Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

The October 2018 acquisition of Red Hat by IBM gives me hope.  Both IBM and Red Hat have been champions in promoting open sourcing behaviours.

Open sourcing is an open innovation behaviour related to, but distinct from, open source as licensing.  [Ing (2017) chap. 1, p. 1].

The label of open sourcing frames ongoing ways that organizations and individuals conduct themselves with others through continually sharing artifacts and practices of mutual benefit. The label of private sourcing frames the contrasting and more traditional ways that business organizations and allied partners develop and keep artifacts and practices to themselves.  [Ing (2017) sec. 1.2, p. 5].

The label of open source is most readily recognized from software development. An open source license allows free use, modification and sharing.  Open sourcing is a norm where the resources of system internals, e.g. artifacts and practices, are shared in a community beyond the originators.  Private sourcing is coined as a norm where the resources of system internals are reserved within a privileged group.  [Ing (2017) sec. 1.3, p.6]

This deal continues a socio-economic trajectory by IBM …

  • starting in 1993 with the Lou Gerstner expectation of “open, distributed user-based solutions” after the Chantilly meeting [Ing (2017) sec. 2.3.1, pp. 55-56];

November 2nd, 2018

Posted In: governance, innovation, technologies

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Recordings of the book launch proceedings are now available as a web video playlist, and downloadable files.

Open Innovation Learning: Theory building on open sourcing while private sourcing was first released as a perfect bound softcopy and an open access PDF in November 2017.  In February 2018, the ePub and Mobi editions were put online.

On February 21, a special session of Systems Thinking Ontario invited friends and colleagues to celebrate the publication that had taken most of the past three years in full-time research and writing.  The recordings are available in 4 parts:

  • 1. Welcome, by Peter Jones
  • 2. Self-introductions by attendees in the audience
  • 3. Highlights of the book, presented by David Ing
  • 4. Commentary by Stephen Perelgut and Tim Lloyd, followed by questions from the audience

With family, friends and colleagues attending, this was one of the most memorable evenings of my life.

1. Welcome, by Peter Jones

As the official host of Systems Thinking Ontario at OCADU University, Peter Jones served as the master of ceremonies.

The files are also available for download onto a mobile device.

Digital video
(5m48s)
H.264 MP4 WebM
[20180221_1840_ST-ON OILTB_Jones HD_504kbps.m4v]
(HD 504Kbps 28MB)[20180221_1840_ST-ON OILTB_Jones nHD_49kpbs.m4v]
(nHD 49Kkps 8MB)
[20180221_1840_ST-ON OILTB_Jones HD_826kbps.webm]
(HD 826Kbps 45MB)[20180221_1840_ST-ON OILTB_Jones nHD_120kbps.webm]
(nHD 120Kbps 13MB)
Digital audio
(5m48s)
[20180221_1840_ST-ON_OILTB_Launch_Welcome_PeterJones.mp3]
(5MB)

Peter explained the Nordic tradition of presenting dissertation research in a venue open to the public. While this gathering was not so formal, my participation with Systems Thinking Ontario and OCAD University made this assembly a natural session.

June 2nd, 2018

Posted In: innovation, pattern language, services, systems

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Making my dissertation relevant to non-academics calls for a change in style.  An invitation to speak at the Open Data Häme workshop, following announcement of funding by the European Regional Development Fund, gave a venue to unveil some normative theory-building from my research potentially useful in the real world.

This talk was fewer slides, and more talk.  With 9 content slides to cover in about an hour, the agenda was:

  • 1. Why does open data mean open sourcing (with commercial potential)?
  • 2. When did open data begin? What’s the history?
  • 3. How do behaviours change with open innovation learning?

The slides had been posted on the Coevolving Commons in advance of the event.

The slides has now been matched up with the digital audio recording, for viewing as a web video.  Another voice in the mix is Minna Takala, as a Senior Advisor at Häme Regional Council.

The audio recording was exceptionally clear, and is downloadable (so boosted volume is probably unnecessary).

Audio
Digital audio
(1h03m08s)
[20170810_Hame_Ing mp3] (58MB)
[20170810_Hame_Ing 3db mp3] (volume boosted 3db, 58MB)
[20170810_Hame_Ing 6db mp3] (volume boosted 6db, 58MB)

Alternatively, downloadable video files may be better for people on the move.

Video H.264 MP4 WebM
Digital video
(1h03m08s)
[Hame_Ing_HD  m4v]
(HD 325Kbps 238MB)
[20170810_Hame_Ing_nHD m4v]
(nHD 109Kkps 97MB)
[20170810_Hame_Ing webm]
(HD 470Kbps 212MB)
[20170810_Hame_Ing nHD webm]
(nHD 177Kbps 80MB)

The first part of the talk places open data in the larger context and trend towards the behaviour of open sourcing, and open innovation. Open sourcing enables visibility into system internals, in contrast with private sourcing that makes internals opaque.  The rise of open sourcing became more noticeable with the advent of open source licensing in software, but can generalized outside of technology with an example of raising and catching salmon.

September 2nd, 2017

Posted In: innovation

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At the Oxford Futures Forum 2014, hosted by the Saïd Business School, I was invited to be a participant in a generative dialogue.  Each of the invitees was requested to submit a 250-word abstract and an image four months ahead of the event.  In two days, we had three group discussion meetings, where individuals were free to go to other groups (or form new groups) according to the ideas emerging from the dialogue.

This event runs on the Chatham House Rule:

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

Further, in a generative dialogue, ideas flow and merge as participant learn from each other, so representations related to people outside of the involved group don’t get a full appreciation for the unfolding learning.  Having been a participant in a series of prior IFSR Conversations that similarly focus on generative dialogue, any describing of the experience turns out somewhat inadequate.  The most that can be related to others are “proceedings”, where some of the ideas in progress are captured.  As a participant in Oxford Futures Forum, I was involved in three rounds of conversations, which can be roughly framed as:

  • design and scenarios to instigate change (as an introductory clustering to start the first round);
  • methods framing (as the emergent theme from the first round to go into a second round); and
  • scenario-buffered design (as the label that was presented as the conclusion of the third round).

Based on the abstract I had contributed some months earlier, the conference organizers initially slotted me into the “Design and Scenarios to Instigate Change” group.  A few of us had brief contact on a teleconference a few weeks before arriving at the event, and then in the pub on the night of arrival.  When the full group finally met face-to-face, we still didn’t really know each other.  As a way of getting involved with others, we were asked to present the abstract of another person from the group.  From those foundations, we started a loose discussion making sense of some common themes.  The organizers helpfully provided a note taking volunteer, Saba Riaz, to record some of this preliminary dialogue — a challenging flow to track, as the round 1 groups tried to make sense of  the ideas of others, as well as ourselves!  The proceedings (final report) included the following synopsis:

Round 1: Design and scenarios to instigate change

August 18th, 2014

Posted In: design, innovation

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In my dissertation for Aalto University, I’ve chosen the label of “private source” in opposition for the label “open source”.  This dissertation has been under development for some years.  In November 2012, the annual Arctic Workshop — a meeting of graduate students and supervisors of the Finnish Doctoral Program in Industrial Engineering and Management — was scheduled to bring together participants from across Finland.  With a theme for 2012 of “Innovation and Sourcing”, and an opportune opening on my calendar, I went to Finland to participate.

As a graduate student, I prepared an article and presentation slides for the event.  The abstract sent in advance said:

This research paper is an excerpt from a forthcoming dissertation titled “Open source with private source: coevolving architectures, styles and subworlds in business”. The content has been extracted from the first and second chapters, particularly on foundational definitions. It has being contributed to the Arctic Workshop 2012 as a research paper as part of a thesis under development.

This thesis, as a complete work, inquires into the question: How do open source and private source coexist and coevolve as patterns of behaviour in business? The research approach chosen is inductive, from nine cases in which both open source and private source have been in play. Theories built in the fully-developed thesis are placed into pluralistic contexts, as an inductive approach to multiparadigm inquiry.

Coincident with the theme of “Innovation and Sourcing” for the Arctic Workshop 2012, this research paper aims to explain the terms “open source” and “private source”, mostly as distinct patterns as phenomena in contemporary business. The larger agenda of research into open source with private source has been largely precluded due to length.

While most people think that “open source” is about software, it’s about much more than that.  In addition, the label of “private source” has been carefully chosen with a deeper meaning, in contrast to labels of “closed source” or “proprietary”.

Since I’m about halfway through writing the first manuscript of the dissertation, I expect that these excerpts from the first and second chapter will eventually be revised.  The prescribed page limit (of 15 pages) was enough to introduce open source and private source, but not open source with private source.  A dissertation of 100 pages is normal.  I expect that my dissertation will much long than that.  Perhaps the average reader may be satisfied with this shorter excerpt.

[See the presentation and article on “Open source, private source: foundations” on the Coevolving Commons]

January 24th, 2013

Posted In: innovation, systems

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On more than one occasion, I’ve heard IBM executives assert:

The nature of innovation has changed. In the 21st century, innovation is open, collaborative, multidisciplinary and global.

The ideas of open, collaborative, multidisciplinary and global appeared in the Global Innovation Outlook 2.0 report that was published in mid-2006. These words appeared on IBM-internal slides presented by Nick Donofrio at an Consulting Leadership Exchange in September 2005, and at the external-facing conference on Education for the 21st Century in October 2006 … with lots of other occasions in between. But what do these four words mean?

To make some sense for myself, I’ve extended these words into phrases and contrasted their contexts in a table .

  Industrial age nature of innovation   21st century nature of innovation
Strategy Private methods and development enabling autonomous control over designs + Open standards and interfaces leveraging expedient platforms for advancing designs
Relationship Transactional production chains linked by inter-organizational contracting + Collaborative alliances coproducing accelerated learning
Method Analytical problem-solving + Multidisciplinary conversations
Economics Colonial trade + Global talent

I’ve been listening to audio recordings of Donofrio in conversation, as well as following Irving Wladawsky-Berger’s blog. While I believe that my reasoning is consistent with theirs, this is not something they’ve endorsed. When I present the right column to audiences, I generally see nods in agreement. At the same time, the implications of a contrasting left column on current business practices provokes some deeper reflections. Let me unpack each of the four points.

June 13th, 2008

Posted In: innovation

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