Innovation, Emergence, and Communication

A Workshop on Innovation

Peter J. Denning, CS
Nick Dew, GSBPP

Innovation has become a top priority for the Navy and DOD and many students want to select thesis research that lead to innovations. Unfortunately, the common approaches about innovation are based on flawed theories and cannot produce the results they seem to promise. We will explore a new story about innovation and will de-mystify innovation, design, emergence, navigation, and adoption. We will examine how we as a Navy can raise our innovation success rate above the prevailing 4 percent.

Innovations are new practices that emerge in response to concerns in communities. Innovations often generate resistance among those most affected by the displacement. The ability to innovate depends critically on communicating requests, promises, offers, declarations, and assessments, as well as on listening, especially for emotions. We will examine the basics of effective communication for innovation.

Peter Denning, Distinguished Professor, and Nick Dew, Associate Professor, will lead an exploration into innovation emergence and the skill sets innovators use to facilite and shape emergences. Because the skill sets rest on effective communication, we will include a section on communication as acts of commitments and subsequent actions.


Agenda (Wed Sep 23, 2015):

09-10 What do you know about innovation?
10-11 Emergence, design, ideation, adoption
11-12 The power of language at shaping worlds
12-13 Communication as commitments and action, including conversations for action and possiblities
13-14 Detecting, Appropriating, navigating, offering, mobilizing


Innovating the Future, Futurist article
Overview of the eight practices, 8P Summary
Why our theories of innovation fail us, CACM article
Flores's account of innovation (with Fernando Flores), Emergent Innovation
Basis of the skill set, Surfing toward the future
Chile Report, Chile Report
Design thinking in computing commentary, Design Thinking
For managing your personal commitments, Managing Time
For managing your coordinations, Managing Time, Part 2
For well grounded assessments, The Grounding Practice
For recognizing and managing moods, Moods
For managing group moods, Moods, Wicked Problems, and Learning
For commitments, identity, history, and CFAs, The Other Side of Language
Sudden unpredictable changes looming, Avalanches are coming
Cultivating new military leadership sensibilities, Being in uncertainty

Related Books

Denning, Peter, and Robert Dunham. 2010. The Innovator's Way. MIT Press.

Flores, Fernando. 2013. Conversations For Action and Collected Essays: Instilling a Culture of Commitment in Working Relationships. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Gibson, Rowan. 2015. The Four Lenses of Innovation. Wiley. [A good account of ideation consistent with the emergence interpretation.]