Thursday, 24 May 2007

Hyperinnovation Quotation.

'Breakthrough innovations rarely occur within a technical discipline, or within a market, but almost always where you create a novel intersections.'

Prof. Clayton Christensen, Harvard University.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Concurrent Engineering and Hyperinnovation.

Concurrent Engineering (CE) has moved on leaps and bounds since my first CE project back in 1984. Some of the most progressive stances today are looking at the Complexity Sciences and how thay can be applied to help understand the dynamics and improve the control of CE projects.

Hyperinnovation does just this: it moves on from multifunctional team based CE, to self-organising swarm systems based on the dynamics of complex adaptive systems.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

The First Principle of Hyperinnovation.

Many moons ago, a tutor of mine gave up the fact that a student studying science at high school has the opportunity to learn more about the laws of physics than Sir Isaac Newton ever did, or could have known in his time.

Since that day, I’ve long wondered how knowledge develops, how ignorance can blossom to enlightenment, how seemingly mystical breakthroughs in understanding come from simpler, less structured understandings; but more, how complex innovations, such as the SpaceLab, originate from much lesser innovations?

After much thought and deliberation over the years, it became clear that the answer may lay in the ‘synergy’ that emerges from the many interconnections amongst ideas. In fact, we find that the output or whole activity is greater than the sum of individual agents: 1+1+1+1=6?

The secret: 4 agents in a network have 6 possible interconnections.

In math terms, for every agent that joins a network, so the number of new interconnection possibilities, and thus innovations, goes up geometrically. There is in fact a principle of innovation at work here. I call it the First Principle Of Hyperinnovation:

The potential for Hyperinnovation is proportional to the number of meaningful interconnections between agents. Meaningful as in those interconnections that hold a level of perceived or authentic value.

As an indication of the potential for Hyperinnovation, the number of possible (meaningful or otherwise) interconnections, is toward one half the square of the sum of agents in a network.

Thus, 10 agents in a network would have 45 possible interconnections. 100 would have 4,950 possible interconnections. 1000 would have 499,500 possible interconnections. 1,000,000 agents would have over 499 billion possible interconnections.

The payoff: for every new scientific discovery, consequent technology, every new idea, every piece of knowledge coupled to a network, so the number of innovation possibilities increase dramatically, so driving the synergy among ideas further and faster up-hill.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Hyperinnovation (Example 6): Multidimensional Learning:

In this rapidly interconnecting world, more and different problems need a network-knowledge approach. As processes and outcome become more interrelated with other processes and outcome, we need people that can break down the lines and borders of knowledge into broad interconnected wholes.

Thus the coalescing a variety of knowledge-bases and concepts from narrow subjects and disciplines, into synthesised arenas and cross-interrelated pools becomes preminant.

Core-subject are still abound, but they are evolving at warp speed. The goal is to become Hyperskilled, Hyperknowledged: So an Engineer need not only be studious in electronics, software and mechanics, but also become a Businessman, an Ecologist, a Behavioural Psychologist, a Biologist, a Chemist and Physicist, all at once. A Nurse, a competent Medical Technician, a Counsellor, a Social Worker, a Communication Specialist, a Computer Technician, at one and the same time.

One organisation enabling the emergence of Hyperleanng is Rice University's 'Connexions' (see Blog Friends Sidebar) an open source environment for rapid collaborative development, free sharing, and rapid publishing of scholarly content on the Web.

Most textbooks are a mass of information in linear format: one topic follows after another. However, our brains are not linear - we learn by making connections between new concepts and things we already know.

Connexions mimics this by breaking down content into smaller chunks, called modules, that can be linked together and arranged in different ways. This lets students see the relationships both within and between topics and helps demonstrate that knowledge is naturally interconnected, not isolated into separate classes or books.

One consequnce here? We will see the narrow specialist begin to disapear, and the rise of the multidimensionalist rapidly emerge.... Go figure! Go Hyperinnovation!!