Week 1: Introduction: Why Everyone Wants Innovation but No One Wants to Change
We introduce the approach of the class: instead of trying to be innovative, just stop stopping it. We discuss a framework for analyzing the six most common barriers (constraints) that stop innovation.Week 2: Individual Constraints: Why Most of Us Are More Creative Than We Think
Psychologists treat innovation as a problem of having creative ideas; we sometimes stop innovation by not "thinking different". This week explores the constraints of perception, intellection, and expression and offers strategies for overcoming them.Week 3: Group Constraints: Why a Brainstorm Meeting Can Be Worse Than No Meeting at All
Social psychologists treat innovation as a group problem: we often don't get early support for our ideas because of adverse group dynamics. This week looks at the constraints of emotion, culture, and process in groups as well as the environment within which groups work, and looks at ways to overcome them.Week 4: Organizational Constraints: Why You’ll Never Be a Prophet in Your Own Hometown
The field of management sees the problem of innovation as one of the organization; organization is the opposite of innovation, after all. This week explores the constraints of strategy, structure, and resources and we explore ways of framing them that will help us to overcome them. Week 5: Industry Constraints: If It’s Such a Great Idea, Why Isn’t Our Competitor Doing It?
An economist view of failed innovation sees it as a problem of adoption; when there's no market to adopt it, it's not an innovation, it's just a creative idea. We look at the constraints of competition, suppliers, and markets and discuss strategies you can use to relax them.Week 6: Societal Constraints: Why My Innovation Means You Have to Change
The sociological and anthropological perspective suggests that societies control or obstruct innovations that are deemed as dangerous or contrary to societal values. This week explores the constraints of identity, social control, and history and we will seek an understanding of how we might avoid them. Week 7: Technological Constraints: How to Take a Really Hard Problem and Make It Completely Impossible
Engineers and scientists see failed innovation as a failure of technology; if it doesn't work, it's not an innovation. Here we explore the constraints of knowledge, time, and the natural environment. Rather than trying to overcome them, we develop strategies for working within these constraints.Week 8: When Failure Is Not an Option: Leading an Innovation Strategy
The final week has us putting the entire model together into the leadership context. We will learn about innovation portfolios and discuss a tested process for moving innovations from ideas to realities.
This animated video
describes the basic issues addressed by the course.