Enriching the Ecosystem

The Harvard Business Review published an article, “Enriching the Ecosystem,” by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.  The article addresses how industries can improve innovation, enterprises, and jobs. In the article, Kanter outlines a four-point plan to link these institutions together for an enhanced business environment.  These include:

  • “Generating ideas and deploying them in the market-ready enterprises;
  • Connecting small and new enterprises to large companies;
  • Aligning education with industry needs; and
  • Uniting leaders across sectors to develop ecosystem strategies.”

Historically, innovation centers in the U.S. have looked inward to optimize their performance.

“However, when business, academic, and policy leaders collaborate to bridge the gaps, they create a fertile environment for job growth and more-inclusive prosperity.  Creating and maintaining links among these institutions requires a commitment to: Invest in the foundation institutions… Seek integrated, collaborative solutions… [And] identify and reward excellence.”

The U.S. lacks strong training programs for middle-skills between a high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree. Companies must not only invest in educational programs to close the gap between companies and universities, but also fill the void of apprenticeship programs that teach a skilled trade.  Survival rates of start-ups also increase when incubators connect resources to strategic partners.  The collaboration among these institutions can produce a rich ecosystem of enhanced innovation, provide direct resources, and reward excellence.

To listen to the interview with Rosabeth Moss Kanter or read the full article, please visit hbr.org.