk, but these people realize that they’ll be far happier if they can find something they love doing and figure out creative ways to make a living from it. Focusing on work that offers greater meaning makes it easier to withstand the perils and roadblocks they will face as they leave the corporate fold.

The big question is whether this trend can evolve into a sustainable engine of economic growth. I believe two technological developments—cloud computing and social networking—have the potential to make that possible. Cloud computing instantly offers the most powerful technology resources to entrepreneurs wherever they are. Whether you’re talking about sophisticated data-crunching capacity or access to scientific devices such as electron microscopes, this technology can now be just a click away.

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Gabriel Catalano

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