Innovating with a community

In a new article, Erik Simanis and Stuart Hart offer an interesting perspective on innovation. In particular, they offer a vision of a world in which businesses and communities are more closely intertwined.

The authors contrast “structural innovation” that companies have traditionally practiced — a transaction-oriented model where companies try to create better products to satisfy markets’ unmet needs –with a model they refer to in terms of “business model intimacy” and “embedded innovation.” In this model, a business innovates by entwining closely with a community to improve people’s lives. An example is Grameen Bank, with its microlending program in Bangladesh that grew out of founder Muhammed Yunus’ personal experience with Bangladeshi villagers.

Write Simanis and Hart:

At its foundation, business model intimacy is a kind of relationship in which the identity of a community is fused with that of a company. The glue that binds this shared identity is a jointly constructed vision of a better life and community — a strategic community intent — anchored around a new business.

You can read more about this concept in Simanis and Hart’s article, “Innovation From the Inside Out.”

Erik Simanis and Stuart Hart offer an interesting perspective on innovation in an article in the the new Summer 2009 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.  In particular, they offer a vision of a world in which businesses and communities are more closely intertwined.

The authors contrast "structural innovation" that companies have traditionally practiced -- a transaction-oriented model where companies try to create better products to satisfy markets' unmet needs -- with a model they refer to in terms of "business model intimacy" and "embedded innovation." In this model, a business innovates by working closely with a community to improve people's lives. An example is Grameen Bank, with its microlending program in Bangladesh that grew out of founder Muhammad Yunus' personal experience with Bangladeshi villagers.

Write Simanis and Hart:

At  its foundation, business model intimacy is a kind of relationship in which the identity of a community is fused with that of a company. The glue that binds this shared identity is a jointly constructed vision of a better life and community -- a strategic community intent -- anchored around a new business.

You can read more about this concept in Simanis and Hart's article, "Innovation From the Inside Out."

 

1 Comment On: Innovating with a community

  • miguel | July 18, 2009

    Innovation in a community is an issue from years ago in Mexico and other places above the world, for example, we work for a solidarity economy in San Ildefonso, Amealco, Queretaro in Mexico central region where indigenous people is improving their life. We are no “non profit”, but we work with higer solidarity vision. We are not goberment but we work with with a patern of justice in the benefits distribution, and democracy. We are no so big as Grameen Bank, not yet, but the powerful of the people´s work has the same meaning. I am glad you begin to talk about businness in comunties!

    This post from a mexican in Queretaro in his first visit to your site. It would be better for us if the site had the spanish option but it´s ok, thanks

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