Found 415 article(s) in category 'Innovation'

The Soul of a Startup

The Soul of a Startup. Ranjay Gulati, July/August 2019, Paper, “There’s an essential, intangible something in start-ups—an energy, a soul. It inspires enthusiasm and fosters a sense of deep connection and mutual purpose. While this spirit persists, engagement is high and businesses keep their edge. But all too often, companies lose their souls as they mature. Firms add new systems and structures and bring in experienced professionals—and in the process somehow crush their original energizing spirit. In research into more than a dozen fast-growth ventures and 200-plus interviews with founders and executives, the author has discovered how firms can overcome this problem. His work shows that there are three crucial dimensions to a start-up’s soul: business intent, or a loftier reason for being; unusually close customer connections; and an employee experience characterized by autonomy and creativity—by “voice” and “choice.” All three provide meaning to stakeholders. Drawing on the experiences of Netflix, Warby Parker, Study Sapuri, and others, this article describes how sizable companies can still protect and nurture the three elements. Doing that is the secret to staying great as you grow.Link

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Robert Stavins on Climate Policy

Robert Stavins on Climate Policy July 2019. GrowthPolicy’s Devjani Roy interviewed Robert Stavins, the A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development at Harvard Kennedy School, on climate policy. | Click here for more interviews like this one. Links: Faculty page | Publications | Twitter | Blog | Harvard Project on Climate Agreements You […]

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Problem, person and pathway: a framework for social innovators

Problem, person and pathway: a framework for social innovators. Julie Battilana, June 28, 2019, Book Chapter, “As the appetite for learning about social innovation intensifies, how can we better prepare practitioners for the work of addressing the world’s pressing social problems at the relevant scale? This chapter presents the “3P” framework developed by the authors to help address this challenge, grounded in their experience of researching, teaching, and advising social innovators around the world. In this framework, the authors propose three key lenses to help social innovators contribute to social change, unpacking the nature of: the problem at hand, the person pursuing change, and the pathway to change. Considering the alignment of these 3Ps provides an organizing template for social innovators to think about how they can effectively contribute to solving social problems. The authors illustrate how they engage new and experienced social innovators in this learning journey by discussing their pedagogical approach as educators. In conclusion, they discuss future research directions to help address unanswered questions.Link

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Parallel Play: Startups, Nascent Markets, and the Effective Design of a Business Model

Parallel Play: Startups, Nascent Markets, and the Effective Design of a Business Model. Rory MacDonald, 2019, Paper, “Prior research advances several explanations for entrepreneurial success in nascent markets but leaves a key imperative unexplored: the business model. By studying five ventures in the same nascent market, we develop a novel theoretical framework for understanding how entrepreneurs effectively design business models: parallel play. Similar to parallel play by preschoolers, entrepreneurs engaged in parallel play interweave action, cognition, and timing to accelerate learning about a novel world. Specifically, they (1) borrow from peers and focus on established substitutes, (2) test assumptions, then commit to a broad business-model template, and (3) pause before elaborating the activity system. The insights from our framework contribute to research on optimal distinctiveness, and to the learning and evolutionary-adjustment literature on search. More broadly, we blend organization theory with a fresh theoretical lens—business-model processes—to highlight how organizations actually work and create value.Link

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Migrant Inventors and the Technological Advantage of Nations

Migrant Inventors and the Technological Advantage of Nations. Prithwiraj Choudhury, 2019, Paper, “We investigate the relationship between the presence of migrant inventors and the dynamics of innovation in the migrants’ receiving countries. We find that countries are 25 to 50 percent more likely to gain advantage in patenting in certain technologies given a twofold increase in the number of foreign inventors from other nations that specialize in those same technologies. For the average country in our sample this number corresponds to only 25 inventors and a standard deviation of 135. We deal with endogeneity concerns by using historical migration networks to instrument for stocks of migrant inventors. Our results generalize the evidence of previous studies that show how migrant inventors “import” knowledge from their home countries which translate into higher patenting. We complement our results with micro-evidence showing that migrant inventors are more prevalent in the first bulk of patents of a country in a given technology, as compared to patents filed at later stages. We interpret these results as tangible evidence of migrants facilitating the technology-specific diffusion of knowledge across nations.Link

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Who Drives Digital Innovation? Evidence from the U.S. Medical Device Industry

Who Drives Digital Innovation? Evidence from the U.S. Medical Device Industry, Ariel Dora Stern, 2019, Paper, “Does the large-scale technological change that is characteristic of an industry-wide digital transformation entrench industry leaders or enable the rise of new entrants? We offer a novel approach to this question by studying the medical device industry, a unique setting in which we observe all new product commercialization over several years and in which the introduction of software has created fresh opportunities for new product development. Pioneering a new application of text analysis, we consider over 35,000 new medical devices that came to market in the United States from 2002 to 2016 in order to identify digital products. We examine the relative importance of within-firm know-how, geography, and financial resources in predicting digital new product development. We find that prior product-area commercialization experience and location in a region of concentrated expertise reinforce one another as predictors of digital innovation.Link

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Trickle-down innovation and the longevity of nations

Trickle-down innovation and the longevity of nations. Amitabh Chandra, June 1, 2019, Paper, “The association between income and life expectancy is so robust and persistent across countries that it has a name, the Preston Curve, named after the economist who first described it. 1 The strength of the association begs the question: must citizens of poorer countries wait for their economies to grow before they can expect to enjoy the life expectancies of wealthier nations? Or can longevity improve, even in the absence of economic gains? The answer has important implications for human wellbeing around the world.Link

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Sustaining open innovation through a “Center of Excellence”

Sustaining open innovation through a “Center of Excellence”. Karim Lakhani, 2019, Case, “This paper presents NASA’s experience using a Center of Excellence (CoE) to scale and sustain an open innovation program as an effective problem-solving tool and includes strategic management recommendations for other organizations based on lessons learned. Design/methodology/approach: This paper defines four phases of implementing an open innovation program: Learn, Pilot, Scale and Sustain. It provides guidance on the time required for each phase and recommendations for how to utilize a CoE to succeed. Recommendations are based upon the experience of NASA’s Human Health and Performance Directorate, and experience at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard running hundreds of challenges with research and development organizations.Link

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An Archetype for Outsiders in Technology Commercialization

An Archetype for Outsiders in Technology Commercialization. Shane Greenstein, 2019, Book Chapter, “Many confrontations between insiders and outsiders have garnered attention in technology markets over several decades. What can we learn from these prominent confrontations? Is there anything common to them? This chapter presents an archetype of confrontations that highlights the distinctive perspective of an outsider. In this archetype insider refers to an established leading firm in a specific market, while outsiders are startups or historical non-participants in the insider’s market. The chapter interprets events as a conflict between the outsider’s novel point of view and the insider’s established point of view. To support this interpretation, the chapter examines numerous illustrations. In each, the outsider takes actions to gain customers, which leads to a reaction from the established firm.Link

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