Rainforest Rev: Who Created the Economy?

THE BIG PICTURE


Who Created The Economy?

Evonomics
Economic prosperity was an evolutionary phenomenon. The more people trade and the more they divide labour, the more they are working for each other. The more they work for each other, the higher their living standards. The consequence of the division of labour is an immense web of cooperation among strangers. Read more…

The Dawn Of The “Craft Economy”?

Innovation Observer
Small companies can now compete with larger players, and even disrupt them with the ferocity not imagined just a few decades ago. The real question of today is how small and large companies can work together to ensure global economic growth through innovation. Read more…

How The Arts Add To Urban Economies

The Atlantic
A recent study finds substantial evidence that performing arts organizations can help cities attract talent, spur innovation, and grow their economies. These organizations can be the proxy for the broader creative and cultural climate of a city. Read more…

To Succeed As An Entrepreneur, Focus On The 5 Golden Priorities

Entrepreneur
Five priorities to serve as entrepreneurial groundwork: innovation, profitability, cash flow, culture and improvement. Read more…

THE LATEST NEWS


The Surprising Startup Hub That’s Second Only to Silicon Valley

Inc
The Nordic countries, particularly Sweden, have the highest percentage of unicorns per capita in the world, and have developed more successful brand-name billion-dollar startups. Read more…

How A Nation Of Tech Copycats Transformed Into A Hub For Innovation

Wired
China’s old attitude has been swept aside by a surge in prosperity. There is a new level of confidence and boldness in the country’s young urban techies. Read more…

Despite Unrest, The Israeli Tech Ecosystem Is Flourishing

Tech Crunch
Global capital is streaming into Israel, despite the regional instability. The Israeli venture ecosystem has more than doubled in two years. Read more…


Rainforest Rev: Does Corporate Culture Really Matter?

THE BIG PICTURE


The Big Question: Does corporate culture really matter?

Capital Ideas, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Corporate culture is the key determinate of the firm’s reputation. Culture acts as an overarching framework for employee behavior. Leaders demonstrate and set examples for others to follow. As the company grows, employee selection and training become the levers to inculcate the company core values. Read more...

Building A Rainforest Firm: Lessons From Silicon Valley

BuiltWorlds
Promote leaders who are “keystones” in leveraging the collaborative potential of your team. They will be brokers of trust and cooperation among everyone else in the firm. Read more…

An Evolutionary Approach to Sustainability Science

Social Evolution Forum
If the strength of selection on groups for resource conservation is stronger than the strength of selection on individuals for greater consumption, costly conservation practices and group-beneficial policies are likely to emerge. Read more…

7 Ways to Nurture Your Creative Soul

Entrepreneur
The bias of our perspective is rooted in our expertise; it influences the way we see the world. Step into the worlds of your teammates and study their processes and understand their methodology.  It can in turn provide insights on what you can tinker with your own creative process. Read more…

4 Key Ingredients For Creating An Ideas Incubator

Fast Company
Large companies must find a way to make these incubator initiatives feel like meaningful, all-or-nothing endeavors, much like how entrepreneurs feel. To stay on top through innovation, corporations need to adopt the hands-off stance of an investor. Read more…

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Engineers Meet Artists: Discover the Startup Ecosystem in Bristol and Bath

The Next Web
There’s a burgeoning startup ecosystem in Bristol and Bath, which form part of the so-called Silicon Gorge in the south west of England. Read more…

Silicon Prairie: Tech Startups Find A Welcoming Home In The Midwest

National Public Radio
One of the secrets to the economic success of Lincoln, a city with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, is a surprisingly strong tech startup community that is part of what some in the region are calling the Silicon Prairie. Read more…

These Are the 20 Richest Cities in America

Bloomberg Business
San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle house more headquarters of the world’s largest technology companies than other places. These cities are also some of the most productive hubs in the U.S. economy. Read more…


Rainforest Rev: Reinventing the Company

THE BIG PICTURE


Reinventing The Company

The Economist
Startups are redesigning the basic building block of capitalism. The disrupters are reinventing how business works. They are also reinventing what it is to be a company. Today’s startups are pioneering a new sort of company that can do a better job while exploiting new technology. Read more…

How Can Your Company Create A Culture Of Innovation?

World Economic Forum and Knowledge Wharton
We need to learn the art of celebrating failures and the lessons from those failures, so that people push the boundaries, try new things, experiment, co-create with the customers and build an environment that is full of innovation, and that keeps you progressing in short bursts along with your customer. Read more…

Innovation Isn’t So Much About The Eureka Moment

PBS Newshour
The processes to create the Reebok Pump & helmet impact sensor were mundane and tedious. First they establish a clear objective, then conceptualize what they want to do, explore what materials they need to build the product, and then assemble it. Read more…

THE LATEST NEWS


An Orange Carpet for Entrepreneurs

Kauffman Foundation
Four years after the White House launched the Startup America project, more than 60 nations have emulated the effort in different ways. The StartupDelta was set up to establish the Netherlands as one of the top three most attractive startup ecosystems in Europe. Read more…

Brunei Darussalam: A Time for Stock Taking

Southeast Asian Affairs
Brunei’s government is moving beyond the oil and gas industry, which has dominated its country. Progress can be seen in three clusters of domestic business enterprises: small/micro industries in services or products; Information and Communications Technology-related enterprises, and large industries through foreign investment and joint ventures. Read more…

The Best and Worst Countries to Run a Business, According to the World Bank

The Wall Street Journal
The top 10—the most business-friendly countries—were largely unchanged from last year, with Singapore holding its No. 1 ranking and the U.S. still in the No. 7 spot. Eritrea, Libya, South Sudan and Venezuela were ranked the worst countries to try and run a business, respectively. Read more…


Rainforest Rev: Innovative Organizations and Design Firms

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The Innovative Organization: Learning From Design Firms

INSEAD
Design firms align their innovation processes to discern unarticulated, even unconscious, user needs. Designers generate new ideas based on user insights within an atmosphere of freedom and playfulness. Producing fast and cheap dummy versions to test out concepts means that even when the experiments flop, failures are not negative events but learning experiences. Read more…

Winds Of Change At Dyson

Fast Company
The company’s innovation team comes up with a dozen prototypes, which are modeled and shown off to other engineers every week. The most promising, no matter how seemingly far-fetched, are sent to James Dyson himself. An engineer could work up his prototype and have it in hand by the end of the day.  Then comes the long testing process. Read more…

Why Lego’s CEO Thinks More Grown-Ups Should Play At Work

The Huffington Post
Playfulness is at the root of creativity. Injecting a sense of fun into work situations gives everyone permission to be more authentic and to take risks. Out of that comes greater innovation, more collaboration and richer learning. Read more…

Five Ways To Make Innovation ‘Sticky’

The Brookings Institution
Unfortunately, America’s ability to capture the benefits of the domestic scale-up of U.S. technology innovation remains spotty.  Making innovation sticky depends on strengthening local ecosystems. Read more…

Are Big Cities Still A Primary Engine For Scientific Innovation?

National Public Radio
Groups of people who are thinking about similar things – when they get together, they’re much more productive than if they were not together. A new analysis from Stanford University suggests that, when it comes to invention and to scientific innovation, it’s not as important as it used to be. Read more…

THE LATEST NEWS


Michigan State University Business Librarian Book Report

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance
If you are going to create new products or services, then The Rainforest Blueprint is insightful in helping you to conceptualize the goal of developing innovation capability and to plan the steps to carry it out. Read more…

Global Cities 2015: The Race Accelerates 

A.T. Kearney
Sixteen global cities dominate with their ability to attract and retain global capital, people, and ideas, as well as their future prospects. New York, London, Paris and San Francisco lead in the latest research. Read more…

Iran’s Digital Start-Ups Signal Changing Times

BBC
Western business people returning to Iran in the wake of the nuclear deal may be surprised to find plenty of entrepreneurial drive from a new generation of online start-ups, which have appeared despite years of international sanctions. Read more…

Santiago’s Startup Culture In ‘Chilecon Valley’

The Wall Street Journal
Start-Up Chile in Santiago provides entrepreneurs with $40,000 and a six-month residency visa to launch their businesses. The government aims to turn the city into Latin America’s innovation and tech hub. Read more…


Rainforest Rev: Five Character Traits Of Innovation Leaders

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Five Character Traits Of Innovation Leaders

Henry Doss, Chief Strategy Officer of T2 Venture Creation, from Forbes
The most powerful driver of discovery is transparency.  Look around your own organization. Where you see silos, you’ll see information hoards. Work for the love of change and improvement, rather than for what you get for yourself. As a leader of innovation, you may find your concern for the future to be a lonely spot.  Stay there. Read more here.

Using Emergence To Take Social Innovations To Scale

The Berkana Institute 
When separate, local efforts connect with each other as networks, then strengthen as communities of practice, suddenly and surprisingly a new system emerges at a greater level of scale. Emergence is how life creates radical change and takes things to scale. Read more here.

Digital Taylorism

The Economist
Frederick Taylor was the most influential management guru of the early 20th century. His “Principles of Scientific Management” was the first management blockbuster. A modern version of “scientific management” threatens to dehumanise the workplace. Read more here.

From Big Gods To The Big Brother

Cliodynamica
How did humans acquire capacity for cooperation in huge anonymous societies? Ara Norenzayan’s Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict, argues that Big Gods offer the ability to detect and punish immoral behavior. In modern societies we have all-to-real cops, judges, and IRS agents to do the job. Read more here.

THE LATEST NEWS


12th Global Innovation Forum Opens In Daejeon

Korea Times
T2VC’s CEO, Victor Hwang, gave a keynote speech in Korea last week. “Sixty-five percent of startups fail due to people issues. For this reason, there is a need for an evolution of design thinking. Overcome fear with trust. Trust the group you’re with”. Read more here.

Kenya: A startup Nation?

NewAfrican
Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, and its ICT Authority, jointly announced the launch of the Enterprise Kenya initiative – intended to improve the environment for technology entrepreneurs – in a bid to support local innovation and entrepreneurship. Read more here.

India Replaces China As Next Big Frontier For U.S. Tech Companies

The New York Times
India is now the world’s fastest growing major economy. The increasing appeal of India is underscored by India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi’s commitment to technology. Read more here.

To Whom Do Japan’s Most Powerful Turn For Advice? The Sensei Of Seaweed

The Wall Street Journal
The traditional business values in Japan, where long-term success and social cohesion are often favored over short-term profitability. Companies have to keep growing little by little, even if the pace is slow, rather than expanding and contracting erratically. Read more here.


Rainforest Rev: Emotions That Make Us More Creative

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The Emotions That Make Us More Creative

Harvard Business Review
Recent research suggests that the critical variable influencing one’s scope of attention is not emotional valence (positive vs. negative emotions) but motivational intensity, or how strongly you feel compelled to either approach or avoid something. Read more here.

Rules Of Engagement: How To Tango With Startups

Forbes
Big companies should create an ecosystem that encompasses partnerships with different types of entities. Also, they should build a portfolio of engagements that represents the different stages of innovation, from generating ideas to buying a technology to acquiring a company. Read more here.

Collaborative Innovation: Transforming Business, Driving Growth

World Economic Forum
European corporates and start-ups must collaborate more and better on innovation if Europe is to remain internationally competitive. Read more here.

How To Hack Creativity

The Next Web
Understanding the way your brain works and regularly training it can help you better exploit your limited creativity reserves and increase them over time. Read more here.

THE LATEST NEWS

Improving The Mongolian Labor Market And Enhancing Opportunities For Youth

RAND Corporation
Despite a recent slowdown, Mongolia has experienced dramatic economic growth in the 2000s, exceeding global trends. Foreign direct investment, mining, infrastructure spending, and strong fiscal and monetary stimulus measures have driven much of this growth. Read more here.

How Blazing Internet Speeds Helped Chattanooga Shed Its Smokestack Past

CNET
Chattanooga is building the largest and fastest Internet networks in the Western Hemisphere. It has attracted billions of dollars in new investment and a flock of entrepreneurs to the city. Read more here.

Getting To Cambridge

The Economist
A marriage of academia, private money and entrepreneurial savvy—exemplifies that of Cambridge. What began with the creation of business parks to host enterprising dons and their doctoral students in the 1970s has grown into the most exciting technology cluster in Europe. Read more here.

Women Make Strides In Business Ownership

The Wall Street Journal 
The growth rate of new businesses remains stalled, but the share of women-owned firms has climbed. Read more here.


Rainforest Rev: Human Capital and Celebrities’ Secret Invesments

THE BIG PICTURE


The Human Capital Report

World Economic Forum
Talent, not capital, will be the key factor linking innovation, competitiveness and growth in the 21st century. To unlock human capital, governments, business leaders, educational institutions and individuals must each understand better the global talent value chain. Read more here.

Innovation Ecosystems: A New Way of Seeing 

Go Productivity
An ecosystem is a nonlinear complex adaptive system, and is therefore not the sum of its parts. It constantly adapts to changes in the environment – often in unexpected ways. Within the system there are dynamic networks of interconnections, and creation, destruction, survival and evolution. Read more here.

The Celebrities Secretly Funding Silicon Valley’s Next Stars

The Washington Post
A growing number of Hollywood actors and musicians who have turned their attention up north in recent years, pouring their personal wealth into some of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups. Read more here.

What Steve Jobs Was Missing About Innovation

The Globe and Mail
In Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, he pushes readers to discover their purpose, cause, or belief that inspires them to do what they do. To better understand the connection between passion, innovation, and a clear “why” is to help you to gain clarity on why your company exists. Read more here.

THE LATEST NEWS


Adobe Kickbox Gives Employees $1000 Credit Cards And Freedom to Pursue Ideas

Forbes
Adobe puts the creative process in a box, packed with exercises, suggestions, and a checklist of six steps. Each box contains a set of actions that employees complete to reach the next level.  This makes the concept of innovation a lot less abstract. Read more here.

New Generation of Rwandan Entrepreneurs Offer Tech Solutions to Farmers’ Dilemmas

PBS Newshour
The rise in entrepreneurship in Rwanda was planned. By 2009, entrepreneurship classes were mandatory in secondary school. The government also runs workshops, radio programs and contests aimed at promoting entrepreneurialism. Strong entrepreneurship is equated with patriotism and nation-building. Read more here.

The State Creating the Most Green Jobs Is…Georgia?

Fortune
Georgia is beating out previous frontrunners like California and Texas.  Georgia is now No. 1 in clean-energy employment growth. Conservatives and left-leaning environmental groups pushed the state legislatures to support third-party solar-panel leasing. Read more here.

A Step Forward for ‘Womenomics’ in Japan

The Wall Street Journal
Japan raised the pressure on companies to hire more women and promote them to management, a key part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ’s efforts to revive an economy hobbled by a shrinking population. Read more here.


Rainforest Rev: Bias and Being Nice

THE BIG PICTURE


Please, Not Another Bias! An Evolutionary Take On Behavioral Economics

Evolving Economics
A large part of our evolved behavior involves our desire to signal important traits and qualities to potential mates, allies and rivals. Our evolved minds are sometimes out-of-sync with our modern environments. An evolutionary lens provides a guide as to what people are looking for in a product. Read more here.

It Pays To Be Nice

The Atlantic
What an organization is a bunch of people trying to do something together. The goal of a business is to get the members of the organization to put the good of the organization ahead of their own personal good. Read more here.

The World Needs A Secular Community Revolution

This View of Life
We’re less religious than ever, lonelier than ever, and the loneliness is making us unhappy and unwell. Solution? Building secular community to provide opportunities for people to establish high-quality social relationships that are intergenerational and diverse.Read more here.

Teamwork Gives Us Added Personbyte

Financial Times
The word “personbyte” describes the amount of knowledge that one person can reasonably know. The way to escape the constraint of the personbyte is to work in larger teams. More complex products require elaborate networks of teamwork and collaboration. Read more here.

My Real-Life Shark Tank: Tips For Winning Startup Pitches

By Victor Hwang, CEO & Co-Founder of T2 Venture Creation, from Forbes
The recent winner of TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield provides tips on how to win startup pitch contests, and tips for judging contests too. Read more here.

THE LATEST NEWS


From Casino Past To Entrepreneurial Future: Reno Remakes Itself

By Douglas Erwin, a friend and collaborator of T2 Venture Creation, from Kauffman Thoughtbook
EDAWN (Economic Development Agency of Western Nevada)created an entrepreneurial development strategy that leveraged the concepts from Brad Feld’s Startup Communities and Victor Hwang’s The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley. Read more here.

Top Countries & Industries Luring Global Talent: A LinkedIn Study Reveal

Entrepreneur
New data from LinkedIn shows certain professionals are moving away from countries like India and flowing into places like the United Arab Emirates. Tech and telecom play a prominent role among the most active migration countries. Read more here.

How Europe Is Finally Taking On Silicon Valley

Fast Company
The E.U. is taking legal and regulatory action that would boost local upstarts and rein in U.S. tech giants. The European Commission has proposed a plan to update and unify commercial regulations across Europe. Read more here.


Rainforest Rev: Altruism and Mindsets of Innovation

THE BIG PICTURE


Does Altruism Exist?

Cliodynamica
Cooperation, and group-level functional organization that produces cooperation, cannot be explained by selection within groups. It evolves primarily as a result of selection between groups. Read more here.

Naming the Mindsets of Innovation

Stanford Social Innovation Review
Social sector leaders can encourage innovation by fostering three productive mindsets. Read more here.

3 Questions: Economies as computers, products as information

Massachusetts Institute of Technology News
New book argues that economic development is a special case of the growth of information. Read more here.

Empire of the Geeks

The Economist
At its best Silicon Valley is an expression of iconoclastic freedom and creativity. It would be a terrible shame if it became an unpopular and remote manifestation of elitism. Read more here.

The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking

Startup Compass
A newly released 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking is here. Ecosystems have become more interconnected and startup teams have become more international. Read more here.

THE LATEST NEWS


Styling itself as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East’

Nikkei Asian Review
The establishment of a Free Trade Zone in Penang in the early 1970s has provided attractive incentives to foreign investors. Read more here.

How Did Israel Become a Hub for Innovation?

Wework
Though a unique combination of circumstances, culture, and a strong will to succeed, Israel becomes this hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. Read more here.

Denver Job Market Lures Millennials

The Wall Street Journal
Denver has long been a regional hub, with established industries such as oil and telecommunications that leaders have built upon to create thriving sectors such as energy information technology and digital health care. Read more here.


The Innovator’s Leadership Imperative

By Henry Doss, Chief Strategy Officer of T2 Venture Creation, from Forbes

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.  — Theodore Roosevelt

A quick read around in contemporary business writing might show that we are on the verge of elevating innovation and innovators to some kind of mythical status.  It is becoming commonplace to equate those who consciously seek the new, the different, and the disruptive with an exceptional class of leadership and extraordinary business value.   This may very well be true.  But at the end of the day, after all, even innovators are simply people engaged in the world, doing their best.  We elevate innovators to high organizational status at the risk of trivializing what they attempt.

Still, it’s worth remembering that those who choose consciously to cause or lead the growth of innovation in their organizations are engaged in changing things, in breaking things, sometimes in outright destroying things. More than anything else, they array their thinking and their beliefs and their actions in direct confrontation with the status quo.   In this role, innovators make choices and decisions that have implications not only for their own lives and careers and communities, but also for the work and life experience of all those around them.  Innovators make foundational assumptions about change and risk and value, and then seek to instill those very same values into their communities, and other individuals.  This is not an inconsequential matter.

Immanuel Kant took a definitive and uncompromising position about our accountability for truth and for our influence on and interaction with others:  “Act only on the maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”  At its simplest — and most profound — he is simply calling us to examine our own motivations as if they were universally applicable, and then consider the consequences of that universality.  If we apply this same thinking to our advocacy of innovation, we might begin to reshape our sense of our leadership accountability in ways that can be instructive and even a little sobering.

Anyone who is a champion of innovation is someone who by definition does things differently, and in ways that are almost always disruptive of the norm. Disruption, change and organizational turbulence are stressful and sometimes outright harmful, even when absolutely necessary.  The process of creative destruction — intentional or otherwise –  may very well be a creative process; but it is also after all a process of destruction, and destruction — creative or otherwise — has consequences for organizations and for individuals.  Innovators are the ones who seek out creation of the new and its attendant destruction of the old, and they often relish the process of destroying and rebuilding.  This is their calling and, more often than not, their natural inclination.  And it’s a powerful way of being. But not everyone in an organization will view the prospect of change and innovation as happily .  Therein lies the particular accountability — and leadership challenge — for innovators.

For the natural born innovator, risk and failure are akin to an old, comfortable pair of shoes.   Change for them is a preferred state of being, rather than something to be avoided.  The challenge comes when the risk-inclined begin to interact with and lead the risk-averse.  This presents a challenge on two levels.  It is on the one hand a management and leadership challenge to appropriately introduce risk-tolerance and a nuanced perspective on failure into organizations; on the other hand, it is also an issue of accepting accountability for actively changing other individual’s natural inclination or actions.  It is one thing for someone to be comfortable with risk, but quite another to insist on others adopting or accepting that perspective on risk. The innovator has the twin challenge of both working to help others accept a risk-oriented experience, and of accepting accountability for the consequences that go along with causing change in others.

Much of the success of any innovation culture rests on the foundation of individual and organizational trust systems.  The trust quotient of an organization is stressed and tested when it is being led in a direction where change and uncertainty are the norm.  Ultimately, this is actually a a good thing, because it is trust — given and received — that supports the relationships necessary to lead an organization to accept and embrace risk-based thinking and change.  So, what cultural attribute more than trust should be subject to periodic stress tests?    Change can be mandated, of course; but top-down, fiat-driven change is very unlikely to leave an organization in a powerful place. Change that is led by role models who are willing to accept personal risk to advocate change, and who will appropriately mediate the consequences of disruption, will in turn create long-term, lasting cultural norms amenable to adaptation and innovation.

This is the leadership imperative of anyone who wishes to be an innovator.   The charge is not only to innovate, but to mediate the consequences of innovation; not only to advocate change, but to guide others in embracing change; not only to resist the status quo, but to teach and support others in doing so.  It is this holistic, diverse and trusting leadership stance that will drive innovation over the long haul.

Henry Doss believes leadership will change the world.  His book, The Rainforest Scorecard, provides a guide to the measurement of innovation in organizations.