Tag Archives: 2.0

A most innovative way to present some ideas on innovation

Where Good Ideas Come From, 4 minute version

Via Boing Boing]

Here’s a short video promo for Steven Johnson’s upcoming Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, a lecture on the way that transformative ideas incubate for long times, come out of left field, and thrive best when there’s no one foreclosing on them because they’re too weird or disruptive.


I love this video. It encapsulates how new ideas come into being and that communication is critical. Organizations that make it easy for individuals to communicate and exchange ideas will have more innovative ideas.

This is slightly different than creating a social network that adopts and adapts to change easily, although they go hand in hand. Both reduce the friction of information exchange. What Johnson discusses are the connections that help disruptive innovators come up with their disruptive technologies. They connect to a wide range of other communities which can provide great ideas.

An adaptive community has the ability to filter and adopt new ideas rapidly. The good ideas get moved through rapidly, often interacting with others along the way to evolve into great ideas. There will also be strong links back to the disruptors, creating a knowledge cycle that gets to a solution faster.

A poorly adaptive community puts a road block on the ability of disruptors to connect to outside communities while at the same time providing sparse routes for their ideas to percolate through the organization. These communities not only have fewer innovative ideas, because of the lack of good communication linkages but will also be very resistant to adopting anything new, even if shown that the innovation is useful.

In a well balanced community, the communication between people has little to slow it down, disruptors connect to the communities they need for generating ideas, filters and mediators help discover the great ideas and pass them onto the doers, who can often reduce these ideas to practice. With the right feedback loops, this can be very efficient.

Web 2.0 approaches can be very effective in helping identify and support these types of adaptive communities.

Watching a community adopt change

VIDEO: Great Demo on Leadership and Tipping Points
[Via Global Guerrillas]

Make sure you turn on the audio for the commentary.


Here we can see the S-shaped curve of change adoption happen in real time.


The X-axis is time and the yellow curve is the cumulative number of people adopting the change. The crowd dynamics almost exactly hit this curve. Assume a total crowd at the end of about 50 people.

We start with an innovator standing alone. Then another one joins and the two dance alone for almost 30 seconds. They are then followed by a third, for about 20 seconds.

The tipping point on the curve, the point of maximal adoption of change, occurs at 15-20%. So for a group of 50, we would expect to see a very rapid rate of adoption occurring when 7-10 people become involved.

And that is exactly what is seen. within 10 seconds after the 7th person has joined, the group more than triples in size, rapidly reaching its peak numbers.

It takes over a minute for the group to grow from 1 to 3. Within another 30 seconds, there are too many to count without freezing the video.

Exactly the same dynamics takes place when any sort of novel change hits a community; often not started by a half-naked dancer but by someone trying out something different.

And, just as the narrator explained about how important the second and third followers are, so to is it with other types of change. It is these early adopters who mediate change for the whole community, transforming a lone nut into a leader.

Without the second and third joiners, the whole movement would not have materialized. we often spend too much time on the leaders, the innovators, and not enough on those that create the tipping points – the mediators between the disruptive antics of the lone ‘nuts’ and the actions of the majority.