Encouraging Institutional Innovation By Changing How We Educate

John Hagel’s Edge Perspectives has an excellent article on challenging mindsets from reverse innovation to innovation blowback. It reinforces our mindset in why we are passionate about how Gangplank is structured and why concepts brought out in Gangplank Jr are so necessary for our future.

Their research highlights that innovation in the next wave will not be one centered around products.

“We drew attention to a different form of innovation – institutional innovation… we saw entrepreneurs re-thinking institutional arrangements… offering all participants an opportunity to learn faster and innovate more effectively by working together. While Western companies were lured into various forms of financial leverage, these entrepreneurs were developing sophisticated approaches to capability leverage in scalable business networks that could generate not just one product innovation, but an accelerating stream of product and service innovations.”

They emphasize that it is fundamentally different than how we currently perceive innovation. Notice that it is focused on TRUST and FLEXIBILITY. It is not a coincidence that Gangplank Manifesto is centered around people trusting each other. Agility of an organization as well as it’s tools are a by product.

“Institutional innovation is different – it defines new ways of working together, ways that can scale much more effectively across large numbers of very diverse enterprises. It provides ways to flexibly reconfigure capability while at the same time building long-term trust based relationships that help participants to learn faster.”

We like to think that Gangplank is currently the only workspace of it’s kind. A truly collaborative workspace driving a new economy. That economy comes from the disruptive power of institutional innovation. I suspect you will see a lot more of it in the future.

“Institutional innovation has enormous power to disrupt and drive major new forms of economic value creation and capture. Much of its power stems from its ability to blindside incumbents who hold onto traditional mindsets.”

We believe the core of Gangplank Jr is teaching the next generation to embrace scalable collaborative approaches to the work they engage in and in forming the solutions to the problems they face. We believe they have more to teach us than we have to teach them.

“Until and unless Western executives begin to aggressively challenge these assumptions and awaken to the potential of institutional innovation, they will remain vulnerable to attack. They must begin to recognize that the most promising forms of innovation emerging in developing economies are not at the level of individual products or services but rather at a much deeper level – novel approaches to scalable peer learning shaped by institutional innovation.”

3 Comments

  1. I love it. The old guard is deeply entrenched in the mindset that higher wages and larger benefit packages is still the way to attract and retain “top talent.” They wish to continue to manage, to be in control. It’s power mongering, but it’s also a shift in responsibility from the organization to a few very well compensated individuals.

    This will probably sound like something out of Braveheart, but ten people with high paying jobs are nowhere near as productive or dedicated as one person who genuinely believes in what he’s doing and truly knows that his future is limitless within the organization.

  2. As you probably recall, my kids are not traditionally educated (thus far), but instead are homeschooled in a Montessori curriculum. I have seen firsthand how they have the ability to seize onto concepts and move ahead at MIND-BOGGLING rates when given the freedom to explore and think about things from new angles, or when education is combined with “fun” in ways that you wouldn’t normally think of.

    I would like to see Gangplank Jr become a much more active thing, like weekly or something, even if this required the introduction of a small fee.

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