Wednesday, January 21, 2004

When CoPs Go Bad II

Imaginatik's Corporate Innovation Blog picked out another goodie on networking and innovation. We all know that weak ties - friends of friends - are most likely to spark real innovation. But as Boris at Imaginatik points out, this calls into question the claim that CoPs are innovative structures because what they do is take weak ties and strengthen them.
However, this isn't necessarily the end of CoPs in the corporate sense, because often the barrier to innovation isn't the bright idea - triggered by weak ties - but the ability of the organization to see it through to product (the 'amplification' of that idea through the various functions). If the CoP is aware of this, it can focus on keeping feelers in the outside 'world' for useful ideas to bring in and then nurture. Unlike the entrepreneur who is free to take an idea and run with it, the corporate innovator needs to roam in gangs.

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