Open Innovation is an essential business network. It is ill-suited to the legacy conventions of management, control and architecture. Innovation is not a function, process or activity. Open Innovation is a complex network.
Managers aspire to higher-order business innovation. It is uncomfortable for most. It’s because to expand innovation it is critical to relinquish control.
Leaders, on the other hand, are intimate with this complexity principle. They propel Open Innovation through emergence, subjective network patterns and narrative.
Many enterprise managers finally admit their over-wrought control infrastructures are barriers to innovation. Robust enterprise architecture aids only the most mundane, walled-city type of transactional applications. Of course they are important for continuity, backup, security and so forth. Too often, however, this is at the expense of Open Innovation leadership.
Fortunately, this is changing. It is a Great Enterprise Awakening. Witness how SAP has published thousands of open APIs. Look at the meteoric rise of mashups. Ad hoc yet mission critical applications are more and more commonplace. Open enterprise innovation is becoming commonplace.
So how do leaders prepare? How may they enjoy perpetual innovation and enterprise continuity, backup, security? How do leaders retire overbearing management practices, rigid control, inflexible architectures? Above all, how do leaders master Open Innovation to consistently delight customers?
Many ‘well-managed,’ well-architected and controlled enterprise initiatives fail with confidence. Don’t put too much stock in traditional management and control when you are trying to achieve non-deterministic outcomes. Unlearn.
Many have adopted the new open order of complexity and social networks for major improvements. They enjoy sharp advances in interoperability and performance. Others are still struggling. It is not easy.
Often there is a very narrow-band view of networks and limited network comprehension. There is often a preoccupation with control and structure at the grave expense of emergence and self-organization.
The best way to proceed its to hire an expert. Not a consultant, but a real expert. These are the complexity instigators. They should make you uncomfortable initally. They will put you on the pathway to network mastery and Open Innovation.
For example, this content traveled the Open Innovation Stack. It’s proof of the open network abstraction. Still, open networks and markets, the new enterprise archetypes, mashups, boundary-spanning teams… frighten managers to no end. It will take determination to overcome. Meanwhile, leaders embrace Open Innovation Networks.
To measure, interpret and understand the lower levels of network management, architecture and control, sophisticated analysis tools are routine, of course. For the higher order, complex levels, 11,12,13, network analysis and visualization is required.
The fact remains all layers are important. It is just like the principle of formal networks like hierarchy and organization may enable the effective informal work networks. It is just like not worrying if we use copper wire, microwave or fiber optics, to achieve open network interconnectivity, since we don’t much care about the mature, established layers below. Just like bureaucracy establishes continuity and resources, and so forth and so on.
However, there is the fact that complex networks inhabits the higher-order layers, above applications. Rigid control, textbook MBA-style management and conventional architecture methods in these precincts are very, very harmful. Obsolescence of these practices is not automatic. Deliberate, breakthrough adoption and mastery of visualization, interpretation and leadership delivers Open Innovation.