Feedback (Comments)

Re: Clive Doucet’s case study, The Participative Budget in Porto Alegre: Insights from a Study Visit of a Canadian Councillor, The Innovation Journal, Vol. 7, No.3

April 13, 2004:

I quite agree with the observations made in Councillor Doucet’s note –
to a point. He is quite right that the budget process often looks like
an expenditure management exercise that is handled, for the most part,
behind closed doors. But it is, and is has not always been that way in
every Canadian municipality.

As a former municipal chief administrative officer, I took great pains –
working in partnership with my councils – to develop effective public
participation in a transparent exercise that focused on activity,
programs and services. And when we had determined – collectively – what
we all wanted, then the conclusion was inevitable: people had to pay for
what they wanted. That is the way the exercise should work.

My views on these matters was published in a series of articles carried
in Alberta’s Municipal Counsellor in 1980, Civic – Public Works in 1978,
and Urban Focus at Queen’s University in 1981.


David G. Jones
Directeur, Gestion du savoir / Director
Knowledge Management
Strategic Policy and Planning Branch /
Sous-direction de la planification et des
politiques stratégiques
(613) 993-0789

Re: Steve Bittner’s “Scientific Collaboration Between Government and Industry,” The Innovation Journal, Vol. 9, No. 2

April 1, 2004

The only one that ever worked was based on a RBIS (resource Based Investment System) using a CP3 ( Canadian public Private / Partnership) approach. Operaed on a new technology called S.U.R.F. that makes it imple to create partnerships and redistribute the benefits according to effort no now much money one brings t the effort.

If you ever would like to put on a workshop to better understand what an RBIS is and what it can do let me know. It is the wave of the future when you are in as much finacial trouble as we are in country wide and at all levels and no means to geerate enough money to fix ll the problems but we do hve the means and at a cost everyone can afford.

Fraser Liscumb
Inventors Resource Co-operative, Inc.

Re: Eleanor Glor’s “Creativity Enhancement Books: How To, Not What To,” The Innovation Journal, Vol. 8, No. 3 (June – August, 2003)

Hi Eleanor

I was just browsing the web and came across your review
essay in A couple of points if I may.

Firstly: de Bono. There is no doubt that de Bono, very
successfully, coined the term ‘lateral thinking’, and it has become part
of the language. My belief is that this term was first used in 1967 in
his Lateral Thinking for Management. Like all de Bono’s
books, this one has no references, so the reader is left to infer that
everything it contains is the result of de Bono’s own thinking. However…in Arthur Koestler’s The Act of Creation, published in
1964, a key chapter is entitled Thinking Aside… I find it
hard to believe that de Bono, as a graduate student at Cambridge in the
mid 1960s, didn’t know of Koestler’s work, so, in my view, the origination
of the concept is not exclusiuvely with EdB…

And secondly, thank you for the generous remarks you made
about my own Smart Things to Know about Innovation and Creativity
– although we might have a good discussion about what is new!! What I
do find to be true, however, is that my InnovAction! process,
which I believe is much more tangible and well-defined than, say,
lateral thinking, is enormously productive, and very accessible to
literally everyone.

And while I’m here, as it were, if you ever think that
there is something I might contribute to any of your endeavours – say an
article, or maybe participation in a conference or whatever – please do
contact me. Also, if you have a moment, you might like to see my website

Cheers Dennis

Re: Eleanor Glor’s “Innovation Traps: Risks and Challenges in Thinking About Innovation,”
Innovation Journal
, Vol. 8, No. 3 (June – August, 2003)

Hi Eleanor

May I suggest that there is a barrier to evaluation based on
the value that everybody must be treated the same? I would suggest
that your article could elaborate the need for experimental evaluation of
innovations using a statistical design. This would require that there:

  • are experimental and control groups;
  • the innovation is so well defined that others can
    introduce it;
  • that the innovation is done the same way each
  • and, that the participants go through the procedures
    that are expected of them.

Just a thought.


Re:  Ralph V. Barrett and Howard A.
Doughty, “Magic, Innovation and Decision Making,” The Innovation Journal, Vol. 4, No. 1
(January – April, 1999)

My daughter, Venn, and I were exploring the internet when we came across
your excellent piece. (We named her after John Venn, and it worked. She
has her Masters in mathematics.)

As you can see from the enclosed newspaper article, my work has received
a fair amount of recognition (ed. note: Professor Moore has recently been named World
Laureate of the American Biographical Institute amd placed
on the National Air and Space Exploration Wall of Honor). However, no anthropologist has ever let me know
what he/she thought about my magic piece.

Engineers have paid close attention to the “Talking
Typewriter” and other of my inventions. Currently, I am working in Pittsburgh on a government
project which involves a Tactile-Sound-Tranducer. This device turns
sound into a vibratory equivalent. It permits the profoundly deaf to
“feel” speech and other auditory parts of the soundscape.

Your fresh analysis of “magic” makes it clear that randomizing
current decision making can make good sense. One small point which I wish to correct is that I was a Professor at
Yale, not MIT, when my magic article was written. I lectured at MIT but was
not on the faculty.

Another result of mathematics which is relevant to decision making is
“Parrondo’s Paradox”. I have used this result to good effect
in a casino in Central City, Colorado. I suggest you see the January/February 2001
issue of The Sciences. The article by Erica Klarreich is entitled
“Playing Both
Sides”. It is a first-rate piece.

Professor Omar K. Moore
Responsive Environments Foundation
1420 Centre Avenue – #502
Pittsburgh, PA


January 28, 2002

Dear Eleanor,

Several years ago I found a statement by someone that allowed me to
understand that even though most classified me as a consultant, a trouble
shooter, or mentor in reality I was born an innovator. Unfortunately the
name of the individual that made the statement disappeared a long the way
but it is something that may inspire some of those that have little
understanding of innovation and what an innovator is.

“Innovation is more than coming up with new ideas or even assembling
a creative business plan. Innovation is learning to see what is not obvious,
developing antennas for the unspoken radar of change and being unfettered by
traditional thought or convention.”

Canada is in trouble and for as much as we need innovators at this time
we now need people willing to be part of helping make the changes needed to
take Canada out of the 20th century and into the 21st century. Some think
the IRC has the methodology and have developed the tools to make it happen,
and like all things that help to make change it comes in its own good time
and hopefully at a pace that it does not create more problems than it fixes.
Yet, in time to help before we lose more than we already have. For anything
that comes to fast also as a tendency to leave the same way but leaves a lot
of problems behind. Just the same as those that do not embrace change over
time end up losing more than they have gained and with or without their
support change will take place, but usually at a high price. Canada like
most countries of the world now is losing because of lack of change and
little understanding that the key is not money or high tech it is
understanding now to create a balance system and that requires working
together in the best interest of all no just the few. Yet, allow each to
remain independent to compete so we have the challenge to want to strive for
change. If we wish to survive we all had better understand soon that
community no longer is what you see out your window and what happens
anywhere in the world does come home because there are no borders in a world
attached by water, air and a transportation system that can move everything
from point A to B faster than we can understand the problems being
transported and a reality we do not have the technology to solve the
problems or the means to remove ourselves from this planet if we damage its
ability to support life. We seem to have a world that thinks money is more
important than people, technology is more important than food and clean
water and most believing what happens in other parts of their country or
world should be of little concern because it does not effect them directly
but in reality it will effect them indirectly much later in some form.

For as important as innovation is to helping maintain a future you cannot
have a future until the majority understand that everything in the universe
is based on having a balanced system and at present we do not have a balance
system. The key to the future is understanding how to create a balance
system by using innovation and even more important team effort.

Fraser Liscumb

Ontario’s Regional Economic Development and
Innovation Newsletter

October 2, 2001


This month’s Ontario Innovation Report #26 has the widest
number of relevant articles on innovation and science and technology I have ever seen. It
is well worth a click to see the index of topics. This first one from Industry Canada has
some direct interest.


S&T ministers agree on principles of action to speed up the transition to an
innovation and knowledge-based economy. On September 21, 2001, federal, provincial and
territorial ministers responsible for research, science and technology met to discuss ways
to improve research and development performance and make Canada one of the most innovative
countries in the world. Key topics discussed included the crucial role of both
university-based and industry-based research and development and the importance of
information sharing among governments. Ministers concurred that innovation is key in
raising Canada’s standard of living and agreed on the goal of making Canada one of the
most innovative countries in the world.

To do so, efforts by both the public and the private sectors must be undertaken to:
create, adopt and commercialize knowledge; supply highly qualified personnel; and, provide
a business climate which supports industrial competitiveness and excellence in innovation.
Ministers also agreed that the completion of the provision of high-speed internet
broadband capacity is an urgent and high priority for the innovation economy. [Industry

Issue 26 of the OREDI newsletter is available at:

Tim Norris
Senior Policy Advisor
Strategic Planning and Coordination

Natural Resources Canada


Dear Eleanor Glor, dear Raymond Bouchard,

Only recently I got to know that you are planning a
conference in Canada in
January or February next year concerning Public Sector Innovation. This
includes I guess the health sector. I got the information by Arwa Hassan
whom you met two years ago in Cairo.

I am with Transparency International’s secretariat in
Berlin and work as a
senior adviser on corruption and health. We just finished the planning for
a double workshop at our International Anti-Corruption-Conference in Prague
on October 10. There shall be participants from Canada, the US, Germany,
Colombia, Moldova, Egypt?, all of them presenting case studies on different
aspects of the lack of integrity and bad governance. I do not know yet
whether there will be a general idea of what and how things should be
different and changed. But I am pretty sure that the results maybe of
interest for your project.

The second project we are working on is a mutual
TI-WHO-project for more
integrity, some kind of a stewardship for better health service systems in
the poor South. There shall be an international conference in Geneva in
September to prepare this project. Maybe that would be of interest for you
as well.

My address is:

Dr. Anke Martiny
Bergham 9
84104 Rudelzhausen
Tel 49-8752-1000, Fax 49-8752-1013

Yours sincerely
Anke Martiny

Innovation Patterns

Hi Eleanor,

My name is Barry Winkless and at present I am studying
for a PhD in Systematic
Innovation, using Triz as applied to the food industry. I am extremely
interested in your article on innovationpatterns– most comprehensive and well
supported. After reading it I began to apply your ‘Innovation Matrix’- i.e
Innovation pattern/Culture/Magnitude of Challenge/Example to food business
examples- and your ideas mirror perfectly some examples I have experienced in
industry- for example when ISO quality standards were made compulsory- this was
very much an Extrinsic, Top-down, Minor challenge (to big organisations).
Obviously however the magnitude of the challenge within business organisations
will probably depend a lot on company size- i.e.Large or SME’s.

Barry Winkless BSc. HDip, MSc
AMT Ireland, University College Cork,
Cork City, Republic of Ireland.

A Comment on “Definitions of Innovation”

As always , very thought provoking. The notion of “Grandmother
of Innovation” is a real puzzle. In my view it’s something like “sufficient
freedom to act”. The actual motivation or “Mother” can be want, need or
some other direct motivator – maybe attractive or maybe repulsion to avoid negative

Hawk’s definition centred on “doing” and if that’s true
then a precondition is “sufficient freedom to do”.

I’ve seen the change in organizations – including my own – that
embark on quality or continuous improvement programs. Usually they start out as command
and control organizations in which freedom to do anything differently doesn’t exist or is
at least scarce. Initially there’s a problem and discomfort in making changes. After
change has been going on for some time, change is expected and lack of change becomes
uncomfortable. Quality programs depend on a degree of innovation (many of the descriptions
and definitions you provided fit). In this context, the first condition is freedom to act.

For what it’s worth.

Art Lawson


Hello Eleanor,

I am a brazilian sociologist.

The works of Mr. Rogers have being very stimulating, very important
to my academic research, and teaching.
Thank you Mr. Rogers!
Thank you Eleanor!

Marcos Ponzio

Candian Health Care System

Anything with Stephen Jay Gould mentioned must be good I will read
on. We had a program on TV here last night (Wed 31/1) comparing the Canadian system of
health care with ours. We have a big private sector delivered mostly in publically funded
hospitals you have one point of acces one set of waiting lists for all general hospital
care. Have you any analysis of the Caanadian health care system and possible demands for
reform? Please reply if possible to

Best Regards.

Charlie Hardy



Thanks for your note and your interest in the Canadian health care
system. I don’t have anything in The Innovation Journal, but you might like to take a look
at the Health Canada web site at
and in particular the section on the health care system at
Although it is not on the health care system per se, you might also want to read
some of the Second Report on the Health of Canadians at

Eleanor Glor
Editor in Chief

The Search Continues
for a Case of True Employee Empowerment

My name is Hsiang-Yuan. I saw your posting on website that you were looking for “case
of true employee empowerment”. Now I am doing reserch about employee empowerment, and
I also am looking for a real case. I am wondering if you find one, please send me email or
tell me where I can find it because I can not find the real case on internet. thanks


Online with 5 Million Finns

My committee (17 MP), Committee for the Future in the Finnish
Parliament went for an 1 hour ON LINE to discuss (chat) with 5 million Finns. Just great!

Paula Tiihonen
Secretary, Committee for the Future,
Parliament of Finland

Determination of
an Optimal Local Demographic Density for Europe

Kind Mrs. Eleanor Glor,

Many thanks for your very courteous reply.

Indeed, I already had the fortune to meet Mr. Kurtz and we are
currently in contact. Thanks the same, however, for your courtesy!

I permit myself to report below a brief announcement on our
“demographic call” in case you would report a note on the Innovation Journal.

Really, we are also concerned with a campaign for an Evolution of
the Common Conception of Public Employment. We have carried out a petition to the Italian
Parliament with a concrete proposal inside. We are still translating the petition, but its
manifesto in English language is at:
while the petition in Italian is at:

I hope it could be of interest.

Really happy to have met you and the Innovation Journal on the WEB,
my best regards,

Danilo D’Antonio, owner Laboratorio Eudemonia

Thanks to The Innovation

Hi Eleanor,

I have much experience as an academic in the area of industry policy
and innovation
systems. I have little knowledge of public-sector innovation, so you can imagine my
joy when I discovered your web-site. I have spent the entire afternoon plumbing its
depths and I’m sure I will use the material extensively in a project on ‘Innovation in
Government’ I am currently working on. I expect to publish the report results in a
refereed journal – probably a business journal rather than a public policy journal –
not sure yet. My report will be essentially a literature review, possibly to be followed
by an empirical study of innovation in the public service in Queensland, Australia.

Anyway, just to say thanks for the fabulous website and I will
certainly be
citing The Innovation Journal and you. By the way, do you know if your book (Captus
Press, 1997) is available in any Australian libraries? I haven’t found it yet!

Cheers and keep up the great work, much appreciated,

Dr Karen Manley
Research Fellow
QUT/CSIRO Construction Research Alliance
Queensland University of Technology
2 George Street
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane, Queensland 4001

Phone 61 7 3864 1762
Fax 61 7 3864 1170

Thoughts on Steven Kurtz’
Book Review

A Comment on Steven Kurtz’Book Review of Reg Morrison’s The Spirit in the Gene Humanity’s ProudIllusion and the Laws of Nature, Ithaca, New York and London, England: Cornell
University Press,1999

I assume I am agreeing with Morrison and Kurtz when I assert that
the thoughts that reverberate in our brains are part of the experiential matrix, just as
are sensory inputs, in which we make our analyses and decisions.

If we wish to be innovators, we have to be aware of the baggage, or conditioning, that
constricts our freedom, whether we attribute it to traditional belief systems or to
“hard-wiring”. We have to be bold enough to question and revise some traditional
beliefs to accord with present knowledge of the world, on the grounds that the original
“religious” instructions were not “timeless”, but appropriate to
conditions at the time. This, of course, has to be done with care and discrimination. By
whom? There’s the risk.

We also have to keep an open mind as to what to include in our world of experience and
discourse, not arbitrarily excluding some spheres of interest as “superstition”,
— or metaphysics, for example, as “nothing but” genetic effluvia.

I question the popular assumption that our destruction of the environment and our
overpopulation are to be attributed to our religious beliefs. I am not sure we need any
more explanation than small span of perception, narrow sphere of self-interest, and short
time-horizon — in other words a lack of imagination, or deficiency of thinking-span. (An
aspect of our hard-wiring, perhaps.)

I confess to a dissatisfaction with the classical scientific framework, which confines
discourse to what can be found within the realm of the five senses, i.e. the
“material” realm. Free Will cannot be found within this realm, for example,
except as an illusory feeling that may or may not have advantages for genetic survival.
The same with the experience of extra-sensory perception. I think it is time we left this
pretense behind.

It does not correspond to how we think, and act, not even to our actual range of
experience. See Gary Zukav (The Seat of the Soul), for example, on the evolutionary
transition from the five-sensory human being to the multisensory human being. My
suggestion may be heresy to the community of professional philosophers, but I find the
“rigour” of the professional philosopher now not very useful. (Ray Jackson 15
July 2000)

Now this is innovation!
Seattle Weekly – news: Tree-huggin’ lumberjacks


Published June 1 – 7, 2000
Tree-huggin’ lumberjacks
Environmentalists are embracing a new strategy for saving the
forests: cut ’em themselves.


THERE WAS A TIME when logging was an environmental scourge, the
symbol of everything hateful to green activists. But now, a number of
environmental groups and green-minded politicians are coming round to a new
attitude. They’re looking at ways to keep the timber industry operating in King
County–and even making plans to get into the timber “harvesting” trade

“We see this as a possible niche business,” says Charlie
Raines, a longtime forest activist for the Sierra Club. His newest project aims to buy up
land in the Cascade foothills and then pay for it by selling off some of the timber.
“We want to form forestry companies that would go more lightly on the land,”
says Maryanne Tagney Jones, a veteran environmental campaigner who is working with Raines.

Ex-Microsoft attorney Bill Pope, another prominent Northwest
environmental leader, is working on a similar venture that would borrow money from Wall
Street for huge land purchases and then use tree revenues to pay off the debt. “We’re
going to have to be a timber company, in the low-level sense of that term,” Pope

These new efforts reflect “a kind of sea-change among Seattle
greens,” says Tagney Jones, who lives in Preston. “They’re seeing that
commercial logging is not the wicked awful thing we thought it was.”

“Even environmentalists have come to believe that it’s better
to have active forestry than shopping malls everywhere,” says Nancy Keith, executive
director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway, which has championed this idea for a decade.

Indeed, as Fred Meyers and four-car Microsoft mansions continue
their steady eastward advance from Bellevue into the Cascades, logging is starting to look
better and better. From the standpoint of water quality, salmon, or clean air, even a
clear-cut may be preferable to pavement. And these new lumberjacks intend to use far
gentler methods.

IN KEEPING WITH this outlook, King County Executive Ron Sims has
launched a new effort to keep today’s timber companies in the timber-cutting business and
deter them from selling off their land for subdivisions. He recently traveled to Olympia
to speak at a “Private Forest Summit,” where he pledged to create policies and
“economic incentives” that would help make the private forestry business viable.

Sims recently invited executives from the county’s two biggest
private forest owners–Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek–for private meetings with him and his
staff to hear the industry’s concerns. “They made it clear they were looking for some
new and innovative ways to maintain commercial forestry,” says Mike Yeager, Plum
Creek’s director of land management. “They said they recognized that we were a
business. And we appreciated that.”

In his Olympia speech, Sims described the forestland that covers
two-thirds of King County as “the lungs of our region” and said that maintaining
forests is “the single most effective solution to most of the environmental issues we
are facing”–including the problem of endangered salmon.

“Most people think of forestry as a salmon culprit,” says
Kathy Creahan, of the county’s natural resources division. “Our view is that forestry
is about the best land use you can have for preserving fish.”

“Working forest” also provides open space and recreation.
Mike Munson of the Washington Forest Protection Association, a timber industry trade
group, notes, “Only 2 percent of working forest is being harvested at any one time.
That means 98 percent is green and growing.”

And at least along the I-90 corridor, “the timber companies
have started using practices that have less impact,” says Nancy Keith.

THE NEW ENTHUSIASM for the timber biz does not extend across all
terrain. Just last week, leaders of an ambitious new venture called the Cascades
Conservation Partnership kicked off a three-year, $125 million campaign to rescue 75,000
acres of privately held central Cascades forestland from timber company ownership and
preserve them as wilderness. These lands, which include roadless areas and tens of
thousands of acres of old growth, are all under threat of being logged by Plum Creek, and
the Partnership is counting on federal grants and private donors to save these
trees from the ax.

But the forests of the Cascade foothills (which, along I-90, begin
near Issaquah) are far from virgin. “The majority of the land is on its second or
third cutting,” says the Sierra Club’s Charlie Raines. The greatest threat facing
these low-elevation habitats is not another tree harvest, but being plowed under for a

The one million acres of foothills forests, which stretch across
three counties, are “still very consolidated and very valuable from a wildlife
perspective,” says Kathy Creahan of Sims’ staff. But as the Eastside explodes with
new growth and fast money, “they are in serious jeopardy of being lost,” argues
King County Council Member Larry Phillips. “I don’t think the public knows

As Raines observes, “there’s not enough money–or enough
willing sellers–to just buy it all and preserve it.” So Raines, together with the
Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County, is starting up an initiative to keep the
foothills forested by taking advantage of their money-making potential. “We want to
use timber revenues to help defray the cost of preservation,” says Gene Duvernoy of
the Conservancy.

The plan, which is still in its formative stage, is to recruit teams
of investors who would put up the money for key properties, then get paid off over time
with cash from the tree sales. The ventures would be run like a business, except without
the fat profit margins–and aggressive chain saws–that industry giants like Weyerhaeuser
are expected to deliver. “We think there are investors who would be willing to settle
for less than Weyerhaeuser’s 17 percent return,” says Maryanne Tagney Jones.

The harvesting would be done according to the strictest
environmental standards, with wider buffers around streams, conservative road building,
and other sustainable methods. Raines is even hoping that these enlightened forest
practices could be “certified” by watchdogs, allowing the timber to be sold at a

The tree-trimming strategy “may not be the optimum choice for
some people,” says Raines. “But we’re looking at a fairly pragmatic approach.
The next generation may prefer certain areas to be parks. If we do our job right now, we
give them that option. You can’t turn Bellevue back into a park.”

ANOTHER HIGH-POWERED environmental team, including Bill Pope and
Larry Phillips, is getting started on a similar project, known as the Evergreen Forest
Trust. They’re planning to take advantage of a new, as-yet-unapproved financing tool,
known as “community forestry bonds.” These bonds would allow tree-huggers to
work on a much bigger scale, freeing them from reliance on donor checks and political
favors, and instead allowing them to tap directly into Wall Street via the trillion-dollar
public market for tax-exempt debt.

“We think of that as a huge potential for capital,” says
Pope, who is also on the board of the Cascade Conservation Partnership and says this
project could be even bigger. “This is part of the environmental movement growing
up.” The bonds would be paid off with timber revenues, but would carry a low interest
rate, allowing landowners to practice “lower-impact forestry,” Pope says.

However, the bonds require a special dispensation from Congress,
because usually a nonprofit isn’t allowed to turn around and sell assets it bought with
tax-exempt financing. Republican Jennifer Dunn of Bellevue has sponsored legislation in
the House, which appears to have wide support, but the bill has so far been ensnared in
Congress’s two-year battle over a tax cut.

King County Council Member Larry Phillips says the venture is
forging ahead anyway. “In the last three months this has gotten real,” says
Phillips. “We’re beginning to let major landowners know we’re an interested

Whether the timber giants will want to join hands with these new
environmental entrepreneurs is another question.

Activists, and county officials, are hoping that before the timber
companies sell off another big chunk of land to make way for The Suburban Estates at
Formerly Wooded Valley, they’ll give the greens a chance to bid, or come up with some
other preservation mechanism such as trading development rights between properties.

“We’re saying to the companies: ‘If your long-term plan is to
sell it off, talk to us first,'” says Charlie Raines. “We’re asking for time. We
want to be brought in at a certain level of decision-making,” says Maryanne Tagney

But Weyerhaeuser spokesman Frank Mendizabal sounds fairly lukewarm
to this idea, noting that the real estate world tends to move a little faster than the
public sector. “We always try to keep people apprised of our plans,” says
Mendizabal. “But we have to make business decisions and it depends on the business
situation how much notice you can give people. Sometimes time is a factor.”

Mendizabal says, “It’s pretty apparent that Ron [Sims] has an
interest in preserving green space. That’s great. We’re all for it.” But he notes
there are other factors at play. “This area’s boomin’. When you look out in the
future you see a population that continues to grow and the need for housing.”

And Mendizabal expresses considerable skepticism that the new
romance with “working forest” can endure, especially among the people who live
near the woods. “Everyone thinks ‘working forest’ is wonderful,” he says,
“until the chain saws start up and the trucks start driving by.”

Says Tagney Jones: “We need to educate people so they don’t get
hysterical about a cut.”

from Steve Kurtz

Interesting Innovation Site – How Does Improv
Teach Innovation?

As a long-time beneficiary of your exemplary innovation resources, I thought I should
pass along the address of an organization that takes an interesting approach to
‘surfacing’ innovation:

Peter West



Editor in Chief

A responce to “Some Thoughts on Definitions of

Editor, The Innovation Journal:

I enjoyed reading the “Some Thoughts on Definitions of Innovation”,although I
might not agree with all the points of view expressed there. I would like to send a copy
of ‘Innovation Strategy’ for your attention. Using the analogy of geographic atlases, the
article intends to shed light on the interaction between the nature of knowledge and the
process of innovation in one hand, and role of classification, valuation and measurement
of knowledge capitals in strengthening the innovation capabilities of businesses. This
approach is indeed a continuation of a study on the “Mapping of Innovation” that
I did for the federal department of Human Resources Development Canada back in 1994-97.

How we perceive innovation holds the key in the activities related to how to nurture
and sustain innovation. And I agree with Dr. Stephen Klein that back in 1991 wrote
“We need an interdisciplinary understanding of innovation, an understanding not
created by current university disciplinary courses.” (Kline S,1991, Styles of
Innovation and their Cultural Basis, (Chemtech, August-October 1991).

On the role of public sector in the development of innovation in private sector
(business), in 1994, I made a survey in some selected business in Etobicoke, ON. This
survey indicated that:

“More than three quarters of surveyed business revealed that they have no
documented innovation (technology) development plan. The same ratio marked that the
processes of re-organizing their innovation (technology) development units and studying
technological capabilities of their competitors are performed spontaneously and ad hoc.
Deficiency in management of innovation (technology), covering the above subjects, is the
greatest inhibitor of the innovation (technological) capability of the surveyed
businesses. Indeed without an innovation strategy (articulating the structure, valuation
and measurement of knowledge and innovation) businesses may rely mainly on their instinct
to venture in ocean of innovation. Each business, however, needs to explore, and depict
their own landscape of knowledge and innovation in a process that can be called
‘cartography of mindsets’ to let them to develop and share common visions among their
stakeholders. Public sector programs are likely most helpful in assisting in the
development of the structure of business innovation atlases. As Alice in the Wonderland
explored long time ago, “if do not know where you are going, you will wind up
somewhere else.” This is likely applicable in the business innovation programs, as

I would be most pleased to have your comments.

Darius Mahdjoubi

Editor’s Response:

Thank you very much for your kind comment and interesting comments and article.
Is there something here we could potentially publish in the Innovation Journal?

Editor in Chief

Scholarships for MPM Program!

Dear colleagues,

we would like to inform you about a few scholarships that are still available for the
year 2000 postgraduate “Master of Public Management” (MPM) program at the
University of Potsdam, Germany.

Our 14 months, full-time program is run in cooperation with the Public Administration
Centre (ZÖV) of the International Foundation for International Development (DSE). Its
focus is on qualified graduates in economics, business administration and management as
well as the social sciences with relevant professional background and leadership
experience in public sector organizations.

Applicants should be based in DSE’s partner countries or in other countries with
institutions of German development cooperation. The scholarship covers courses,
accommodation and living expenses, and is fully funded by the Federal Republic of Germany.

If you know of institutions and individuals of interest in your field, we would
appreciate very much if you spread that message by forwarding this mail and/or referring
to our homepage at:

All relevant information concerning application procedures, admission requirements,
deadlines, program structure and contents can be obtained from that website.

Thank you very much for your attention!

Very best regards,

Prof. Dr. Harald Fuhr, MPM Program Director, International Politics
Chair, Dr. Thomas Gebhardt, MPM Program Manager, University of Potsdam

Prof. Dr. Harald Fuhr
International Politics Chair, Economics and Social Science Faculty
University of Potsdam, P.O. Box 900327; D-14439 Potsdam, Germany
Phone: +49 (331) 977-3417,-3418,-4634 (answ.); Fax: +49 (331)

Dr. Thomas Gebhardt
Program Manager
Master of Public Management Program
University of Potsdam
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
P.O. Box 90 03 27
14439 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 977 46 54
Fax: +49 331 977 46 17

How Can We Choke, Smother and Strangle

“It is not enough to have the courage of your convictions,
you must also have the courage to have
your convictions challenged.”
— Christopher Phillips

Sometimes the best way to think about how to make something better is to think about
how you could make it worse. If it’s important for a meeting to be exceptionally
effective, you might spend a few minutes talking about all the ways you could make sure
that it’s NOT effective. This generally stimulates a bit of humor and opens the door to
creating a set of generally agreed upon ground rules.

What if we applied this same process to innovation and thought about ways to make sure
we’re NOT innovative? Rosabeth Kanter gives us a start in her book “Change
Masters” when she lists the ten rules for stifling innovation, including:

  • Be suspicious of all new ideas from below – because it’s new and because it’s from
  • Pit departments against one another in brutal battles for territory.
  • Express criticism freely and withhold praise.
  • Publicly humiliate people with failed experiments.

We invite you to look around at your organization and think of all the ways innovation
could be choked, smothered and strangled. (Humor and ridiculousness is just fine in this
case.) Send us your ideas and we’ll send a summary next week. Be sure to indicate if you’d
prefer anonymity.

Dorothy Milburn
The Consultants who DARE!
(Diagnose, Analyze, Resolve, and Evaluate)
Foundation Consulting Inc.
phone: (613) 860-1387 (messages)
phone: (613) 722-0929 (direct line) fax: (613) 722-4136

Participate in a Vision 2010 Research Project


I would greatly appreciate your prognostication and contribution if you have the time
participate in my Vision 2010 research project by visiting the URL below. I am primarily
seeking responses from senior level executives, seasoned management consultants,
university professors and others of similar stature.

Thank you in advance for your participation and feel free to forward this to your business
or techno-savvy colleagues.

Edwin W. Smith

Strategy 2020

Actually it is called “Defence Strategy 2020” [at and it is a response to the
increasing sense that DND/CF is in crisis as a result not only of budget cuts etc. but
also of the post-cold war situation and increased operational tempo and the
“revolution in military affairs” (RMA) – not only new toys but new doctrines,
organization and principles of war. There is a real struggle between the reformers and the
imperative of reform and the old school that want to be the military it never was.

“What is the Difference Between Change Management and Innovation?”

I’ve read with great pleasure the contributed collection of responses on “What is
the Difference Between Change Management and Innovation?” at

I’ve been working in this domain for about 30 years, from my early days as an
automotive factory worker during my undergraduate studies, so I’ve seen quite a bit of
everything mentioned in the previous responses.

For my two cents, I’d like to contribute what I have come to think of
as “subject nuetral” generalized definitions in this domain, moving from complex
down to simpler. These definitions were derived from the American Heritage Dictionary at except for the definition of management, which was derived from
the 1963 Reingold Encyclopedia of Management (Note that Gale Group is now publishing a
1999 edition the first in 17 years).

• Change Management: The act of directing and measuring
alteration, transformation, or transition of a thing.

• Management: The resolution of dynamic complexity and diversity
in science (i.e., what we know) and society (i.e., who we are) into a system of controlled

• Innovation: The act of seeking improvement, through alteration,
transformation, or transition of some existent thing, or the addition of a new thing.

• Creativity: The ability to invent.

• Invention: A new thing formed through study and experimentation.

• Change: To become different or undergo alteration,
transformation or transition.

Note that, as stated in previous responses, it seems you can have
innovation without managed change, in that innovation can be spontaneous. It also seems
you can also have change management without innovation, in that you could feasible have a
change management project to abandon current things to return to types of older, less
improved, things (e.g., return to use of kerosene or gas lanterns when abandoning

Roy Roebuck
Enterprise Engineer
One World Information System


Principal Information Engineer
SAIC, Global Command and Control Support Division

Draw Your Attention

Enjoy your website immensely.

Would like to draw your attention to WEBSITE:

This group certainly appears to be innovative relative to understanding (obviously they
are intimately connected to world of concepts, i.e., theoretical understandings and
musings)how it is to marshall support in changing huge monolithic structures such as the
entire vested world of public education. And unlike the Fraser Institute, they appear to
be wholly independent with minimal “allegiances” to preordained arcane economic

Bye for now!

Dennis Lapierre

A Great Website

Dear Eleanor,

You will now find a link to INNOVATION JOURNAL if you scroll down to PUBLIC

Among the other links you will find there is one to ASPA/SICA, a group you probably
know about whose new chair, Jos Raadschelders, you should communicate with — I’m coying
this note to him, and also to Thomas Lynch, an ASPA leader interested in international
activities who, I see, is on your Board.

I also have a link to Habib Zafarullah whose journal, published in Australia, may have
many affinities with your project. He is also interested in the implications of
globalization for public administration and public policy, and we have discussed the need
for a good listing of international sites for public administration. My small page is just
a beginning — I’d appreciate any suggestions you could pass along for more good sites to

Incidentally, you will also find a pane for “globalization” and another for
“ethnicity” on my SITES page. These are interrelated because one effect of
globalization, in my opinion, is the rise of ethnonational movements in many weak
authoritarian countries where national minorities feel oppressed and are able to mobilize,
with support from their diasporas, to contest both oppression and inadequate public

Kosovo provides a current example in its most tragic form. At the level of
international administration, this involves the proliferation of international
humanitarian agencies — at least 159 of them are listed through InterAction, which
focuses on groups found in the U.S. You can see the list, with their sites, at:

Every one of them must confront urgent problems involving innovation in solving urgent
new problems, and collectively, they face problems of coordination to optimize the use of
limited resources and avoid redundancy and inter-group conflict. You will find a roster of
officers involved in this effort at:

The sponsor is the American Council for Voluntary International Action, with an office

1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 801
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 667-8227

Because ASPA is (or should be!) interested in expanding the scope of its international
activities to include international voluntary agencies (third sector organizations), I
think someone on their staff might be able to help by discussing in person the problems of
administrative liaison and inter-group coordination with these agencies. Consequently, I
am copying this note also to Mary Hamilton, its executive director, at: <>. Ferrel Heady, a
long-term ASPA leader and former president, has been especially active in promoting
international administration studies so I am also copying this note to him.

With all best wishes and much aloha, Fred

Fred W. Riggs, Professor Emeritus
Political Science Department, University of Hawaii

A few past predictions that were a little
wide of the mark

“Louis Pasteur’s theory of germs is ridiculous fiction”
Pierre Pacher, Professor of Physiology, Toulouse, 1872

“The telephone is of no inherent value to us”
Western Union Internal Memorandum, 1876

“Stocks have reached what looks like a permanent high plateau”
Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929

“Aeroplanes are interesting toys but are of no military use”
Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1914

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons”
Popular Mechanics, 1949

Source: newsletter of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians

John Last MD
Emeritus professor of epidemiology
University of Ottawa
451 Smyth Road
Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5 CANADA
Tel: (613) 562 5410, local (613) 562 5800 Ext 8285
Fax: (613) 562 5465

Nice site!


Mark Riva
Director, The Flow Network

New Book on global warming contains
interesting innovation case studies

MIT Press has just published a book, “Views from the Alps: Regional perspectives
on climate change” which I co-edited. Despite appearances to the contrary, it has one
chapter which should interest this audience. It is about 80 pages long (i.e. booklet
length) and called: “Innovative responses in the face of global climate change.”
It considers the way climate policy might change if we were to actively try to foster
innovation. Through two detailed case studies, it argues that, contrary to conventional
analyses, we can imagine public policies aimed either at changing consumers’ preferences
or technologies’ development trajectories. If we aim to do this, the chances of moving to
more energy-efficient technologies at lower cost increases significantly. Conventional
“global” analyses, in contrast, assume that technology changes independent of
public policy (I kid you not).

If you are interested, the full citation is: Cebon, P., Dahinden, U., Davies, H.,
Imboden, D., & Jaeger, C., (eds.) 1998. Views from the alps: Regional perspectives on
climate change. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

It has its own website:

And, if you want to really empower yourself, you can buy it at If you are
the first person to do so, I can guarantee that you’ll move it 600,000 places on the bestseller list – Such power!!!!!:

Melbourne Business School University of Melbourne 200 Leicester Street Carlton Vic 3053

Sun Tzu on Innovation

“In general, in battle one engages with the orthodox and gains victory through the unorthodox.”

-_The Art of War_, Chapter 5, 4th paragraph (Ralph D. Sawyer translation)

The Giles version replaces “orthodox” and “unorthodox” by “direct” and “indirect”…

Christian Sauve
Rockland, Ontario

How to cultivate, manage, and derive maximum benefit from our Intellectual Capital: A major survey’s findings by Ian Rose, IBR Consulting

Canadian Centre for Management Development (CCMD) Armchair Session
Notes by Michelle Boulet

I attended this morning’s CCMD armchair “How to cultivate, manage and
derive maximum benefit from Intellectual Capital, survey finding
s” given by Ian
Rose of IBR Consulting. Before the session began I had a chance to speak with Mr. Rose and
learnt that he sits on the Knowledege Management Council of the American Conference Board.
He and Mr. Hubert Saint-Onge are the only Canadians that sit on the board. They are
meeting next week in San Diego to work on creating Knowledge Management guidelines for
organizations across the world.

I was very impressed by his presentation in that his finding were supported by his
survey of 500 companies and by his practical
experiences. I am finding that more and more speakers are able
to present KM and that sometimes all the’ve done is read as much about it as you and
me. This was not the case here, Ian Rose works globally and is part of that
KM-Intellectual Capital network along with Saint-Onge and Edvinsson.

This morning’s conference summarized 15 points about what it takes to make KM
happen within an organization.

15 factors essential to building a knowledge-based organization:

1. Senior management as a lever for change

2. Culture that supports knowledge sharing (related to innovation)

3. Climate of trust (managers have to demonstrate truth and reduce the fear. Fear shows
up as compliant behaviour)

4. Reward good ideas and even those that fail

5. There is danger in applying Information Technology to KM, technology is the least
important part of KM. KM should not reside in the technology area (I can really relate to
this). 10% of knowledge can be stored in databases but 90% resides in people. Explore ways
of extracting this 90% rather than the other.

6. An organization needs a Chief Knowledge Officer, there needs to be someone dedicated
to planning the sharing.

7. It is critical to identify the organization’s most valuable assets. Who are
these people, the ones most respected in an organization for their knowledge, people who
are committed and share. One way of identifying them is to survey employees, asking them
which three individual do you most respect for their knowledge (there was a note here on
the importance of the language used). What is significant in the findings would be to look
at how far is the originator from the response, this would show the range of knowledge.
Next, once these people are identified, train them to become change agents.

8. Identify key innovators (not the same people as above)

9. Identify critical knowledge (what does the organization need to know?)

10. Eliminate redundant information (use mini-CKOs type, in a rotating coordinator
function to check whether the information is relevant, etc.)

11. KM should be an integrated part of the business and part of everybody’s job.

12. Communication. This is a cliché problem that no one ever does anything about. Look
at how the organization filters information, use the rule of 6 when communicating: say it
6 times, from 6 different people, in 6 different ways in 6 different places on 6 different
occasions. Another important communication tool is to identify how the
“believable” information circulates in your organization. In a high tech company
a town hall meeting would not work but email is successful.

13. Change. Organizations that survive are the ones that are most responsive to change.
Change the language, avoid the use of the A to B logic, that is never refer to the last
change as the final change. This will reduce the stress around change

14. Optimism (yes!). Pessimism sucks the life out of organizations.

15. Tenacity. You gotta be determined to see it through.

Senior management need to practice the discipline of open-mindness to allow for
ideas/creativity/innovation to germinate. He said ideas are like children, they are ugly
until they mature.

He doesn’t believe the KM can start at the bottom. You need senior management
lead. Reward is key and the success is dependant on senior management. (Note: the Duxbury,
Dyke and Lam study on Knowledge Workers that was just released also points to the need for
rewards:”redesign recognition and rewards programs to align what is rewarded with
what different groups of employees value (the data suggests that the public service is
‘using the wrong carrots’ or employees with non-traditional views of success”).

Number one issue in the organization is how you recruit and select people and managers.
Findings revealed that most managers don’t want to be managers, they just want the
promotion. In some organizations they have addressed this issue by creating senior
scientists that are not managers.

He said it all comes down to the role of senior management. He spoke of using positive
machiavelianism to get their buy-in. One example he gave, admitting it wasn’t a good
one, was, if you’re trying to promote women in senior positions find an ADM that has
daughters and get him to champion the issue. Find out what the vested interest is and use it.

Michelle Boulet

There it is a lack of support for current public policies and public management systems there will be changes with or without research

I am particularly interested in research methodologies in public management. The view
expressed in articles from time to time, notably in the Journal of Public Policy Analysis
and Management, that serious scientific inquiry requires, and is limited to, deductive
quantitative research is among the issues that need to be seriously discussed. One reason
is practical: it limits what can be done in the field of public management. It also
excludes the use of techniques that have proved a rich source of insight and knowledge in
other disciplines — notably organizational behavior.

There is also an evolving relationship in public management between inductive
investigation, such as case studies and best practices, and deductive research. If well
organized and managed, a series of case studies/best practices can eventually become a
useful database to test hypotheses using deductive techniques. Furthermore, formal
deductive techniques may not be applicable to the study of complex (or
“chaotic”) systems. Many of the situations in which public management principles
are applied display the characteristics of complex systems. The systems are highly
resistant to research techniques that are based on calculating equilibrium solutions.
There is also the relatively new work in a scenario building, which does not provide the
predictive “answers” of traditional social science research, but has proved
useful in developing insights into environments characterized by a high degree of
uncertainty. These insights can significantly improve the quality of decision-making.

Scientists very in the degree to which they have an ethical responsibility to be
concerned about the relevance of their research to near-term practical concerns. Clearly
astronomers and abstract mathematicians have a much lower standard of relevance than AIDS
researchers. Practitioners such as myself are often dealing with complex systems and are
interested in a high standard of relevance for research and in research that produces
results relatively quickly. We know that if there it is a lack of support for current
public policies and public management systems there will be changes with or without
research. Because of this, we feel that methodologically elegant long-term research about
narrow issues is poor value for money.

David Mathiasen

MADGIC, the Carleton map and data centre

Although I suppose I will be accused of being a “homer,” I want
to bring to your attention the Web site run by MADGIC at Carleton. MADGIC is the Carleton
map and data centre. One of the MADGIC managers is Wendy Watkins, a long-time VPAC member
and even longer time data person at Carleton, works. Wendy was also a key player in the
Data Liberation Initiative, a successful attempt to “free” data from Statscan
for non-commercial use.

The MADGIC home page is at

I use it to get access to the CANSIM website at the University of Toronto. (CANSIM is an
enormous data base containng time series data on thousands of economic and social
variables.) But at least two other features make it worth looking at the site. One is that
it gives access to all kinds of other publicly available data sets. In truth, though, I
decided to bring the page to your attention when I was hanging around the government
documents section of the library and saw the collection of world maps made by kids (see


Two other sites from Peggy Sun:

For information on the Euro, the new European currency, which came into effect on January
1st, visit the European Commission’s Euro site at:


The non-profit research organization, Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN), has
recently renovated its entire web site, providing better access to its publications. Of
note, they have produced some work on the Social Union. In general, they have also made a
commitment to improve communications via their electronic mailing list.

Their web site address:

For instructions on how to subscribe to their electronic mailing list:

While I’m at it, the Data Liberation Initiative has a home page at

Un-Stifling Innovation

“John W. Hawks” clipped quote

<<I am working in the diffusion of innovation in medicine and have formed some
opinions on barriers from experiences which may, or may not, be useful. From what I’ve
been able to see in closed systems such as medicine, there appears to be two primary
barriers. The first is a fear of looking foolish and the second is access to {or even a
vocabulary for} a Rogersesque Opinion Leader. Since approx. 80% of the system is Early
Majority and later, the innovator is likely to find hard resistance to any semi-formed
innovation. This almost guarantees rejection…and stifles innovation.>>

Reply From Emil Zahner:

This is normal behaviour for people not trained in how to innovate. In our approach**
we cover about 50% time removing these obstacles, in theory and practice. As people get to
know the why and when, they learn how to cooperate and the invention process takes off. We
take 2 ½ days to introduce them to systematic innovation. Some people feel, methods are
everything. It depends how you look at it. Methodical behaviour and thinking is different
from the usual approach, mentioned above. There is as much a system behind innovating as
there is a system in problem solving.

I am afraid I cannot press what we do into one or two paragraphs. We show people the
morphology of an innovation team, its characteristics, danger areas, creativity without
weed generation. Main areas: The person, communication, organization, process, methods.
Founded on social, professional and methodical competence. Innovation results tend to be

<<Perhaps it is more important to be able to RECEIVE an innovation than to create
one. >>

The message sender is responsible for the state of mind of the recipient. The latter
must be prepared. Open minded people will likely listen, but in most cases you face closed
minds – even in so-called innovation departments. This is what we usually face in the
marketing area of our seminars on Systematic Innovation. It is effortless not to believe.
It takes guts, time and ability to assess what we offer. We find it easier with those who
are already innovative, those who need it most won’t grasp it. Vicious circle or erroneous

Benefits and applications are shown on the web page. and

Reprinted from: Innov.Mgmt.Network – V.5, No.91

Emil Zahner, Morphological Institute Canada

If you’re interested in bridging the focus on knowledge and innovation take a look at this

For those of us interested in bridging the focus on knowledge and innovation, take a
peak at the new Global Knowledge Leadership Map <>
premiered at the recent McMaster Business Conference (1/20/99). It features over 50 people
from 30 countries around the globe who are transforming their organizations at a local and
societal level. Discover how many kindred spirits you may have!

The “Tour de Knowledge Monde” represents a diagonal slice of the ENTOVATION
Network so that some of the veteran leaders are represented as well as some newcomers who
have just completed their theses on the subject. Participants were queried on their roots
in the movement, who influenced them and why, their accomplishments to date and what still
needed to be done as well as their vision of the knowledge economy.

For a free copy of the preliminary analysis, please request a copy of the “Global
Momentum of Knowledge Strategy” via e-mail <>. Always in your network,



Christopher K. Bart, Ph.D.
Professor of Business Policy &
Director, MINT~RC
Management of Innovation and New Technology Research Centre
Michael G. DeGroote School of Business
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S-4M4
Phone: 905/525-9140 ext. 2-3967
Fax: 905/521-8995

An update on Wendy Macdonald

Hi Eleanor,

Good to hear from you and learn that you are working on Book 2, as we very much enjoyed
Book 1. Although it covered a number of Saskatchewan’s innovations, I agree that there is
still much to be learned from what was done there.

I have been feeling guilty at not being any help on the Innovation Journal
one of my faults is that if I can’t do something the way I think it should be done, I
don’t do it at all, so I meant several times to update that newspaper article on the
Knowledge Assessment Methodology and send it to you, but never quite did (the urgent
crowding out the important). In the meantime events have overtaken me, the report
(“Lighting the Way: Knowledge Assessment on Prince Edward Island”) has been
completed and released by the National Academy of Sciences, and is available in its
entirety on their Website,
or if you like I can have a copy sent to you (we got 1,000 for local distribution). As
well, I did an Interim Report on the project last summer which provides a lot of
description of the implementation process as we felt our way through it.

It is also on the web at
I have also done a project overview which has only been distributed as hard copy and to
listers so I belatedly attach it in case it is of interest to members of the Salon. Happy
to say, the project has yielded some good strategic recommendations as well as some great
spin-offs from the process, and has attracted a fair amount of interest. I have been
appointed to the US National Research Council’s Committee on Knowledge Assessment and was
just down in Washington for my first meeting. They would like to use the committee more
actively to test the methodology further in Panama and some other sites and refine it. I
am looking forward to it as it is very interesting to move beyond the provincial sphere to
some out-of-country work. It has been a marvellous learning experience for me.

Another project in which I have recently become involved may also be of interest to the
Salon. I am co-chairing an international conference to be held in Summerside PEI in
mid-October, “Local Knowledge, Global Challenge: Smart Community Development”.
The conference, which is a linked activity of the Francophone Summit, will examine the
topic of “smart communities” from a community development perspective. Themes
include telelearning, telehealth, e-commerce, teleculture, telework, teledemocracy, and
the Knowledge Assessment Methodology project. It is intended to be a practical conference
aimed at a core audience of community development professionals, looking at how to develop
and integrate all these “tele’s” in support of social and economic development,
with an emphasis on best practices and mutual learning. We should have a website up soon,
likely as a page of the “IIS” Institute of Island Studies site noted above re
the Interim Report. In the meantime if you are interested I can e-mail you some background
information. I am also chairing the program sub-committee and it is going to be a real
challenge because of the breadth of the conference plus a new role for me. Again, a
learning opportunity.

Wendy Macdonald
Member, Editorial Board, Innovation Journal

Some comments to Fred Thompson on the summary of the APPAM-roundtable

Dear Dr. Jones & Dr. Schedler,

Please find in the following paragraphs my comments to Fred Thompson on the summary of the
APPAM-roundtable in your latest newsletter.

I think we both agree on the fact that the managerialist style and the economist
framework of NPM offers useful elements for the challenges that trigger contemporary
public sector reforms. As in Ali Farazmand’s reaction, I would also agree that we
shouldn’t be (and I quote him) “REPLACING citizens with customers but rather we are
ADDING the customer perspective to the citizen one”. But saying that they should be
added still doesn’t solve the problem of understanding (as a theoretical challenge) and
controlling(as a practical challenge) of when or how these different perspectives (and the
different values, reform objectives, control mechanisms and institutional relationships
that underpin them) can reinforce & enable eachother, rather than compete and disable
each other. The essence of my argument in the following paragraphs is that NPM, as it is
presented in many reform panels or by some academics with a consulting agenda, that NPM is
incomplete as a refrom agenda, and biased. The conclusion then, is not that NPM would not
be useful, to the contrary, I personally think there are many public organizations where
the managerial perspective can be usefull.

The conclusion however would be that those who support NPM-based reform agendas should be
more open in saying not only what it can do but also what it cannot do. Which would be
more than merely changing the term ‘management’ by the term ‘governance’ in an effort to
increase the legitimacy of the claims. In that, my argument to Thompson’s argument, as it
was presented in the synthesis in the newsletter, was that admitting NPM’s shortcomings
should be as important as arguing its strenghts. The following paragraphs show my argument
to Thompson.

The reform practices in which public sectors’ efforts to modernize their admistrative
apparatus are inspired by methods of the private sector, and by the market mechanism in
general, have not been unanimously welcomed in the public administration/managment
literature. In fact, critiques of NPM apparantly gave the word ‘management’ such a bad
that the term ‘governance’ was welcomed in the customary language, to increase the
legitimacy of the reform debate. The challenges with regard to the pubic sector, and the
reform objectives that can be derived from them with regard to modernization processes,
were said to relate to

  1. realizing savings
  2. increasing efficiency
  3. increasing effectiveness
  4. increasing justice and equity (Lane 1995).

Applying managerial concepts in a public sector context in the way NPM does, can aid in
the realization of objectives (1) and (2) and focuses mainly on the micro-,
intra-organizational level. The problem of public sector’s legitimacy however, also exist
at a macro level, that is between and over public organizations. At the macro level the
focus is on the question what the quantity of government (still) should be in our society.
This question is increasingly answered with a shift of public tasks from the public sector
towards the private sector. In Europe, Maastricht’s debt and budgetary deficit criteria
(respectively 60% and 3% of GDP) have been reinforcing and legitimizing this trend. It
will be
interesting to see whether the installment of more social-democratic governments the last
few years and months will significantly alter this trend. In the U.S., the balanced budget
discourse, and repeating attempts to give it a constitutional basis, can serve as an
example as well. It is however not only a quantitative question of ‘how much government’,
but also a qualitative one, of how the various actors in society should act and interact.

There is the public sector with a budgetmechanism, traditionally based on authority and
hierarchy. There is the private sector with the market mechanism, based on competition and
contractual relations. And there are citizens in networks, based on mutual dependence and
consensus (Bouckaert 1997). Applying managerial models from the private sector in a
governmental context entails an choice for the market mechanism and market values over
alternative mechnanism and alternative values. To the extent that we have made this choice
during recent administrative reforms in an implicit way, that is without recognizing it,
the new public management is biased towards the objectives, mechanisms and values of
private management. An example is the reduction of citizens to ‘customers’. In managerial
language, a least the role of shareholders and financers should be added. The fact that
the market fails for some goods and services, and therefore the roles of customers and
suppliers could not be quite clear, was why the public sector took care of them in the
first place. Advancing a market discourse for those services or “products”
therefore is like placing the wagon before the horse. Which helps if you want to travel
backwards of course. A second example of bias in NPM is its urge to focus on what is
measurable. The non-measurability again was a reason why the market had perverse effects
as an allocative mechanism in the first place. Therefore, applying a market based
discourse again entails a bias for economy and efficiency, and against effectiveness,
equity and justice. A third bias is NPM’s focus on an organizational level, thereby
perhaps fostering organizational performance but also governmentwide suboptimalities,
especially in policy programs that are cross-organizationally developed and implemented. A
fourth example of bias is the urge to look for some ‘production function’, thus creating
an artificial distinction between a so called ‘political level’
of policy making where things are a bit ‘messy’ and a ‘managerial level’ of policy
implementation, that should be reformed and ordered according to a managerial framework.
An artificial distinction indeed, I believe, because it rather exists in the minds of
academics and their texbooks rather than that it describes what happens in reality.

To conclude, it appears to me that NPM tries to reduce issues of effectiveness, justice
and equity to a matter of efficiency and savings. Which, by the very nature of these
conflicting values, is impossible. Therefore, I would agree with Lane and Metcalfe that
although the government can import and apply private sector’s managerial principles and
methods at a micro-level and with regard to objectives (1) and (2), it needs to be
innovative on its own at a macro level and with regard to the objectives (3) and (4).
Therefore, the discipline, whether called
pubic managment, new public management or public governance, requires its own creativity
at both a theoretical and a practical level, resulting in theories and methods appropriate
to the distinctive needs of government which are not necessarily those of the private
sector (Lane 1995) (Metcalfe 1993). I believe that the above could inspire the background
in which we assess administrative modernization in general, and new public management in

Reference List:
Bouckaert, Geert. 1997. “Sustainable Development of Networks in a Governance
Context.” paper presented at the conference on ‘Spanning the global divide:
networking for sustainable delivery’ at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa on
September 17-19, 1997.

Hood, Christopher. 1991. “A Public Management for Al Seasons ?” Public
Administration 69(1):3-19.

Lane, Jan-Erik. 1995. The Public Sector: Concepts, Models and Approaches. 2nd ed. London:

Metcalfe, Les. 1993. “Public Management: From Imitation to Innovation.” Pp.
173-89 in Modern Governance. New Government-Society Interactions, Ed
Jan Kooiman. London: Sage.

Kindest regards,

Wouter Van Reeth
Northern Illinois University
Division of Public Administration
DeKalb, IL 60115
phone: (815) 753 6146
fax: (815) 753 2539

The Innovation Salon is fascinating

The Salon subject (Febuary 29) is
fascinating. I believe we have a lot to learn from proven thinkers from Sun Tzu to

Jeremy Thorn

We are sending you information in French about the “Effective State” conference from 1998

Dear Ms. Glor:

We are sending for your journal information in French about the conference
“Effective State” which took place at St. Petersburg State University on
December 1998. We are ready to collaborate with you and “Innovation Journal” in

The best wishes, Leonid Smorgunov, Prof., Head of the Department of Political
Governance at St. Petersburg State University.

L.Smorgunov (
Philosophy Department

I wonder if behaviour’s apparently universal resistance to idea-based change mustn’t serve a purpose

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months trying to get involved with Dee Hock
(you know, Mr. Visa) who’s talking some pretty brave talk about new forms of organization
and the need for uh… what you might call unconventional leadership. What puzzles me in
all this is the chasm which yawns (chasms always yawn, don’t they?) between word and deed.
You may have seen or heard Mr. Hock’s stuff as he’s been pretty busy on the lecture
circuit these last few years. That the rhetoric is so wonderful merely increases the
tragedy of his failure to practise what he preaches.

Why am I telling you this? Well, it seems to me that there’s something pretty strange
going on here, and Eleanor is going to run into it too. Yes, there’s no shortage of
good ideas for improving organizations, but the behaviour of even those with the greatest
vision and most awesome track record seems strangely disconnected from their own
deliberative control. That is, if what they say is any indication of what they think.

I wonder sometimes if behaviour’s apparently universal resistance to idea-based change
mustn’t serve a purpose. I have no background in biology, but I would expect that the
existence of the immune system raises similar questions (though I think in fact the
history went the other way) — resistance to what, and why?

The work, and the wondering, continues.

Jim Almstrom
1413 Fairway Drive, #302
Naperville, IL 60563


Thanks for your thoughts. I was reading a definition of motivation recently in Kaplan,
Harold I., BJ Sadock. 1991. Synopsis of Psychiatry. Sixth Edition. Baltimore,
Maryland: Williams and Wilkins. They said that the body always tries to bring itself to a
state of stasis. This being true, we might be biologically programmed to resist change,
n’est-ce pas?

A further thought – The Gestalt Institute of Cleveland has done some work on resistance
to change. They have identified three levels of resistance:

  • Level 1 – resistance based on information
  • Level 2- an emotional and physiological reaction to this change e.g. fear for self
  • Level 3 – reaction is bigger than this particular change e.g. resistance to the person
    proposing the idea, possibly based on who they represent – resistance based on cultural,
    religious and racial differences.

This analysis would explain resistance to idea-based by saying that ideas and concrete
solutions only address level 1 concerns. Levels 2 and 3 are emotion-based and need to be
addressed at that level.

What do you think?

I heard about this at a workshop given to the Department of National Defense, Canada by
Rick Maurer of Arlington, Virginia on February 2, 1999.

Editor in Chief

A valuable data access site

Although I suppose I will be accused of being a “homer,” I want to bring to
your attention the Web site run by MADGIC at Carleton. MADGIC is the Carleton map and data
centre. One of the MADGIC managers is Wendy Watkins, a long-time VPAC member and even
longer time data person at Carleton, works. Wendy was also a key player in the Data
Liberation Initiative, a successful attempt to “free” data from Statscan for
non-commercial use.

The MADGIC home page is at

I use it to get access to the CANSIM website at the University of
Toronto. (CANSIM is an enormous data base containng time series data on thousands of
economic and social variables.) But at least two other features make it worth looking at
the site. One is that it gives access to all kinds of other publicly available data sets.

In truth, though, I decided to bring the page to your attention when I was hanging
around the government documents section of the library and saw the collection of world
maps made by kids
Two other sites from Peggy Sun:
For information on the Euro, the new European currency, which came into effect on January
1st, visit the European Commission’s Euro site at:
The non-profit research organization, Canadian Policy Research Networks (CPRN), has
recently renovated its entire web site, providing better access to its publications. Of
note, they have produced some work on the Social Union. In general, they have also made a
commitment to improve communications via their electronic mailing list. Their web site
For instructions on how to subscribe to their electronic mailing list:

Frank Ogden, a classic futurist

I just came across Frank Ogden’s web site in Vancouver – a futurist in the classic
sense. His web site is full of interesting quotes and up to date trends- see more below
Bill Pugsley (613) 731-0145
President, Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society
Président, Société canadienne de météorologie et d’océanographie
(back-up) BPUGSLEY@COMPUSERVE.COM (checked
From Frank Ogden’s web site at

1. Here are the latest figures available indicating relative percentage of gross
national product spent on education by: Canada 7.8% United Kingdom 6.2% United States 6.0%
Japan 5.3% Moral: maybe spending up to 50 percent more to get half the results isn’t the
way to go?

2. Within three years, 50 percent of the world population will be Asian and of the 20
largest cities on Earth at that time, not one will be in Canada, the United States or

3. Ninety percent of all the goods and services you are going to be interacting with in
the year 2006 haven’t even been developed yet.”

4.”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent;
it is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
-Charles Darwin

5. Oscar Wilde once said, “Nothing worth learning can be taught.”

Bill Pugsley

Editorial Comment on the AOL’s acquisition of

Greetings: You may find the editorial comment on the AOL’s
acquisition of Netscape of interest.

Peter Gunther

A new take on the discussion of citizens
vs customers in the public sector

A new take on the discussion of citizens vs customers in the public sector: Citizens, Customers and Clients: Is it more than

Kuno Schedler’s responce to four items in
the Newsletter of The International Public Management

Larry Jones writes in the latest Newsletter of The
International Public Management Journal. Kuno Schedler responds to item four.

Let us know what you think about the Newsletter! Every reaction will be welcome. All
you need to do is send your message to: The IPMN Journal is found at:
Best wishes from St. Gallen (Switzerland)

Kuno Schedler
Professor of Public Management
Institute for Public Services and Tourism

Science and Technology Innovation

A monograph entitled “SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION” was added to the web
site in June 1998. This thirty page document describes two novel complementary approaches
for systematically enhancing the process of innovation and discovery. One approach is
workshop-based and the other is literature-based. Both approaches have the common feature
of exploring knowledge from very disparate technical disciplines and technologies, and
transferring insights and understanding from one or more disparate technical areas to
other technical areas. While either approach can be performed independently to enable
innovation and discovery, it is highly recommended that the approaches be combined into a
single process.

This integrated approach utilizes the strengths of each component technique to provide
a synergy which can lead more efficiently to innovation than the sum of the two approaches
performed separately. It has the potential to be a major breakthrough for the systematic
promotion of innovation and discovery.
Source: Innov.Mgmt.Network – V.5, No.55; June 11, 1998

Ronald N. Kostoff/ ONR

Fred Belaire

– further info on Fred Belaire.
– Fred publishes a column in Silicon Valley North which has a web site at
-“Knowledge and Economy”, by Fred Belaire

Fred Belaire was just out of
school when he helped develop the seasonal adjustment indicators that Statistics Canada
still uses to update economic data. Since then he has been an advisor to prime ministers
and deputies, was secretary of the Economic Council of Canada and chief economist for
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. He is currently on active retirement and may be reached at

There’s business to be mined in knowledge fields. The economy
exerts a powerful influence on all of our behaviour. The convergence of the way we
communicate and compute is the cutting edge that embeds explicit knowledge in the economy.
But the wedge that provides the heft behind the edge and shapes the future is human
capital “worker knowhow” that is largely tacit and experiential. Rich nation and
poor aspire to become societies based on knowledge work.

The informational feedback loops are becoming faster. For example,
not only are electronic financial transactions executed instantaneously, but so are the
linkages of each transaction to the rest of the financial system. But the value of such
economic information is a function both of what is being measured and how well the
measurement contributes to an understanding of the system being explored. The mental model
comes first. The measurement comes after.

The emergence of the knowledge economy challenges the model of the
economy that has been in vogue for most of this century. As The Economist’s
survey of the world economy noted last fall, “Economic theory has a problem with
knowledge: it seems to defy the basic economic principle of scarcity, the more you use it
and pass it on, the more it proliferates. What is scarce in the economy is the ability to
understand and use knowledge”. This poses a problem for an economist who wants to
measure aggregate growth and productivity. Managers need to focus on knowledge as content
and innovation as process to be competitive. According to Peter Drucker, this is precisely
the competence needed for the millennium: “the ability to innovate and to measure the
performance thereof.”

The Society of Management Accountants of Canada has taken up this
challenge recently on behalf of its members and their clients. A draft of SMA’s paper
entitled Collaborative innovation and the knowledge economy was discussed in April at a
conference in San Diego. The foreword draws an interesting distinction between an
organization’s ability to learn and its ability to apply learning efficiently and

“A good idea is a long way from a profitable product or
service. Understanding the innovation process, and the concurrent role of individual
and organizational learning, is fundamental to advising the strategic direction of a
company. This paper recognizes the increasing importance of knowledge as both a driver of
innovation and a product in its own right, to be sold or shared for competitive

The author of the SMA issue paper, Debra Amidon, is founder and
chief strategist of Entovation International. She outlines a number of practical
challenges in managing knowledge, including facilitation of access to knowledge; corporate
memory loss; information overload and relevant knowledge scarcity; protection of knowledge
assets and intellectual property; the volatility inherent in the rapid diffusion of new
technology enablers; openness to the contributions of alternative ways of knowing; and the
need to develop appropriate standards, policies, and metrics. She sees a shift in the role
of management accountants from information provision to strategic-resource management.
They can contribute to the knowledge innovation agenda by:

  • understanding and communicating the business drivers related to the
    knowledge innovation process
  • stimulating continuous knowledge creation
  • managing knowledge as a resource and learning as a means to the end
  • facilitating the process of innovation
  • supporting the development of virtual and networked organization
  • balancing both the short and long term objectives in strategic,
    operating and tactical goals
  • creating appropriate performance indicators related to knowledge
  • reporting the impact of knowledge management strategies

Issue 3-10 Ottawa, July 98 (3-10p10-ott) © Silvan Communications Inc.


September 03, 1999 Revised Nov 2009

– note that all of the issues are searchable so that you can pick up anything Fred has written there

The most recent issue has Fred’s email as

Bill Pugsley


Thanks for heads up re Innovation Journal.

Wow…and wow again. Almost all those articles are up my alley. I am a Finnophile (and still speak ‘Suomi’ awfully despite the interval since I lived there for 10 months in 1961-62) so I’m looking forward to the ‘Innovation in Finland’ article.

Here’s a nugget from my ongoing contacts there. About 10 years ago they made music (singing, an instrument and musicology) mandatory from pre-school to the end of secondary school. ‘You can only avoid it with a doctor’s certificate.’ They did so because of research showing significant increase in intelligence, creativity, and disciplined work from that program. It is one of the cornerstones of their strategy for continued success in IT industries.

I laugh when I think of Canadians trying to undertake that sort of developmental policy (other than Saskatchewan of course)…as opposed to our obsessions with equity and fairness among interests.

Glen Milne, Canada

Updated April 18, 2004