MIS 5801 – Summer 2011

Carlson’s Law (related to innovation)

Curtis Carlson was quoted by Tom Friedman in the New York Times last week —.   Via Wikipedia:  “In a world where so many people now have access to education and cheap tools of innovation, innovation that happens from the bottom up tends to be chaotic but smart. Innovation that happens from the top down tends to be orderly but dumb.” As a result, says Carlson, the sweet spot for innovation today is “moving down,” closer to the people, not up, because all the people together are smarter than anyone alone and all the people now have the tools to invent and collaborate.

What does this mean to the leaders of traditional corporations and to politicians?  What value can a traditional organization add to bottom up innovation?

Curtis Carlson is the CEO of SRI International (formerly the Stanford Research Institute).

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