Enterprise Innovation Ecosystem Metaphor

From his iPhone, he tapped up a full-screen visual.

A large cruise ship (with well-honed product and service teams) sails the wide oceans and is serviced at one archipelago by a fleet of small boats, coming from and operated by residents of many small islands, who navigate out to sea (but not too far) to meet and exchange with the mothership. Xu, Chenyang (TTB US) Siemens.

The challenge of optimizing efficiency and growth in the business units of a large established enterprise is directly at odds with the requirements for nimble agility and productive friction in the corporate or satellite centers responsible for fueling innovation. John Seely Brown and John Haley III applaud the combination of “productive friction” and dynamic specialization as the new means for connection and coordination. Corporate innovation teams are searching for ways to make innovation more “open.”

Similar dynamics operate in established educational institutions. Disciplinary rigor establishes intellectual prestige – the primary currency in academic institutions. At the same time, real-world relevance depends on continuing connections, collaborations and congruence with the problems and opportunities of business, community and government entities. Rapid iteration on these ever-changing interfaces serves as a catalyst to maintaining intelligence about opportunities and conditions that inform direction for the mothership.

Media X is Stanford University’s catalyst for interdisciplinary interaction among thought leaders at Stanford and change agents in industry – on questions about people and information technology. With questions posed by industrial partners, Media X initiatives tap the expertise of Stanford research laboratories across the entire campus to ignite cognitive bonfires and conduct concept-proving research. Results are transferred to the academic and industrial motherships for further development, refinement and assimilation.

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