Is Asia Dropping the Ball on Innovation?


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Here you get a few reasons why I worry that Asia is dropping the ball on innovation:

No interest or activity: Business is finally picking up when it comes to talks and consulting work on innovation. This comes from everywhere – except from Asia, which is just dead silent. I have also reached out to many corporate innovators in Asia in order to get to know them better and see if I can identify some good cases or stories for my writing. Nothing really happens.

No cases: Where are the good cases on Asian innovation? If we exclude India, which has had good coverage based on great management thinkers, strong companies and the frugal / jugaad method, we just don’t hear much about innovation in Asia.

Someone might mention Samsung here, but hey, most of their innovation stories evolve around their U.S. based initiatives. Asian companies – and the innovation ecosystem around them – need to do a better job of story-telling here. Or could it be that Asian is not really that innovative? I don’t buy this…

No hotspots, no infrastructure: Many other regions – including emerging ones like Africa and South America – have cities or clusters where you see lots of innovation activity that drives the innovation movement forward not only for the specific city, but for even greater areas.

I just don’t see this in Asia. I gave up on China a while back because of the difficulties in engaging local companies and even though I have visited Singapore several times and see a great potential here, this has just not been unleashed yet.

Where are the networks, interest groups, big companies, universities and academics and government initiatives that can turn a city or region into a hotspot? I miss this.

I know that we should not generalize like this, but in this case I do see this as an Asian thing as I have such a hard time identifying strong pockets of success and opportunity with regards to innovation anywhere in the region.

What are your views on this? I would only be thrilled to learn that my views are too negative : – )

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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