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High-Tempo Innovation

Like an elastic band, I keep returning to issues around innovation. I am in the process of writing a large bid (with many other academics) about the Digital Economy and we want to talk about innovation without repeating the rather stale, well-trampled ground of open innovation, user focused bah blah blah

This is motivated not only for a desire to be distinctive but more importantly to get to grips with what we think is a new mode of innovation activity. We think that innovation is happening more quickly (and accelerating) in virtual/digital contexts and is increasingly outstripping innovation in physical contexts that are more limited by physical logistics and organisational inertia. This is creating a disjunction and further a void between digital and physical innovation that is set to widen in the future, perhaps a s a stimulus for physical innovation and so a coming together, perhaps the start of a major schism.

We are searching for a way to describe this discontinuity, and what we think is a new sort of innovation, not just in the rate of innovation but more aagh I want to say open / democratic / fluid / dynamic. As a placeholder, we are using kinetic innovation, for me this is interesting as it has connotations of energy, movement and (for me anyway) relates to a meta-movement of innovation itself rather than seeing innovation merely as an engine of change.

Having said this I’m also drawn to the term ‘high-tempo Innovation’. This reflects the fast and furious’ and not necessarily high quality, or considered or even productive innovation that characterises at least a significant portion of innovation in the ‘wild west’ of the digital realm.


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