Wednesday, February 24, 2021

g-f(2)142 THE BIG PICTURE OF THE DIGITAL AGE, MIT SMR, What a Crisis Teaches Us About Innovation.

Extra-condensed knowledge

  • This golden knowledge container describes a brilliant proposal.
  • Understanding why it’s easier to develop new ideas and drive change during an emergency can help leaders innovate even in the absence of a crisis.
    • Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention. 
    • In our work with both public- and private-sector organizations, we have identified five interdependent conditions that characterize a crisis and boost innovation.
    • We believe that by understanding the conditions that crises foster, leaders can create some proxies for crisis that make innovation easier and more likely — even in the absence of an emergency.
  • The Research
    • This article is based on the authors’ direct experience working with innovation organizations and leaders in both the public and private sectors.
    • It also includes insights from a comprehensive review of business literature regarding innovation and decision-making.
    • In addition, the authors reviewed COVID-19-related innovation activities and business media from the first six months of the pandemic.

Genioux knowledge fact condensed as an image

Condensed knowledge  

  • Leaders can replicate proxy crisis conditions as a way to generate more effective innovation in noncrisis times. However, that requires a deeper understanding of the issues at play in each of the five conditions.
    1. A crisis provides a sudden and real sense of urgency. Proximity to a grave problem creates a critical sense of urgency, focusing attention and galvanizing action. 
    2. Organizations can drop all other priorities and focus on a single challenge, reallocating resources as needed. In a crisis, the first-order decision is effectively made for you: The crisis tells you where you need to focus with a high degree of precision. Nothing else is as important as solving that immediate problem.
    3. Teams come together to solve the problem with a greater diversity of perspectives. With the reprioritization that a crisis enables, and the resulting reallocation of resources, the problem at hand is now subject to the insights, expertise, and experience of many more people than would typically come together on a project. 
    4. The importance of finding a solution legitimizes what would otherwise constitute waste, allowing for more experimentation and learning. Because of the severity of a crisis and the sense of urgency that it creates, and because organizations understand that it is now the No. 1 problem, leaders become much less concerned about the possibility that some, or even many, attempts at solving it will fail. 
    5. Because the crisis is only temporary, the organization can commit to a highly intense effort over a short period of time. Although the human costs of working at crisis-level intensity are clear, the benefits of time-bounding intense efforts are well known. The existence of a deadline (whether the date of a marathon, a final exam, or an innovation prize competition) helps to significantly amplify effort.

Category 2: The Big Picture of the Digital Age

[genioux fact produced, deduced or extracted from MIT SMR]

Type of essential knowledge of this “genioux fact”: Essential Analyzed Knowledge (EAK).

Type of validity of the "genioux fact". 

  • Inherited from sources + Supported by the knowledge of one or more experts.

Authors of the genioux fact

Fernando Machuca



Elsbeth Johnson (@elsbeth_johnson) is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics. Fiona Murray (@fiona_mit) is a professor of entrepreneurship and the associate dean of innovation and inclusion at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she codirects the MIT Innovation Initiative.

Elsbeth Johnson is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and an expert on leadership, strategy and change. The main focus for her research is on what leaders need to do to help their organizations execute strategy, or deliver long-term, strategic change, without the need for the leader’s ongoing, personal involvement.

At MIT, she teaches the Leading Organizations course (15.716) on the School’s EMBA Program, as well as sessions on two open programs, the Advanced Management Program and Leading Change in Complex Organizations. Prior to joining MIT, Johnson was an Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School, where she taught on its EMBA and Sloan Programmes. She remains a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics where she teaches Strategy and Organisational Theory.

Fiona Murray is the Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion at the MIT Sloan School of Management, the William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship, and an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also the co-director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative.  

She serves on the British Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology and has been awarded a CBE for her services to innovation and entrepreneurship in the UK.

Murray is an international expert on the transformation of investments in scientific and technical innovation into innovation-based entrepreneurship that drives jobs, wealth creation, and regional prosperity. She has a special interest in the commercialization of science from idea to impact and the mechanisms that can be effectively used to link universities with entrepreneurs, large corporations, and philanthropists in that process. 

Key “genioux facts”

Featured "genioux fact"

g-f(2)2393 Unlock Your Greatness: Today's Daily Dose of g-f Golden Knowledge (May 2024)

  genioux Fact post by  Fernando Machuca  and  Claude Updated May 27, 2024 Introduction: Welcome to May 2024's edition of "Unlock Y...

Popular genioux facts, Last 30 days