Tools and Ideas for Systemic Innovation

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If we are to make good use of opportunities for innovation in the healthcare, energy, and education sectors we will need to equip a whole generation with shared language and methodology for social innovation. We will need to teach the habits of mind that fuel collaborative innovation across domains and sectors. And we will need to stop thinking that innovation centers will solve the problem: we need to build reliable, replicable human-centered innovation systems.



Erika Gregory Arnold Wasserman Collective Invention

The United States of America did not become the most prosperous nation on Earth by sheer luck or happenstance. We got here because each time a generation of Americans has faced a changing world, we have changed with it.President Barack Obama Carnegie Mellon University June - 2010

ACKNOWLEDGMENTSMany thanks to Fiona Hovenden, PhD and David Karshmer for their contributions to this work.


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Quotes Overview: Building an Innovation Ecosystem What We Have Learned Phase One: Discovery

Charterforahighly-effectiveinnovationteam Charterforahighly-effectiveinnovationteam Detailedpictureofthecurrentstate Detailedpictureofthecurrentstate Frameworkforguidingsystemicadoptionofinnovationpracticesand Frameworkforguidingsystemicadoptionofinnovationpracticesand protocols protocols Alternativescenariosintheshort,mediumandlong-term Alternativescenariosintheshort,mediumandlong-term TheInternalInnovationStudy TheInternalInnovationStudy 12 Phase Two: Design And Development Refinedimplementationplananddashboardforassessingprogress Refinedimplementationplananddashboardforassessingprogress Learn-by-Doinginnovationtrainingprogramforinnovationfacilitators/ Learn-by-Doinginnovationtrainingprogramforinnovationfacilitators/ staff staff PrototypeInnovationCentertoolkitandcurricula PrototypeInnovationCentertoolkitandcurricula InnovationTraining InnovationTraining ToolkitDevelopment ToolkitDevelopment 16 Phase Three: Delivery RefinedInnovationCentertoolkitandcurricula RefinedInnovationCentertoolkitandcurricula MentorshipandcoachingasnewprocessesandprogramsareimpleMentorshipandcoachingasnewprocessesandprogramsareimplemented mented DiffusionofinnovationcenterpracticesinthegreatersystemandcomDiffusionofinnovationcenterpracticesinthegreatersystemandcommunity munity Evaluation Evaluation FeedforwardLearning&Iteration FeedforwardLearning&Iteration InnovationDiffusion&Adoption InnovationDiffusion&Adoption 20 About Design Thinking and Lean Sigma 22 About Collective Invention And Contact 23 Recent and Current Clients 24 Bibliography

Collective Invention

OVERVIEW: BUILDING AN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM"Entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators want to be around each other. They want to feed off the shared creative energy. They want access to a shared talent pool. They want to build relationships. So if a local community is able to plant that seed if it's able to create the climate for innovation and build a critical mass then private investment will follow. Innovation will follow. Jobs will follow." John Fernandez Assistant Secretary US Economic Development Agency

In the past two decades, weve seen seen explosive growth in bio, info, and nanotechnologies. But in many respects our social structures education, health, and government itselfhave not kept pace. In spite of (some might argue because of) the increasing fragility of existing systems, a global ecology of social innovation seems to be emerging. After all, our future depends on reinventing and re-energizing social institutions and bonds, and progress relies on both new technologies and new social arrangements to liberate and direct human creativity, knowledge, and energy. Evidence of the new innovation ecosystem in the United States includes healthcare innovation zones, energy innovation hubs, and advanced research projects. From energy (Energy Frontier Research Centers, or ARPAE) to education (Advanced Research Project Agency, or ARPA-ED), such initiatives mirroring the entrepreneurial spirit of the Defense Advanced Research Project (DARPA). A combination of federal tax credits and programs (Startup America, Regional Innovation Clusters) incent or support entrepreneurism and collaborative experimentation; the patent process is being revamped to quicken the process of bringing good new ideas to market. Meanwhile domain-specific innovation centers like Kaiser Permanentes Sydney R. Garfield Healthcare Innovation Center have emerged as safe spaces for technologists, medical practitioners and facilities designers to cooperate in the development of new solutions. 4

Innovation for the Common Good

What we currently lack, however, is shared language and a disciplined, transparent process methodology. While we can point to excellent examples of innovation process being brought to bear on social problems around the world, we are still missing key elements of a coherent, systemic approach to social innovation: A concrete, shared vision of life in a transformed world Mechanisms for innovating at the intersection of domains like health, education, environment and new capital markets A practical curriculum for collaborative innovation and co-design targeted to this effort

Through experiences across a variety of institutions and disciplines, we have uncovered key elements that foster the growth of collective invention. Organizations can and do learn to use all the information at their disposal to engage the individual and collective whole mind through visual tools, experiential learning, and intensive, focused workshops or charrettes. Building an Innovation System Successful leaders of innovation develop an awareness of when to form collaborative groups and when to unleash resources for the solo visionary. Meanwhile we now understand the critical importance of cognitive diversity Changing the Conditions in collaborative creativity.Embracing Experimentation Policy Strategy Management Organization Operations

Vision Modeling Behavior Building Culture Design Thinking Principles


If we are to make good use of opportunities earmarked for innovation in the healthcare, energy and education sectors we will need to equip a whole generation with shared language and methodology for social innovation. We will need to teach the habits of mind that fuel collaborative innovation across domains and sectors. And we will need to stop thinking that innovation centers will solve the problem: we need to build reliable, replicable human-centered innovation systems.

Innovation system




Structure Program Physical Space Tools Facilities Virtual



Collective Invention

Innovation resides at the intersection of invention and insight leading to the creation of social and economic value adopted at scale. US National Innovation Initiative

WHAT WE HAVE LEARNEDIn the late 1990s in San Francisco we built The Idea Factory (, a space and process for organizational innovation. We replicated that model in Amsterdam, Paris, London and eventually Singapore, where The Idea Factory is headquartered today. What we learned from our work with government ministries to industry consortia, from multinational corporations to small schools and non-profits, is that innovation centers create helpful but insufficient conditions for successful innovation. In the absence of leadership and organizational structures that both incent and enable new ways of working, the innovation center is never absorbed into the organizational or sectoral bloodstream. This understanding, combined with our awareness of an emerging zeitgeist of social innovation, led original members of the Idea Factory team to come back together in 2005 to form Collective Invention (www.collectiveinvention. com). Our focus: building innovation systems that encompass four key domains: leadership, organizational structure, process, and space. Addressing those four domains requires several phases of attentive, disciplined work.


PHASE ONE: DISCOVERYCharter for a highly effective innovation team including

PHASE TWO: DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENTLeadership collaboration and coaching

PHASE THREE: DELIVERYRefined toolkit and curricula

Detailed picture of the current state and scenarios for the future

Refined implementation plan and dashboard for assessing progress

Mentorship and coaching as new processes and programs are implemented Integration of innovation with other embedded processes, e.g. Six Sigma Diffusion of innovation practices in the greater system and community

Framework for guiding systemic adoption of innovation practices and protocols

Learn-by-doing innovation training programs

Prototype toolkit and curricula


Collective Invention

PHASE ONE: DISCOVERY Charter for a highly-effective innovation team Detailed picture of the current state and scenarios for the future Framework for guiding systemic adoption of innovation practices and protocols

Leading Against the Norm Especiallyinthescientificcommunity,peoplearestuckinhowtheyapproachproblems.Thedaybeforesomethingisabreakthroughitwasacrazy idea.Ifitwasntcrazyyesterday,itisntabreakthroughtoday.Andbreakthroughideascansometimesbeembarrassingiftheydontimmediately leadtoresults. Dr. Peter Diamandis, Founder of the X-Prize


Innovation for the Common Good

The Core Team A best-of-class core team, comprising of staff committed to the innovation process and deeply familiar with the context, drives the work of systemic innovation. High-functioning teams understand the diverse cognitive styles, behaviors and attitudes of each individual, capitalizing on strengths and mitigating weaknesses. An early step in formation of a core team is facilitation of behavioral profiles designed to enable us all to see how best to structure and collaborate as a group. Armed with a Charter that describes in detail the commitments of all involved, rules of engagement, decision-making protocols and measures of success to be used throughout the process, the core team maintains alignment with larger strategic goals and organizational capacities and establishes operating norms. Internal Discovery The purpose of an internal ethnographic study is to understand the culture of the organization and the tacit or latent knowledge contained in the minds, experience and sensibilities of the people who work there. Ethnography can help to surface ways of operating and behaving that people would never otherwise think to articulate, but which represent valuable knowledge of several kinds(drawn from the MId-Continent Research for Education and Learnings (McREL) Balanced Leadership Framework) Experiential knowledge Declarative knowledge Procedural knowledge Contextual knowledge Knowing why something is important Knowing what to do Knowing how to do it Knowing when to do it

An outcome of the Internal Discovery phase is often a set of models that represent our analysis of how an organization currently works so that participants can create a shared language that allows them to consciously learn from and adapt current ways of operating to the construction of new ways of working. Another outcome is that an organizations articulated DNAits own unique and successful methodology and practicecan provide the foundation for collaborative development of new programs, services and markets.


Collective Invention

Internal Innovation Study In the Innovation Study we seek to understand five main things:

Leadership capacity:Innovationleadersmustmodeltolerancefor deviationandrisk.Thisconstitutesamajorcultureshiftinfieldslike educationandhealthcare,wherewegenerallyseektocontrolriskand allbuteliminatedeviationfromthenorm. Internal logic of the culture of the organization,system or region:How andwhythingscurrentlyfunctionthewaytheydo,andhowdifferent subcultureswithintheorganizationworktogether Critical dynamic functions of finance, HR, and strategic planning: How theyinteracttocreateaninnovationecosystem Established innovation practice: Howandwhereithastakenrootand isbeingused Adoption patterns: Whatcanwelearnthatwillhelpusdesignaneffectiveplanfordiffusinginnovationpracticethroughoutthesystem


Innovation for the Common Good

With this information we map barriers and enablers relevant to the creation of a sustainable, and culturally congruent Innovation System. We identify the resources already available in the systemwhether being used currently or notand identify opportunity areas. Using personas and scenarios we explore near, mid, and long-term futures. We use ethnography as the main methodology for the study. This approach encourages a focus on the ways in which an organization actually operates day-to-day, an appreciation of multiple perspectives, and an attention to the tacit, unarticulated dynamics of any system. We complete in-depth, one-on-one interviews, and spend time shadowing a variety of stakeholders. We also conduct group interviews, where appropriate. We observe and document a series of typical activities, such as meetings, collaborative work sessions, and other interactions. And we analyze a variety of artifacts produced by the organization. During this intensive period of study, we establish a charrette space that functions as the home for the project. This space becomes a critical feature of the training program, as we demonstrate the human-centered innovation process in real time.


Collective Invention

PHASE TWO: DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT Refined implementation plan and dashboard for assessing progress Learn-by-Doing innovation training program for innovation facilitators/ staff Prototype Innovation toolkit and curricula

Innovation Training We believe that innovation is too important to leave to experts and that everybody can be an innovator. We build our engagements by transferring innovation practices to the client through an iterative process of capacity development. The training programs we develop are grounded in adult learning theory. We teach by working side-by-side with our clients on real work, providing just-in-time tutorials to illuminate and explain how were working. We help our clients understand how they will benefit from what theyre learning, relating the training to the real-world challenges they face. And we work in a highly collaborative partnership, soliciting inputs and feedback from clients both during and after the training. Our training programs emphasize the following principles.


PRINCIPLES OF COLLABORATIVE INNOVATIONPublic Cognition & Persistence of Information The CI innovation training is a series of generative learning/prototyping workshops that take place in what we call the charrette. The charrette is both what happens and where it happens. It is a process and a dedicated project space both physical and virtual. Charrette participants learn through doing real world work: developing an implementation plan and dashboard, prototyping and piloting new business models and programs core to the innovation center, etc. In this learning-bydoing process, staff will become effective practitioners of iterative ideation, visualization, concept generation, rapid prototyping, all key components of the Collective Invention process. The charrette is where the whole mind potential of widely diverse participants wi...


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