Can Asia Beat the Western World on Innovation?


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My recent blog post, Are Asians Capable of Innovation?, generated lots of comments on my blog and on various LinkedIn groups.

A recent comment from Rudolf Kutina went like this (slightly edited):

“What you see today is “Just follow the money” strategy, but in 10 years Asians well beat us on innovation and in 20 years they will teach us innovation methodologies. The main reason is that Asians today are managed to be multi-disciplined, while we just try to dive deeper in just one direction. Thus in the long term view our ability to innovate is really limited BY TIME.”

As I spend more time in Asia, I see innovation is maturing and getting more sophisticated. Overall, I believe the future of innovation belongs to Asia in particular and to some extent also South America and perhaps even Africa. I do not have much faith in Europe due to a general lack of the entrepreneurial drive you find in emerging markets as well as in the United States.

Let me get back to the title question and let me ask a couple of related questions.

Can Asia beat Europe and perhaps even the United States when it comes to innovation?

If so, when will this take place and what will be the key drivers for this to happen?

How will Asian innovation impact the global innovation community?

Which Asian countries are best prepared to climb the innovation rankings?

In short, what is your take on Asian innovation and the impact it will have in the next 5-10 years?

Reverse innovation is good example on what could happen – or is happening. Check these links: What Is Reverse Innovation? by VJ Govindarajan’s blog and Reverse Innovation on Wikipedia

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.


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