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Bye Bye, Wolf of Wall Street: Balance and Openness in the Tech Industry

4 minuteminutos readde lectura
Shannon Cantor
ByPor Shannon Cantor


Creativity is Key

Climbing to the top of the competitive tech industry is not an easy task; it’s little wonder that businesses are notorious for their cut-throat approaches. That said, whether executed as ruthless or benign, innovation is undoubtedly the fast track to standing out, in both the tech world and society at large. Creativity results in products that fill demands, and even create new ones—thus defining and refining even our cultural trends. Yet new research indicates that creativity is stunted by exclusivity (Kang, 2019); thus, since creativity is key and contrasts the closed-off, tech industry businesses are thinking twice about the culture they cultivate.

Types and Tools for Inspired Innovation

Tushman and Smith identify two main classifications of innovation strategies that dominate the tech industry: radical and incremental. “Radical innovation” focuses on creating products that develop the market, targeting sheer novelty to burst open expansion. Its creative synergy evolves the entire industry, where a winning product for the company is a big win. Still, an overemphasis on radical innovation risks huge investment with little payoff, and a major loss of cash flow. On the other hand, “incremental innovation” plays a growth plan that carefully watches the market, then responding with a solution to the current consumer needs. Its more immediate payoff may stunt a company’s long-term growth, but it’s a safe and helpful strategy when the market gets competitive and economic times get tough.

Different managing tactics generally favor one of these two approaches. Yet the most successful businesses are those “ambidextrous” ones (Kang, 2019). They over-emphasize neither one style nor the other, and instead display a balanced combination of methodologies. For example. A radical innovation focus may apply at a company’s start-up, then stabilizing to develop incremental innovation as the organization gains footing. In this light, the imperative matter then becomes not which style to pursue, but how to achieve the innovation equilibrium.

Recent research emphasizes “open innovation” to reach this balance. This is a business mindset, rather than product development strategy, which incorporates both internal and external knowledge in daily operations and long-term goals. As the name suggests, “open” organizations seek diverse fountains of knowledge, seeing these opportunities as crucial to applying fresh perspectives in the current business vision. The influx further fosters a creative ebb and flow, and thus a higher chance of oscillation between radical and incremental developments. Even more, research verifies this strong positive correlation between openness and balance: the “deeper” the collaborations with diverse partners, the “wider” the breadth of innovation styles (Kang, 2019).

Cultures of Collaboration

The “Wolf of Wall Street” approach may have brought finance to the misers of previous generations, but technology companies continue paving new terrain. In order to foster both evolution and sustainability, they are exchanging this “my way or the highway” mentality in favor of “playing nice.” Cutting-edge research requires novel insights and pooled symbiosis, proving the value of a collaborative, open diversity. The result balances radical and incremental innovation, with total benefits that seep into other sectors and revitalize business approach.