Managing Innovation

If the principle of social innovation, which says that innovation no longer happens essentially within the entrerpise, applies, what kind of managers are needed to accompany this change?

A analysis from the Sloan Management Review, summarized by the Networks, Complexity, and Relatedness blog:

Managers who excel at managing streams of “spurts” of innovation, they say, engage in four distinct practices:

  • Continuous discourse with potential participants. The emphasis in discourse is on diversity of ideas, engagement, and a focus for action.
  • Continuous updating of knowledge maps. The critical idea here is that “all members of an emergent enterprise maintain their own knowledge maps,” that is, everybody needs to know “who knows what” and “who needs what knowledge,” particularly in hand offs in the supply chain
  • Blurring boundaries between those inside and those outside the organization. Include all stakeholders, employees, suppliers, partners, and customers.
  • Governing through reputation networks. Providing ways for people to build credibility taps into the powerful motivator of acknowledgment.”

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