3/2/2011: The Innovation Sweet Spot

Paul Masson set the context for the evening by presenting his research on maximizing innovation effectiveness. Drawing upon Aristotle, Darwin, and modern neuroscience, Masson made the case that there are inherent human tendencies of personal fulfillment, group engagement, cooperation and competition that are always in tension with one another.
 The “Innovation Sweet Spot” is attained by keeping these tensions in balance with one another.

Masson weighed in with with personal experience of the challenges involved with trying to calibrate for the sweet spot in large-scale innovation projects such as national standards for flight control systems and developing an off-shore wind energy project in Nantucket Sound, MA.

There was a great deal of engagement by the evening’s participants. There was vigorous debate on the practical application of Massons concept. Given the breadth of backgrounds in the room, there was a multitude of interpretations.

It seems that the innovation sweet spot has a lot to do with awareness, of human nature, and how organizational structures affect the expression of human nature in ways that can facilitate or impede innovation.

Innovation Sweetpot

4 thoughts on “3/2/2011: The Innovation Sweet Spot

  • March 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    *Sorry for the shoddy camera work. My video documentation strategy is a work in progress.

    Although I’m relatively new to SVII, the way that group dialogue picked up steam as the evening unfolded is encouraging to me that the vision for SVII events to become more participatory is starting to coalesce.

    • March 4, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Glad you picked up on the “highly participatory explorations” aspect of SVII gatherings. We have been evolving into a maximal interaction scenario which is very different from the traditional one person on the stage does all of the talking with a little bit of audience garnish for flavor, into more of a gumbo, where distinctly different concentrations of opinion flavors show up.

  • March 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Paul one of our long time regulars never fails to get the juices running when he speaks, wether on a podium or one-on-one. It was great to experience a lot of group discussion about the very compelling topic Paul launched about how does one innovate within large complicated systems with distributed political decision-making?

    You have to meet Paul in person as videos do not capture his intensity, dynamism and authenticity.

  • March 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    The model is new to me, and very inspiring. I enjoyed the conversations Wednesday night as everyone else did. Look forwards to next SVII event!


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