08 February 2011

Reverse Innovation

Here's an interesting look at the role of global markets and the diffusion of innovation. Reverse innovation refers to "trickle up" from the periphery to the centre where innovations come from under-developed nations and then enter developed nations.  What is interesting about the HBR post is the realization of being on the "cusp of a new era" (as well as the posters claiming neo-colonial bias). Language aside, perhaps what this means is that we are seeing less one way innovations and better integration of global mindset and market places with more fluidity and flexibility. Or, to put it more simply, this is what people-centred innovation is really about. In my last post on the OECD workforce skills article (a must read for anyone in this space) I linked to the article which provides solid data on the prevalence of incremental innovation being key to increasing productivity, and the role that those with intermediate skills play in fostering innovation. Those of us working on  technology design have seen how the "RWX" approach to has transformed the user experience from one of passive browsing to active interaction (not quite a tautology...) where the end-user is a viable and active contributor to the continual refinement and ongoing development of the technology itself. This is innovation as perpetual beta, what I have earlier coined as adoptation: the adoption/adaptation of innovation.

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