Practice of Innovation

"The way we work is our most important innovation." Observations by Curtis R. Carlson

Meaningful Work

Innovation for Jobs: I4J

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Vint Cerf, David Nordfors, and Curt Carlson at the I4J conference.

According to Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup, “The American workforce has more than 100 million full-time employees. One-third of those employees are … engaged at work. They love their jobs and make their organization and America better every day.

At the other end, 16% of employees are actively disengaged — they are miserable in the workplace and destroy what the most engaged employees build. The remaining 51% of employees are not engaged — they’re just there.”  (more…)

A Competitive World

Taiwan Silicon Valley Innovation Center

President Tsai, the Taiwanese delegation, and speakers at Plug-and-Play on January 14, 2017
President Tsai, the Taiwanese delegation, and speakers at Plug-and-Play on January 14, 2017.  I am second from the left.

President Tsai of Taiwan came to Silicon Valley to open a new center devoted to innovation and entrepreneurship between the two countries.  It is an example of how regions are working to improve their competitiveness by seeking out and leveraging the best global partners and resources, including venture capital. Below is a summary of the comments I made at the ceremony. (more…)

A Solution to Poor U.S. Economic Growth?

Law of Accelerating Cost

Gallup: see reference #1.
Gallup: see reference #1.

Executive Summary:  America’s economic growth has been in decline for decades and some feel nothing can be done.  The “Law of Accelerating Cost” (LAC) postulates that to maintain economic growth as a constant percent of GDP, exponentially more R&D resources over time are required.  We have not been making these investments since the 1970s.  These resources can be effectively obtained in three ways:

  • Increased federal and corporate investments.
  • Better use of existing funds by using value-creation best practices.
  • Movement away from areas of low economic return to focus on areas of major impact to the economy.

An important part of the solution that addresses our economic decline lies in satisfying these factors.  The largest and most efficient solution is achieved when these factors are combined.  (more…)

Drucker Forum on Innovation

“Do you have a value-creation playbook?”  “No.”

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The Drucker Forum, led by Richard Straub, is one of the world’s most important conferences on innovation and entrepreneurship. It honours Peter Drucker, the genius who laid the foundations for modern management.  Each November it is held in Vienna, Austria where Peter Drucker was born in 1909.  Many of the world’s thought leaders and practitioners are there to share progress on these increasingly important topics. 

During my talk, “Creating an Innovative Enterprise,” I asked the 500 participants if their staff were given a value-creation playbook along with innovation training so they could be effective value creators.  Only 5 people raised their hands.  (My presentation is here:  drucker-forum.) (more…)

Innovation and Education

A Defining Convergencescreen-shot-2016-11-03-at-10-52-58-am

This video is of the President’s Distinguished Lecture I gave at Stevens University on October 5th 2016.

It is often said that the key to innovative success is to fail fast.  That is wrong.  It is also misleading and dispiriting.  The key to innovative success is to learn, search, discover, and create fast.  Value creation is a branch of the learning sciences.

Graduates are entering a turbulent and demanding world.  Job growth and prosperity have dramatically slowed and automation may eliminate half of today’s jobs.  We are not currently creating the jobs and prosperity America needs. (more…)

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