Innovation Publications

Peter J. Denning

Automation will Change Sea Power. (with John Arquilla) (USNI Proceedings June 2019) Arquilla and Denning discuss the implications of the AI revolution on military strategy and changing face of battle. They conclude that human-machine teaming holds the best prospect for trustworthy, human-compatible AI. (First Prize in USNI/NPSF essay contest.)

Winning at Innovation. (IEEE Computer, November 2018.) Those who interpret innovation as invention will be losers. Those who interpretation innovation as adoption of new practice in a community will be winners.

Pluralistic Coordination (With Fernando Flores and Gloria Flores)(From Business, Social, and Technological Dimensions of Computer Games, IGI Publications, 2011). Two questions are examined. Why is coordination so hard to achieve when teams are diverse? Are there conditions under which players of MMOGs can learn skills of effective coordination and transfer these skills to real teams?

Innovating the Future: From Ideas to Adoption. Futurist, the World Future Society (, (Jan-Feb 2012). Futurists and innovators can teach each other lessons to help their ideas succeed.

The End of the Future. May 2011. Brian Branagan interviews PJD for Ubiquity on the messy business of predicting the future.

Getting Your Ideas Adopted. The Bent, Tau Beta Pi (March 2011). You can eliminate most of the frustration about getting your ideas adopted by choosing eight practices for your work and life.

The Innovator's Way: Essential Practices of Successful Innovation (with Robert Dunham). MIT Press (2010). The success rate at innovation projects is abysmal -- around 4%. This is because we have been looking at innovation in the wrong way -- as a process that fosters creation of good ideas and seeks to sell them as products. A much better way is to interpret innovation as a skill of generating adoption of new practice in a community. Individuals, teams, organizations, and networks can all exhibit the skill, both personally and collectively. The skill consists of eight practices, which can be learned through practice and can significantly raise the success rate.

Orchestrating Coordination in Pluralistic Networks (with Fernando Flores and Peter Luzmore). (March 2010) Learning to build virtual teams of people of diverse backgrounds is an urgent challenge.

Getting to "We". (April 2008) Solidarity, not software, generates collaboration.

Mastering the Mess. (April 2007). We frequently find ourselves immersed in intransigent situations whose resolution demands a disruptive innovation. There are useful strategies for these situations.

Innovation as Language Action. (with Bob Dunham) (May 2006). Special section on language-action, Hans Weigand, Ed., May 2006. By learning seven foundational practices, anyone can become a skillful innovator.

The Social Life of Innovation. (April 2004) Fostering a change of practice in a community is much harder than inventing a new technology. The practice of innovation can be learned -- once you know what it is. In Spring 2004, John Gehl interviewed PJD for ACM's Ubiquity on-line magazine.

Accomplishment. (July 2003) Language-action philosophy uncovers the truth about effective coordination and accomplishment.

The Missing Customer. (March 2003) We can no longer afford to treat our customers as abstract entities. They are real people with real concerns looking for our professional help.

Career Redux. (September 2002) How can one design a career when career as an institution is dead? Entrepreneurs have an answer.