Innovative Connections Mike Parsons and Mary Rose October 2010 1
Invisible on Everest : Innovation and the Gear Makers (2003)
We represent a ‘new combination’
Mike Parsons –businessman, Karrimor, OMM Ltd, Innovator in Residence, IEED
Mary Rose, academic, business historian
Innovation a result not an objective
Beyond Invisible on Everest
Shared knowledge and trust
Innovation for Extremes
A OMM Ltd a business start-up 2005
Overview What is innovation and why does it matter? Innovation 2010 Buzz Word Innovation is not new Innovation as a ‘Dance of Two Questions Innovation as new combinations Innovation and Survival Innovation and Global warming 4
Why do governments promote innovation?
Engine of economic growth
Key to productivity growth and economic prosperity
International Competitive Advantage of nations, regions and firms
Competitive pressures and innovation
What is innovation not?
It is not just clever ideas
What Innovation is not It is not just new technology 7
What Innovation is not
It is not just new products
It is does not take place in isolation
NB the myth of solo inventors
Innovation means different things to different people
What innovation is not
It is not just new or new to the world
It is not the same as invention
Inventions v innovations
The patent office is full of inventions that never see the light of day.
1-3% were successful
These we call innovations because they succeeded and were commercialised
So how do inventions become innovations?
Process complex and often messy
Imagination to see new connections
People the heart of innovation
Networks of skill and knowledge from outside firm
Innovators are not lone geniuses
Knowledge and resource sharing
Innovation inside and outside companies Not just in R&D Departments of large companies 13
Where does innovation occur?
Collaboration with other companies
Collaboration with universities
Networks and knowledge sharing
Boundary crossing and moving out of silos
‘ If I have seen further than other men, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants
Innovative Connections Thomas Edison, Menlo Park, USA
creator of lighting system not the lightbulb Great networker; with investors, scientists, politicians technicians, manufacturers 17
Innovative Connections: Not just new knowledge
‘Anyone who wants to design for the future has to leaf through the past’
André Malraux quoted at the BMW Museum, Munich
Past and present knowledge and skill
Why is past important ?
Product and process development are path dependent and this affects selection
Combinations of old and new knowledge contribute to innovation
Influence of past Innovative designs shaped by past knowledge and skills
Remington's First Typewriter 20
Influence of past New combinations of old and new can be radical
Weaving Light 21
Why might inventions not become innovations?
Solutions to non existent problems
Not user friendly
No market or user group
Ahead of international standards, eg. Fax Machine, 1907
Innovation is about more than new products
Did not invent hamburger
Did invent a system of standardised delivery
A process innovation
Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t invent search engines
New approach to search engine funded by advertising revenue
Innovation is not just 'new to the world'....... Radical innovations have significant implications for the environment all companies operate in. Radical innovation can also occur
at the level of the sector
even at the level of the individual company
Innovation is NOT just 'new to the world' but may be within -sectors -individual firmsOften new combinations
A different way of thinking about innovation These changes could be of 4 types-
product or service,
paradigm (shift from what's known understood and trusted)
they may be interrelated degree = ranges between incremental and radical 27
Innovation did not begin with the ‘Information age’ or even the industrial revolution
Protection from animals
war and destruction.
Man's Innovation Journey
60,000 yrs ago man* left Africa; (fishing skill?)
30,000 yrs ago; central heated caves in the Pyrenees
20,000 yrs ago; end of last great ice age (clothing)
10,000 yrs ago beginning of farming to support cities and so grew great civilisations............
Where? the great river valleys of the Indus, Nile, Euphrates & Tigris, Yangtze, Danube
their civilisations came ..............and went
* 'man' meaning 'anatomically modern humans';
Innovation is about ingenuity, creativity, curiosity and survival
What fosters creativity & what stifles it ?
type of society
discontinuity - often of thousand of years
progress is neither certain
nor a straight line
Creativity and Science natural phenomena and their associated technologies long used for controlling and stabilising society
stars for forecasting the seasons, flooding geometry for building and measuring land
The Greek civilisation was the first where used for changing
but was lost for a thousand years
re-emerging - 16th Century renaissance
10th Century China
Cultivation of rice
Replacement of the scratch plough with iron plough
Seed drills, weeding rake and deep tooth harrow
10th Century China (2)
Blast furnaces -1500 years ahead of Europe
Textiles – while spinning wheel appeared in China and West at same time (13th century) –it advanced at a faster rate in China and applied power to yarn production multiple spinning frame
Water power –again paralleled Europe but 8th century AD Chinese were using hydraulic trip hammers, 1280 vertical water wheel
10th Century China (3)
10th and 11th centuries Chinese built accurate clocks
960 AD the compass
Ocean going junks
Chinese invented paper – 1000 years before it reached the West
Gunpowder 10th century AD
Yet this wave of innovation did not evolve further what went wrong ?
No such thing as physical property rights let alone rights to inventions
Movable type printing press of much less significance with Chinese characters
What can be learnt from the Chinese example ?
Intellectual Property rights are of crucial importance to innovation.
Innovation may be evolutionary but there are discontinuities.
Established innovative nations and companies can lose momentum
Innovations can be still-born
Isolation can eradicate innovation
Innovation needs an open minded and tolerant society.
Path dependence and rail tracks
60% world railways standard gauge : width 1,435mm or 4 ft 8½in Why?
Deepening wheel ruts and the width of a carthorse
Wheel ruts and broken axles
Deepening wheel ruts and the width of a horse 40
Railways in Europe, United States and much of Asia 41
21st century 42
Past, future radical change and economic crisis 43
Science + technology = Innovation
Fire – in use for at least 500K years
Basic tools 1.5 m years ago
The Wheel 5000 years ago
dramatic acceleration of Innovation from 1800
SCIENCE explained natural phenomena
wind = wings = flight = energy
lightning = electricity
Technology harnesses the science behind natural phenomena
creates devices which change our world
Impact of the age of synergy : 1869 + Concatenation of events leading to radical change and the world economy today
There was a concatenation(chaining together of ) events, science, technology, medicine world had ‘a different programme to guide its future’. (Smil 2005)
Internal Combustion Engine
New Materials and New Syntheses
Communication and Information
New business systems and processes
United States especially rapid diffusion
From 19th Century to Present Day
Yet past knowledge and skill shaped
Set the world on an energy intensive trajectory
Carbon emissions tripled since 1950
History is about Continuity and Change:75% of all around us today had its origins between 1866 - 1914 47
Radical innovations have shifted economic systems:Energy generation Before 1860 : power from water
steam from coal electricity from steam turbines and oil electricity transmission
Radical innovations have shifted economic systems:Communications 49
Radical innovations have shifted economic systems:Materials 50
What Implications for 2010? 51
The earth at night 2007 52
Global Warming 53
US Coastal Areas and Global Warming 54
'New Scientist' suggests that to debate the end of civilisation as we know it could be valuable! 55
A new style of capitalism? 'A message that businesses may find they are surprised to agree with.' Financial Times Jonathon Porritt grapples with capitalism's reality - a system capable of delivering sustainability and enhancing well being, Adair Turner (Director General of CBI 1995-9) 56
Mass manufacturing v Mass disassembly
1908 Ford T mass manufacturing and assembly.
2008 - Mass Disassembly for recycling.
Not so much - how could more recycled components be used
but how to dis-assemble for recycling?
Is the Patagonia 'Sugar and Spice' shoe the process revolution we need?
Innovating to Survive: End of the 'nice decade' The credit cycle has turned and commodity prices are rising' (Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England May 2007) August 2008 The UK is facing its worst economic crisis in 60 years October 09 Recession collides with technical innovation threatening established business models.
October 2010 UK expenditure cuts, threat to science research 58
Business Model threatened : Newspapers and publishing Wednesday 3 June 2009 The GuardianMagazines and newspapers face 'lethal threat' [from recession and internet] Advertising Circulation 59
So what is innovation and what does it involve?
Creativity and stepping out of line
Entrepreneurship; the recognition and assessment of opportunities and threats
More than just a spark of an idea
its about 'The Dance of Two Questions'.......... 'what is needed and what is possible?' 60
We are on the cusp of dramatic change?recession as a driving force for innovation? ENERGY the new focus
Productivity declining some products and food
China products labour intensive, but labour costs increasing in China - Food yields improvement slowing - R&D decreased since 1996 - we had surplus food!
CARS - Oil to Electricity?Homes/offices - new eco standards
IT and carbon footprint
Messages to take away
Innovation is about knowledge and people and making new connections.
Personal/people networks are vital in making new connections
Innovation is a chaotic process initially
Successful innovation needs the chaos to turn to structures, systems and organisation.
Innovation is about survival
Knowledge and Imagination
'I have more imagination than memory but without memory I would have no imagination’
A combination of memory and imagination CRUCIAL to innovation they combine past and future
Our measures of success?
If just one student could be inspired to become an innovator
If just 10 of you could influence your future boss on how things are done
And if all of you could be just a little bit more knowledgeable about innovation and innovative processes ………………
Everything would be worthwhile and have made a contribution to understanding the innovation process……………