I was looking at the concept of clustering and it cast my mind back.
Twelve years ago I was in a collaboration effort with one of the major consulting firms on a concept called “button and threads”. It caught my imagination and a number of important people in the Singapore authority the Economic Development Board , those responsible for providing the focal point in economic development where business, innovation and talent are nurtured. The “button and thread” concept was considered, partly for its simplicity in concept but its significant underlying value.
Regretfully the proposal died around the boardroom which was such a pity as it would have been years ahead of others as it was then more conceptual and needed to be really pioneered. The idea was the more buttons you had connected, the more threads were created. It was through the integration of technologies and market creation, the missing ingredient is the means of designing them to help shape (and speed up) more effectively business evolution.
The idea was working on harnessing the intelligent use of the growing connections through better ‘adaptive’ agents to co-evolve, building connected relationships, adding to better judgement and decisions, positioning the organization into far more adaptive enterprise working in a thriving ecosystem.
At the time I wrote ““The existing dilemma is how to find, attract and build new sources of competitive positions within an innovative eco-system. This is how to set about and organize the environment to capitalize on the existing (and new) resources within a rapidly changing opportunity environment those investors will prefer to existing eco-systems?
Moving into Nodes and Networks
Recently I remembered this “buttons and thread” concept and if we replace this with “nodes and networks” it brings it right up to date. The initial idea was well ahead of its time, to be honest I don’t think the technology or networking practices were yet in place to validate the concept but today it is totally different.
So ten years later what is different? The time has finally arrived- how do we connect better?
The question often asked is “as we embrace new ideas, new methods and new processes for innovation and for accelerating growth what’s going to hold them together for extracting and providing new value?" So we seem to be moving from “buttons and threads” to “nodes and networks” and this concept, some ten years back might become a reality, a founding part of any way forward for innovation to bge harnessed differently than in the past. We all need to get out of our silo's and connect, to share, to collaborate but most importantly to build value from each other that has better value than what we can build today in not connecting in different, more technology enabled ways through platofrms, ecosystem designs
There are some exciting activities that we can learn from on ecosystems, connections, harnessing people and their sources of knowledge to generate the potential for greater innovation activity and the power of platforms.
As we are achieving improved visualization-driven methods for analysis, and working through the different methods these can bring and how they may be applied in the context of innovation ecosystems, it makes for a ‘sea change’ of our need of understanding. It is about harnessing with all the power at our disposal today to make innovation impactful.