The third paper session of the of the Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry has three papers. on the theme of learning and design.

John Pourdehnad, “Idealized Design: An “Open Innovation” Process for Successful Business Model Creation”

In industry after industry, companies with superior performance are displaying innovation in the totality of the way they are doing business. This explains why a recent IBM survey of over 765 CEOs shows: Business Model Innovation is on the top of their list. In the absence of a single genius entrepreneur/leader, one of the challenges confronting the businesses today is to develop a process of “open innovation,” that taps into the creativity of the stakeholders and in particular the employees of the organization (s) to create a successful business model. Traditional models of innovation, which relied solely on “creative types,” usually within R&D functions or strategic planning function, are being replaced with “open innovation”. One of the most potent open innovation processes, is idealized design. Originally conceived as an internal process to facilitate corporate planning, idealized “design thinking” is now being used for opportunity recognition. In this paper, the operating principles of idealized design as an open innovation process together with the Enterprise 2.0, a system wide enabling technology that facilitates participation, is discussed.

[see abstract]

Takafumi Nakamura and Kyoichi Kijima, “Failure of foresight: Learning from system failures through dynamic model”

A dynamic model for holistically examining system failures is proposed, for the purpose of preventing further occurrence of these failures. An understanding system failure correctly is crucial to preventing further occurrence of system failures. Quick fixes can even damage organizational performance to a level worse than the original state. There is well known side effect of “normalized deviance” which leads NASA’s Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters. And there is so called “incubation period” which leads to catastrophic system failures in the end. However this indicates there is a good chance to avoid catastrophic system failures if we can sense the incubation period correctly and respond the normalized deviance effect properly. If we don’t understand system failure correctly, we can’t solve it effectively. Therefore we first define three failure classes to treat dynamic aspects of system failures. They are Class 1 (Failure of deviance), Class 2 (Failure of interface) and Class 3 (Failure of foresight) respectively. Then we propose a dynamic model to understand system failure dynamically through turning hindsight to foresight to prevent further occurrence. An application example in IT engineering demonstrates that the proposed model proactively promotes double loop learning from previous system failures.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

Shankar Sankaran, “Incorporating Systems Thinking in Organizational Change Projects using Action Research by Practitioners Conducting Academic Research”

This paper will first explore the use systems thinking in action research projects. It will then describe three ‘real’ action research projects, where systems thinking processes were used by managers who conducted action research, to introduce change in their own organizations. It will elaborate how applying systems thinking principles supported the application of action research. All three managers have successfully completed their doctorates in programs conducted by an Australian University. The paper will then discuss the merits and problems in applying systems thinking in action research projects and conclude with how systems thinking approaches could be effectively applied by management researchers planning to conduct academic research. The principal author of this paper was involved in the supervision of the doctoral research of the projects discussed in this paper. The three managers are being contacted for participating in writing this paper.

[see abstract] [see full paper]

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