THE BIG PICTURE
Henry Doss, Chief Strategy Officer of T2 Venture Creation, from Forbes
Looking at data solely through the lens of prediction is almost certain to distort understanding and insight. When prediction is the most powerful force driving your leadership decisions, certainty becomes your primary currency, above all others. Information then becomes the place you go to hunt for things to support what you have very likely already decided is true or important, rather than what you might discover to be true or important. Read more here.
The Huffington Post
To model something is a way to approach complex problems. Then, you break things down and simplify. You can reuse parts of ideas and don’t need to reinvent a new concept. You can reuse those parts as the basis of your new business. Also, scientific skepticism can balance out an entrepreneur’s passion. Read more here.
The Wall Street Journal
To understand Silicon Valley, perhaps it’s best to start with this quote from Steve Jobs: “creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.” In joining the dots, entrepreneurs and innovators recognize new product ideas that at first glance seem counterintuitive. But upon reflection, these ideas become obvious, commonplace. Read more here.
This View of Life
The planetary limits have been reached and economic growth threatens our very existence if we don’t change our dominant cultural paradigm. The great challenge of this epoch is planetary stabilization. Read more here.
The diffusion of the internet has had varying effects on the location of economic activity, leading to both increases and decreases in geographic concentration. Some argue that the internet worked against increasing concentration in invention. This relationship is particularly strong for inventions with more than one inventor, and when inventors live in different cities. Read more here.
THE LATEST NEWS
Paris is changing. The young are no longer drawn to corporate life. Unemployment among graduates is 10%. Successful entrepreneurs and investors now show what is possible. Finally, the Socialist government, which once whacked entrepreneurs with taxes, has changed. Read more here.
An internationally known urban planning architecture firm is recruited by the University of New Mexico’s Robert Frank and engaged primarily by UNM, but also by the city to help chart its course to the creation of a vibrant new urban technology corridor. This firm is adopting the “Rainforest” framework in its design of the new urban technology corridor. Read more here.
A new report came out about Australia and its opportunity to transition from an economy based on resources, primary industries and domestically focused businesses to one based on high-growth knowledge-intensive businesses. Read more here.
THE BIG PICTURE
By Henry Doss, Chief Strategy Officer of T2 Venture Creation, from Forbes
Innovation is found in idealism, in the notion that we all live and work — and prosper — when we are focused on making the world a better place. Innovation comes from the ability to bring together seemingly contradictory or conflicting points of view and approaches to the world. Read more here.
By Mark Newberg, Advisor to T2 Venture Creation, from The Huffington Post
A new way to measure how many jobs, above a baseline, any particular investment or initiative might be expected to produce. Similar to baseball’s Wins Above Replacement, or WAR. Read more here.
By Evan Haines on LinkedIn
Make unwritten rules of creative cultures clear to new and existing members and ensure that they foster the right kinds of behaviors. Create or encourage the formation of communities where trust prevails over negative social pressure that buries innovative thinking. Read more here.
The University Of Chicago Law School
A professor equates neoclassical economics to Newtonian mechanics, the set of physical laws that describe motion at a macro level but doesn’t hold true at the nano level, and behavioral economics to quantum mechanics, which deals with physical phenomena at the less predictable nano level. Read more here.
Arnold Kling blog
Government often tilts the scale in favor of large organizations. The high fixed cost of regulatory compliance is one factor. Government has been a key customer in industries like aerospace, information technology, and finance. Read more here.
THE LATEST NEWS
Today Cambodia is one of the most open economies in Asia, where starting a business is relatively easy and foreign-owned firms can operate without a local partner. Read more here.
The New York Times
Intense interest from prominent investors is helping to drive eye-popping valuations among Indian tech start-ups. Read more here.
Two key reasons behind the rise of female Egyptian entrepreneurs are a lack of public sector jobs, and continuing discrimination in the private sector job market. Read more here.
THE BIG PICTURE
The Silicon Valley’s historian looks back to the past to envision its bright future – with Steve Job’s help. Three historical forces — technical, cultural, and financial — created Silicon Valley. Read more here.
Janet Crawford, Co-Creator of Rainforest Architects and Advisor of T2 Venture Creation, from The Guardian
Businesses need to stop equating masculine characteristics with leadership and represent women in more than just supporting roles. Ending gender inequity is a challenge that involves us all. We may not be to blame for the problem, but we are all responsible for the solution. Read more here.
Alistair Brett, International Technology Commercialization Advisor for T2 Venture Creation, from the Innovation Rainforest Blog
In non-linear complex (Rainforest) systems wicked problems are the norm and deduction cannot be used. Forming an acceptable good reason that can be defended if they fail to hold up against a challenge will typically involve drawing non-deductive conclusions from observations. Read more here.
A multitude of innovators and entrepreneurs around the world are experimenting with practical ways to reimagine capitalism so that it works for all levels of society, as well as for the planet. Read more here.
Federal News Radio
Agencies more willing to take on innovative projects and ideas are more likely to get the attention of millennials looking for jobs, according to a follow-up study to the 2014 Best Places to Work report. Read more here.
THE LATEST NEWS
Cristina Pombo, a friend and collaborator of T2 Venture Creation, from Inter-American Development Bank
Israel decided to take the path of innovation and entrepreneurship that combined both public and private investment. Israel continues to increase its spending in research and development. Read more here.
No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well. Unlike America’s coastal megatropolises, Minneapolis doesn’t benefit from a proximity to other rich cities and their intermingling of commerce. Instead, it’s so far from other major metros that it’s a singular magnet for regional talent. Read more here.
The New York Times
Silicon Valley, the nation’s engine for technical innovation, has turned its back on investments in clean technology. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory has created a new kind of public-private model for commercialization to support entrepreneurial scientists. Read more here.
“Yes, I have a turn both for observation and for deduction. The theories which I have expressed there, and which appear to you to be so chimerical are really extremely practical—so practical that I depend upon them for my bread and cheese.” Sherlock Holmes. The Sign of Four, Chapter 2: The Science of Deduction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1890.
In the March 2015 blog Practical Reasoning: Decision making in Rainforest innovation ecosystems in this series, we quoted David Milligan from his book Reasoning and the Explanations of Actions, written in 1980 but still fresh. Milligan explains that a good deliberative reasoner is “not someone who simply obeys the rules of logic,” but someone who is also a sound judge, can make intelligent decisions, and can defend his or her decisions about how to act by pointing to reasons which support actions.
Relating decision making to action, or a series of actions, based on these decisions goes far beyond explaining how a system state came to be, but produces interventions to change the present system state to a future desired state through reasoned actions.
We also noted that rather than downgrading the importance of logic, Milligan work launches us into the necessary search for non-deductive ways of reasoning and decision making in environments where there is an abundance of wicked problems – which is almost everywhere. (Don’t try to tame wicked problems: Part 1).
Let’s see how this works in practice by taking an example from commercializing university research through creating a new business around the technology (a spin-off company). See a previous blog in this series Solving the Right Problem: Part 1 for more on spin-offs.
What characteristics of the university’s innovation environment might support greater spin-off company activity? To make things simple, consider the case of trying to reason and choose one of just two options out of many possibilities:
- Resources: make available more financial and supportive resources for spin-off creation.
- Culture: develop a culture of innovation throughout the university and its broader stakeholder community.
After deliberation, two reasons emerge as reasons in favor of Culture which we will call P, and Q. Two reasons against Culture also emerge which we will call R and S. It turns out that P and Q outweigh R and S, therefore Culture development is the better option.
In linear systems the argument from the P and Q to the selection of Culture must be deductive, although neither P nor Q is necessarily a conclusive reason for Culture. In non-linear complex (Rainforest) systems where wicked problems are the norm, and deduction cannot be used, forming an acceptable good reason involves deliberation involving evaluations, sometimes called reason statements, which can be defended, or indeed changed if they fail to hold up against a challenge. This reasoning will typically involve drawing non-deductive conclusions from observations.
An example of this is when we deploy The Rainforest Scorecard: A Practical Framework for Growing Innovation Potential process and scoring model introduced in our January bonus-blog Measuring Culture, Performance, and Innovation.
When the Scorecard is applied reasoning is used in two ways.
- To qualitatively apply non-deductive reasoning to produce a quantitative score for each of the 6 Scorecard categories: Leadership; Frameworks, Infrastructure, Policies; Resources; Activities, Engagements, Role Models; and Culture.
- To find relationships between the 6 categories from Scorecard data collected during its application.
In both cases deliberation, producing reason statements, draws on experience, knowledge networks, references to related past results, cognitive insights, contexts, cost-effectiveness, and so forth. In some cases deliberation may also identify a small number of key variables which greatly influence results – more on this in a future blog.
For details of finding relationships between the 6 Scorecard categories see the Forbes blog by the Rainforest Scorecard co-author Henry Doss, Status Quo Leadership is the Biggest Impediment to Innovation.
As Milligan notes “reasons can be good and sufficient to justify a conclusion without being deductive… in the context of deliberations reasons which are not deductive are the most important.”
Or as Sherlock Holmes put it, don’t rely entirely on deduction to make a living.