Here's what I've noticed from reading some really good reports on fields/industries/sectors/ecosystems as diverse as women's studies, microfinance, impact investing, conflict resolution, digital media and learning, philanthropy, community philanthropy, and social entreprenuership - the recommendations for building the field, or taking it from a phase of entreprenuerial fragmentation - what Katherine Fulton aptly calls uncoordinated innovation - to organized markets - are almost always the same:
Now, like I've said, I've contributed to this body of thinking. And I rely on it. I'm asking the following questions because I'm steeping myself in this question of transformation from disconnected experiments to organized market/system/ecosystem/industry/sector yet again. So here are the questions:
- Do all transitions really require the same actions?
- Are these actions so separate from the content of the market/system/industry that they are consistent across any area?
- Are these actions so separate from the content of the market/system/industry that they are consistent across any timeframe? (women's studies in the 1960s, social entrepreneurs in the 2000s, for example)
- If the same set of actions for transformation are known to be necessary, why do we keep studying them? Why don't we just "do" them?
- How do we adjust our thinking to account for changes in external conditions? - technology, policy, resources, etc?
- Why do we continue to shy away from the role that rules and regulation can play in each of these transitions?
These are real questions for me - they will shape or be part of at least two chapters/articles I write in 2009. Please help me out here if you can. Thanks.
*I cribbed (with attribution) the definition that I used in the book, as well as the examples of an industry's components and the stages of development and the possible interventions from Michael Porter's, Competitive Strategy.