Variables of Innovation Web Evolution Speed - Agility

The speed with which ideas evolve through the innovation web archetypes depends upon 12 (twelve) interdependent variables: Resilience, Reciprocity, Agility, Value Creation, Perceived Value, Asset Impact, Cost Benefit, Sequence, Structural Integrity (Density), Structural Dependency (Centrality), Number of Participants and Stability. These variables are explored in a series of blog postings and will be completed by the presentation of a parametric model describing their interdependencies and permitting the simulation and analysis of the overall innovation web evolution process, including the impact of relevant “interventions” needed to accelerate the idea across the diffusion of innovation curve.

This posting explores the variable “Agility”. Agility is an important indicator of a network’s ability to respond to changing external conditions. It is also an indicator of how easy it is for any participant to reach that participant who might be able to solve a specific problem. The calculation of agility is based on the concept of  “degrees of separation.” Degrees of separation, technically also referred to as “distance” in a network is a measure of how quickly information can spread out across the network to reach all members. A high average distance between roles or Participants can be an indication that there are not enough hubs or connectors in the network.

The optimal agility will hereby differ for each innovation web archetype, although the principle counts that the lower the agility score the better (i.e. the lower the score the smaller the degrees of separation). Upon achieving minimum agility (along with all other performance indicators) the innovation web is ready for transitioning to the next archetype. The transition threshold value for minimum agility is equal to being “below average” in comparison to a group of at least 13 comparative innovation webs in a similar context (for all performance indicators simultaneously) in order to permit the robust application of parametric assessment techniques for analysis. Whether or not this transition threshold has truly been achieved is also a qualitative judgement and thus requires validation and confirmation by all participants before commencing the transition process to the next archetype.

The image is drawn from https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/04/09/did-something-kill-a-hummingbird-as-it-ate-at-a-feeder/ and is intended to illustrate how some living systems have perfected the art of “stabilizing” their interactions with others.

The symbol used for resilience is “−” to illustrate the “shortest path” nature of this perspective.

The foundation for the analysis of agility is a list of all transactions including their direction and information on whether these are tangible or intangible as shown in the following table.

Table: Innovation Web Archetype Transactions


Archetype
Sequence
Deliverable
Nature
From
To
Research Web
1
Curiosity
Intangible
Innovators(s)
User(s)
Research Web
2
Problem
Tangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Research Web
3
Idea
Intangible
Innovators(s)
User(s)
Research Web
4
Feedback
Intangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Research Web
5
Product
Tangible
Innovators(s)
User(s)
Research Web
5
Guidance
Intangible
Innovators(s)
User(s)
Research Web
6
Feedback
Intangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Research Web
6
Experience
Intangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Research Web
6
Trust
Intangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Research Web
7
Trust
Intangible
Innovators(s)
User(s)
Research Web
7
Upgrades
Tangible
Innovators(s)
User(s)
Research Web
8
Feedback
Intangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Research Web
8
Experience
Intangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Research Web
8
Trust
Intangible
User(s)
Innovator(s)
Socialization Web
1
Stories
Intangible
Innovators(s)
Marketeer(s)
Socialization Web
1
Stories
Intangible
User(s)
Marketeer(s)
Socialization Web
1
Stories
Intangible
Marketeer(s)
Innovator(s)
Socialization Web
2
Feedback
Intangible
Marketeer(s)
User(s)
Socialization Web
3
Feedback
Intangible
Marketeer(s)
Innovator(s)
Socialization Web
4
Stories
Intangible
Marketeer(s)
Product Packager(s)
Socialization Web
5
Idea
Intangible
Marketeer(s)
Product Packager(s)
Socialization Web
6
Curiosity
Intangible
Product Packager(s)
Innovator(s)
Socialization Web
7
Idea
Intangible
Innovators(s)
Product Packager(s)
Socialization Web
7
Product
Tangible
Innovators(s)
Product Packager(s)
Socialization Web
7
Trust
Intangible
Innovators(s)
Product Packager(s)
Socialization Web
8
Feedback
Intangible
Product Packager(s)
Innovator(s)
Socialization Web
9
Structure
Tangible
Product Packager(s)
Innovator(s)
Market Validation
1
Value Potential
Intangible
Marketeer(s)
Buyer(s)
Market Validation
2
Curiosity
Intangible
Buyer(s)
User(s)
Market Validation
3
Initial Validation
Tangible
User(s)
Buyer(s)
Market Validation
3
Value Proposition
Intangible
User(s)
Buyer(s)
Market Validation
4
Business Case
Tangible
Buyer(s)
Funder(s)
Market Validation
4
Value Proposition
Intangible
Buyer(s)
Funder(s)
Market Validation
5
Requirements
Tangible
Funder(s)
Commercializer(s)
Market Validation
5
Expectations
Intangible
Funder(s)
Commercializer(s)
Market Validation
6
Agreements
Tangible
Commercializer(s)
Innovator(s)
Market Validation
6
Guidance
Intangible
Commercializer(s)
Innovator(s)
Market Validation
7
Approval
Tangible
Innovators(s)
Commercializer(s)
Market Validation
8
Agreements
Tangible
Commercializer(s)
Product Packager(s)
Market Validation
8
Guidance
Intangible
Commercializer(s)
Product Packager(s)
Market Validation
9
Compliance
Tangible
Product Packager(s)
Commercializer(s)
Market Validation
9
Compliance
Intangible
Product Packager(s)
Commercializer(s)
Market Validation
10
Approval
Tangible
Commercializer(s)
Product Packager(s)
Market Validation
11
Deployment
Tangible
Product Packager(s)
User(s)
Market Validation
12
Final Validation
Tangible
User(s)
Buyer(s)

The calculation of agility (and other indicators) is best performed using social network analysis tools. While there are many analysis methods and tools available for the analysis we use (and recommend) Gephi 0.9.2 (See https://gephi.org/). Gephi is not tailored for analyzing the Value Networks data structure so there is some manual effort involved in data preparation. Lists of the connections between nodes (roles) based on the previous table are used as inputs for the analysis.

As a first step multiple directed edges connecting identical nodes are collapsed by Gephi into a single directed and weighted directional connection. For the innovation web with ALL TRANSACTIONS the number of nodes thus remains unchanged (8) while the number of connections for ALL TRANSACTIONS drops from 45 to 19.

The agility values of the innovation web archetypes are calculated by Gephi and shown in the table below to show (a) the average degree of separation for tangible transactions, (b) the average degree of separation for intangible transactions, and (c) the average degree of separation for all transactions.

The Gephi variable “average path length is used to describe the degree of separation for each innovation web.

Table: Innovation Web Archetype Agility

Archetype
Agility Tangible
Agility Intangible
Agility All
Research
 1.333
 1.333
1.333
Socialization
1.333
1.364
1.364
Market Validation
2.452
2.174
2.405
Commercialization
< 2.097
< 1.562
< 1.86

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