Weekly bits of interest – 23 July 2012

Some recent developments and articles of interest:

  • What are the differences between mistakes and failure? Tim Kastelle looks at why the two should be considered separately. “Failure is always a contentious issue. If you fail, you lose resources that could been [sic] used elsewhere. The problem is, if every idea that you try works, then you’re not trying enough new ideas. So some ideas will need to fail. This can come through experiments, or mistakes. Experiments are better, but both can help as long as you make sure that you learn from them.1
  • The Nesta group in the UK has released a report “Our Frugal Future: Lessons From India’s Innovation System” looking at frugal innovation within India. The report focuses primarily on business innovation but it does also touch on the public sector
  • Where will the next wave of ‘big’ ideas come from? “There are so many industries ripe for technology startups to disrupt: Education, Health Care, Business, Art and Government just to name a few. But where are the domain experts ready to be paired with a team of rockstar engineers and superstar designers? Most of them appear to be wandering around attempting to spread their ideas through books, speaking engagements, university lectures and consulting gigs, unaware of the possibility now available to them to integrate their ideas into software applications. An approach that has a dramatically better chance at changing behavior and influencing society.”2
  • The European Commission is developing a pilot European Public Sector Innovation Scoreboard to help EU Member States learn from each other about public sector innovation that works well, in which country and why
  • Just as the innovation process needs to be managed differently to business-as-usual practices, Jeff Sibel suggests that so too innovators and entrepreneurs may have different characteristics that need to be managed differently. “Second, recognize that an internal entrepreneur’s limitations may be the same source of his or her talents, and be mindful not to stifle these qualities. I once had a member of my team who … had a penchant for control. This can often be an indicator of a major problem. It turned out that he was an entrepreneur who felt he needed to ‘own’ a project completely, as if it were his own mini-company. Once I identified his work style as a variant of entrepreneurship as opposed to a difficult employee, his productivity soared and the company benefited.”3

As always, please feel free to identify any other recent developments or articles of interest in the comments below.

  1. This quote is not covered by the Creative Commons licence or Commonwealth Copyright. From Tim Kastelle “Mistakes versus Experiments” 14 July 2012 accessed at http://timkastelle.org/blog/2012/07/mistakes-versus-experiments
  2. This quote is not covered by the Creative Commons licence or Commonwealth Copyright. From Max Marmer “Reversing the Decline in Big Ideas” 18 July 2012 accessed at http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/reversing_the_decline_in_big_i.html
  3. This quote is not covered by the Creative Commons licence or Commonwealth Copyright. From Jeff Stibel “How to Manage Your Smartest, Strangest Employee” 16 July 2012 accessed at http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/how_to_manage_your_smartest_st.html
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