Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Innovation Investing

"However, so far the enthusiasm for social entrepreneurship has run ahead of its effects. The problem has not been lack of good ideas...The problem is...one of speed and scale. Successful innovations have spread only slowly."

The Economist, "Social Innovation: Let's Hear Those Ideas"
I've always wondered whether social innovations necessarily bring results. In fact, I've worked with organizations dedicated to innovation that were allergic to any kind of performance management. Knowing if something worked or did not work was anathema. A risk too far.

Also, annointing a social innovation a "best practice" before its even a reasonably good practice has been problematic and uunhelpful. Yet waiting for the random assignment study is sure to take a lot of time and diminish the most promosing of new ideas.

"The biggest obstacle in both America and Britain is likely to be the inertia of the bureaucratic, rule-bound public sector."

Indeed, many social innovations are bundling, integrating mechanisms to get around get around government silos and lack of entrepreneurial partnerships.

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