La frase

No hay inversión más rentable que la del conocimiento". Benjamín Franklin

miércoles, 26 de mayo de 2010

Los ojos frescos de la innovación – Entrevista con Catalina Ramos



Existen diferentes formas de  procurar el cambio en el mundo a través de la actividad particular o grupal. Para Catalina Ramos, bióloga (USB), consultora y docente universitaria, la respuesta reside particularmente en el tema de gestión de la innovación.
Cuando hablamos de innovación, ¿a qué nos referimos? “En todos los ámbitos de nuestra vida, la diversidad de ideas, el debate constructivo y el conocimiento deben ser parte esencial, si queremos crecer en todos los sentidos”, asegura Ramos. “La innovación aparece en un momento determinado como respuesta creativa a un problema práctico específico. Para que tenga sentido, tiene que haberse aplicado en el mercado (producto especifico), o tiene ponerla en práctica la comunidad, si hablamos de una innovación social”.
Los procesos de cambios son universales mas para que permanezcan. “Podemos conocer deinnovación en las empresas en sus departamentos de I&D [innovación y desarrollo] o en los laboratorios de investigación de las universidades,  tienen la función permanente de generar nuevas ideas, de producir nuevos mecanismos, de inventar caminos novedosos, desde la perspectiva de generación de conocimiento, y no todo lo que se produce allí luego se aplica en la realidad”confirma Ramos. “Cabe en ambos casos que alguien lo sistematice y lo formalice, para que pase a ser un proceso innovativo dentro de la organización y sea parte de su saber colectivo intangible”.
Bajo la dirección de Catalina Ramos será llevado a cabo el curso Innovación Estratégica: cómo abordar las crisis con creatividad el próximo 18 de junio en los espacios de FundaVAC, abierto a empresarios, miembros de la academia, organizaciones no gubernamentales y público en general. La pluralidad de los participantes constituiráun valor agregado en palabras de la facilitadora: “abrirá a los participantes hacia un horizonte más amplio, que le da elementos y herramientas nuevas con que abordar sus realidades particulares, con asentamiento en la realidad venezolana”.Puede conocer la agenda y condiciones de inscripción aquí.
Biomimética: innovación al natural
Desde su formación en biología, Catalina Ramos explica las huellas exitosas de la innovación en el mundo que nos rodea: “Duante millones de años de ensayo y error, la naturaleza ha producido soluciones efectivas a los problemas del mundo real. Hoy en día ya existe una disciplina que mira a la naturaleza con el objeto que nos acorte el tiempo de respuesta entre una situación real y nuestra innovación para resolverla: el campo de labiomimética aplica métodos y sistemas naturales a la ingeniería y la tecnología, y desde que existe esta disciplina, ha desarrollado un número de innovaciones muy superior al que la mente humana habría concebido por sí sola’.
- Estefanía Salazar V.

lunes, 10 de mayo de 2010

To Innovate, Create "Hunch-Friendly" Environments, by Kathleen Carr


If you want creativity, you need to encourage it, and allow time for it to percolate. That was the focus of this year's Front End of Innovation conference in Boston.
Steve Johnson, New Media professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, talked about the importance of creating a "hunch-friendly environment." That is, give your employees the latitude to explore their ideas and you'll be amazed what they come up with. Tim Berners-Lee, for instance, had 10 years of latitude to conceive of the Internet. Researchers from MIT, who were interested in space exploration were given untold amounts of time to track signals from Sputnick, and with that time they changed the future of the world. Their experiments led to current day global positioning systems.
Vijay Govindarajan, professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business and author of Ten Strategic Rules for Innovators and the forthcoming, The Other Side of Innovation, spoke about the importance of having a big dream, and in thinking in terms of next practices instead of best practices. When John F. Kennedy announced, "we'll put a man on the moon and bring him back before the end of the decade," people thought he was crazy. But we did it.
Teresa Amabile, professor at Harvard Business School spoke about the importance of respecting people and their ideas, and how people need to feel a human bond at work if they're going to feel invested. For managers in particular, she created this checklist that she encouraged everyone to use at the end of their day to assess employee engagement:
1. Did people get the personal support they needed?
2. Are people being dismissed?
3. Did I recognize people for the progress they made?
And Bert Jacobs, Co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist for Life Is Good said that when he was growing up, his family would sit around the dinner table and they'd ask each other to relate "something good that happened that day." And with that mindset, he's launched a mulit-million dollar company focused on the notion that life is something to be enjoyed and celebrated.
On my first day as an editor at Harvard Business Review, my manager said, "I want you to spend one hour everyday thinking. Just thinking." Wow, I thought, that's freeing. I took her seriously. I'd use that time to read magazines, read about other industries, people, and events. I'd chat with my colleagues in marketing and sales. I'd dream up new ways to publish content. I'd call my brother, a physician, and ask him what was new in healthcare. Of course, I wasn't always that productive. Sometimes I'd use the time to search the office for snacks or to call my mom. But when my manager gave me this directive, she also gave me quite a bit of respect. She was telling me that she valued my ideas. That it was worth it to her to pay me, just to think. And she immediately made me feel like I was part of something, and with that, I was hooked. She had my unwavering loyalty.
If you want your employees to be innovative, encourage it. Give them time. Recognize them. And be sure to ask them to tell you about something good that happened that week. If they don't have anything to report, it might be time to evaluate how you're encouraging them.