The Grey Chronicles


19 Innovation Insights from GIO 2.0, Part III

gio20IBM’s Global Innovation Outlook [GIO] is the equivalent of IMF’s World Economic Outlook. GIO 2.0 (2006) focused on three areas: enterprise, transportation and the environment. This is a continuation of the yesterday’s post on 19 Innovation Insights from GIO 2.0 focusing on innovation on transportation. After previously posting IBM and GIO where an expanded version of a single paragraph on IBM’s strategy of innovation in my case analysis of the company as required by a management course in Business Policy, I believe the 19 insights presented in the GIO 2.0 also deserved a lengthier exposition.

The Environment

Ecological responsibility and business responsibility both reject waste and profligacy; both embrace the notion of responsible stewardship and investment of assets in order to reap greater returns in the long term. It is easier to imagine a world in which environmental protection and economic prosperity are not only compatible but simultaneously attainable.

All’s well that ends well. “Viewing product lifecycles from back to front may point to a host of new opportunities in which smart, progressive businesses and governments can realize economic advantages by pursuing environmentally sound practices. . . designing for downstream allows manufacturers to see their products in more modular ways, and focuses energy around parts that truly need to be updated.”

Annotations: In the future, one might not buy the newest model of any electronic device but would rather just upgrade the embedded software. The future looks like full of updates, add-ons, plug-ins and componentized gadgets!

The reverse supply network. “There is the possibility of massive waste reduction through new collaborative relationship within and across ecosystems if businesses networked their reverse supply chains: sending used components and manufacturing by-products back and forth to one another. . . In essence, manufacturers might begin to see the lifecycle as not so much end-to-end but unending.”

Annotations: How come we are are seeing words “end-to-end” when the operative word is lifecycle? This limited term might have been coined by a biologist-manager? Probably a new technical word should be proposed: Perpetual development, anyone? Or should we retain: continual improvement?

Regulation: innovation’s friend or foe. “Regulation may actually impede innovation; vis-a-vis regulation is, in fact, driving most innovation around product composition and decomposition. . . There is a need for tighter linkage between business and government in determining those approaches that will best protect the respective interests of industry and society. . . Trust and shared responsibility would emerge as drivers of lasting and meaningful progress.”

Annotations: The question boils down to: whose ultimate responsibility is the environment: governments, manufacturers, retailers or end users. The obvious answer is: ALL OF US!, we each play respective roles in the environment and without which where would we be?

From trash to treasure. “What if landfills were viewed instead as above-ground mines? . . It may soon be possible to turn our electric and electronic castoffs into a compost of sorts. In the future, one person’s garbage may literally be another one’s gold.”

Annotations: The key: Use and Re-use. Greenpeace be with you!

Seeing is behaving. “We need profound changes in behavior—from individual purchase patterns to business processes to societal mindsets. . . The root cause of many environmental issues is that there is no line of sight between behavior and the environmental consequences of that behavior; as well as there is no clearer and continual line of sight into the consequences of individual and business actions.”

Annotations: Accuracy and precision are two different concepts. The target should be in the cross hair, and don’t breathe heavily, otherwise focus is lost.

Mighty micropower “is often considered the best energy solution for rural areas—particularly in developing countries—where no centralized power grid is available. . . More often than not, in developing world, micropower isn’t a choice; it’s the only option.It is not just an energy source; it is the first step in economic stability.”

Annotations: Are we seeing a future whereby our individual carbon footprint becomes our fingerprint?

Troubled waters?. “Water remains one of the most undervalued and misused resources on the planet. . . The private sector can help by attacking a prime contributing factor: waste and misuse of available water resources.”

Annotations: Man can live without food for a week, but he’ll die of thirst in three days!


IBM (2006). Global Innovation Outlook 2.0. New York: International Business Machines Corporation, 2006. 50pp. back to text

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.


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