Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation by Dr. James Utterback is an innovation classic. It describes how technologies and industries in the past have evolved over time, usually resulting in the large, established firm losing out to the smaller startups. Looking forward, I have no doubt his models and insights will be used to explain the evolution of firms and industries with us today. "A major work that will be cited for decades," says Professor James Brian Quinn at Dartmouth. I predict a much longer time frame than decades.
I am pleased to announce the launch of The Graduate Certificate in Innovation at the Lindner College of Business. The 12 credit hour program is the first of its kind to package Systematic Inventive Thinking, design thinking, and commercial strategy into one comprehensive package. It is the first certificate course that combines business courses with courses from our globally-ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) believes business schools must focus more on specific skills that support innovation, reinvent curricula to be more integrative, and convene executive programs that create new ideas and networks. Business schools must promote interdisciplinary research and recognize that innovation can come from advances in the theory, practice, or teaching of management. "Through outreach activities, such as business plan competitions, student consulting projects, and business incubators, business schools’ activities contribute directly to innovation in the communities they serve."
With six of its faculty members earning the Nobel Prize, it is hard to associate the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with anything else but economics. In reality, it is an innovator in many other areas. It was the first to initiate a PhD program in business (1920). It pioneered the executive MBA degree for experienced managers (1943). Booth was also the first to establish a minority relations program (1964). It is the still the only US. business school with permanent campuses on three continents: Asia, Europe, and North America.
Booth preaches what it practices. It teaches systematic methods of innovation to its students. Art Middlebrooks is an clinical professor of marketing at Chicago Booth, and one of a growing number of professors teaching the SIT method. He is well qualified as both a practitioner of innovation as well as a teacher and scholar. He teaches both innovation and services marketing. "I find that students learn best by 'doing,' so I've structured both the in-class and out-of-class work to enable students to 'try out' the various tools that I teach."
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) wants business schools to do more to support innovation. It wants schools to reinvent curricula to be more integrative and convene executive programs that create new ideas and networks. "Through outreach activities, such as business plan competitions, student consulting projects, and business incubators, business schools’ activities contribute directly to innovation in the communities they serve."
One things schools can do to foster innovation is to create a student innovation club. These clubs create a sense of belonging, instill a sense of identity and purpose, and they extend learning beyond the traditional classroom. Innovation clubs are a great way for corporate practitioners, innovation consultants, and venture capitalists to get involved and tap into a source of innovation talent.
The University of Deusto business school is offering a masters degree in business innovation (MBI) that I believe serves as an excellent role model for other schools. It is unique because it focuses on three foundations (from their website):
The University of Cincinnati announced it will launch its first Massive Open Online Course (called MOOC) next fall. It will be the first MOOC to teach Systematic Inventive Thinking (S.I.T.), an innovation method based on templates.
In June, Jacob Goldenberg and I released our new book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results. It has since been featured on the front page of Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications and media outlets.
Recently, we each did live webinars talking about the project. Take a look at both webinars so you can learn why I am called "The Street Rat" and Jacob is called "The Lab Rat."
Both titles are well deserved! We hope you find these useful.
The University of Cincinnati's first Massive Open Online Course begins next week, October 7th. The course is free and open to all.
In this course, participants will master the tools necessary to generate new ideas and quickly transform those concepts into a viable pipeline of new products and services. They will learn a highly effective method of idea generation called Systematic Inventive Thinking used by many global firms across a wide variety of industries. They will also learn a suite of design thinking tools to take new concepts and put “life” into them. Generating ideas is not enough. Design thinking takes new ideas and sculpts them into market-winning products and services. Participants will learn the mechanics of each S.I.T. tool, and practice the use of each on a real product or service. Additionally, they will learn from a panel of seasoned practitioners and experts in the fields of innovation, new product development, and venture start-up.
The terms innovation and design thinking are used so often in so many different contexts, often interchanged, and sometimes misused. What do they really mean? More importantly, how do they relate to each other?
These questions set the stage for “Innovation and Design Thinking,” the first Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) offered by the University of Cincinnati and the largest course ever taught since it was founded in 1819. Nearly two thousand students from around the world are participating.
Innovators have a rough road ahead. Despite the mandate for growth and the pleas for a more innovative culture, innovators face a lot of challenges from both inside and outside the organization. That was the major theme we explored this week in "Innovation and Design Thinking."