Using the S-Curve to identify potential disruptions

This is a continuation of my blog posts based on my research into how technological disruptions and change occurs. A widely publicised model is the S-curve model that enables the evolution of the performance of a technology (Foster, 1986a; Foster, 1986b). In management of technology textbooks, this model is used to make predictions about the… Continue reading Using the S-Curve to identify potential disruptions

Disruption, radical and incremental innovation

I am continuing with my sprint to write down the ideas and concepts that I am explaining regularly at different events and meetings (The earlier posts are all available on www.cunningham.org.za). The ideas about the fourth industrial revolution being disruptive are now discussed and repeated even by people who have very little understanding of technology… Continue reading Disruption, radical and incremental innovation

Technological change cycles

This is the 3rd post that draws from the research and advisory work I am currently busy with to strengthen South Africa’s technological capability to detect and better respond to discontinuous technological change. The citation information for this post is at the bottom of this post, and a link to the research report that I… Continue reading Technological change cycles

Technological architectures

An important distinction can be made between architectural innovation and component-level innovation. The architecture defines the way different components or subsystems are organised and how they interact with other components. Often architectures themselves form part of even larger webs of architectures. Innovations at the component level, which is a physically distinct portion of the technology… Continue reading Technological architectures

Becoming better at tracking how technologies change over time

The subject of how technologies evolve over time have been receiving a lot of attention over the last 40 years. Actually, much of the research work done in the late 80s and 90s are still relevant today. With all the talk of the fourth industrial revolution, the attention has shifted towards innovations coming from elsewhere… Continue reading Becoming better at tracking how technologies change over time

How to cultivate a more knowledge-intensive team or organisation

Germany, Berlin. Mesopartner Summer Accademy 2012. www.mesopartner.com.

It is interesting to reflect how over my career the organisations I work with have gone from trying to gather additional information from beyond the organisation to trying to make sense of all the information around them. Actually, some people I know are actively disengaging from reading newsletters, books, blog sites or other channels because… Continue reading How to cultivate a more knowledge-intensive team or organisation

How my praxis is changing

For many years, my practice was mainly about process consulting, with some research on the side. Because I love reading and theorising, my work always combined operational with conceptual development. I think my most significant value add to my clients was in the informal coaching and decision support I gave them on the side. Over… Continue reading How my praxis is changing

Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution a paradigm shift?

I am excited that the Helvetas Eastern European team asked me to write a blog post for their Mosaic newsletter about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The blog article and many others can be found here. Regular readers will know that I am not so convinced of one big revolution; rather that there are many smaller disruptions.… Continue reading Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution a paradigm shift?

Pondering disruptions and industrial revolutions

South African's visit industrial heritage brownfield in Germany in 2009

I am asked almost daily about my opinion about “the fourth industrial revolution”, technological disruptions and the impact on jobs. Depending on who asks, I might fire off a statement like “I don’t believe there is a fourth industrial revolution underway”. Or perhaps I might be a little bit more popular and say “I don’t… Continue reading Pondering disruptions and industrial revolutions