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Global Process Networks - Creation Nets


"Creation Nets",
by John Hagel. Mr. Hagel adds a lot of context and clarity to some of the ideas, creating global process networks that harness open innovation, that I've been trying to get across to managers about social networking software. I now see my weaknesses have been "...institutional mechanisms required, ...leaving executives with the impression that there is nothing that can be done to shape or focus efforts in this arena."

"Creation Nets: Harnessing the Potential of Open innovation" by John Hagel and John Seely Brown, published by McKinsey. There is also a working paper here.

  • "Most executives are by now familiar with open innovation: the idea that companies, by looking outside their own boundaries, can gain better access to ideas, knowledge, and technology than they would have if they relied solely on their
    own resources.
  • Despite the attractions of open innovation and its successes in areas such as open-source software development few companies believe that they know the best way of creating value with the open model of innovation.
  • Companies must go to the peripheries of today's commercial and scientific endeavors, where hundreds and even thousands of collaborators from diverse institutional settings are participating in innovative "networks of creation."
  • Managers can use the principles and mechanisms of "creation nets" to profit from open innovation and to
    create more value than would be possible with the closed model of innovation."

In the article, Mr. Hagel lists three things:

  1. "...we tackle the popular topic of open innovation. These are much more demanding forms of open innovation, but they offer much greater potential for both rapid incremental innovation and breakthrough innovation than the more limited forms of open innovation that seem to be the focus of much media and pundit attention.
  2. ...while narrowing the focus on one dimension, we broaden it on another. Serious analysts of open innovation generally tend to focus on one specific slice of open innovation. Rich discussions of open source software initiatives, for example, tend to restrict their scope to that one domain of collaboration. We found deep insights on creation nets in such diverse domains as software, consumer electronics hardware, motorcycles, apparel, astronomy and big wave surfing. Few,
    if any of these analyses betrayed any awareness of, much less interest in, similar initiatives in other domains. We identify the patterns that are emerging across diverse domains in terms of how to organize creation nets.
  3. We focus specifically on the institutional mechanisms
    required to catalyze and focus innovation initiatives within these creation nets. Unfortunately, much of the coverage of open innovation tends to emphasize self-organizing and emergent behavior, leaving executives with the impression that there is nothing that can be done to shape or focus efforts in this arena."

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What we've learned from the blogosphere and the open-source community is that people (employees, customers, suppliers, partners, et al) want to contribute to endeavors of mutual benefit.

[...An Online Global Process Ecosystem...]

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