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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Disruptive Vs Incremental Innovation

In a recent debate going on at Economist http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/667
the topic is

which is better - Incremental Innovation - The Japanese Model
OR Disruptive Innovation - The "Western" Model

I posted my views as

Dear Sir,
The natural way a system changes is by evolution based on adapting to the change. However, it is clear the best way to adapt to change in the changing environment is to be the creator of change that one desires. As M.K. Gandhi said, "you being the change that you want to see in the world" - according to me there is no other better definition of Innovation than this. Best model for innovation is neither Japanese nor Western (read American). Here is the model - 1. define the key functions that the system need to deliver 2. define the IDEAL system delivering that function(s) - no cost, no resources and least complex structure and no harm to environment yet the key functions are delivered 3. start looking at options of making the ideal system - since it is ideal system it will not be achievable - look at the various ways to achieve as close to ideal system as possible 4. explore all paths in a set based manner - where you pursue sets of alternatives simultaneously as for example Toyota does 5. continue by Elimination of the weakest - not choose the survival of the fittest 6. Some paths will reach to the ideal system much sooner.

So in my opinion - this is the model Create an Ideal system (which may be disruptive) - but achieve it through multiple explorations simultaneously as you do not know which path connects with which future.

The above combines two very potent methods - one is the Russian TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving) and other from lean product development called Set Based Concurrent Engineering. We call these along with systems thinking as Lean Inventive Systems Thinking (LIST)

It is integrative - achieve disruption through simultaneous evolution

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