Innovation as a Side Effect… JISCPress and the JISC Strategy Review

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that we recently republished the JISC Strategy Review 2010-2012 on WriteToReply in part as a way of field testing the new digress.it theme that has been under development as part of our JISCPress project.

Some time ago, I remember reading a book by Gary Hammel (with Bill Breen) on “The Future of Management” that included a model referred to as the innovation stack.

The model was pyramidal, and comprised four layers – at the bottom, operational innovation; sitting on top of that was product or service innovation, followed by strategic innovation, and at the top, management innovation.

Now I’ve never done an MBA, so my reading of this book may be out of line with a ‘traditional’ reading of it, but here’s what came to my mind when we originally floated the idea of republishing the JISC Strategy Review on WriteToReply, offered as a straw man…

  • operational innovation: Dev8D and the development approaches encouraged in JISCRI projects represent operational innovations; publishing documents on JISCPress is an operational innovation aimed at helping JISC programme managers clarify project calls and JISC project teams shape their bids and disseminate their results;
  • product/service innovation: in many cases, the JISC calls for projects seek to encourage product or service innovations, as well as operational innovations; as a hosted service, the JISCPress platform can be seen as a service innovation, running either as a centrally hosted service, or as a document platform in its own right hosted by an institution itself.
  • strategy innovation: to a certain extent, programmes like the #ukoer programme represent operational steps that may support a strategic innovation in the way HEIs disseminate the fruits of their scholastic endeavours. The idea of Open Repositories and Open Science also operates at the level of strategic innovation. I think I’d be pushing a little more than I already am to find a strategy innovation role for JISCPress!
  • management innovation: JISC Reviews are often disseminated to PVCs and research managers on an “I2I” (institution-to-institution) basis. JISCPress breaks that… badly. JISCPress allows anyone to comment and provide their own response directly to JISC, rather than necessarily representing the traditional response from the top of the strategy/research/IT management hierarchy within the institutions.

So, with that warm up exercise over, it’s time for me to get stuck in to reading the JISC Strategy Review properly… Hmm, now I wonder, does Hamel’s innovation pyramid map in any way onto JISC’s strategy for innovation across the HE and FE sector….?!

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