Knowledge Hatcheries

In the meantime, we do have to live in the here and now, even as we try to build a future worth sticking around for. Ever heard of the Kansai Science City in Japan, or anything about Malaysia’s Cyberjaya? You have to give the Malaysians and Japanese credit for trying to create new Silicon Valleys—from scratch. It turns out to be very difficult to do, regardless of the formula (and gobs of money) used as ingredients. Russia’s Skolkovo area outside Moscow is just the latest such attempt, though the Russians are sensibly doing it in collaboration with MIT—so as to create the right kind of nutrient base for innovation.

Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics, correctly says, “The future lies in collaboration across borders, cultures, companies, and disciplines. The collaboration economy offers endless possibilities for growth, innovation, and diversity.” This sentiment is echoed by former P&G Chairman A. G. Lafley: “No company today, no matter how large or how global, can innovate fast enough or big enough by itself. Collaboration—externally with consumers and customers, suppliers and business partners, and internally across business and organization boundaries—is critical.” As I say elsewhere in this book, I truly believe that diversity and inclusion are absolutely essential ingredients of innovation, which is why A.T. Kearney is championing these values. But I need to be clear: Sometimes diversity (particularly in academic institutions) has become a slogan representing ...

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