Real Innovation Requires a Community of Practice Fostering a Cascade of Inventions

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Community of Practice

In May of this year I was invited to take part in a month long group discussion on CPSquare where my consulting practice was the topic. This is the first question I answered, it was prompted by my opening statement.

Q: I was particularly struck by how the work you do tends to focus around communication and change.  I’m wondering if there are any emergent patterns in this area that you have uncovered? How do communities of practice facilitate your work (assuming that they do)?

A: Here are a couple of quick lessons learned:

  • Most sustainable changes are nurtured in communities of practice.
  • The idea of a lone inventor is accurate as far as it goes but most real innovation requires a reinforcing cascade of inventions.
  • The distinction between early customer and co-inventors or co-innovators is often artificial.

When we have a new technology we look very hard for communities that are already working with it, or related technologies or are focused on managing or addressing the problem or opportunity we would like to aim the technology at.

Related Blog Posts

CPSquare exploration of SKMurphy consulting practice

  1. “Sharing My Practice” Discussion with CPSquare: Intro
  2. Real Innovation Requires a Community of Practice Fostering a Cascade of Inventions
  3. Innovation Often Obsoletes Assumptions, Political Boundaries, and Work Process
  4. Changing Management’s View of an Innovation From “Probably Not a Good Idea” to “We’re Late”

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