This work offers a summary of the book "HOW BREAKTHROUGHS HAPPEN: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate" by Andrew Hargadon. How Breakthroughs Happen explains that very few business innovations come in a "lightbulb moment". Most profitable breakthroughs come as a result of "technology brokering" - where the ideas and concepts that have worked in one industry are transplanted into another.
Thus, to succeed in the future, do a better job of harnessing the past. The result, Andrew Hargadon says, is "an innovation process that thrives by making smaller bets, by building the future from what's already at hand."Technology brokering may sound difficult to implement, but Hargadon suggests that, broken down, it's very achievable. Good companies should be good networkers, not just within their field but in adjacent ones.
Often, ideas do not come from the top, therefore build a community of suppliers, investors, engineers, manufacturers: create a culture where all ideas are valid. Break large concepts into smaller ones, so that everyone in the organization has ownership and feels enthusiastic about change. Cross-sectional teams are invaluable. How Breakthroughs Happen is a persuasive book that's backed up with many examples, from Ford to the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
Technology brokering fosters new ideas at the minimum level of risk, a strategy every company would be wise to understand.