More Recent Essays by Andrew Hargadon



The Challenges of Sustainable Innovation
Pick up any list of "most innovative companies" (there are dozens published each year) and three things become immediately apparent. First, there is no shortage of role models for innovation. In fact, outside the crowd favorites (Apple, Google, and Facebook) there is not much overlap between lists. Read full post

Faster, better, cheaper: Pick any two.
Is it time to revisit (or visit for the first time) some of the central challenges of developing and launching sustainable innovations? With the demise of Solyndra and  Beacon Power still recent memories; with  Ener1 entering bankruptcy; and the recent disclosures that EV makers  Fisker Automotive and  Tesla are troubled, it may be long overdue. Read full post

The challenge of innovating in brownfield versus greenfield markets
Across the globe, many of the opportunities for sustainable innovation will be in mature markets like energy, transportation, agriculture, construction and will present very different challenges from those of innovating in information technology, Internet applications, or social media. The differences between driving change in these different conditions is a defining characteristic of each-something that entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers alike seem to forget. Read full post

The Breakthrough Bias
We associate innovation with dramatic technological or market breakthroughs that revolutionize industries overnight. So much so that despite continuing evidence to the contrary-that both today's most successful organizations and most revolutionary technologies were not new-organizations, policy makers, and the public show a breakthrough bias when pursuing, funding, or anticipating innovation. Read full post

Risk, Uncertainty, and the Challenge of Sustainable Innovation
Innovation is risky business. For companies pursuing sustainable innovations, these risks take on the scale of the effort and the context of the problems, the politics, and the markets involved. The most important aspect of this challenge to sustainable innovation is understanding the nature of risk at work. Without this understanding, innovation efforts are paralyzed and innovation policies-especially those intending to promote new investments-stifle them instead. Read full post

The Challenge of Innovating against declining resources
Anyone pursuing sustainability through innovation faces the defining challenge of finding growth in the face of declining resource stocks. It's not a new challenge, by any means, but it is at the core of pursuing sustainable innovaitons. And you won't find it in the typical narratives celebrating innovation or understanding how to manage it. Read full post
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AndrewHargadonAndrew Hargadon is the Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis. Hargadon's research focuses on the effective management of innovation, particularly sustainable innovation, and he is author of numerous articles, essays, and the book How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate (Harvard Business School Press).

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