The Culture Work of Innovating — Getting Real About Innovating in Business 27 Ways
Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering 2012 by Springer-Verlag
11 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 2, 2011
This paper presents a model of Innovation as an Operation on Cultures, in a larger culture of Faking Innovation (innovation noises). Once you realize it is people, who innovate, who become engineers (not a few anti-socials hiding behind maths), who become MBAs (not a few psychopaths maximizing only their own individual benefits), who become rich (not a few people split into charming faces and bitter climbers), who develop Silicon Valley technology (not a few Asperger's syndrome people for whom this world has only themselves as person), who manage big firms (not a few psychopaths according to recent British research), you see an entirely different landscape for innovating than tools, techs, and systems. This paper uses a small survey of product managers from global firms to display real world conditions of innovators, countering the overemphasis on analysis by professors. It is much more emotive, social, relational, cultural, human things than analysis that produce innovation. This paper presents specific failures in current academic and industry approaches to innovation and suggests correctives: moving from single right-y models to diverse repertoires of models, moving from techno-male innovation approaches to innovation-as-culture-change approaches, and related others. Once you subtract forced infrastructure upgrades out of innovation measures, what is left often is the rare places where culture work gets done, often as male-techno “systems” installed in such a way as to make systems more creative or productive by feminizing them (reducing weaknesses from excess maleness of systems).
Keywords: innovation noises, gender cultures, profession cultures, expertise as hiding place for right ways, grad school cultures, culture mixes
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